Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Last Month's Poll Results & This Month's New Poll!!

It's now time to wrap up last month's poll and launch a new one on the SMS, and with last month's turnout, I am more optimistic than I have been in a long time! As you may remember, we posed this question last month: What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2018? In a stunning turn-around from our last polls on here, 20 readers cast votes, which is extremely encouraging, and I thank all of you who voted! Maybe fewer choices helped? In any event, here are your final results!

Re:Born (9 votes, 45%)
Parabol (7 votes, 35%)
Coral Fang (4 votes, 20%)
Poison Girl (0 votes)
Other (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, in a small crop of debuting heavier bands last year, the results are pretty clear, and while last fall's crop of debuting tribute bands got a lot of attention, no one won more fan votes than Re:Born, the Project 421-succeeding power rock quintet who made a big impression in their first three shows. With pre-made chemistry, familiar old school metal and hard rock covers, and carried over 421 originals, the guys got off to a strong start last year, but how will they look and sound with Elly on vocals? Hopefully we'll know soon! A strong second place went to Parabol after their show-stealing gigs late last year, while fellow Halloween weekend debutantes Coral Fang also won their share of votes, proving that Tool and The Distillers have big followings around here! Unfortunately, no one cast votes for Coral Fang's sister HIM tribute band Poison Girl, but they also haven't played live more than once. Hopefully everyone stays busy in 2019, and that even more new bands turn up!

Congratulations to Re:Born on winning the poll, and thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month, we are continuing with our "favourite _____ of 2018" polls by posing this question to you guys: "What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk album of 2018?" Last year saw a surprisingly strong crop of local album releases, so there should be no shortage of choices for readers, but can we get a similarly good vote total this month? To make the poll, albums must have seen their initial paid release (including "name your price" offerings) occur between January 1st and December 31st of last year, with reprintings, singles, exclusively free albums, and paper-sleeve demos excluded. Notably, this affects Chase Wigmore's 2018 output, as his unfinished 12 EPs of Christmas series was solely posted for free before the 2019 calendar year began, but he does have an album in the poll still, and you can always vote for "Other" if need be. As well, artists with multiple similar releases are grouped together. Now, here are you 12 choices, plus "Other"!

Abhorrent Forest - To See Eternity: A return to their original black metal form after their late 2017 ambient EP "Ethereal", solo project Abhorrent Forest quietly released their third EP "To See Eternity" in March. Updates haven't followed publically since, so this could prove to be Wyrn's swan song for this project, but did you take to their dark instrumental metal onslaught the most in this poll?

Crucify The Whore & Chase Wigmore - A Couple of Degenerate Bastards: After a lengthy dormant period, goregrind solo project Crucify the Whore began ramping up public activity again last year, punctuated with the release of a split album alongside past collaborator and fellow prolific solo artist Chase Wigmore. The divided nature of the online release and the limited physical availability haven't helped exposure, but would you vote for "A Couple of Degenerate Bastards" here?

The Din - Suburban Sendoff: Four months after ending their active run with their Suburban Sendoff farewell concert at LopLops Lounge, local alt-hard rock trio The Din released a live album of the same name featuring the whole 90+ minute show's soundboard recording. Featuring The Din's only electric album version of "We Met As Surrogates" and a Gord Downie tribute cover of "Blow At High Dough", this lived up to the hype, but does it earn your vote?

Any of Mike McCleary's 2018 albums: Prolific local hard rock musician and activist Mike McCleary had a very busy first half of 2018, which saw him release "Hourglass", "Weight of the Truth", a heavily revised re-release of "In Ruins", "The Party Album", and "What You've Done To Me", and don't forget his "Weight of the World" compilation either! There's a lot to take in from Mike in a short time, but his talent and messages speak volumes, and were any your individual favourite?

Mike Haggith - From The Nickel Stage: For his first solo album release in three years, Din frontman kicked off his Thompson, Manitoba era with "From The Nickel Stage", a live EP comprising his headlining set at last summer's Nickel Fest in Thompson. Also serving as a preview of his upcoming studio album "Bridges" (with only 2 performed songs not expected for it), this well received show comes through well on the live album, but was it your favourite local album of 2018?

Mike Vincent - Apocalypse or Ultimate Chaos: A familiar sight from bands like The Bear Hunters, D.O.T.H., and Skull After Betrayl, Mike Vincent released his first two solo albums on March 25th of last year. Showcasing his musical maturity across 22 instrumental tracks, these albums flew under the radar somewhat, but did one/both of Mike's debut solo albums top last year?

Northwest - Songs From 2015-2017: The last SMS-covered local album release of 2018 came from veteran indie/punk quintet Northwest, who launched their second EP "Songs From 2015-2017" on December 22nd at their CD release party at LopLops Lounge. Featuring some added musical diversity and maturity on their new material, fans enjoyed Northwest's sophomore effort, and it no doubt helped their 2019 CBC Searchlight run, but would you vote for it?

Redundant - Redundant: After years of recording sessions failed to lead to a proper release, Redundant finally recorded their self-titled debut EP last year, even giving the EP it's first physical release at their Vans Warped Tour stop in Toronto in July! Featuring three originals and two Scary Uncles carry-overs, "Redundant" was well received by fans of the guys' upbeat punk rock attack, but was this your favourite local release of 2018?

Shit Liver - Hitting The Fan: Arguably the highest profile local album release of last year from a heavier or punk band, fan favourite grindcore trio Shit Liver finally put out their second studio album "Hitting The Fan" in March, coinciding with a high profile Canadian support tour, including a well received headlining concert at The New A.  Exclusively released on vinyl for physical copies, fans of Shit Liver's brutal live show definitely took to their devastation, but would you pick it here?

Sykotyk Rampage - Live At The Paris Hilton: While their live concert hiatus has no end in sight, "the original crash band" Sykotyk Rampage re-emerged in April with "Live at The Paris Hilton", their first brand new album release since 2016. A faux live album combining new tracks and select re-recordings from their extensive back catalog, this was a fun return to form for the Beckers and company, but is your environ-mental suit ready to vote?

Any of SweetKenny's 2018 score albums: A quieter but still busy year from Dafter, Michigan solo artist Kenneth "SweetKenny" Sutton saw him release four score albums, including "Escape of the Desert Rat", "Music For The Body", "Management", and "Monster", all intended for usage as soundtrack music for other media. The wait for a traditional follow-up to "In Your Face" continues, but did Ken's skilled and prolific score albums win you over compared to other albums?

Telephone & Address - Monster: Almost three years after being announced, garage/punk solo project Telephone & Address released their fifth CD "Monster" (no relation to the SweetKenny score of the same name) last February. An electric lo-fi album like it's predecessor, "Monster" would prove to be the Chris Shoust-led band's final public activity before falling inactive, but did he end this period on a high note via this album?

Other: Did we miss an album you'd rather vote for? Did I forget a metal, hard rock, or punk release from a locally-based act in 2018? Would you rather vote for an album from a band outside of our genre range, or even the Soo area? Maybe you liked a free album more than something that was for sale? If, for whatever reason, your preferred choice isn't here, "Other" is for you!

VOTE TODAY! You guys have until February 18th or so to cast your votes, and it'll be interesting to see how this goes, especially with the uptick in votes from our last poll! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

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