Sunday, December 3, 2017

An Inactive Band Note, A Surprising Lineup Departure, And New Videos!!

Now is a good time for our first concert preview-less news post of December 2017, so what can you take in here? A pair of new videos from each side of the border, and a disappointing departure from a prominent local band's lineup, but first, here's some notes on a band who have sadly passed our one year threshold for new activity!

We have a band to reluctantly move to our inactive band links, and they are veteran local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage. While nothing has been publically announced regarding their status, the band last posted anything online one year ago on Friday with the release of their free album "Sanctuarium", while they last played a live concert set at last year's Soo Zombie Walk festivities (their only local show of 2016 as it was.) Notable as the longest active band covered on the SMS, Sykotyk Rampage were notorious for their style of alternative and blues-tinged hard rock dating back to their 1982 inception, though many fans will be most familiar with their work since the late 2000s as both an extremely prolific studio band (improvising songs for their numerous albums) and as a unique and entertaining live outfit, re-learning many old originals for their concert sets. These included such concert events as the Zombie Walk, the Swampstravaganza, the former Rosie metal nights, and even four recent battles of the bands, among many others.

While admittedly an acquired taste for many, I enjoyed Sykotyk Rampage's wide ranging and totally original style and approach, with a great sense of humour, ribald attitude, and unique approach to both songwriting and album releases (it'd take eons to listen to all of their songs), all benefiting fans of the Becker brothers and company over the decades. The guys are also extremely friendly and cordial over the years, and I hope we haven't seen the last of their brand of crash music, but best of luck to Paul, Dirk, Shane, Tony, Brian, and early bandmates in the future!

Also, we have a major lineup departure to note from a noted local punk band, as A Dire Setback have officially confirmed that they've parted ways with singer Larry Babic. This had been rumoured for about two months now, especially with his split from Live705 already being public, but the band only confirmed his leaving the band via a post on their Facebook page this morning. A Dire Setback didn't go into details on Larry's exit (simply saying it was "due to unforeseen circumstances" and that they had came "to a crossroads"), and while I have been told more in private conversations back in the fall, I won't go into any extra detail publically unless the band or Larry do. This is definitely a disappointing announcement, as Larry is an effective and talented singer that fit right in with A.D.S., but hopefully we see him in a new band at some point! According to A Dire Setback's Facebook posting, they will be continuing as a three-piece band, and their first show back will indeed be at the Guy Thiffault memorial concert at The Canadian Nightclub on Wednesday, December 27th.

While they haven't specified who is now singing lead for A Dire Setback yet, my money's on guitarist Chris Nielsen, given his prominent backing vocal work with the band already, but I could be completely off base. In any event, we'll know by the 27th, so don't miss the new look A Dire Setback's return over the holidays, and stay tuned for more from them and Live705, plus Larry's future work in bands and promotion!

We'll close today with new videos, starting with a new cover performance clip from local hard rock quintet Halfway Loaded's Facebook page! Uploaded last week, this is of singer Justin Grayson and guitarist Shane Biron acoustically covering Stone Sour's "Imperfect", and it's a good rendition which gives Justin a nice vocal showcase! I also like that they didn't go the obvious route for a Stone Sour cover compared to their better known slower tracks. Give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Halfway Loaded!

Finally, here's another new Facebook video from last month, courtesy of Sault Michigan music store Crooked Music's Facebook page on November 3rd! Apologies for the delay, this one really fell through the cracks. This video featured store co-owner/former Plastic frontman Zac Crook testing out a vintage Fender Bassman amplifier from the 1970s with a Reverend Sensei 290 guitar that was presumably in stock at the Ashmun Street location last month. Not a heavy performance on it's own, but some pleasant picking with a quality setup, so give it a look below, and make sure to stop in to Crooked Music on Saturday for their Christmas Open House, with 10% sales storewide!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site this week, plus our final CD review of the year very soon! Thanks everyone!

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