Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sykotyk Rampage's New Album, Plus Three Inactive Band Notes!!

Today's news post revolves around four bands shifting places in our active and inactive band links (one's moving up, three are unfortunately moving down.) However, the band moving up has some big news attached to their return to activity, so here's what you should know!

Remember how local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage quietly posted a new album cover on their Facebook page last month with no context? Well, it turns out that the dormant crash band did indeed release a new album on their Reverbnation page on April 27th! Apologies for the delay in this making the SMS, I need to pay more attention to that site. Entitled "Live At The Paris Hilton", this contains 22 songs (some more familiar than others) in a faux-live setting, a'la their old "Live Upper Rubber Boot Saskatchewan" album, but the inclusion of covers of bands like The Beatles, Motorhead, and Black Sabbath is a change from their past pace! This is Sykotyk Rampage's first album-format release since "Sanctuarium" in late 2016, but more surprisingly, this is their first paid album that you can actually buy a full sale copy of since 2011, which means that we could very well review "Live At The Paris Hilton" on the SMS this year! You can buy it at the above links for $9.99, or stream individual songs for free.

I don't know to what extent Sykotyk Rampage are active in 2018 (their Facebook postings remain sporadic, they haven't played live since the 2016 Zombie Walk, and guitarist Shane Kokis has since moved out of town), plus it's hard to determine how "new" these recordings are. However, it's great to see the Beckers, Shane, and Tony back with new material, and hopefully there's more on the horizon in some form or another! Give their new album (and much, much, much more) a listen at the above links, and Sykotyk Rampage are back in our active band links!

Next up, we have three local bands to move to our inactive band links today, starting with local indie/hard rock band Vol., who announced that they had disbanded on their Facebook page on June 12th. Frontman Steve Edwards cited "lineup changes and other obstacles" for their demise, though he did thank fans for their support online, and he noted that he's "currently working with other projects" and is "looking forward to other musical opportunities in the future." Spiritual successors to the mid-2015 Pixo Control lineup, Vol. (pronounced "volume") debuted last summer and quickly made a name for themselves opening for bands like Zaum, Dirtfight, and Johnny 2 Fingers & The Deformities through the fall, as well as playing a set at the first Oh!No festival, but teased "rad things" in 2018 never occurred following the departures of half of their lineup, with Steve and keyboardist Mikaela Murtonen seen more recently in the acoustic rock duo Mik & Steve.

I unfortunately did not get a chance to see Vol. live, but their old school indie-influenced sound seemed to help them carve their own identity well, while also harbouring lots of aggression and heavy themes at the same time, and Steve acclimated well as a frontman in this role! Vol. seemed primed for big things locally last year, but best of luck to Steve, Shane, Mikaela, and Matthew in the future, and hopefully we see everyone musically again soon!

Also being moved out of our active band links today is local death metal/punk duo Them, who have not issued a public update or played live since opening for Uncle Ray at The New American Pub one year ago yesterday. Debuting in late 2014 as the de facto successors to Social Suicide, Them were primarily seen at house party concerts in the ensuing years, often ones affiliated with Blood Shed Productions, though they did play select public concert venues, notably opening for both of Bookakee's concerts at The Oddfellows Hall. Their lineup fluctuated between a duo and a quartet, but frontman Tyler St. Amour and drummer Anthony Boudreau were constants throughout their run. Despite the almost-too-common band name, Them were a fine fit in the Blood Shed house party era with their aggressive sound, and Tyler never sounded better as a metal frontman during their peak! Sadly, plans to release a debut EP never visibly reached their intended conclusion.

It would have been nice to see Them as a more frequent presence on metal concerts of the era, and their sound was definitely fuller and better realized when they had more than two members, but Them delivered some entertaining originals for extreme metal fans, Hopefully we hear more from Tyler, Anthony, and other former members down the road!

Finally for today's post, I am reluctantly moving local indie/hard rock quartet Bizotic to our inactive band links as well. While we are not at our 1 year threshold for public inactivity, keytarist B.J. Swire confirmed in an e-mail conversation last week that the band is "pretty much done", and he has since joined a new band that is planning to debut later this summer, and if that band's genre fits our primary coverage, we'll let you know! In any event, Bizotic proper have not posted on their Facebook page at all in 2018, and have not played a live concert since opening for Dany Laj & The Looks at LopLops in November, which can't be a good sign regardless. This union of No Arrow, Bring the Fallen, and Sounds From The Green Room alumni became a fan favourite sight following their December 2016 debut via sets opening for the likes of K-Man & The 45s, Garbageface, and The OM Sound, while also kicking off The Din's "Suburban Sendoff", and playing in Wawa, among other events.

Any band with a trumpet and a keytar in their repertoire will immediately turn heads, and Bizotic did just that, and their varied and creative originals were always an entertaining element at local concerts, with some jam rock touches and a harder edge where needed! Hopefully this isn't it for Bizotic and their unique stage show, but best of luck to Brad, B.J., Louise, Travis, and Kevin in the future, all would be assets in any band that they're in! That's all for today, but stay tuned for this weekend's concert previews on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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