Local extreme metal band Winkstinger are back! After almost two & a half years of public dormancy, they reemerged with a new Bandcamp page with live jam recordings this morning, with their Facebook page confirming that "things are happening", among other typically irreverent hype. Guitarist Jesse Cook (also of Jack Spades & The Elements) and drummer Jonas Gasperas are back from the original run, but singer Alan Wells and bassist Jason Bourcier are not back from their last full incarnation in 2013, and it remains to be seen who will fill out the new lineup. Their Bandcamp page features two new original songs in progress (one being over 7 minutes in length), though both are untitled at this stage, so give them a listen at the above links! Of course, fans will remember Winkstinger well from their original 2010-2013 run which saw them win 2012's Battle for the Blood, play numerous fun & heavy concerts (including at 6 Roosevelt Hotel metal nights), and record material for an unreleased debut EP.
Dare I say it, the new Winkstinger original jams actually sound more technical and progressive-influenced than back in their heyday, and while they did take a self-deprecating bent when describing the quality, I'd be very curious to hear these fleshed out with bass, vocals, and perhaps rhythm guitar! It's great to have Winkstinger back at last, so check out their new material above, and they're back in our active band links!
Next up, here's the latest from Local2's music webseries Tuned with Donna Hopper! Alongside newer episodes on Al Wood & The Woodsmen and another from Sudbury's Northern Lights Festival, the newest installment went up on Saturday, spotlighting the Soup Kitchen benefit at The Algonquin Pub earlier this month featuring (among others) the aforementioned Elements and The Bear Hunters! The main interview is with Machines Dream frontman and event promoter Craig West about the inspiration to promote the show and add the benefit side to it, why local musicians are more prone to participate in charity shows like this, and the odds that Machines Dream may do a similar event in the future. Short but respectful interview that shows Craig's good nature well, and it looks like the concert was a hit! In terms of concert footage, Machines Dream, Drew Armstrong & friends, and The Elements were filmed, but The Bear Hunters and Nikkfitt were not.
Most of the music is muted behind the interview, particularly Drew and friends (some of which being very familiar faces), but The Elements get some spotlight during the credits, covering what appears to be the ending of Primus' "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver". Another solid, if brief episode of Tuned, so give it a look at the above links!
Finally for today, here's six assorted shorter news items (including two inactive band notes) from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or website name:
- Project 421 singer Curtis McKenzie is looking for a bassist and drummer for his "sweet new project" in the making. Presumably this references the band he previously posted about that he hoped wouldn't play metal or hard rock, but just in case it fits our coverage, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Wednesday!
- In their newest update on their Facebook page, secretive local black metal duo Dullahan revealed that they plan to record their second "EP" soon, which they hope to be "even rawer" in production than on older recordings. They also reiterated that they'll "never" reveal their full identities, and have "no intention" of playing live (which is odd, they'd attract positive and unique attention with their sound if they did!) Stay tuned for more from Dullahan above!
- Rudyard, Michigan hard rock quintet Exiled have quietly deleted their Facebook (and sadly, only online) page, which likely indicates their breakup. Featuring Absolute, Full Throttle, and Division of Sanity alumni, Exiled played numerous regional concerts in the latter half of 2014 before announcing a break in December due to drummer Justin Lawless and his wife's impending arrival of their new baby, though no word on if that's a factor for the apparently demise. Exiled had a strong lineup, so hopefully everyone stays active in music, best of luck to Donny, Joe, Myke, Johnny, and Justin, and don't miss Joe with Ten Kings!
- We have moved Sault Michigan hard/alternative rock collective The Highest of Fives to our inactive band links due to a year's inactivity. Featuring Intrepid, 415E, and Free Refill alumni, the band expanded from a young cover group in 2011 to a more fluid studio project that had ambitious plans to record & release short films, an album, and music videos that were only partially complete before their Twitter page's last update over a year ago. I liked The Highest of Fives high goals and diverse skill set, and hopefully they pick things back up again at some point! Best of luck to Devin, Jack, Marcel, Mike, Mitch, and Travis in the future!
- Ex-Late & Loud frontman Jonathan Tiberi is gauging support towards bringing his current Hamilton blues/hard rock quartet Jon & His Friends to the Soo for a concert (for reference, their lineup also features Mike Agostino & Scott Brady, Jon's bandmates in Xanadu from 2013's Apocalypse: The Musical event.) It'd be nice to see Jon and the guys back home, so message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group on October 7th for more details!
- And just as a house cleaning note for the SMS, we've removed the video bars from the sides of the page, which rotated recent videos from YouTube channels that we're subscribed to. For one reason or another, they no longer work, so I deleted the widgets that ran them. If they're ever restored or replaced by the host, I'll add them back, but I just wanted to acknowledge their absence!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more later this week! Thanks everyone!