Wednesday, May 5, 2021

New Material From Three Local Solo Acts, Plus An Inactive Band Note!!

For your Wednesday afternoon reading, here is our first proper news post of May 2021, which is mostly devoted to the recent exploits from three very different local solo musicians, two relating to new albums of some kind. To cap things off, we do have a note on a band moved out of our active band links. With all of that said, here's what you should know!
 
Local punk solo project Slumshine have new stuff to talk about, including a couple of new songs! On April 19th, Brent posted a new original song named "Believe In Hugs" to Slumshine's Bandcamp page and via this Facebook slideshow video, marking the project's first released new material since their 2019 "SLMSHN" album. Then on Sunday, Slumshine posted another new song named "Slumlord" onto Facebook, and owing to it's longer length, that's embedded below. In fact, "Slumlord" is reportedly the title track for Slumshine's new EP, which will appaerently be released on Friday! If this is the same release as the previously teased "SllMSHN" (with two lowercase Ls to denote album #2), a physical run on cassette tapes would likely follow. With all of that said, I won't review the two new songs yet, pending our full review of the "Slumlord" EP, but the music on offer so far is thematically different from the first tape.

Notably, "Believe In Hugs" has electric instrumentation (live shows and the "SLMSHN" album were all acoustic), and both songs seem to have more of a spacey influence, but we'll see how the full EP sounds on Friday. Give "Slumlord" a listen below, and we'll have more on the EP proper soon!


Next up, here's some more new release action from a local solo project, as cybergrind act Malignant Neoplasm have released their own new album "Hugz" on their Bandcamp page on April 28th! The fact that both MxNx and Slumshine happen to have songs with a variant of "Hugs" in their names is purely coincidental. If you're familiar with Tyler's Blood Shed Productions output, you can expect more of his usual trademarks on "Hugz", including pig squeal vocals, a drum machine, divisive and provocative song titles, and often short runtimes (only four of the songs exceed 64 seconds in length, and one runs for just 12 seconds), but compared to C.T.W., there is more of a computerized post-production influence. This brand of noise rock almost defies criticism (you either like it or you don't), but Tyler's bold, in-your-face approach can never be denied, and they're undeniably heavy!

Give "Milky Blue Eyes" a listen below courtesy of this video from Blood Shed's YouTube channel, though as it'll be over in 38 seconds, buy or stream "Hugz" above to hear more if you're up for it! The album is available on a "name your price" model, as are prior Malignant Neoplasm releases.


Also today, here's a new original song from local hard rock solo artist Tym Morrison's YouTube channel! Entitled "Heaven or Hell", the song is lyrically about how you ultimately have the choice where you go in the afterlife, and like his other recent original song postings, this has an attached video featuring lots of photos and video clips relevant to the very religious lyrics. Running for over eight minutes, this delivers the metal goods for fans of Tym's, especially the solo late, though the mid-tempo pacing does help the song proper drag a bit. Give Tym's new song a listen below!

Finally, I have moved local punk quartet The Sick Sons to our inactive band links due to a year's inactivity. The former Filthy Dadicals have not issued a public statement since their planned LopLops Lounge concert with the aforementioned Slumshine in March of last year was cancelled due to the then-new pandemic. One of 2019's most promising new local bands, The Sick Sons united former 12 Gauge Ready, Bankshot, and Downshift alumni for four concerts in the second half of that year, notably opening for Random Killing and The Ripcordz in their first two shows, before playing LopLops alongside Tidal Records acts twice that December. Hopefully their hiatus since March 2020 is solely due to the pandemic, and that we'll see The Sick Sons back when things level out, as they are a solid band whose momentum crash wasn't their fault. Best of luck to Lucas, Steve, Dave, and Clint in any event!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post on Friday or Saturday featuring details on "Slumdog" and more! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Where Are The New Albums? May 2021 Update

For our first post of May 2021, here's this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post, where we once again look at the current release statuses and whereabouts of upcoming albums from Sault Ontario metal, hard rock, and punk acts, in order to update readers as to what we know about them! While there's no additions or removals this month, I did update three of the five entries to reflect new information about them. So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!

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Chase James Wigmore's new albums

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: Ever the prolific artist and songwriter, local folk punk/extreme metal musician Chase Wigmore posted on his eponymous Facebook page on August 31st to announce two more distinct acoustic albums and the long-gestating completion of his 33 part rock opera "A Story About A Kid Named Todd". In February & March, Chase released three more free albums to YouTube, including one of those acoustic albums ( the black metal-infused "Ruins Of Life"), Awokest's new album "Beyonder", and his classical piano release "The Symphonic Organism".

Current Release Status: Your guess is as good as mine, but remember that Chase is very prolific and varied in his musical interests, and not every album of his has seen a formal paid release, either by finishing it's lifespan as a demo, or by being released online for free. In fact, he hasn't released one of his albums for sale since "One Last Act Of Defiance" on Bandcamp in December 2019. Stay tuned for updates from his camp when they roll in!
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Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide's fourth album

Rumoured Songs: "Lost & Found", "All Broke Down", "No Control"

Background: Revived local Celtic punk veterans Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide began recording sessions by October 2018 at Dustin's own Mission Control Studios, as per their Facebook page. In January 2019, the band confirmed that they were indeed recording a fourth studio album (and first since 2012), which will presumably be released through Tidal Records, and will also be their first album with second guitarist Liam Seymour & drummer Chris Johns. While "All Broke Down" was initially cited as the first single in December 2018 (source here), the first two released singles were "Lost & Found" in March 2019 & "No Control" in December 2020. Credits on the above songs' music videos note that Kyle Whittaker at Strange Pumpkin Studios in St. Catharine's is mixing the album, as he has done for multiple Tidal/Mission Control releases. Dustin has posted a handful of solo songs on Tidal Records' YouTube channel in recent months, but it's not publically known whether or not they'll also be used as new Tide originals.

Current Release Status: When The Tide shared a teaser clip for "Lost & Found", they mentioned that the album was "coming soon", which doesn't tell us much. With recording sessions well along the way, and two music videos now public, it's likely that Dustin and company aren't early in the process, but we'll let you know when more comes out on the album!
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Kraken Mara - "Press Start"

Rumoured Songs: "The Woodward", "Vibe Check", "MinMaj", "Stratus", "Miscreant"

Background: The progressive metal project from ex-Late & Loud guitarist Brendan Christie & his brother-in-law Jake Valois, Kraken Mara immediately commenced work on their debut EP upon their April 2016 launch. In sporadic updates on Facebook, Reverbnation, and their website, the band posted & reworked original demos with Reese Wolf working as sound engineer for the tracks, but would ultimately go on hiatus in 2017, partially due to Brendan's overseas work commitments. After a brief return in late 2019, they came back fully in February 2021 with new videos on their Instagram page, streaming copies of new songs newly posted on their website, and playthrough videos posted to their YouTube channel for the EP's planned five songs, with most older tracks and the recently streamable "Moon's Haunted" ultimately cut. They have named the previously self-titled EP "Press Start" (after briefly being named "Vibe Check"), and confirmed that the Kelowna, B.C.-based Cliff Aubut will provide drums as a session musician.

Current Release Status: Assuming that the five songs with playthrough videos are the only tracks on "Press Start", then the EP is very likely done the recording sessions, and it does sound like Kraken Mara are nearing a paid release of some kind! That said, the pandemic is still very much a concern, and who knows what format the EP's release will take, though as a studio-only project with no live concerts or full-time bassist & drummer, they wouldn't necessarily be hamstrung by not being able to play a release show in the near term. Stay tuned for more on Kraken Mara's new EP when it rolls in!
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Mike Haggith - Bridges

Rumoured Songs: "From The 55th Parallel", "Over Indecision", "The Nature of The Times","An Act of Strength","The Catalyst", "Dangerous Town", "Come On Home", "Blue Highway", "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost", "Bridges"

Background: After moving to Thompson, Manitoba in November 2017, prolific local/Windsor hard/alternative rock musician Mike Haggith relaunched his dormant solo project, and soon commenced work on a new CD named "Bridges", which finished recording sessions in early 2019. His Facebook page has documented songwriting sessions, acoustic videos of new original songs, plus solo concerts in Thompson largely featuring new tracks. Despite the unveiling of the cover artwork, three singles, and even a music video for "The Nature of The Times", Mike indefinitely postponed the release of "Bridges" in late 2019 due to mixing delays, personal life concerns, and the quick development of a new album named "If Ever Comes The Day", which was released in June. Note that Mike has released a new studio single named "To Be With You" that has exclusively been aired on The Borderline Radio, but he has not confirmed whether that will be part of a new album of it's own.

Current Release Status: Mike has largely kept his next music plans close to the vest aside from some promising teasers, though he did perform "Come On Home" in Thompson's virtual Winterfest concert in February, and said there that "Bridges" will be released this year. Though this album has been surprisingly delayed since before the pandemic, Mike's typical candor & honesty bodes well if anything sudden occurs. Keep tabs for updates, and watch #LockdownLive IV to hear the whole album unplugged and hear his side of the album's progress and delays as of April 2020!
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The Uncanny Valley's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "The Uncanny Valley", "Glowin'", "Middle Man", “This Love is Psychedelic”, "Stuck In Rotation", “Sweet Like Sugar”

Background: The new classic hard rock band from 2019 Soo's Got Talent winner Adrian Sullivan, fans will have seen original material of theirs right from the start, as The Uncanny Valley debuted their own songs in their first live concert at The Canadian on New Year's Eve 2019. Live concert & jam session videos have followed on their Facebook page featuring their own material as well. After posting a teaser audio clip of "Sweet Like Sugar" in September, they posted the full studio version of "Middle Man" in October, finally confirming there that they are working on their first album, though no other details have followed suit.

Current Release Status: No clue, which isn't helped by The Uncanny Valley's age and relatively unfamiliar profile for many readers, not to mention the complications of the pandemic, their public hiatus since releasing "Middle Man", and the apparent departure of bassist Adam Fahrer. That said, they are a talented group who seemed to be taking the right steps for the future, and hopefully more updates on their debut album follow when ready!
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I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! This series will return on or around May 2nd, while our next monthly feature post will likely be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile one week from tomorrow. That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post of some kind by Wednesday! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

A New Local Metal Project, Videos From the Eastern U.P., And More!!

Let's get one last news post on the SMS before the month of April is over, so what's on tap today? Mostly Sault Michigan updates, including a couple of videos and some shorter recent updates, but let's lead off on this side of the border with a new metal project to take note of!

We have a new local metal act to add to our active Sault Ontario band links, and they are Molten Imp, the new project led by former AlgomA singer/guitarist Boyd Rendell! I know Boyd's involved based on Facebook conversations, but this project is otherwise fairly cryptic in it's public presentation. Their Bandcamp page description calls them an "industrial metal project from one of the Molten Bros.", and it lists four possible pseudonyms above it: SGs, H5, KaOssilator, and DAW (Darby A. Wigwaus?) Molten Imp has seemingly been in the works since last year, and they have two songs posted to Bandcamp so far, those being parts 1 & 2 of a song called "Winter XX/XXI". However, both are industrial-tinged noise tracks that don't have much in the way of "traditional" metal instrumentation. Honestly, these aren't my thing, but at least it's not ambient shoegaze music, which I've never liked.

Apparently, heavier metal tracks are forthcoming for Molten Imp, and with Boyd's past resume, he can definitely crush in the metalsphere, so stay tuned for more from Molten Imp when it rolls in, and stream or buy both "Winter XX/XXI" tracks at the above links!

Next up, here's some new videos from Sault Michigan-area artists, starting with a new video from local blues/hard rock quartet Project 906's Facebook page last week! This is of a new original song that they're working on entitled "One Glance", but it's strictly a vocal/guitar performance, and only Joe is visible on camera. One commenter compared this song to The Grateful Dead, which I can hear a bit of, and it suits a nice laid back sound well, but of course, I'd gravitate to something a little heavier. Visually, the mirrored image and Joe's head being mostly cut off aren't ideal, but give Project 906's new song a look below, and stay tuned for more from their camp!


Also, here's a new solo performance video from Heavy Lies The Crown guitarist Ted Olson's YouTube channel last week, which is curiously titled "Disgusting", complete with a disclaimer not to watch if you have a weak stomach, as it may cause seizures. Don't worry, that is all hyperbole and self deprecation, the video has no flashing lights, it's just heavily filtered in green and almost out of phase with itself. Apparently planned for a collaboration (vocals to be added), the performance proper is brutal and technical, and Ted makes solid use of his 8 string guitar! Give "Disgusting" a watch below!


Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or event name:
 
  • I have removed Sault Ontario-based Kiss tribute band Creatures Of The Night from our inactive band links due to the deletion of it's Facebook group, which was it's only surviving online page, though a handful of videos still exist on YouTube. Featuring Free Beer and Sindicate alumni, this band was comprised of then-Sir James Dunn students during the 2007-2008 school year, and were active in the Dunnplugged series at the time. Hopefully Andrew, Mike, Nick, Keith, and Ryan are doing well nowadays!
  • In the first of likely multiple concert festival cancellations for this summer, the annual Musicians Festival in Rudyard, Michigan in August was called off again due to the ongoing pandemic, as per the festival's Facebook page last week. The event, which typically features at least one hard rock band, is a fundraiser for local school district music programs, and was held annually from 2016-2019. Fingers crossed that the Musicians Fest can return in 2022!
  • Last week, local hard rock band Tarnished shared a video to their Facebook page from a special acoustic performance that Alex & Josh gave at a wedding proposal, where they performed a personalized love song written by the groom-to-be. That was very nice of them to take part in such a special moment, and congratulations to the happy couple! Due to the extremely personal nature of this video, I won't embed it here, but Tarnished's page linked above will fill you in if you're so inclined.
 
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site next month! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Treble Charger - "Detox" Album Review!!

It's now time for our 142nd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and with no new albums on the immediate horizon, let's dip into the archives to complete our look at inactive local/Toronto indie/punk quartet Treble Charger's original discography, courtesy of their fifth album "Detox"! Released on August 20th, 2002 through ViK Recordings and BMG Canada (and in February 2003 in the US via Virgin Records), "Detox" was produced by Matt Hyde (who also produced 2000's "Wide Awake Bored") and it was recorded at Phase One and Signal to Noise in Toronto, and Metalworks Studios in Mississauga. Treble Charger are represented here by the same lineup as on "Wide Awake Bored", including current singer/guitarists Greig Nori & Bill Priddle, and the since departed Rosie Martin & Trevor McGregor on bass and drums respectively. Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley and No Warning singer Ben Cook also provide backing vocals on the opening track.

While selling less than it's predecessor, this album continued it's pop punk-centric path, and it would go Gold in Canada, receive a 2003 Juno Award nomination for Rock Album Of The Year, and get a lot of airplay on MuchMusic, especially for the opening track. Note that CD copies of "Detox" featured enhanced content when put into a computer's CD drive, which amounted to a splash screen to send you to a "secret site" on ViK Recordings' website. All of the content posted there was likely taken down in 2004 when ViK merged with Sony and/or Treble Charger went on hiatus (click here for my run-through of what we know about the enhanced content.) Also, note that the American pressings of "Detox" featured an altered track listing that changed the order of songs, omitted the last two tracks, and replaced them with "Brand New Low" and "Business" from "Wide Awake Bored".

Digital sale/streaming copies and this review reflect the Canadian release. Speaking of which, "Detox" is available on all major streaming services, and can be bought for $9.49 in mp3 format on Amazon, and physical copies still turn up at local music stores. Song names below are linked to their official YouTube copies. With 11 songs running for about 38 minutes in length, let's begin this long-awaited review! "Detox" begins with the album's first single "Hundred Million", which remains one of Treble Charger's best known singles, having topped the MuchMusic Countdown for a week in October 2002, won two MuchMusic Video Awards in 2003, and appeared on the NHL 2003 and Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild video game soundtracks, not to mention it's popular music video featuring Avril Lavigne & members of Sum 41, Gob, and The Swollen Members.

Lyrically about going against someone in a position of power who doesn't speak for the population at large, "Hundred Million" is an up-tempo and often aggressive punk track that is arguably the heaviest and fastest single they've ever released. For me, that actually takes away from their melodic qualities, so I don't prefer it to (for example) "American Psycho".  When Greig has room to actually sing, the song benefits, and he and Bill mesh well on the heavy riffs. Definitely a fun and in-your-face opener, but I think it's straying from the proven "Wide Awake Bored" narrative. Second is "What You Want", which seems to be about disagreements in a relationship, but resilience to maintain the high ground. This song clicks better for me as a pure skate punk song that I can easily picture in a video game, and it has a very catchy chorus and bouncy riff to go along with it!

Trevor's drumming is really solid, Greig sings with purpose, and overall, the song flat out just works for genre fans, aside from maybe getting a little repetitive in the home stretch, and I do prefer it to the opener! Next on the CD is "Can't Wake Up", which is tied for shortest song on the album with tracks #6 & #10. Lyrically alluding to personal experiences with mental health and depression, the song proper contrasts from that with another up-tempo punk rock structure, and like on "What You Want", everything comes together nicely with fun guitar work, well suited bass from Rosie, and effective vocals that match the song, and it even includes a short guitar solo, which is always nice to hear in pop punk! The ending is a little drawn out, but for my genre tastes, the album is slowly improving as it goes along, which is very promising at this early stage!

Fourth on "Detox" is "The First Time", which is another song about a strained relationship, this time directed at someone who is controlling and dishonest. This is the first song on offer with Bill on lead vocals, and like the songs he sang on "Wide Awake Bored", this is more of a Foo Fighters-esque power pop number without a major punk influence. Fun and upbeat song despite the lyrical themes, and Bill's vocals suit this style of music well, with the drums keeping the rhythm up, but my musical tastes do run towards the prior two tracks. Next is the CD's third and final single "Ideal Waste Of Time", which again dips into the failing relationship well, here about a partner toying with someone and not being respectful of them. A punk number with Greig singing, the swing-esque tempo gives this song a relatively unique bounce, but it's an odd meld between the genre and lyrics.

I can see this song getting stuck as an earworm, but despite solid musicianship (especially on guitar), it's not the most entertainingly cohesive song here, and may have benefited from being simpler musically. We hit the album's mid-point with "Hole In Your Head", which is about trying to help someone through personal trauma, only they don't really seem to want to get better. Bill's back on lead vocals here, and as such, this song is back in power pop territory, but this is an improvement on "The First Time", partially helped by it's speedy pacing contrasting really well with the controlled, soft vocals that play really well into the lyrical themes. Aside from the bridge, the song's always in forward motion, and it allows for Rosie and Trevor to get some good time to shine! Solid track overall that doesn't overstay it's welcome, and one of Bill's stronger vocal efforts in Treble Charger's punk era!

Song #7 is "Don't Believe It All", which was the album's second single, and also had it's own music video parodying Japanese kaiju movies. This one is about not trusting someone who betrayed and lied to you, and it's the softest song with Greig on vocals yet, though it's definitely not a ballad. I've always found the chorus to be very catchy, though the verses are kind of sleepy and don't stick in your head the same. Once those pare past, the parts start to equal the sum, and I appreciate the brief guitar solo! Not a bad song, despite a slow beginning, and honestly, I come back to this one more than "Hundred Million". Next is "Over My Head", which is about trying to identify the source of one's bad day and mood, and is not to be confused with the Sum 41 song from that same year that Greig produced. Rather, this has spare, almost campfire-style verses before ramping up the punk content in the choruses.

Uniquely featuring Greig and Bill on vocals (Bill sings during the bridge before the guitar solo), I really like this song too, and it effectively flips the switch in tone and tempo without sacrificing the message, and Trevor's drumming on the heavier parts is well paced! Definitely a sleeper pick at this stage, but I do prefer Sum 41's "Over My Head". Ninth is "Tired Of It Anyway", yet another song about relationship discord, here reflecting not believing someone's words given past experience. This fits into the same mold as early songs like "What You Want" as a straightforward pop punk number (Greig's last on lead vocals) and while nothing shocking structurally, it gets the job done, including some of Rosie's best bass work yet, but I'm not 100% on board with the chorus' repetitive structure. Fun song overall though! The penultimate song here is "The Downward Dance", a metaphorical song about paying to do the title act.

This is another Bill-sung Foo Fightersy number that makes good use of it's wall of sound without getting too heavy, and it has a strong rhythm section and upbeat melody that work to it's advantage! It's a short song, but it doesn't overstay it's welcome, and it's a nice change of pace, but again, I do lean towards the punk songs. "Detox" closes with it's longest track, the 7+ minutes long "Drive", which seems to be about taking a drive to clear your head from ongoing personal issues, with driving analogies to explain conflicted feelings. The first half is standard fare for a late-era Treble Charger song with Bill on vocals, if somewhat punkier than usual for him, but the second half is an extended slow instrumental jam. This may represent driving, but I don't really feel that it adds to the song proper, and ends the CD on a meandering note. However, the first half is a strong rocker while it lasts with solid guitar work!

So, what are my final thoughts for Treble Charger's last album (to date)? Overall, I definitely like this album, as will fans who hopped on the bandwagon with "Wide Awake Bored", but I'm not sure that I'd rank it higher in enjoyment. I'm not sure whether it's about equal or slightly lesser, but it's definitely in the ballpark. Like on the preceding album, there were seven punk-leaning songs with Greig on vocals and four power pop songs with Bill singing, and while those genre aspects were definitely emphasized with less experimentation, this felt like "Wide Awake Bored 2" in some respects, rather than it's own animal. That's not necessarily bad, just an observation. Songs like "What You Want", "Can't Wake Up", and "Over My Head" struck me as better and catchier songs overall than the actual singles that came from this CD, and I mostly liked Bill's songs a fair amount, and it's a shame that none that he sang from these albums ever got a single release.

The musicianship was solid, and Rosie and Trevor had a bunch of moments to shine, which is definitely welcomed! Aside from a lack of growth and a too-great emphasis on lyrics about relationship issues, "Detox" is a fun punk album on it's own merits, but if you've followed Treble Charger's career, you know that punk wasn't really Bill's thing and it was a factor in his departure from the band in 2003. If Greig & Bill do release their planned sixth album down the line, I have no idea how much of a factor punk will be on it, but this phase of the band gave them their biggest commercial success, and it made me a fan of theirs, so I'll always appreciate "Wide Awake Bored" & "Detox" for what they brought to the table. Buy or stream "Detox" at the above links, and I hope you guys liked this month's CD review!

That said, what will we be reviewing on the site in May 2021? I don't yet know, but if nothing new from metal, hard rock, or punk acts comes out, we'll dip into the archives. In any event, due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer period, it won't be anything from Swampgut or The Bear Hunters. Stay tuned for our next "Where Are The New Albums?" post this weekend for possible hints, and for a new news post of some kind by month's end! Thanks everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2021

YouTube Channel Profile Series: metalmaster666's Channel

It's now time for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, continuing our monthly spotlight features on YouTube channels (all randomly selected from our YouTube subscriptions) in order to look at them and their public content for current readers to encourage views and subscriptions! This month, we randomly drew a channel with some interesting content for both metal fans of the era and former Eagles, so here's what you should know!

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metalmaster6666 (http://youtube.com/metalmaster6666)

Owner: Former Sindicate/Creatures of the Night guitarist Nick Rhodes

Channel Timeline: Launched on October 3rd, 2006; Videos posted from March 23rd, 2007 until September 18th, 2013

Channel Summary: A personal use channel, Nick originally posted videos here of Dunnplugged-related covers that he was involved in during his enrollment at Sir James Dunn Collegiate & Vocational School in 2007 & 2008. After graduation, he posted two more solo covers of Neil Young and Rodney Carrington songs in 2013.
 
Why You Should Watch: This channel will be of primary interest to fans and alumni of the long-running Dunnplugged program at Sir James Dunn, and given that the school proper would close after 2011, late-period footage like
this is extra notable, let alone of metal performances! The later covers won't appeal to metalheads (despite Nick's longer hair at this point), but they do show his musical skills were still being honed! Be advised that the Rodney Carrington song is lyrically not safe for work. As well, note that Nick has not visibly used his channel since then.

 Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:
 
Iron Maiden-Phantom of the Opera(Cover): Nick's most popular video is his first, a March 2007 jam session cover of Iron Maiden's "Phantom Of The Opera" by what appears to be an early version of Sindicate (compare to this video of Sindicate covering "The Trooper" at Bellevue Park that summer). If so, their lineup here would include singer James Green, Nick and Jared Lambert on guitar, and Keith Gagnon (with a box on his head) on drums. There's no bassist present, but Keith's future Free Beer bandmate Ryan Gray would later join Sindicate, and the lineup was full on this actual Dunnplugged version of "Phantom Of The Opera" uploaded 8 days later, though the overall video quality is worse. The dark lighting & lack of a bassist here aren't ideal, and James(?) does struggle with some higher notes, but this isn't a bad rendition, and the audio quality is surprisingly decent for a 2007 upload!


Randy Rhoads- Dee (cover) Dunnplugged: Filmed at the main Dunnplugged stage in May 2008 with a much better camera and setup than the previous year, this video features Nick covering Randy Rhoads' acoustic instrumental "Dee" from Ozzy Osbourne's debut solo album "Blizzard Of Ozz". Very nicely done version, though it did seem to go a little fast, and Nick got some deserved applause at the end!


Patience-Guns and Roses (cover): Nick's final Dunnplugged video before leaving the Dunn saw him and former Sindicate bandmate Jared Lambert (with a 12 string guitar) covering Guns N' Roses' "Patience", with Jared on vocals. Despite a lot of background chatter from students, this cover is well performed overall, but Jared definitely isn't attempting to meet Axl's range in the home stretch. 


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I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! This series will return on or around May 26th when we look at another randomly selected channel, namely that of YouTube user 62ndChamberMedia, featuring lots of local metal band footage from the mid-2010s. Look for that then, and for this month's CD review on the site next! Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Woods Of Ypres Concert Audio, New Videos, And Much More!!

We're back with a new news post on this Friday afternoon, and it includes some new videos from some familiar faces, a few shorter updates, and leading off, a surprise archive concert audio recording from dearly missed local band. Here's what you should know!

A new audio recording has surfaced online from defunct local black/doom metal band Woods Of Ypres' 2010 tour! Quietly uploaded in July by YouTube user Christopher B, the 38 minute recording features Woods of Ypres' entire set at The Avalon Nightclub in Santa Clara, California on June 30th, 2010, which was their first ever show in the state, and was part of the band's last independent tour cycle before their false breakup, frontman David Gold's teaching stint in Kuwait, and their signing with Earache Records. If you're curious to see video from this show, YouTube user Ishadowseek posted a couple of videos from it at the time, but the quality on them is mixed. In order, you can hear David, Joel, Shane, and Evan play "The Shams Of Optimism", "Crossing The 45th Parallel", "A Meeting Place & Time", "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)", "Halves & Quarters", "The Sun Was In My Eyes (Part One)", and "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground".

The set was shorter than normal due to a noise curfew, but you get your fill of doom-era Woods of Ypres while it lasts, though I was surprised that "Against The Seasons" got more representation than the then-new "Woods IV". The audio quality isn't pristine, but it holds up well despite being over a decade old, and it's really cool to hear some archival audio of theirs! Yes, the Soo comes up near the end. Give the whole set a listen below!

Next up, here's one more new playthrough video from local progressive metal duo Kraken Mara's YouTube channel! Despite updating the description of their 2017 playthrough video of their song "Stratus" to reflect their 2021 EP plans, that video (the one outside St. Mary's Paper) was taken down and replaced with a brand new playthrough video that was uploaded earlier today! The song is identical, but the video now features Brendan and Jake playing "Stratus" in various locations inside The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. Effectively done with nice visuals inside the museum and with the bushplanes, though I honestly wouldn't have had them sitting down in every shot, especially as these weren't at their studio. It's a shame to lose the original playthrough clip, but hopefully this is another positive sign towards Kraken Mara's album plans, so give it a watch below!

(Just as a correction from last time: Their song "Moon's Haunted" is not the same as "Miscreant", it was just moved off of their debut EP for a planned future release. Thanks to Brendan for the clarification!)


Also today, here's a new original song from Rising Tide/Inner City Surfers frontman Dustin Jones, courtesy of his label Tidal Records' YouTube channel on Saturday! Entitled "Ain't Dead Yet", this was acoustically recorded at Mission Control Studios, and it features on-screen lyrics as the song goes along, which do reference spirit and resilence during the new lockdown. Despite it's unplugged trappings, it definitely has a punk energy and pacing that would not be out of place in his bands, though I don't know if it will be appropriated as such. Fun song, so give it a watch below!


 
Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or website name:
 
  • As part of the annual Bandcamp Day on May 7th (where the music store website waives all processing fees for one day so that artists get 100% of proceeds from sales), a number of local musicians are banding together to donate their Bandcamp Day earnings to the Sault Area Hospital COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The Facebook event page lists local musicians who have signed on, including punk acts A Dire Setback and Slumshine, with more to be added. Wonderful and timely cause, kudos to Nicole and M.D. for the idea, and try and buy local through Bandcamp on May 7th to help out!
  • This is a foregone conclusion at this point, but I have removed the rescheduled Buckcherry concert at Soo Blaster on May 11th from our concert listings due to extension of the current Ontario lockdown, which will now end on May 20th (subject to change). The Facebook event page has not been updated to reflect a cancellation or new postponement, but again, we'll still be locked down then. We'll keep you guys posted if this show is rescheduled again!
  • Dealing Without/ex-Redundant bassist James White is looking to start a new local band that would cover acts like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, Sublime, and "whatever you can throw at me". As per his post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group on Wednesday, he wants "to start actually playing bass again", and to play songs he likes that aren't in Dealing Without's setlist. Given the lockdown, now may not be an ideal time to jam with new musicians, but if you're interested in working with James in a new project, message him at this link or above to get more details!
 
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and features on the site by next week! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Mike Haggith's Complete 2 Hour Interview on Sev's Cellar From Last Year!!

Back in January, I briefly noted in this post that Mike "Sev Micron" Severin interviewed local/Thompson, Manitoba alt-hard rock musician Mike Haggith on The Borderline Radio last year for his radio show Sev's Cellar, but I opted not to give it a full write-up at that time because only the second half was posted for on-demand streaming as of that post's publication. At some point since then, the first half was finally uploaded onto the internet radio station's website, and you can now hear the full 2 hour+ interview at this link! Just be sure to listen to the second (lower) file first, as that is the opening half. This interview was originally conducted last year in advance of the release of Mike's most recent studio album "If Ever Comes The Day", whose songs premiered in The Borderline's rotation before the album's on-sale date. Conducted by phone, this was apparently the first Sev's Cellar episode after the pandemic began, and they do discuss it's impact on Mike's day job early.

Musically, the first half begins with Mike talking about his original discovery of music, the pandemic's effect on his day job, the origins of The Din's modern three-piece incarnation (the end of both The Revolution and Leaked come up), and The Din's breakup & farewell shows (featuring a clip of them playing "75" from the "Suburban Sendoff" gig/live album), before discussing the origin of his new album's closer "2145", which is played in full. Next, Mike talks about his hometown of Windsor, his early influences in music, his experiences as a pilot, what Mike was listening to at the time, his favourite song, his appreciation of local music, his cats, his favourite concerts that he ever saw and played at (Gianni Gagoots get some nice belated props here), the ideal celebrity he'd like to have a beer with, Mike's yet-to-be-realized dream band for his cancelled CD release party at LopLops, ...

...how Mike recorded "If Ever Comes The Day", his hope to record more live albums, and the origin of "This Page Intentionally Left Blank" from "If Ever Comes The Day", which was the intro to "Back Away Slowly", which was played in full to end part 1 of the interview. As for the second half, the interview includes Mike discussing his early on-stage memories in Windsor (complete with audio from one of his first high school gigs), along with some of Sev's trademark personal/humorous questions that you'll have heard in his other episodes, with the album's title track and "The Best You Never Had" both interspersed in this segment of the interview. Next, Mike elaborates on the inspiration of the latter song, and gives more details of the background from the new album's concept, preceding his song "Communique" being played in full. Follow-up discussion includes the moods and feelings of his songs, ...

...his songwriting inspirations, the rescheduled November date for his CD release concert (obviously since cancelled), his then-thoughts about where he wants to be in life, and the origin of The Din's "A Drive Through The Peninsula", before he and Sev discuss some local trivia and wrap things up, closing with Mike's song "Take Back The Moon". Of course, other songs from Mike's solo and Din work are played as background music during the actual interview, plus some unrelated tracks related to the topic of discussion. These can get loud at points (especially when Sev played Bob Seger in part 1), but that is par for the course for Sev's Cellar episodes. This interview is very long, but nice and informative about Mike's music and personality, and it's definitely worth listening for fans! Extra notes within include extra insight into The Din's breakup in 2017 and a surprise film credit of Sev's from the 1990s, though Mike's pre-Din local bands are largely sidelined.

Aside from teasers and his Shaw Spotlight host gigs in Thompson, Mike's been fairly quiet since the fall (his fans-only Facebook group aside), but hopefully 2021 proves to be busier for him, and this interview covers most of his pre-#LockdownLive activity well and with good humour! Give it a listen at this link or above, and be sure to check out The Borderline for lots of quality local music and hosted programs! Yes, there is more from The Borderline coming on the SMS in the near future, but that's all for today, and look for a new post of some kind on the site by Friday! Thanks everyone!