Sunday, January 18, 2015

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

Hey guys, it's now time to shut down last month's poll and launch our new poll! As you may remember, last month's poll posed this question to you guys: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk CD of 2014? We scored a solid 37 votes over the past month for the poll, which is pretty good for the site, so thanks to everyone for voting, but which new local album "won"? Here are the final results!

Jack Spades - The First (10 votes, 27%)
AlgomA - Reclaimed By The Forest (8 votes, 22%)
The Bear Hunters - Eternal Hibernation (6 votes, 16%)
The Northern Tragedy - Home Ice (3 votes, 8%)
Telephone & Address - Need Not Apply (2 votes, 5¼%)
Crucify The Whore - Welcome To Earth (2 votes, 5¼%)
Shit Liver - Shit Liver (2 votes, 5¼%)
Mike Haggith - A Place Of Our Own (2 votes, 5¼%)
This Is Your Band On Drugs - This Is Your Band On Drugs (1 vote, 3%)
Other (1 vote, 3%)
Habitat Shuffle - Sober Drift (0 votes)
Northwest - Northwest (0 votes)
Rotopsy - Rotopsy (0 votes)
Any of SweetKenny's 2014 albums (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I'm not overly surprised with the selections that got no votes, based on their release methods and SweetKenny being from the Sault Michigan area, but I did assume some would get at least one vote. I can't speak for the "Other" voter (perhaps they meant the low profile Bad Back demos?), while it's good to see This Is Your Band On Drugs attract some attention! The albums that got 2 votes aren't too surprising (aside from Shit Liver, who I thought would be much higher), while The Northern Tragedy's three vote finish is a pleasant surprise, especially given their recent hiatus! The top 3 were personally predicted to be that high (albeit alongside Shit Liver), and while I didn't exactly know how the order would break down, Jack Spades' debut EP "The First" outpaced AlgomA & The Bear Hunters' CDs with 10 votes and 27% of the final total. Strong finish for an entertaining debut disc from this popular punk/metal quintet, and we'll have to see how their teased split with Destroilet shakes down this year!

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, we're continuing with our "favourite _____ of 2014" polls by posing this question once again: What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2014? As always, there's new local bands that debut each year, and we once again saw a strong number of new bands and new blood to help keep the scenes going into the mid-2010s, but which one did you guys like the most? As usual for our annual poll on this question (which welcomes full punk bands for the first time), bands must have both publically launched and played their first public live concert in the 2014 calendar year to be included among the choices. Bands that launched in 2013 or earlier but only began playing live in 2014 aren't included, which does exclude bands like This Is Your Band On Drugs, but you can vote for "Other" if you wish to vote for them! Also excluded are bands that only played private gigs, high school events, or open mic nights, bands that have yet to play live at all, and one-off projects, but again, you do have "Other"!

Also, for the sake of clarity, The Pixo Control aren't a choice because they launched publically in December 2013, so they fell just short of fitting the poll, as they're technically part of the 2013 rookie class. Great young band though, so stay tuned for more on them soon, and remember, you can vote for them with "Other"! Now, we have 13 choices (and "Other") to choose between, so read on below for your choices in this month's poll on your favourite new bands from last year!

The Apocalypse Afterparty: Since their debut at the private Das Bunkerfest in August, this masked local rap/metal duo (and their Smokin' Heroines) have been delivering "a fresh new noise" to the stage, including at a Toronto show this fall, and at September's IDNS concert. Featuring RedD Monkey & Fury alumni as "songwriters", they have lots of big plans ahead, but were they your top new band of 2014?

The Bottom Line: A short lived Sault Michigan hard rock band that was only active from April through July, fans may recognize The Bottom Line from sets at last year's LemmaFest & the Music & Art Dockside Festival, before abruptly dissolving due to bassist Jack Slater's college commitments. Though succeeded by Full Throttle & Ten Kings, were The Bottom Line's 2 shows enough to warrant your vote?

The Elements: Debuting at the first Heavy Thursday at the former Roosevelt Hotel in February, this newer funk/hard rock quartet have accomplished a lot since, including opening for Random Killing, rocking Hempfest in Moonbeam, and joining the cause at Rock For Dimes last fall! Featuring Side FX, Jack Spades, Redundant, and Changing Waves alumni, have The Elements impressed you the most of 2014's new heavier bands?

Exiled: The newest hard rock cover band from Absolute alumni Donny Newell & Justin Lawless, Rudyard hard rock quintet Exiled have been making their name in the Sault Michigan area since debuting this summer, including at established bars and motorcycle clubs alike! Also featuring Division of Sanity & Bottom Line alumni, have Exiled made you a fan more than the rest of last year's rookie crop?

Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking: Featuring Fitswitch, As It Stands, Late Shift, and Frightlight alumni (all of which being local drummers too), fans may recognize this promising punk quartet from sets at the Bon Soo Marquee and at one of the last Heavy Thursdays at The Rosie before abruptly falling inactive in the spring. Despite only playing live in February, F.F.S.H. had a good thing going, but did you like them the most?

Full Throttle: Not to be confused with the 2012-2013 Sault Michigan band of the same name (though both featured Ryan Kitzmiller & George Belleau), the second version of Full Throttle launched in July to succeed the disbanded Bottom Line, but they only played a handful of shows before disbanding themselves in the fall, though Joe Jenkins & Will Storey are now in Ten Kings. Still, were Full Throttle (version 2.0) your favourite?

Gnaeus: A young post-punk quartet with a garage rock sensibility, Gnaeus have been carving their own path since debuting last spring, including high profile sets at The Emergency Festival and Lopstock, and the December 30th show at Cafe Natura, along with original recording sessions. These guys have been doing their thing very well in the past year, but have Gnaeus appealed to you more than the rest in 2014:?

Highway 63: Essentially the successors to Jager/Monkey's Uncle and Sir Charge, Highway 63 is the newest classic/hard rock cover band from veteran local musician Henry Switzer, as joined by his son Nathan, longtime bandmate Ron Suchey, and Power Slug's Chris Leask. Launching in March before fully beginning their local concert run in the fall, the guys have impressed fans in the Sault Michigan area, but are you among them?

Infamous: You may remember this newer young hard rock band featuring Lizzie Pearson, Anthony Boudreau, and Damon King from their set at Sault Band-O-Rama at the Primavera Hall in November (and from once being scheduled for Rock For Dimes), but we haven't heard a lot from them since. Lizzie & Damon have also been playing as an acoustic duo named Deviant, but if you saw Infamous, did you like them the most last year?

Long Shot: Active since at least January, this hard rock cover band have largely played special events and unfamiliar venues since their launch, most recently at the Eagles' Club in Heyden in September. The Dawe brothers, Nathan, and Jeremy haven't been heard from publically since, and hopefully all's well, but are Long Shot your favourite new heavier or punk band from last year in the Sault area?

Mourning Wood: Launching this summer, this newer classic/hard rock cover trio features Asylum Country's Terry Eaton & T.J. Case alongside Beaumont Avenue's Steven Flint. Playing at numerous bars over the past few months (including bringing hard rock back to Reggie's West, the former Rosie), this frequently seen band shows no signs of slowing down, but are they your #1 new band of 2014?

The Revolution: Originally the second version of Brutally Fatal, this Austin McCrae-led doom/punk trio have survived numerous lineup changes since launching in February, but have opened for Anciients, Archelon, and Endast, rocked the Sewer Swampstravaganza, and began recording a debut EP over the past year! With new bassist Jordan Leach in tow, the guys have been plans for 2015, but did you like them more than other new bands?

Them: Coming just under the wire for this poll via their set at the Blood Shed Productions Boxing Day house party (whose address was publically advertised), Them have been active since at least February, apparently play a variety of genres, and their lineup features Bring The Misery alum Tyler St. Amour, ex-Revolution bassist Rainey Vincent, and Infamous' Anthony Boudreau on drums. We don't know much else, but did you like them the most last year?

Other: Is your favourite new band somehow not listed? Did you like a new band that wasn't from the metal, hard rock, or punk genres the most? How about a band that only played live for the first time this year, only played private or one-off gigs, or is studio only? Maybe you even liked a band from Soo Band Roulette the most? If for any reason, your favourite new local band of 2014 isn't a choice here, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until February 18th to cast your votes, and it will be very interesting to see what band wins this month! I will emphasize once again though, please don't launch online campaigns to rack up the votes for a specific band, as I want to see fair results. This isn't a popularity contest. Thanks everyone, and stay tuned for more news soon!

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