Monday, January 18, 2016

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

It's now time to shut down last month's poll and launch out newest poll in this second post of the day so let's kick things off with last month's results! As you may remember, we posed this question to you guys last month: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk CD of 2014? We got a decent tally of 21 votes, which provided a clear result, especially in favour of one band in particular so here's the final count!

Stereo North (14 votes, 66%)
Other (3 votes, 14%)
Caroline Divine (1 vote, 5%)
Eclipse (1 vote, 5%)
Id Iota (1 vote, 5%)
Infinity Grinder (1 vote, 5%)
Faceityoureametalband (0 votes)
Leaked (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, it is clear that one band in particular ran away with the poll, that being local pop punk quartet Stereo North, though I will note the caveat that the band did have a campaign on their Facebook page to get votes. That being said, if I was to predict the results, I'd have had them first or second, so it doesn't look too odd! Stereo North had a strong first year, and here's hoping they hit even bigger heights as we march into 2016! As for the rest of the poll, I was a little surprised at the thin spread of votes for the other bands, particularly for Caroline Divine, but it doesn't help when a few of the bands in the poll were ones that hadn't played live last fall and weren't as fresh in the mind as others. I will apologize though for one notable missed band in the poll, as I neglected to include defunct Sault Michigan hard rockers Ten Kings, who likely missed our compiling due to their online page deletions following their breakup. Maybe they got some votes for "Other"?

There's no excuses on our end though, so I am sorry once again to their ex-members and fans! I would argue that Ten Kings were still the biggest new hard rock band of 2015 in Sault Michigan, and hopefully the guys all turn up in new bands in short order, there's talent to be had from all four!

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, we're keeping our "favourite _____ of 2015" polls going with this question: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk album of 2015? The past year yielded a high number of new CD and album releases from SMS-covered bands, and as usual, we're interested in learning which ones you guys liked the most, so it'll be very interesting to see the final results! Along with "Other", we have chosen 12 albums for the poll this year, with bands who released multiple solo albums in 2015 having them grouped in the same choice. Albums must have been sold or available on at least a "pay what you want" model to qualify for the poll, so bands like Sykotyk Rampage and Dullahan are absent for that reason. As well, Integrated System of Machines aren't present as I can't verify if the CD they distributed at their reunion concert in July was fully packaged and paid release or not. If it was though, our sincere apologies!

Also, note that a few albums (namely, some from Blood Shed Productions) are listed without their full title in the poll as they may be seen as offensive by some readers. Also, I do hope that bands don't hold a public campaign for votes in order their album to "win", as I'm hoping for a fair result and not a popularity contest. Now, here are your choices in this month's poll on your favourite local albums of the past year!

Bad Back - ALbums: After two quiet demo releases in late 2014, local grunge/hardcore duo Bad Back released their anticipated first full length "ALbums" (gratuitous plural intentional) to their Bandcamp page in September. Though they've been relatively quiet since, fans seemed to respond positively to this release, but were you among them?

Blood Shed Productions' Rock And/Or Roll 11-Way Split: In March, local goregrind label Blood Shed Productions put out an ambitious split CD featuring 11 bands, including four out of town acts, recent notable bands like The Apocalypse Afterparty & This Is Your Band On Drugs, the debut of Das Skalpell Kampf, and many Blood Shed veterans! The planned CD release show was cancelled, but is it your top 2015 CD?

Crucify The Whore & Scrotox's split CD: Another spring release from Blood Shed Productions was a more typical split disc (with the controversial name "Jesus Eats Human Flesh") from local goregrind solo act C.T.W. and North Bay grindcore band Scrotox, which was sold in physical copies and can be streamed on YouTube as well. Was this your favourite album of the year?

Destroilet, Jack Spades, and The Ripcordz - Fed Up! A Canadian Punk Rock Split: Arguably the highest profile new album of 2015 among local bands, punk/metal standouts Destroilet & Jack Spades joined forces with Montreal veterans The Ripcordz to put out their ambitious split "Fed Up!" featuring 4 originals and 1 cover each, and a CD release show in October to launch it! Did "Fed Up!" top last year to you?

Haggith - Apocalypse II and/or XIV: Before their presumed final breakup in the summer, local alternative hard rock quartet Haggith released their final albums in the spring, they being their concept sequel album "Apocalypse II" and their final mainline EP "XIV", which compiled their last recorded original songs. Haggith are still missed, but did they go out on a high note?

Malignant Neoplasm's 2015 releases: The cybergrind project from Crucify the Whore/Rotopsy alum Tyler Gibson put out two digital albums on Bandcamp in 2015, including "A Malignant Neoplastic Disease of the Intestines" and "Kittens Have Crusty's", whose 16 combined tracks have an average length of 34 seconds! Though an acquired taste, are you a big enough fan to vote for them over the rest?

Mike Haggith - The Warinside and/or it's promotional EPs: Hyped as his most personal release yet, ex-Haggith drummer Mike Haggith put out his newest album "The Warinside" in July with a CD release party, two digital EPs featuring advance copies of it's songs, and his biggest promotonal push yet for a solo album. Did you like "The Warrenside" and/or it'sEPs the most?

The Pixo Control - Probably Not: After a lengthy recording session and a pair of lineup changes, local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control put out their debut CD "Probably Not" in conjunction with two release concerts last month. The Tidal Records-released disc recieved a positve response from fans, but would you pick it as your top new album of last year?

RedD Monkey - Opus 2: Untitled: In quite possibly the most surprising local album release of 2015, defunct local/Toronto punk trio RedD Monkey posthumously released the incomplete recordings from their third and final album "Opus 2" in September, helping give fans some closure after their quiet breakup the previous year! Did this surprise final CD win to you?

Rotopsy's newest CD: Blood Shed Productions' other metal release in 2015 was their newest album (with the controversial title "Sexual Assault Rifle"), released in April with 16 songs full of minimalist goregrind intensity from Dylan & Tyler! Blood Shed loyalists ate up this release, but did you like Rotopsy's latest disc the most in this poll?

Any of SweetKenny's 2015 albums: Dafter, Michigan hard rock solo artist Kenneth Sutton kept up his prolific solo project with four new SweetKenny albums in his official canon, including "Fleabag Hotel", "Charlie Hidelburg: Ancient Hunter", "The Hitman Files", and "The Walkers: Rise of the Dead" all released last year! Did you take to any of his hard rock jams the most?

Telephone & Address - Rust Orchid: Aguably the most unique local release from a heavier or punk project in 2015, the Chris Shoust-led solo project released this instrumental album in February, which eschewed Telephone & Address' usual acoustic punk sound for an ambient experimental style. It was an interesting change of pace, but did it hit the top of your charts? 

Other: Did we miss your preferred choice in the poll? Maybe we forgot an album to include that was definitively first released in 2015? Did you prefer a free album like the recent Sykotyk Rampage "albums"? Did I.S.O.M.'s recent disc turn out to be a paid and packaged album after all? Maybe you preferred a non-local album, or one by a non-metal/punk band? If your favourite isn't a choice, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until February 18th to cast your votes, and hopefully there's a strong tally of votes for this poll, as it was quite a good year for album releases in the Soo, which will hopefully continue into the new year! Thanks everyone, and stay tuned for more news and updates soon!

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