It's now time for the results of last month's poll and the launch of our newest poll for this second post of the day, but be sure to check out the first of this weekend concert previews in the post below this one! As you may remember, last month's poll posed this question to you guys: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk album of 2015? We sadly only got 10 votes in the poll, but the results are interesting, so here's the final tally!
The Pixo Control - Probably Not (3 votes, 30%)
Other (3 votes, 30%)
Mike Haggith - The Warinside and/or it's promotional EPs (2 votes, 20%)
Destroilet, Jack Spades, and The Ripcordz - Fed Up! (1 vote, 10%)
Rotopsy's newest CD (1 vote, 10%)
Bad Back - ALbums (0 votes)
Blood Shed Productions' Rock And/Or Roll 11-Way Split (0 votes)
Crucify The Whore & Scrotox's split CD (0 votes)
Haggith - Apocalypse II and/or XIV (0 votes)
Malignant Neoplasm's first album (0 votes)
RedD Monkey - Opus 2: Untitled (0 votes)
Any of SweetKenny's 2015 albums (0 votes)
Telephone & Address - Rust Orchid (0 votes)
What do you guys think? In ascending order, the albums with 0 votes I can generally see not finishing higher (all things considered, given the low voter turnout), but I would have most expected Haggith's final CDs to get at least one vote, as they were a prominent & accomplished band in their day! I would have predicted that the "Fed Up!" split CD would have made at least the top 2 in the poll, but at least it got some attention, while Rotopsy's 2015 album did get some support from a Blood Shed fan, and hopefully we hear more from the label next year! Mike Haggith's 2015 solo output came in third place, a solid showing for The Din frontman, and here's to much more from his projects as well! A tie for the lead came between "Other" (though I can't confirm who those 3 voters had in mind and The Pixo Control's debut CD "Probably Not", which won the poll despite being the latest new release in the field of choices. Michael and Keeghan crafted an entertaining alternative hard rock CD for their debut with great production, and I'm definitely curious to see what The Pixo Control does for an encore!
Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, let's touch on another big topic from last year as our 2015 retrospective polls continue, so we're posing this question this month: What was the biggest local metal, hard rock, or punk news story of 2015? As you may have seen in our retrospective post on the past year at large, last year was certainly an eventful year in the local music scene, and it's always interesting to see what SMS readers found to be the biggest and most notable news events of any kind in the past year, so we have 25 choices (plus "Other") to choose from! Just as a reminder, note that this poll constitutes the "biggest" news stories of the past year, not necessarily the "best" or "happiest", which you may want to remember when you note that musician deaths and band breakups are included as options. I hope I chose a wide ranging list of news stories of different kinds from 2015, but again, you have "Other" as a choice if we missed your top story. Now, here is some extra info on your choices!
Anvil headlines at The Rockstar Bar on April Fools Day: It's always a good time when Toronto metal legends Anvil hit the Soo, which they did on April 1st for a more intimate headlining concert at The Rockstar Bar, with locals Jack Spades & Project 421 joining them for this night of "metal on metal"! Also featuring Anvil's first local show with new bassist Chris Robinson, was this the peak of 2015?
Beaumont Avenue/The Suicide Kings disband in July: After a successful three year run that saw them win the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands and open for Randy Bachman & Airbourne, local hard rock quartet Beaumont Avenue (better known as The Suicide Kings) surprisingly announced that they were breaking up after their Rotaryfest set in July. Was this the biggest news event from last year?
The Danger Cats disband: This all-female hard rock/punk quartet sadly announced that they were parting ways in June in advance of frontwoman Kate Drew's move out of town, but they accomplished a solid amount in their year & a half together, attracting many positive notices and recording some original material! Did The Danger Cats' end top last year for big stories?
The Emergency Festival returns at Rocky DiPietro Field: The new summer concert festival from LopLops Lounge returned for it's sophomore installment in August, with local bands like Northwest opening for out of town bands like The Sunparlour Players, but the Sault Downtown Association fight forced it to be moved to Rocky DiPietro Field. Was this your #1 news story of 2015?
Garden of Bedlam return for Go Skateboarding Day: Well over a year after their last public concert, local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam played their most recent concert, and last to date, when they headlined Tidal Records' Go Skateboarding Day party at Queen Elizabeth Park. Their future is up in the air with Buzz moving, but was Garden of Bedlam's latest show the top moment of the year?
Gnaeus wins the VM Radio & Speak Easy Battles: March 2015 brought us two battles of the bands after a year+ hiatus for that type of event, but local post-punk quartet Gnaeus stole the show at each, winning the fan-voted, one night Speak Easy Battle and the four-night, judged VM Radio Battle to claim $1,400 and lots of acclaim as they continue their rise! Were the battles your #1 moments?
Gongshow summer concert series at The Rockstar Bar: From May-September, local concert promoter J.D. Pearce gave us the Gonqshow summer concert series at The Algonquin Pub, with 10 concerts going down with locals opening for out of town bands ranging from Caym to Evilheart, including a one night move upstairs for SNFU's return! Did the Gonqshow outrank other major 2015 events?
Haggith release their final albums & part ways: A tumultuous second run for Haggith culiminated last summer with their ultimate breakup after a guitarist switch and increased focus on outside bands, but they did leave fans with their final CDs "Apocalypse II" & "XIV" last spring, and most members remain active in the local scene. Was Haggith's disbandment your #1 news story last year?
Mike Case passes away after a long cancer battle: The local music scene lost a highly influential performer and instructor when Case's Music founder and veteran country musician Mike Case lost his fight with cancer in April. His memory lives on via his long musical legacy, including via all of the students he tought along the way, but was this the biggest news item of 2015 to you?
Mike Haggith releases "The Warinside": Shortly after his band Haggith ended their run, drummer Mike Haggith launched his biggest solo album yet, entitled "The Warinside" (or "The Warrenside") with a big release concert at The Rednecks Saloon in July. Mike received some big praise for the album, and he's followed it's success with his band The Din, but would you vote for it here in this poll?
Music Depot closes it's doors: A few years ago, the Twin Saults had a combined seven music stores, but the closure of Music Depot on Gore Street last year brought our total down to four. Fans of Music Depot lamented it's closure, especially after the lengthy rumours about it's status and ownership, but was it's ultimate end your #1 news story of 2015?
The Northern Vibe Festival debuts in Ophir: Two years after Hempfest headed north to Moonbeam, Planetary Pride brought a summer concert festival back to nearby Ophir, Ontario in August with The Northern Vibe Festival, trading the marijuana culture theme for an end-of summer music party. Notably featuring The Billy Bastards' return, was The Northern Vibe Festival tops for last year?
The Pixo Control release their debut CD "Probably Not": The aforementioned winners of last month's poll, local alternative hard rock trio The Pixo Control released their long-anticipated first album "Probably Not" with two CD release concerts in December, with the album rightfully getting a positive response since. Was this Tidal Records release your top news event of 2016?
P.O.D., Hoobastank, and Fuel rock Kewadin Casino: Superior Entertainment brought this massive concert to The Dreammaker's Theater in Sault Michigan on July 3rd, with platinum selling hard rockers P.O.D., Hoobastank, and Fuel joined by Lights Out Paris, Redburn, and the reunion of local metal veterans I.S.O.M.. It was a huge and successful show, but would you vote for it?
Punk rock bingo debuts at The New American Pub: In September, local concert promoters Six, Two, Oh. launched their punk rock bingo series at The New A with a night full of bingo fun and irreverent, often-punk themed prizes, with a December return featuring Shit Liver and AlgomA in concert! Though other scheduled installments were cancelled, did punk rock bingo lead last year for you?
The Ripcordz & local bands release "Fed Up!" split CD: After lengthy recording sessions and many teases, local punk/metal quintets Destroilet & Jack Spades joined forces with Montreal hardcore punk legends The Ripcordz to release their joint split CD "Fed Up!" in November featuring four originals and a cover from each band! Was this ambitious album the top news story last year from the SMS?
Rotaryfest's Second Stage returns at Clergue Park: With financial concerns wiping our Rotaryfest's all-original Stage 2 in 2014, and the Sault Downtown Association battle holding up it's Queen Street home, a revamped one-day Stage 2 returned at Clergue Park in July with an all-local lineup, including plenty of alternative & punk action. It was great to have it back, but was it last year's #1 story?
Sabrina Pelchat passes away: The local metal scene was shaken last fall when former Chronic Demonic singer and multi-talented artist Sabrina Pelchat (a.k.a. Sabrina Strange) suddenly passed away in October, with a tribute concert following for her the following month at The Rednecks Saloon. Her loss remains very sad, but would you consider this the biggest story among choices in the poll?
The Sault Downtown Association fights for survival: The summer's outdoor concert season on Queen Street was completely cancelled when some local business owners attempted to disband the Sault Downtown Association, forcing the relocation of Rotaryfest's Second Stage and The Emergency Festival. The S.D.A. survived under a new name, but did this saga top this year's other stories?
Saving Abel headline first annual Superior Festival: Despite a late relocation and date change, Superior Entertainment's first annual Superior Festival was a hit at The Savoy Bar & Nightclub in August, with Saving Abel and Lights Out Paris back from earlier Kewadin gigs along with a lineup that even included Sault Ontario bands! Was this show the top news item of the past year?
Shit Liver return home during their Canadian tour: They don't get to play here as much now that they're based out of St. Catharine's, but Shit Liver brought their goregrind sound back here in April for two gigs (including a Rednecks Saloon headliner) during their Northern Debauchery Tour of Canada, with fans enjoying the brutality! Was this the biggest news story of 2015?
SNFU headlines at The Rockstar Bar in July: The only Gonqshow event during that series' run to take place upstairs at The Algonquin Hotel, this show certainly deserved it, as Vancouver hardcore punk legends SNFU returned to the Soo for the first time in six years last July, with a strong local support lineup in tow! Did your open up your mouth and say "SNFU!" when voting in this poll?
Stereo North debuts: The winner of our poll on your favourite new local metal, hard rock, and punk bands of last year, local pop punk quartet Stereo North debuted to a big audience at Bon Soo's Marquee in February, and have continued to play notable concerts as headliners and openers since, including a run in the VM Radio Battle! Was Stereo North's debut tops for last year?
Treble Charger rocks The Machine Shop in February: Over a year after their last local concert appearance, local/Toronto punk/indie veterans Treble Charger returned home for a huge headlining show at The Machine Shop at Mill Square on Bon Soo's opening night last year, with Tidal Records support acts in tow for the occasion! It was a huge show, but were you there to vouch for it?
The Who's Tommy premieres with That's Chester: November 2015 saw Shot In The Dark Promotions host a live stage production of The Who's Tommy, with classic/hard rock veterans That's Chester as the house band for their last concerts to date, as guitarist Eugene Orlando suddenly passed away two weeks later. This was sure a high note to go out on(?), but was it your #1 story of the year?
Other: Did we miss the choice you think was the biggest metal or punk story of 2015? Maybe we missed a major concert that was a bigger deal? Perhaps you had a debuting or dissolving band in mind that's not listed above, or a lineup change in a band? Or maybe we didn't include a major news story that impacted the local scene, or perhaps you went outside our genre rrange? If your preferred choice isn't here, "Other" is for you!
VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until March 18th to cast your ballots in this poll, and hopefully there's a solid turnout of votes this month, so cast your votes A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for more weekend concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!