Kraken Mara, a new progressive metal band from Sault Ontario featuring a pair of familiar faces! Kraken Mara marks the return of former Late & Loud guitarist Brendan Christie & bassist Benn Garside after a two year public absence from local music, with the guys being joined by guitarist Jacob Valois, who's new to the Soo's scene, but used to play in the Wawa bands The Palm Trees and Exiled Earth. No sign yet of a lead singer or permanent drummer, and while Brendan sang lead for many Late & Loud songs and for the short lived Hydra's Teeth, it's not clear if they immediately intend on adding a singer. Kraken Mara have been active since at least April (apologies for the delay), and the band is apparently already recording their debut EP, as per their Reverbnation page, with bands like August Burns Red, Animals As Leaders, and Dream Theater cited as influences.
Harbouring the closest similarities with Brendan's inactive solo project, Kraken Mara eschews his and Benn's recent classic/speed metal influences in favour of progressive & djent metal, and there's a lot of promise so far on the three songs posted on Reverbnation ("Chimera" and a two parter named "Grand Machinations"), with strong, crushing, and technical guitar work, but live drums would be an asset, and the production could be beefier on the earlier songs. Very promising band to start, so hopefully we hear much more from Kraken Mara soon, and see above for more on them!
Next up, here's that LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, as local post punk quartet Gnaeus will return to the stage on Saturday, June 18th when they open for Whitehorse, Yukon folk project Old Cabin at LopLops Lounge! After a couple of months off, Gnaeus should have a strong set in store as they near the release of their debut CD "Meditations" (more on that soon, hopefully), so prepare yourselves for their garage punk originals in two weeks! Touring in support of their 7'' vinyl disc, Old Cabin (fronted by Saultite Jona Barr) should get a great reception in their long awaited return to our neck of the woods, so if you want some well written and performed folk rock, don't miss Old Cabin later this month! The other opening bands include local/Ottawa indie rock project Great Chamberlain and The Dirty Princes, a power pop quartet from Sudbury who I don't recall from past local shows. Nice diverse lineup, so keep everything in mind for June 18th at LopLops!
Promoted by Ears & Eyes Online's Jackson Reed (the brother of Old Cabin's Jona Barr), this 19+ show has a $10 cover charge, and doors will open at 8:00 PM. For more details, visit the above links, and hopefully this is a strong show for fans of folk, indie, and alternative rock, with Gnaeus bringing a dash of punk to the proceedings as well!
Finally for today, here's six assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or venue name:
- Gabriel Pesek of the metal website The Burning Beard reviewed local doom trio AlgomA's recent vinyl split EP with Saskatchewan's Chronobot yesterday at this link. He didn't give a score, but he positively praised both band's halves of the split as "a solid introduction" to newcomers, especially compared to the tech/death metal that he's tended to see come out of Canada. Not a bad review, so give it a look above!
- Local hardcore punk quintet Destroilet's cover of The Rebel Spell's "Murderers" (originally seen on last year's "Fed Up!" split CD) is going to be included on an upcoming Rebel Spell tribute album called "Rebels Sing"! In memory of late frontman Todd "Serious" Jenkins & with proceeds going to his family, the massive 30 song compilation will include songs from such locally familiar bands as Propagandhi and The Royal Red Brigade, among many others. This is great to see, so pre-order your copies of "Rebel Sings" above!
- In a surprising find, the message board for defunct local bar/concert venue Foggy Notions (now Coch's Corner) is still online and available to check out! The forum was lightly used for about 6 months between 2003 & 2004, and features some discussions relating to local metal & punk bands and concerts at both Foggy's and beyond. It's an interesting read for local music fans who were around the scene 12 or so years ago, so check it out above, and it's now in our message board links on the SMS!
- The original crash band, Sykotyk Rampage, have released two more free "albums" to their Reverbnation page! One is entitled "Alarm Alarm" and was posted in April (apologies for the delay), while the other is "Kock Block Rock", which went up this past Wednesday. Featuring 11 & 12 songs each, these are full of Sykotyk Rampage's irreverent & improvised "blue Chinese metal crash punk", so give them and much more a listen above!
- In a new posting on local musician/Gore Street Cafe co-owner Sam Decter's blog The Tinderbox, he revealed that local punk/grunge solo project Telephone & Address will be putting out an album called "Are You or Have You Ever Been?" through his new local label BGP Tapes, which strongly hints at putting out new material from local artists on cassette tapes. It's unclear what this means for Chris' yet-released albums "Monster" & "The Early Tapes", but remember that Sam & Chris briefly planned to collaborate as a band under the similar name Are You Now? or Have You Ever?. We'll let you know when more is elaborated on!
- Vancouver "apocalypse rock" trio War Baby have been added to the lineup of Six, Two, Oh.'s punk rock bingo event at The New American Pub on July 12th! Despite being an out of town band (the show is late in their summer tour of Canada), they are currently listed as the opening act, behind the debuting local band Gianni Gagoots. War Baby's punk-influenced, fast paced aggression should be a nice addition to this concert/bingo night next month, so keep their local debut in mind for then!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this week! Thanks everyone!