Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Traces & The Bottom Half

It's now time for this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles! Yes, our monthly look at one or two defunct/inactive local metal, hard rock, or punk bands is back, and like usual, bands are randomly chosen! This month, we're looking at two bands due to our first selection only having minimal surviving info, but there's talent from both sides of the border to take in this month, so here's what you should know!

Genre: Progressive Metal

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan


Tyler Tidwell (Clownsack, Swayze Train), guitar/synth/programming
Nathan Switzer (Highway 63, Monkey's Uncle, RamWagon), guitar
Cody Tidwell (Analog Deficiency), guitar

Info/Analysis: Launched in April 2010 as The Gaia Syndrome, Traces started as a progressive metal solo project for local musician Tyler Tidwell (a.k.a. final Clownsack drummer Skronko), who planned to release an EP and play live when a band was obtained. After the name change, their lineup was expanded via recent Analog Deficiency bandmates Nathan Switzer and Cody Tidwell, but surviving info from their Traces run is minimal at best due to their Facebook page's deletion and MySpace's layout changes, and they quietly disbanded in 2011. Four instrumental songs survive from The Gaia Syndrome days on both their Soundclick and MySpace pages, which showcased a promising Meshuggah-influenced sound with nice usage of different time signatures, but the production was inconsistent, and Tyler oddly used a drum machine here rather than actually drum on the tracks. Check out Traces above, and hopefully members stay active in music!
The Bottom Half

Genre: Pop Punk

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario


Lucas Castellani, vocals
Mark Rand (Cross Dog, Lion Ride, Bondar), guitar
Mitch Fryia, guitar
Mike Smykacz (Northwest, The Small Town Rivals), bass
James Moss (Young Running), drums

Info/Analysis: The Bottom Half were a short lived pop punk band that played locally from 2004-2005. Surviving information is extremely minimal on The Bottom Half's run, but they played at least one concert at The Oddfellows Hall, and guitarist Mark Rand told me that they mainly played pop punk as it was popular at the time. Four original songs from a planned album named "Beginnings Change" ("Open Up", "How Far", "Friday Night", and "Mistakes") can be heard at their MySpace page, which showcase a fun and upbeat pop punk sound that Mark may have undersold a bit to me, as members' talents and enthusiasm come through here, especially Lucas' fitting vocals! However, compared to the recent band work that members have had, it's clear that they've matured and grown a great deal in the past decade. Give The Bottom Half a listen above, and be sure to check out Mark, Mike, and James' recent band work as well to see what the guys have been up to!
I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles! Next month in this series, we've randomly chosen defunct local classic metal quartet Late & Loud for our next profile in this series, so Loudmouths should keep an eye on the SMS on July 10th! That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

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