Sunday, March 12, 2017

The End Of Gnaeus, The Return Of Ashoka At The Show, And Much More!!

My original plan was to review last night's March Mash-Up today on the SMS, but in the wake of a major band dissolution that hit our newswire earlier today, I found it necessary to get that on the site A.S.A.P., and hold our review for tomorrow. This news also joins another likely inactive band note, a reunited band to also acknowledge, and yes, some videos from last night's concert, so here's what you need to know!

Local post-punk/garage rock quartet Gnaeus have surprisingly announced they they have disbanded, as per their Facebook page earlier today. Other than to say that "it's time we move onto different chapters in our lives", a reason for their breakup was not given publically, though they did thank fans for their support over their run, and admitted that they wished that this wasn't such an abrupt announcement. This is extra surprising, as Gnaeus were just storyboarding a music video, and bassist Matt Fronzi had indicated in private conversations that a 4 song EP (to be called "E La Vita") was in the works, so this definitely came out of left field. After launching publically in 2014, Gnaeus quickly became one of the most promising young bands in the Sault area, with the guys winning both of March 2015's local battles of the bands, as well as opening for the likes of The Sunparlour Players & The Archaics, touring Ontario with The Pixo Control, releasing their only CD "Meditations" last summer, and last playing live in Searchmont last month.

This is very disappointing news, especially given how quickly Gnaeus rose to prominence in the mid-2010s, which is all the more impressive when you consider that the guys weren't known commodities in bands prior to their formation. I hope there was no bad blood, as their talent and creativity speaks for itself, though it is a shame that the 2014-2015 core of young local indie/alternative bands (alongside bands like The Pixo Control, Stereo North, and Caroline Divine) is already fading out. Best of luck to Aaron, Matt, Brad, Alex, and Brendan in the future, they'll be assets wherever they play!

Next up, let's break up the inactive band notes with a band reunion, as we can move local/Elliot Lake punk project Ashoka At The Show (formerly Mayadevi) up to our active band links! In preparing for this weekend's intended Defunct Local Band Profile on Mayadevi, I quickly discovered that they offically renamed to Ashoka At The Show in 2008, and are officially considered a punk project like under their old name, with frontman Darren MacDonald turning his solo Facebook page into an A.A.T.S. page last month. Actually, Ashoka At The Show has been used by Darren for a few years prior starting in 2013, now as a solo project, rather than their older full-band incarnations (alongside OBCD and Undead Warriors alumni.) That year, Darren (now long-based in Elliot Lake) released a free "album" called "Eponymous", and plans to follow it up with albums called "Selfish Boy" and "Full Coverage" this year, while he also has two solo albums under his own name that can also be streamed online.

Darren has posted a number of Ashoka At The Show and solo performance videos, song recordings, Tony Sly covers, and even video game footage to his YouTube channel, and hile it'd be nice to see him launch a full band again, he is a talented singer and guitarist, and you do often get a sense that his acoustic guitar performances would be great fits as full punk songs! If only he was based out of the Soo again, he'd have no trouble finding a full band here. Give one of his newer songs "Flowers/Broken Fingers" a look below, and hopefully Ashoka At The Show keeps at it!

Also, we have another band to likely move to our inactive band links, they being local alternative hard rock duo Infinity Grinder. While they haven't posted a public update on their status, the band hasn't made any public updates since their most recent song upload on their their Soundcloud page one year ago this Wednesday, and they haven't played a live gig since August 2015 anyway. A union of ex-No Arrow/SBD bassist Brad Griffith and former Northern Tragedy/Good Morning Gorilla drummer Terrence Gomes, Infinity Grinder were the mystery debuting band at March 2015's Speak Easy Battle of the Bands, and followed that up with sets at the final Swampstravaganza and that summer's Ballot Burner show, but all further updates were posted material from studio and jam sessions. Though we haven't heard from Terrence musically since, Brad has been focusing on his new band Bizotic in recent months.

Infinity Grinder debuted on big stages with a lot of promise, and Brad & Terrence played off of each other well, helping bring back the aggressive duo sound that we saw in Brad's prior two man band Sounds From The Green Room (which he also fronted), and it's a shame that they didn't play more than they did! Hopefully the guys pick things back up in the future, but don't miss Bizotic at upcoming gigs!

Finally today, here's a teaser for our review of last night's March Mash-Up concert at The Canadian Nightclub, courtesy of headlining alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback's Facebook page! An uncredited attendee filmed A.D.S. playing at least 5 original songs from this show, including their originals "Wasting Away", "Faded", "Nightmares", "Kicking & Screaming", and as embedded below, their newest original "Everlasting Despair". All filmed from the floor in front of the stage (as opposed to their side-stage clips from the January Jam), the quality is solid for this lively newer band, but we'll elaborate further on their set in our full review coming next. Check everything out!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our March Mash-Up review next! Thanks everyone!

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