What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2016? Last year saw a sizable number of new additions to our full coverage, even if many are still going without an online page or website, and it's always interesting to see which new band comes out with the most year-end support! With that said, to be included as a choice, the band had to both debut publically AND play their first show in the 2016 calendar year. This excludes bands like Exploring Detritus (the former Kaepora Gaebora launched in 2015), Stoned Ape Evolution (who played live as early as 2014), and Kraken Mara (who have yet to play live at all), but you can vote for "Other"!!
And as usual, I ask that readers and performers not stuff the vote or launch public campaigns to drive up the tallies in favour of any specific band, as I don't intend for these polls to be popularity contests, and I hope to see something or a representative sample reflected in the totals. Now, here are your final 12 choices in the poll (plus "Other"!)
A Dire Setback: Launching alongside their own promotion agency Live705 last fall, punk quartet A Dire Setback immediately made a big impression with their self-promoted Oddfellows Hall concert in November, which they've followed with more big sets since, the next coming this Saturday! With A Fall From Innocence and State of Misery alumni within, are your A.D.S your favourite new band?
The Band Camp Rejects: A surprise debuting band at The Rednecks Saloon's relaunch party in the spring, this online page-less quartet succeeded Under The Influence to become a fan favourite sight at Toystock, Ride For ARCH, and even a solo concert or two later in the year. Featuring alumni of Mourning Wood, Havadder, and The Issues, have The Band Camp Rejects outshone other 2016 newcomers?
Bizotic: The latest to debut on stage among this month's choices, this creative quartet brought a trumpet & keytar to the fray when they opened for The OM Sound at The New American Pub on December 30th. Bizotic's experimental but heavy sound is brought to life by alumni of No Arrow, Gates of Winter, and Sounds From The Green Room, but is one show enough to put them over here?
Electric Church: This modern tribute to classic rock (Jimi Hendrix in particular) first entered our radar when they opened for The Pixo Control at last year's Sky's The Limit mental health fundraiser, and later returned to the public stage at Live705's inaugural concert. Though Electric Church are also sans a known online page, they have made positive waves since debuting, but are you among them?
Gianni Gagoots: Another very creative new band, Gianni Gagoots debuted at The New American Pub last summer when their instrumental punk and funk rock jams opened for Cocaine Moustache, and they've since followed up with more creative, conga-infused concerts that always promise something new! Featuring Redefined, Rising Tide, and Sailor's Tongue alumni, will the Gagoots win your vote?
Heavy Head: This sporadically seen quartet are definitely something of a local supergroup, with Suicide Kings, Haggith, and Winkstinger alumni uniting to play hard and pop rock covers and originals at a handful of notable concerts in early-mid 2016. Despite a mixed reception to their VM Radio Battle of the Bands set, they have loads of potential, but were they your #1 new band?
The Karstens: One of last year's more promising new heavier bands in the Sault Michigan area, online page-less quartet The Karstens were notably seen at last year's Bay Mills Bands Together fundraiser and Downtown Days, plus a well received Back Bay Grill set in between. Their Buckethead-influenced covers and unique approach are served well, but would you vote for them?
Nameus/Soundcheck: Listed under two names due to their January name change to Soundcheck, this Mourning Wood side project reunited Carbon Black's Travis Sharpe and Terry Eaton last fall in a new classic/hard rock cover act that notably pays tribute to the 1980s. No online pages or media yet from this band (or the similar new side-act The Jukebox Junkies), but did they impress you the most?
Project 906: Arguably the most visible of last year's freshman hard rock crop in Sault Michigan, Ten Kings successors Project 906 have delivered a blend of hard rock and blues to fans across the E.U.P. since debuting last March, playing many rarely covered venues in the process. Their chemistry and talents are very clear, but were they your favourite new local hard rock band of the year?
Stegadeth: Belated successors to local punk/metal favourites T-Rex Manning (and Pools of Booze), this power trio debuted at last fall's Live705 local show, and have since became a promising sight in the local scene with their hard hitting covers and one original! Also featuring Jack Spades and Stereo North alumni, fans have taken to Stegadeth in recent months, but are you among them in this poll?
The 3 Day Millionaires: Debuting in early 2016 as a Havadder side project, The 3 Day Millionaires have since carved out a nice spot for themselves in the cover bands circuit locally with their classic & hard rock renditions reliably getting a solid reception! With Turner Up, Lucky 13, Boxcar Junction, and Sneaky Pete alumni, you know the talent's there, but do The Millionaires have your vote?
Twistory: Last year's new entry in the two man metal band sweepstakes, Twistory united former Pillory bandmates Josh Amendola and Robert Sartini into a hard hitting minimalist death metal outfit, notably playing at last year's two Metal Massacre house parties before opening for Foam in June. Twistory haven't been seen since, and don't have an online page, but did you enjoy them the most?
Other: Did we miss a band you'd rather vote for? Perhaps your favourite new band of 2016 was a non-metal or hard rock band? Was there a debuting band that we forgot entirely? Would you count the former Kaepora Gaebora despite their public launch coming in 2015? If, for whatever readon, your preferred choice isn't listed above, vote for "Other"!
VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until February 18th (as usual) to cast your ballots, and hopefully the return of our polls can get higher results after our polls' hiatus, which the vote total drop indicated was very much needed. The poll widget is in the top left of the SMS main page, so vote A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for more news and concert previews soon! Thanks everyone!