Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!!

Before we touch on the weekend's concert previews, we have a poll to close and another new one to launch, so let's take care of our monthly polls to start this Thursday! As you may remember, we posed this question to you guys last month: How likely are you to attend local metal, hard rock, or punk concerts with a large number of bands (i.e. 6 or more)? Only 14 voters, which isn't a lot, but there's some interesting results, so thanks to everyone for voting, and now, here's the final tally!

Count me in, the more the merrier! (5 votes, 36%)
It depends on the lineup (3 votes, 21.5%)
I can't be there all day, so I'd only go see some bands (3 votes, 21.5%)
It's overkill, why not have many smaller shows? (2 votes, 14%)
I don't go to concerts based on the amount of bands (1 vote, 7%)
It depends on the ticket/door charges (0 votes)
It depends on the event's theme or purpose (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I am slightly surprised that no one voted based on a show's entry fee or theme (particularly the former), as I know some people can be picky on the details, but it bodes well for larger concerts! I did fully expect more people to vote for not going to shows based on the size of them, but it can be a factor for many. Two of the second-fourth place choices fall into breaking a show apart, either by how much one goes to see, or a desire to see promoters divide it into many smaller shows, and while I can see sides for both choices, promoters who book a concert with 6 or more bands usually have a method to the madness, so to speak. I expected voters to put the remaining choices high, but I am slightly surprised that "Count me in, the more the merrier!" won, as I know there are people out there who do find long marathon concerts like Dank Fest and Toystock to be a grind.

This is a small sample size to be sure, but it is clear that most people either love the idea of big concerts like these, or would support them by at least seeing part of them or only certain ones based on their own personal taste. I love the longer concerts, especially for a wide array of local talent, and while some might be better served broken up, hopefully more hit the area in the coming months and beyond! Thanks to everyone for voting!

As for this month's poll, now's a good time to begin our annual "Favourite _____ of the year" polls, as I'm always curious to see what you guys preferred out of the year's albums, news events, debuting bands, and concerts, and we'll start by posing this question: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk CD of 2014? As of this writing, there's no new SMS-fitting albums in the cards for an imminent release before the new year (barring a surprise announcement), so I feel comfortable with kicking off our 2014 polls with this topic, especially given the amount of notable releases that came out from heavier and punk bands in the past year! As usual, this poll does not include 2013 albums, any yet to be released, free or improperly packaged CD demos, older re-releases, and free song postings, to keep the spirit of a "paid album" in mind. If the album is online only, it must be available to buy as a full online album rather than separate songs, hence the absence of Sykotyk Rampage's 2014 releases, though formatted as albums.

Also, no albums that fall outside of our covered genres are included, but if you want to vote for one of them or an album that we missed, "Other" is back once again as a choice! Also, we condensed SweetKenny's three 2014 albums into one option in the poll due to their similarity and close relative proximity in release dates, and omitted The Bear Hunters' "Collapse The Sun" single as it's a complimentary release to their full length CD in the poll (if you preferred it though, vote "Other"!) Still, we have 14 choices, so read on below for more info on each!

AlgomA - Reclaimed By The Forest: Arguably the biggest local metal release of 2014 on an international scale, local doom/sludge metal trio AlgomA's debut CD has made waves both locally and abroad partly thanks to support from Deadbeat Media and a number of media and press reviews. Even without a local CD release concert, there's a solid reception for their sludgy and slow originals, but was "Reclaimed By The Forest" your favourite new local CD of the year?

The Bear Hunters - Eternal Hibernation: The likely last local metal CD of the year was also the most anticipated by many, as the local death metal quintet have worked for over 3 years to complete their debut full length album. Released at a successful CD release party at The Canadian Nightclub on November 29th, fans have reacted positively to this 10 song collection of The Bear Hunters' early originals, but did you love it enough to vote for it?

Crucify The Whore - Welcome To Earth: The polarizing goregrind solo project by Rotopsy's Tyler Gibson released their first full length demo "Welcome To Earth" on July 1st, featuring 15 minimalistic but brutal songs (including 4 surpassing 3 minutes in length) that definitely piqued the interest of Blood Shed Productions loyalists! With better production and tighter songwriting than on their early demos, was C.T.W.'s newest release your favourite?

Habitat Shuffle - Sober Drift: Surprisingly released on August 20th, "Sober Drift" is the debut album from Free Beer successors Habitat Shuffle, who have surprisingly not played a known public concert yet. Recorded at Tidal Records and released in digital mp3 formats only, but the transition from ska-punk to a 1990s alt-rock style did attract some positive notice late this year! If you've heard "Sober Drift", would you rank it #1?

Jack Spades - The First: Launched at a successful CD release show at The Rockstar Bar on May 16th, local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades' conveniently named debut EP "The First" received a reception akin to the concert that night, with 4 entertaining Misfits-inspired originals (plus a Ripcordz cover) for old Fitswitch & Frightlight fans and new ones alike! This was a very nice EP, but did you like it more than the rest of the poll choices?

Mike Haggith - A Place Of Our Own: Released on May 10th to coincide with his rare solo concert set at the fourth annual Sewer Swampstravaganza at The Oddfellows Hall, Haggith drummer Mike Haggith's 48th solo album "A Place Of Our Own" continued the orchestral themes of his recent solo albums, if a bit minimal and light compared to some of his prior work. Mike's talent is clear, but was his newest studio album your favourite of the year?

The Northern Tragedy - Home Ice: First released on March 16th when they opened for Skynet at 180 Projects, local punk trio The Northern Tragedy's second EP "Home Ice" features just 3 songs, but attracted positive notices after it's spring release! Surprisingly, the guys haven't been seen on stage since, so this EP might have fallen a bit by the wayside by year's end, but were The Northern Tragedy responsible for your favourite 2014 CD locally?

Northwest - Northwest: The second Tidal Records-affiliated punk EP released in less than a month, local indie/punk quintet Northwest launched their first public online page on September 2nd by releasing their debut self-titled EP, albeit only in digital mp3 copies. This veteran outfit featuring Small Town Rivals and Terminal alumni delivered well on their debut release together, but did you see the top choice in this poll out of Northwest's first album?

Rotopsy - Rotopsy: Released on April 18th on the day of their abbreviated Dank Fest set at The Oddfellows Hall, local goregrind duo Rotopsy's debut EP features 8 songs that, though as minimalistic and polarizing as C.T.W., have a lively brutality that definitely got Blood Shed fans going in the past year! Did Tyler & Dylan craft your favourite 2014 CD release with Rotopsy's EP, or do you have something else in mind?

Shit Liver - Shit Liver: Two years (and one move to St. Catharine's) after recording sessions began, local grind/death metal trio Shit Liver released their well anticipated self-titled debut CD on April 20th, delivering a blast of 15 (mostly) short, aggressive, and chaotic originals for their patient fans! Though we haven't heard much from Josh, Mike, and Matt in recent months, was Shit Liver's first CD your favourite local release of the last year?

Any of SweetKenny's 2014 albums: The only Sault Michigan-area hard rock CD releases that we knew of in 2014 came from veteran solo artist Kenneth Sutton (a.k.a. SweetKenny), who released three CDs this year, including "Ink" in March, "This End Up" in June, and "Amazonian" in October, bringing his main solo discography to 10 CDs. Each has a similar style, but Ken's Elvis-inspired vocals and Sykotyk Rampage-esque hard rock has an audience, though are you among it?

Telephone & Address - Need Not Apply: This local punk, grunge, and lo-fi solo project from Red & Black frontman Chris Shoust released their sixth album (and second since reemerging locally) at the IDNS concert at The Oddfellows Hall on September 6th, but unlike prior releases, "Need Not Apply" differed with a more aggressive bass & drum sound rather than acoustic guitar material. Was Telephone & Address' new CD your favourite of the year?

This Is Your Band On Drugs - This Is Your Band On Drugs: Originally released as a free download on May 12th, the local experimental/grind duo featuring the ever-creative Chase Wigmore would later see this demo get a paid physical release at Blood Shed Productions concerts, so it counts for this poll. Though low in recording quality, T.I.Y.B.O.D. delivered intense, irreverent, and explosive metal on this demo, but did you like it more than the rest?

Other: Is your favourite new metal, hard rock, or punk album of 2014 not featured above? Perhaps you preferred one we missed, an album that's incomplete or unreleased, one that was only available in free or unpackaged copies, or isn't even "heavy" or "local" at all? If, for whatever reason, you wish to vote for a different album in this poll, "Other" is for you!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until January 18th to cast your ballots in our first "favourite _____ of 2014" poll, and I'm curious to see what album "wins" the poll, and please don't stuff ballots to ensure that a specific CD "wins". Cast your ballots A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for weekend concert previews later today! Thanks everyone!

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