Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A New Local Band, SweetKenny's New Albums, And New Facebook Videos!!

Before we dive into this weekend's concert previews, we have a new news post for your Wednesday afternoon, so what's on tap? A pair of new videos from bands you'll be seeing on local stages this weekend, overdue coverage of recent album releases, and leading off, a new addition to our active Sault Ontario band links, so here's what you should know!

We have a new local band to add to our listings on The Sault Metal Scene, and they are Halfway Loaded, a hard rock group from Sault Ontario! Publically launching under a different name in October, their lineup is comprised of musicians I'm largely not familiar with from prior local bands, including singer Justin Grayson, guitarists Shane Biron and Ryan Mazzapica, bassist Jesse Gottwald, and former Mustang Sally drummer Dylan Newman. So far, Halfway Loaded have only publically acknowledged concert sets at private events and at Coch's Corner open mic nights, but they have a surprising amount of videos online to check out already! Their Facebook page features acoustic videos of Justin and Shane covering Thriving Ivory, Slipknot, Oasis, and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs (plus two shorter clips, including one of Shane using a talkbox), while Shane's YouTube channel also features a number of Halfway Loaded clips, and a few solo covers we'll touch on in a future post.

Early jam clips from December 2015 and mid-2016 featured Justin, Shane, and Ryan covering the same Thriving Ivory, Slipknot, and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs (plus Theory of a Deadman & Seether), while newer postings feature renditions of Saving Abel, Seven Mary Three, and as embedded below, Monster Truck's "Don't Tell Me How To Live", though note that virtually all of these videos have at least one band member missing (Ryan in this case.) I can't make a full judgement on their full lineup yet, but they show a lot of promise on these videos so far, with Justin showcasing a solid voice, and Shane's got clear guitar talent too! Check out more from Halfway Loaded above & below, and I hope to hear more soon!

Next up, here's our belated acknowledgement and coverage of the two new solo albums from Dafter, Michigan hard rock guitarist Kenneth "SweetKenny" Sutton! Apologies for the delay in getting a formal write-up on the site outside of our review of the former album late last month. Released on February 28th and May 26th via Waterfall Records and considered his 20th & 21st official solo albums, they are entitled "Epic" & "Music Composed For Film", and as the latter's name would imply, these are intended for use as scores with movies, shows, or video games. Remember, score albums have been SweetKenny's focus in the past two years ("In Your Face" aside), so if you're familiar with his music, this won't be as surprising to know. I reviewed "Epic" last month due to it's heavier material, but neither contain a conceptual theme for one intended work like his prior score albums have tended to contain, and in the case of "Epic", there's even an alternate version of one song and isolated tracks from another, if you're so inclined.

These albums are available for around $10 each on Google Play and iTunes (though curiously not Bandcamp), and can be streamed for free at Ken's website linked above. Personally, I prefer SweetKenny's older thematic score albums to these, which are more varied and experimental, but he's continuing to showcase his musical range and talents with these releases, and hopefully they do get licensed for use in or as scores! Give them a listen and/or buy them at the above links!

We'll close today with new videos, starting with a newly discovered live concert clip from Sault Ontario alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback! Live streamed from Live705's Easter Bash at The Rockstar Bar in April by attendee John MacLean for his personal Facebook page, this was only just shared publically on A.D.S.' Facebook page yesterday. The video features the guys playing their original song "Kicking & Screaming" (well, most of it), and it's filmed from a high and far angle, capturing a somewhat unique angle of the band and fans on the floor with solid audio to boot, so definitely give it a look below, and don't miss them TOMORROW NIGHT with CKY!

Finally, here's a new video from local alternative/hard rock trio The Din's Facebook page to hype up their concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT with Handsome Sandwich and Eclipse at The Rockstar Bar! The short clip features Mike Haggith parodying Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali's promo video for the now cancelled Machine Shop concert in March (which The Din were to have opened), and while I won't pass judgement on the original video or the protracted issues regarding that intended concert, it is a cute parody, if a little obscure for fans who didn't see Frankie's clip. Give it a look below, and stay tuned for our full preview of this concert tomorrow!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews (including CKY) tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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