Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SBD - "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition" Review!!

Well guys, it's time for our fourteenth monthly local metal CD review, and this month, we take a surprise turn to an album that I hadn't forecasted getting a copy of until just last week! Yes, this month, we'll take a look at the second & final CD from inactive local experimental grunge trio SBD, entitled "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition"! A do-over of the original pressing of "Sonic Experiments" (only sold at their debut concert in May 2010), this album, lovingly wrapped in tinfoil, was officially launched at their show at what's now Coch's Corner on August 28th, and features more songs along with a few removals and adjustments to improve the quality. It was self-produced and recorded from 2009 to earlier this year, and features the band's classic lineup, including singer/guitarist Dann Pichette, bassist Brad Griffith, and drummer Shane Triplett. "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition" is not out of print, but you could attempt to contact the band through their official Soundclick page to get a copy! Nine of the featured songs, be they the form on the new CD or otherwise, can be streamed there as well. This CD features 12 songs clocking in at over 75 minutes of music, let's begin this review with the first song, "Ess"! (Updated on September 28th, 2012)

"Ess" is an instrumental track which deftly mixes the experimental nature of their sound with some good musical abilities! Starting with a bouncy bass line and some nice drum work, the song features a lot of distorted guitar playing from Dann Pichette that ranges from psychedelic to melodic to heavy! This song actually sums up SBD's musical style pretty well with how it meshes their styles together! The song slows down a touch in the middle, but it never loses it's pacing. The various guitar solo sections aren't highly technical, but have nice melodies, while Shane Triplett's drumming really stands out, and Brad Griffith shows off some nice bass lines throughout! "Ess" is never boring or predictable, only really lagging at the end, which seemed to drone on and on before it actually came to a close. But as an opening song, it gives a great insight into how SBD will sound, sans vocals of course!

Second is "Rio Bravo", the first song on this CD with vocals, and it starts with a nice galloping bass solo from Brad that actually calls a Western movie to mind, a'la the title! When the song picks up, it does lose that Western feel to their more hard rocking sound, but it still gives the feel that you're moving or riding ahead as you listen. Dann's vocals have a nice grungy tone to them, a'la some of No Arrow's better songs, but they're not mixed terribly high, and I found myself missing certain words underneath the riffing. I also found it unique that the choruses tended to be a bit softer and slower than the verses, when usually, it's the other way around. That being said, the band are playing some great stuff during the verses, which continues it's galloping heavy sound for the most part! Though a touch repetitive, I really like this song, except for the last couple of minutes. It almost brought to mind the end of the charge, so to speak, if we're gonna talk in Western movie terms. "Rio Bravo" just gradually got slower and really started to drone on and on. So, aside from the endings of both, the first two songs are scoring high!

Third is one of my personal favourite SBD songs, "It Just Won't Work", which I've been a fan of for months now! And I think one of the reasons I like this song is the sheer unpredictability of it. It starts with a bouncy psychedelic verse with softer melodic singing, and then WHAM! The song picks up in speed and heaviness at a VERY fast and moshable rate while Dann repeatedly yells, what else? "It just won't work!!" The whole song has that slow/fast mentality, like they pushed a "Rapid Fire" button right before each chorus. The lyrics are pretty entertaining too, and though the chorus is very repetitive, it goes by so fast and at such a pace that you don't notice. I love this song, but I think a guitar solo (placed at an unpredicatable spot) would really push it over the edge. Still, it's a standout track on "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition" that you'll wanna check out!

Next, we have "Delchgobah", which clocks in at 9:42, and believe it or not, there are two songs longer than this on the CD! This is another instrumental, and it starts slowly with some guitar distortion effects, a slow but effective bassline, and some nice drumming. It's varied enough to hold my interest, but it could stand to be chopped down a bit. After about 90 seconds, Dann plays some more normal bouncy guitar melodies and solos, but the song goes on at about the same rate. It's never boring, but it feels stretched out too far. Only after 3:30 does it start to adjust it's sound, as Brad and Shane become more prominent before the song gets very isolated and quiet about midway through, staying that way throughout. It has a very deliberate sound, but not terribly exciting either. The last couple of minutes pick up as the guitar playing gets a bit faster and more varied, helping end the song on a high note! This is another good song, with lots of creative experimental touches, but it feels overly long, and I think it could easily be cut to 5 minutes and still accomplish the same goals.

The fifth song on the CD is "Kick In The Crotch", and it starts with a solo drum section followed by repeated singing of the song's title along with some bass licks that sound very 1970s, if that's appropriate. This is one of the most offbeat songs on the album, with Dann's vocals alternating between very "interesting" spoken word passages, and saying "Kick In The Crotch" repeatedly, as the same backing instrumentation accompanies this. Then, the song changes completely as it gets way more experimental and insane, with relentless drumming, loads of guitar distortion, and a complete removal of the vocals we had heard. Not everyone will appreciate that turn, but I liked it, it felt like chaos was ensuing! The last 90 seconds are another change in sound, with slow guitar distortion, a low bass riff, and constant drumming taking center stage in a more orderly, but still experimental fashion. This song also falls into the same complaint area I had a few times earlier, an ending that just dragged on and on, but this song still works on an amusing and unpredictable angle, especially the chaotic center!

Track six is "Sliced Bacon Delivers", a short but relentlessly heavy number that packs loads of metal into an awesome 1:47 stretch of music! The song grabs you and doesn't let go, with Dann's voice holding up well to deliver harsh singing with some rangier portions! The guitar is actually so heavy and loud that it sounds distorted by accident, so it's actually hard to hear at points. I think they should have mixed the guitar down to counter that. The guitar solo also sounds a touch off too. Only after 80 seconds does the band tone things down a bit, getting a touch slower with some softer singing, but it doesn't last long before it unloads the heaviness to cap the song off! I definitely love this song, it's heavy as hell and pulls no punches, but the overly loud guitars do hurt it a bit. It's followed by another instrumental, "Into The Unknown", which begins with a nice drum solo from Shane before slowing down into a very mysterious sort of opening, with deliberately slow paced & spaced out riffing and rhythm sections, almost ominous at points. It maintains this sound for most of the song, with guitar effects and a low bass line common throughout, but Shane is the star of this song to me. Early and late in the song, his drumming is fast, varied, and technical, and he helps give the song energy it was otherwise lacking. I appreciate it's pacing, and it has sort of a feel like you're in the "unknown", but aside from Shane's drumming, it's not one of my favourites.

Eighth on the CD yet another instrumental, "Boxology", which starts with another drum solo from Shane, before settling into a slower bass-driven section. Eventually, Dann took prominence on guitar with some nice guitar effects, adding to the slow experimental nature of this song. Nothing about "Boxology" screams of heaviness, this is a straight up experimental track that works to set it apart from earlier songs, which each had a level of "rock" to them. The ending, while long and drawn out, doesn't drag as much as on certain earlier songs, using some nice guitar playing and drumming to keep things interesting. This song works on it's chosen level, but if you're expecting heaviness, you won't find it here. Ninth is "The Seventeen Minute Song", which is very appropriately titled, because it does clock in at a little over 17 minutes in length, easily the longest on the album! It'd be impossible to concisely detail the entire song, but I'll say that it's another instrumental, and it ranges from a slower bass-heavy first couple of minutes to a very heavy stretch about midway through the song that's as chaotic as it is entertaining! It's not hard to sit through this song without trailing off, because it's so varied and creative, and certain patches do drag, but not for too long. Effects are used liberally, the drumming is awesome, and they show their creativity here nicely to fill out a 17 minute song! My biggest recommendation: Vocals, sections of this song could use them, but overall, it's a good, if ambitious number!

The tenth song is "Explanation Of The Universe", which is also a super long instrumental, with a run time of 16:37! Compared to "The Seventeen Minute Song", this one has a spacier feel to it, though it does start differently with a normal soft guitar opening. Once it picks up, the song makes good use of guitar effects alluding to science fiction-esque sounds, and retains that quality for most of the song! Especially in the middle, Dann makes great use of effects, with Brad and Shane keeping up with their own solid work throughout! That being said, while it's more unique than the the last song, it's also, in my opinion, not as good. It's an entertaining listen, but it's not as heavy on the whole. Also, the latter part of the song drags, except for some spacy guitar work. It mostly stays on the experimental path, and I like the song, but I do prefer "The Seventeen Minute Song" on a personal basis. And again, this song could use some vocals, cause I imagine some weird trippy sort of singing about the universe could add to the feel!

Second last on "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition" is "Space Filler", and the name is fitting, cause it does feel like that. It's well played, but it drones along for five minutes of slow placed low tuned music, and it doesn't feel like it accomplishes much. It's another instrumental, and it really doesn't engage me on the whole. The only parts where it doesn't seem to glide along low notes is in some noisy guitar sections that seem to crash around more than keep a melody. This is definitely the lowpoint of the CD, but maybe the band realizes that. After all, it is entitled "Space Filler"! The album ends with "Rubber Hose/Throwing Pies", which clocks in at an album low 57 seconds, and if you were hoping for an up tempo closer, then you'll likely be disappointed. It's a folksy soft song that finally returns singing to the album, with Dann playing guitar and singing about some very "interesting" subjects in a low clean tone that sounds slightly odd. Glad to see a non-instrumental, but this plays more like an intro than an album closer.

So how do I grade SBD's "Mulligan Edition" of "Sonic Experiments"? Well, I have to say, I liked a lot of it, but it's not a perfect album. There's good stuff on here, from the unpredictable heaviness of "It Just Won't Work" to the relentless nature of "Sliced Bacon Delivers", SBD showed that they can be as heavy as they are unique, while they let their music do the talking on instrumentals like "Ess" and "The Seventeen Minute Song"! I know people who don't know SBD very well will want to compare them to No Arrow, but on most songs, it's inaccurate. Yes, you have Dann and Brad there, but there's a lot more trippy experimental fare than No Arrow ever thought of having. Dann makes great use of guitar distortion, and they make use of a lot of unique riffing, solos, and effects to make each song different and unique! Brad's an underrated bassist, he knows what he's doing and can make some really nice lines! But to me, the biggest surprise of the three band members was Shane Triplett, who drummed with a lot of ferocity and speed on most songs, and his energy was constant, even on a slower song like "Into The Unknown"! When they were on, they were on, and they gave a unique twist to what could have ended up as familiar material in other hands, so kudos in that respect! Note that if you're not into experimental stuff with weird structures and effects, then this won't be your cup of tea.

As I said, it's not a perfect album. Too many songs had a dragged out ending that never seemed to wrap up quickly enough, and a few songs, notably "Delchgobah", felt overly long. I was surprised by the lack of songs featuring vocals as well. Only 5 songs feature Dann's singing, and they amount to around 16 minutes of the album. The rest of it was completely instrumentals, and though I'm not opposed to that, I missed hearing Dann's voice! Most of the instrumentals are solid, but they really started to trail off late. After "The Seventeen Minute Song", the excitement level seemed to get gradually lower, and ended the CD on the wrong note, when they could have moved a faster paced song to the end to close the album on a high. That disappointed me a bit, because they had so many moments earlier when they successfully wowed me with their unpredictable experimental far melded with grungy hard rock, and yet it ended so flat. It also would have been nice to see some live favourites like "Rock Paper Scissors" or "Pow! Right In The Kisser", but hey, they could be on a future album! So, while I have obvious reservations, SBD is as SBD does! I did enjoy "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition", which has a lot of unique music that you don't get locally, and some songs are likely to get you moving, one way or another!

And there's my SBD review, do check out their CD and see what you think! So, what's my next review? Well, for the first time in four months, I know exactly what my next review will be, as I will take a look at Sykotyk Rampage's brand new 23rd studio album, "Bella Disgusta"! This promises to be another unique addition to the local metal scene, so watch out for that review in the coming week! The new release season is off and running, and there's much more in store for the next few months, so be here throughout the fall and beyond for more local metal and hard rock CD, EP, and album reviews! That's all for today, but stay tuned for the new review, our "Where Are The New Albums?" update post, a review of Thursday's Endast show, and much more in the very near future!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sykotyk Rampage, Barking Eye, And WLSO Updates, Plus More News!!

Time to clear out some more assorted stories from the newsdesk before we get to tomorrow's SBD CD review! Today, we have another new album announcement, the latest news on a local music site, how some of you could become a local radio DJ, and more! Let's begin this news post!

Just days after the release of their new album "Bella Disgusta", Sykotyk Rampage have officially announced their 24th album for release in a few months! Entitled "Genius Mushrooms With Thoughts Of Intellect", you may remember this being mentioned during Sykotyk Rampage's "Attack Of The Garage Bands" feature on The Barking Eye from this past June. Well, the band have finally expanded on that, and have announced the first concrete details on this new album onto their Facebook page! The new album will have no less than 25 SONGS, clocking in at a 90 minute runtime. Curiously, all 25 songs have one word titles, and the album as whole is described as "A double album delving into the realm of hallucinogenic musical brainscans.". Might "G.M.W.T.O.I." return to more psychedelic effects-filled past works like on early Sykotyk Rampage albums? Time will tell! This album is completely recorded and has an announced release date of December 1st (pushed back from the original September date they gave on The Barking Eye.) I dunno if that date will hold though, as Sykotyk Rampage's past two albums were delayed from the listed release date on Facebook, but again, time will tell! I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime, click here for the current details on "Genius Mushrooms With Thoughts Of Intellect", and buy "Bella Disgusta" today!

...speaking of The Barking Eye, Glen Thomas has been adding some new stories to the rising local music news blog, so here's the new stories he's posted! The newest article is a new installment in his "Attack of the Garage Bands" series, where he details the recording processes used by Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison to record his 2006 "Solo Project" CD! Tym discussed the equipment and programs he used to construct it, and he makes some interesting notes about the work it took and what he learned. For example, he mentions that he considered getting an outside singer for the songs because of his lack of vocal strength then, and that he readily admitted the flaws from his recordings then, including giving allusions to a second solo album! I'd love to hear more originals from Tym, here's hoping something else comes out! Whether you're a fan of his work, or want to see another way to self-record material, check this out by clicking here! The other new article doesn't directly relate to metal, but if you own musical instruments, this should interest you. It led from the recent news story about Blues Harvest saxophonist Josh Norling getting two of his saxophones stolen, followed by a lot of very good suggestions from Glen about how to prevent music gear theft, and other stuff you should know.

Definitely read that article if you own musical instruments or other music gear, this could help more musicians avoid what happened to Josh. Click here to read that article as well! Good stuff, I'll have more from Glen and The Barking Eye as it comes out!

Thirdly today is a note that is mostly geared towards those of you who attend Lake Superior State University. The fall semester just started today, and already, notices have popped up on campus to find new DJs for LSSU's campus radio station! Yes, WLSO: The Sounds of Lake State (that's 90.1 FM) is on the hunt for new on-air DJs, radio show hosts, and mobile DJs for live broadcasts and events, and if you go to LSSU, you are eligible! Paper ads are floating around the school, but in case you haven't seen them yet, here's what you should know if you wanna be a WLSO DJ! There will be a meeting at 6:00 PM TOMORROW EVENING at the WLSO office downstairs at The Cisler Center for interested students. There will be free pizza and pop on hand, and the guys will give you all the details you need on how you can host your own show or programming block on WLSO! Because remember, there won't be metal blocks this semester unless some metalheads become DJs, so consider heading to that meeting! For more info, e-mail WLSO's Brian Springett at station_manager@lssu.edu, and watch out for details on verified metal programming when a schedule pops up online! Remember, that's 90.1 FM!

And now, we have three assorted news stories to share today that deserve mention, even if there isn't a lot to say on them. So here's what you need to know from three local bands, in alphabetical order:
  • Caveman Morrison have updated their official website to reflect the addition of Bear Hunters drummer Johnny Belanger to their new lineup, and to add many new songs to their live setlist. Oddly, Johnny's profile doesn't reference his other bands, but it's a good read, while their setlist now has a ton more metal songs and tracks of other genres that you could see live, so check that out too at this location!
  • Sault Michigan's Free Refill have launched an official YouTube channel! No videos yet, but The Sault Metal Scene has subscribed, and as soon as a video is uploaded there, I'll let you know! For more, click here!
  • Lion Ride have announced their return to the live stage, which will take place on October 14th for a show at Toronto's Bovine Sex Club as part of this year's Indie Week Showcase! Click here for more details, or visit Lion Ride's official Facebook page! No word on a local return or on their upcoming debut album, but when something does come out, I will let you know!
And finally today, I wanted to share something SMS related that is now online. A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by CBC Radio 3's Lisa Christiansen for a piece that is featured in the newest installment of CBC Radio 3's Full Metal Podcast! I was interviewed about the SMS site itself and about our local scene, and it takes place 67:25 into the podcast, running for about 4 1/2 minutes. I was admittedly VERY nervous for this, as I've never had an audio interview like that before, so if you listen and noticed that I said something incorrect, lacking in details, or poorly thought out, my apologies! I think it went well though, and if you wanna check it out, click the above links! I was also asked to select a local band to be featured on the podcast after my interview, and I selected "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead)" by Woods of Ypres! The band I picked had to have a CBC Radio 3 page already, so I chose the most prominent of the local metal bands on there, if you're wondering why I picked them over another band. So if you want to check out my interview (and the rest of the podcast, which is great), click the above links, but remember this: Regardless of the attention the SMS gets, I'll always want it to be for the bands over myself. They put the hard work in, and they deserve the most attention!

That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow, for our next post WILL be my review of SBD's "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition"! Then, stay tuned afterwards for our "Where Are The New Albums?" update post, my reviews of Sykotyk Rampage's "Bella Disgusta" and Thursday's Endast show, weekend concert previews, and much more local metal news and updates! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Caveman Morrison), SBD Concert Review, And Our Next CD Review!!

Well guys, I'm back from last night's SBD concert, and today's post is mostly dedicated to reviewing it! Also stay tuned after for the identity of this month's CD review and a few assorted news and notes from the past little while! But first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

With Caveman Morrison back in the full swing of things with their new lineup, the bookings keep coming for the local metal cover trio, as they've scheduled another date for this fall! This time, they'll be back at The Vibe Lounge for a show on October 8th, their first time there since earlier this month! There is no announced cover charge, there is a 19+ age limit, and the announced start time is 10:00 PM. Get full details on this show at the official Facebook event page! This should be another fun night of hard rock and metal covers, so make it on out for this one if you can! If not, you have chances to see them next month, starting with their supporting set at the Tony Lee XXX Hypnotist show at The Outback a week from Saturday, which is also their debut show with new drummer Johnny Belanger! I'll keep you posted with more Caveman Morrison details as I hear them!

Now, onto our SBD concert review! The band started around quarter to 11, a bit late, but the fans in attendance didn't mind! Actually, the crowd was pretty small, usually floating around a dozen concert-goers, but I'll say this much: Those who came were devoted fans, and it showed! At varying points, some SBD fans were either moshing, yelling requests, or partaking in some very "unique" dancing to certain songs. I even noticed that during "Pow! Right In The Kisser", there was some choreography going on for it with the dancing fans! It was a small crowd, smaller than SBD deserve, but to be fair, the show was announced on very short notice. Now, onto the music! I have to say, it's good seeing Dann Pichette back on stage again, I know I said that at Downtown Showdown, but it's true. I miss seeing No Arrow, but this works! Musically, SBD are hard to pinpoint soundwise. They can definitely have a No Arrow vibe, but their sound brings a whole new experimental edge that counters and/or adds to the grunge feel. For example, they had a keyboard on stage, Dann took time during a couple of songs to apply distortion effects at the speakers to some songs, and you should have counted the number of guitar pedals and switches Dann had at his disposal!

I won't go into too much detail on most of their originals because I have a proper review of many of them coming (more info in a second), but their originals ranged from more heavy fare like "It Just Won't Work" and "Sliced Bacon Delivers" to experimental more psychedelic styles like on "Ess" and "Kick In The Crotch". It wasn't uncommon to see things get trippy right after they played something raw and relentless. There was a tinge of No Arrow to certain songs, but this is a whole other animal. There was a lot of long instrumental stretches and a sort of easy going laid back feel to many songs. Also adding to the experimental side of things was a good deal of unique covers, including Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd songs like "Scream Thy Last Scream" & "Mother Matilda", and Mystery Machine's "Ride". Dann Pichette provided some good grungy vocals, but added some extra quirks and effects where needed to suit the songs, and his guitar playing suited their style well, seeming to switch from raw and unpolished to atmospheric and bouncy whenever needed. Brad Griffith, also a former No Arrow member, was really good on bass, and kept up with each song no matter the feel. And Shane Triplett was awesome on drums, he can go pretty hard, even when cymbals fell and drumsticks broke! He was relentless and it worked well!

I had fun at this show, but SBD are certainly not a band you can easily categorize or compare to other bands. No Arrow would be an easy comparison, but while they fell into the void between punk and metal, SBD are completely off the charts thanks to their experimental qualities. That being said, their sound won't be appreciated by everyone, but I'm a fan! They play a style you don't see here very much, and they play it well! It's raw, yet well put together. It's trippy & danceable, yet heavy & moshable. I hope they keep on playing this style and not making it more commercial, cause people will take notice! If you're among the group of music fans in Sault Ste. Marie who think everything is the same, give SBD a shot! I have a few reservations though, like how some of their instrumentals can drag, and how the guitar and bass can overpower the singing, but hey, that can be worked on. SBD is as SBD does, I don't expect anything less, and I'll definitely be back to see them again!

As you can tell, I got many photos, click here or visit The Sault Metal Scene on Facebook to check them out! And yes, I got a video, so here's SBD playing "It Just Won't Work" last night!

Now, onto details on our next album review! During SBD's first set break, Dann announced that they had CDs for sale! For $10, we could buy "Sonic Experiments: Mulligan Edition", which was a do-over of their original pressing of "Sonic Experiments", which was only sold at their debut show in May. It has some minor differences from the original version in track listing and song versions, hence why it's called the "Mulligan Edition." And you know how I try and get a copy of any local metal/hard rock CD that I can, so I bought one, lovingly wrapped in tinfoil! I felt like wanting to microwave the album thanks to that! This is the cover, and it has 12 songs actually running over 70 minutes long as a whole, so you definitely get your money's worth by quanitity alone! So yes, this WILL be our next CD review, and I will have it for you guys either tomorrow or on Tuesday! And as promised, my review of Sykotyk Rampage's new album "Bella Disgusta" will be after that, at some point during the first few days of September! Also, if anyone has an original copy of "Sonic Experiments", let me know!

That's all for today, but I have some more scattered news stories to share at some point soon! Also, we have some special posts in the near future, including the aforementioned SBD and Sykotyk Rampage CD reviews, a review of THURSDAY'S Endast show, our September update of our "Where Are The New Albums?" post, and more! Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sykotyk Rampage's New Album Is Out!! Plus, More News & Notes!

Well guys, the 2010 Sault Ontario metal album season has officially kicked off with the first of a bunch of album releases, and that is today's top story, along with the latest news from two Sault Michigan bands and an upcoming concert, and a brand new local concert video! But first, it's time to go over what you should know about this new album!

The original crash band, Sykotyk Rampage, released their 23rd album, "Bella Disgusta" to their internet pages this morning! After an almost three month delay from the original announced release date, the latest collection of blue Chinese metal crash punk is out for fans to purchase and stream! Featuring 11 tracks, I won't go into detail on what to expect, but let me just say that fans of their last few albums won't be disappointed! It still has the same unique sound and style that got them where they are today! The album's available for $9.99 at the band's official SoundClick page by mp3 download only, or you can purchase individual songs for 75¢ each. Buying each song individually is actually $1.74 cheaper than buying the album as whole, but believe me, the whole album purchase is faster and more worth it. But before you download, you can stream the whole album absolutely free there, as well as on their Facebook page, so you can hear the album free before you buy it! So if you want to hear some crash music and get your Sykotyk Rampage fix, "Bella Disgusta" should work! Click here to buy it today, and use the above links to stream it beforehand!

And as you noticed at the top of the page, our banner has been modified in honour of "Bella Disgusta", as well as our official logo on our Facebook page! Check them out, they will be up through Friday! And finally, yes, I do have a review of "Bella Disgusta" planned for the next little while, but will it be the August album review? No, but here's why. I just reviewed their last album, "22", in March, and I try not to review two albums by the same band in a six month span, so I'll wait until next week to review "Bella Disgusta". My August review, which will likely be on Monday or Tuesday, will either be the CD SBD have been selling at their shows (if they have any tonight), or an album from WAY back in the local scene's past. I'll leave it that, and I'll have more soon!

Secondly today, here's a brand new video from July's Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival! This comes from the second day of the festival, July 23rd, and it's of Detroit hard rockers Fifth Way (featuring Lake Superior State University graduate Zak Stelmaszek) from their set that day as one of the supporting bands for Three Doors Down! The video, which was uploaded onto the band's official YouTube channel, features Fifth Way playing their song "Lose Control", and though the video doesn't capture the song in full, it's probably the best quality I've seen of any hard rock/metal performance clips from the festival! Catchy hard driving song, you should like this one, check it out below! And remember to stay tuned to The Sault Metal Scene next month when Fifth Way will be profiled in our next Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile!

Thirdly today is something we haven't done on here in a while: Quick notes on a few notable topics. These are stories that I don't have enough for a full note on that would be locally relevant, and coincidentally, all of the bands we're gonna touch on have a name starting with the letter E! So here we go, in alphabetical order, some quick news and notes:
  • Sault Michigan hard rockers Elipzis are keeping busy with some more out of town dates as they continue to make their mark on the Lower Peninsula! Their blog on MySpace has news on some upcoming TV appearances they'll be making on some Grand Rapids-area stations, along with their latest gigs in Grand Haven and Battle Creek next weekend! Click the above links for more!
  • If you were wondering why I didn't cover the announced release date of Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids metal band End of Existence's EP "Sun Is Gone" on August 15th, there's a good reason why I didn't. They actually pushed the release back to September 1st, as confirmed on a new ticker on their official website, as well as on the news section. No reason was given for the delay. I'll keep you posted as I hear more!
  • As we've been plugging on the SMS, Endast, Blood Drunk, and the returning As It Stands will be bringing the metal to Foggy Notions on Thursday night. But why is it taking place at 6:30 PM, 3 ½ hours earlier than usual? Simple, because Thursday is karaoke night at Foggy's! That will be on as scheduled at 10:00 PM on Thursday, and expect this to be more metal than your typical karaoke night! Get more details at this location!
And finally for today, just some SMS housekeeping notes. Firstly, I've edited The Sault Metal Scene's official MySpace page to give it the new layout that MySpace is introducing for their profiles. It's a work in progress and admittedly not my primary focus for SMS things, but it does look cleaner and less like an HTML mess than it did. There's more to do, but of course, add us as a friend on MySpace today if you haven't already! Also, I wanted to clear up a little note on what cities, towns, and areas count as "local" in terms of what we cover on the SMS. My unwritten rule has been that bands and shows that we cover on here should be roughly within a 45 minute drive of Sault Ontario or Michigan, but what areas does that include? Well, here's what falls in that area for what counts as "local" for SMS purposes:

Outside of Sault Ontario: Laird, Garden River, Goulais River, Rankin Reserve, Prince Township, Gros Cap, Echo Bay, Bar River, Sylvan Valley, Aweres, Searchmont, and areas in between.

Outside of Sault Michigan: Kincheloe, Kinross, Barbeau, Kelden, Pickford, Stirlingville, Brimley, Raco, Rudyard, Dafter, Bay Mills, Sugar Island, Eckerman, Strongs, and areas in between.

Hopefully that helps clear up any confusion! I'm a bit more lenient for specific concerts (Hempfest, notably), but I try to stick to the 45 minute drive time area around the city for what I'd say is "local". No offense meant to any bands and promoters not in the above areas! That's all for today, I'll see you guys at Foggy's tonight for SBD, and I'll have a review, photos, and video tomorrow, and I'll try and post some live updates from outside Muio's as the night rolls on! I'll see you all downtown!

Friday, August 27, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Turner Up), Plus Mike Cliffe, Eastgate Hotel, And Woods Of Ypres News!!

Hey there everyone, I have some more news and updates to share on this Friday afternoon, including the newest songs from Mike Cliffe, The Eastgate's current status, a couple new Woods of Ypres notes, and to kick things off, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

Local classic hard rockers Turner Up have scheduled three more concert weekends at Foggy Notions throughout the remainder of 2010! As confirmed in a new posting on the band's Facebook group by guitarist Robert Brown, Turner Up will be at Foggy's on the weekends of September 10th-11th, October 22nd-23rd, and November 26th-27th, joining their already confirmed dates at The Vibe Lounge and The Nicolet Tavern. As is typical with concerts at Foggy's, the new dates will likely have $3 cover charges with 10:00 PM start times, and you must be 19 to get in. These should be fun concerts, and it's nice to see them back downtown for some shows as well! Also confirmed in Robert's post: Turner Up will be the opening band for tribute band Gunz N' FN' Rosez at their show at The Rockstar Bar on September 23rd! This isn't backed up on the event page for the GNFNR concert, but if a band member says it, it must have some truth! Nice addition to that show, and if you want more details on Turner Up's next dates, check the above links! Also, remember to see them at The Vibe Lounge TONIGHT and tomorrow night for their End Of Summer Bash!

Next up, local experimental hard rock guitarist Mike Cliffe posted some brand new songs onto his Reverbnation page! Three that I know of, here's what you should know about them! One is called "Hype-O-Derivative", and in case you didn't catch how the title sounds, this is an instrumental track inspired by Type O Negative! I was a huge fan of theirs, and Peter Steele's death bummed me out, so it's nice to see Mike pay tribute to them with this song! It's a heavy number, but it only really seems to sound like Type O in the slower sections. When it picks up in speed, it loses that, but again, it's inspired by Type O Negative, not a soundalike copy. Good song with a great basis! Also new is his new song "El Blues O De Jam O", which is a blues jam track, as the title suggests. It has a freewheeling spirit and has nice solo sections and a catchy melody! I thought it'd be slower and more downbeat, but I really like this one and it's energy! The blues can rock, and it does here! The other new song is "Bad Regime", a collaboration Mike did with fellow local musician Glen Thomas on drums and Swedish musician Karin Beckerus from the electronic/dance project Out Of Quebec. It's a bouncy softer track compared to the other new songs, with soft melodic vocals and an experimental quality. Not my favourite of the new songs, but it works on a musical level!

Check out all of Mike's new songs at this location, and stay tuned for more, cause he always has some new songs in the works, and you're bound to like at least one of them!

Thirdly, here's the latest on the fate of The Eastgate Hotel, the former hotel and local metal concert venue beside The Rockstar Bar on Queen Street East. Carol Martin, Elaine Della-Mattia, and Craig Huckerby all reported on this story earlier in the week for SooToday, The Sault Star, and SooNews.ca, click on the site names to read each individual article. The gist of it is, there was NO decision made as to it's fate at Monday's City Council meeting, and two new buyers turned up with interest in buying the Eastgate. As such, a decision on if any offers will be accepted has been pushed back to September 13th. The three offers on the table include two with the intent to make the building into low income housing. Belleville's Tomasso Petrucci (who was the original interested buyer) has a $5,000 offer for it, while Anna Yurkevich and Walter Jakubsky have a $25,000 offer on the table. The third offer, from Robert Berto Jr., is for $17,000 with no announced intent for what he'd do if he bought it. The Eastgate itself is structurally sound and has a value of around $250,000, but would need extensive renovations if saved, and unless Robert Berto's plans are to restore it to it's old use, it won't be a concert spot again. I'll keep you up to date as news goes on about what will happen to The Eastgate Hotel!

Finally today, here's some new Woods of Ypres updates, and firstly, yes, David Gold is no longer in Canada. But where exactly is he now? I'm not 100% sure, he hasn't openly said, but I've heard a few theories. A comment on my post on Tuesday said that he's teaching in the United Kingdom, which would make sense given his past overseas work as a teacher in South Korea, but I can't 100% prove that to be true. I've also heard scattered rumours that he was everywhere from back in South Korea to Kuwait! I think many of us were expecting a clear statement about where he was going and why Woods of Ypres were ending yesterday, which we didn't get. However, I'm starting to think that David DOESN'T want people to know clear answers, at least not yet. It might just add to the mystery of it all. Of course, if official word comes out about what David Gold's newest steps are, I'll have it here, but I'm honestly not holding my breath. What we did get yesterday was a new thread on Woods of Ypres' official forum where David thanked his fans for the support and wished us the very best in the future, so even if it's not the answers we hoped for, it's a nice closing statement!

I contemplated writing a little retrospective paragraph about Woods of Ypres around now like I did for Nixxon Dixxon's end, but you know something? Woods of Ypres' story isn't finished. There's still a whole album left to come out, what point would there be to post my final thoughts when the band's final work isn't out yet? But believe me, when I do discuss the band's end, I won't have anything bad to say! I do have two more notes to share on Woods of Ypres today, my first one being another ambient slowed down version of a Woods song! This was also posted by anomaly88 onto SoundCloud, and it's an almost-25 minute long version of "Move On!" Interesting work once again, amazing what you can do to mp3s nowadays! Check it out at this location! And finally for today, we have one more Woods of Ypres "drum cam" live video from drummer Evan Madden's YouTube channel! Like yesterday's video of the band playing "The Shams of Optimism" & "Crossing The 45th Parallel", this comes from their Austin, Texas show in July, and it's of their version of "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead)"! Good quality, but David's vocals are hard to pick out amongst the heavy instrumentation. Check it out below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for my review of TOMORROW'S SBD show (yes, I'm going!), my next CD review, and more assorted local metal news and updates! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (SBD), Weekend Concert Previews, And The Return Of Hempfest?

The weekend's upon us, and we have some local metal/hard rock shows to preview, along with a note on the apparent return of a local music festival (sort of), but first, we have a short notice LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

I apologize for the short notice announcement of this show, but it was only just announced today. Local experimental/grunge rockers SBD will return to the stage on SATURDAY NIGHT for the first time in three months when they hit Foggy Notions, the site of their debut concert! There should be a $3 cover, there will definitely be a 19+ age limit, and it will start at 10:00 PM. According to the Facebook event page, there might be CDs for sale, and fingers crossed that there are, cause I might just wanna pick one up! SMS review, maybe? This will be the first time we've seen them since their fourth place finish at May's Downtown Showdown Battle of the Bands, so if you've been missing SBD in recent months, this weekend's as good a time as any to get caught up! I'll try and make it out for this one, fingers crossed that I can! Click the above links for more, and because this is basically a preview for the show as well, here's SBD playing "It Just Won't Work" from their debut concert in May!

Now, to preview the concerts we already knew about, and firstly, we'll head to Sault Michigan, as Marquette hard rockers Nudge return to The Satisfied Frog for three shows this weekend, and yes, I said three! Remember, Nudge tend to play shows on the Thursday as well, with that night being a "Nudge-coustic" set with frontman Danzo McCracken playing some acoustic metal and hard rock covers. So expect to see that at The Frog TONIGHT, with the plugged in hard rocking with the full band, as usual, taking place tomorrow and Saturday night! All three shows take place at 10:00 PM, there is no announced cover charge, and you must be 21 to enter. If you miss them this weekend, watch out for their local return in November. These should be some entertaining shows, I like what I've heard from Nudge, and they have a nice grasp on the songs they cover! Confirm your attendance at the official Facebook event page, check the above links for more on Nudge, and for a video preview, here's Nudge covering Ozzy Osbourne's "I Don't Know" from a 2009 outdoor concert!

Finally for shows this weekend, classic hard rock cover band Turner Up are back at The Vibe Lounge this weekend for a pair of concerts! The band are hyping the Saturday show as their "End of Summer Beach Bash", and you never know what might go down knowing that! Regardless, go either night for some great hard rock covers! There's no announced cover charge, both shows start at 10:00 PM, and you must be 19 to enter. The Vibe Lounge is a bit far from most of the local concert spots, but make it on out this weekend to celebrate the end of summer with five talented local music veterans as they rock out one more time for the season! Confirm your attendance at the Facebook event page, check out more from Turner Up at this location, and for a video, click here to see Turner Up's current lineup covering Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be"! Stay tuned over the next few days for some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for Turner Up's newest announced shows!

And finally for today, Hempfest is back...well, sort of. As I'm sure you remember, the annual marijuana culture festival (which often featured metal bands) ended after an 11 year run last year due to rising costs and the R.I.D.E. program, but it's been revived in a way! Longtime Hempfest supporter Robert Neron has revived the festival, which takes place THIS WEEKEND, starting tonight over a four day period! The theme is "Hempfest on Vacation", alluding to the fact that this year, it's taking place in Robert's hometown of Moonstone, Ontario, which is about 7 hours away from Sault Ste. Marie, roughly a half hour north of Barrie. Rules are about the same as previous Hempfests, but this year, admission is FREE with a canned food donation! Get full details, including restrictions, directions, plus bands and events, at the Hempfest 2010 Facebook group. It's great to see Robert keeping Hempfest alive, even if it's not locally based this year. Fingers crossed that Hempfest will return to Ophir, or somewhere else near Sault Ste. Marie, when the time is right! So if you want to support marijuana legalization and enjoy some music and events, Moonstone's the place to be this weekend! Also, check out Chelsey Romain's Sault Star article about the 2010 Hempfest at this location!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for much more soon, including a possible SBD concert review, my next local metal CD review, a statement on Woods of Ypres' end, Turner Up's newest shows, and much more, so keep an eye out!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Woods Of Ypres, Gates Of Winter, And Nixxon Dixxon Updates!!

Back to news and updates today, and we have some good stuff, including a brand new page for a prominent local band, video from another local band's recent farewell, and kicking things off, long overdue Woods of Ypres updates! So here's what you need to know!

I haven't talked in-depth about Woods of Ypres since Saturday, and given the news and happenings about them lately, I really should have thrown something in before now. Before anyone asks, no, David Gold hasn't released anything concerning why Woods of Ypres are ending and where he's moving. I figure something about that will be soon, but then again, I'm sure many of us have been expecting something for a few months now, so it's anyone's guess. Recording sessions for "Woods V" wrapped up on Sunday, as did sales for the last band merchandise, which was shipped to fans on Monday morning. David departed from Sault Ste. Marie on Monday afternoon and is now in Toronto, where he will celebrate his "final night in Canada" tonight at 6:00 PM at a bar/restaurant named C'est What, before what I presume is an international flight on Thursday. Where to, I don't know, no definitive answers or explanations are out yet. But when something does come out, I will have it right here!

Keeping with the Woods of Ypres related stories, here's some more interesting band-related notes. Firstly, a topic on the band's official forum has been posted where forum user Dauden gave an extensive ode to his love for Woods of Ypres, what their songs meant to him, and so forth. Really nice read, and other forum users have followed suit sharing their Woods of Ypres retrospectives and thoughts. Click here to check them out, it really shows how much of an impact Woods of Ypres have made! Also, you know how some people will incredibly slow down a song to make it into almost an ambient dirge? Well, a SoundCloud user named anomaly88 did that to Woods of Ypres' song "I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery", slowing it down by 8 times, making it sound like quite the epic atmospheric little number! Very interesting, I wonder how other Woods songs would sound like this? Click here to check it out! And finally, Woods of Ypres drummer Evan Madden has uploaded four new "drum cam" live videos from their final tour onto his YouTube channel! Three are from the band's Toronto show, of Woods playing "The Sun Was In My Eyes (Part 1)", "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground", and "Distractions Of Living Alone", while there's also a new video of their live versions of "The Shams of Optimism" & "Crossing The 45th Parallel" from their show in Austin, Texas.

These are, again, focused on Evan's drumming, and the quality's good overall, though the audio sounds a bit washed out for the Toronto clips, and the "Shams/Crossing" video is a bit darker and has a scratchier sound to the audio. For the sake of variety, I'll embed Evan's video of the band playing "Distractions Of Living Alone" below, but check out the above links for more new Woods of Ypres videos! I'll keep you posted with more on Woods of Ypres, including (hopefully) the answers to our questions!

Next up, we'll transition over to one of David Gold's former bands, Gates of Winter! Yes, the local progressive death metal powerhouse have some new updates, in the form of a brand new Facebook page! Note that the band's old Facebook page is still online, but it's only been updated once since 2008, to reaffirm their then-hiatus last September, so don't go there for new updates. Their new page has wall postings of two of the samples we previously heard on other sites, "Edin Na Zu" and "Dimensions", along with one saying that those songs (and a new song named "Time Warp") are in production this week. The band membership is no different than it has been since David left, but I find it odd that keyboardist Brian Holmes is credited for "instrument modeling" & "synthesis" instead of keyboards. Sounds overly technical, but no worries! The band's current biography on their information page only goes back as far as the release of "Lux Aeterna" in 2008, and concisely details things that have happened since then, including the statement that they took a performing hiatus due to hitting "a wall of personal conflicts", and that the new album will be a "compositional maturation" and a "darker evolution of their previous works", followed by links to many positive reviews of "Lux Aeterna."

Sounds good so far, I can't wait to hear the new album! However, I do think the band should expand their biography more to discuss things that happened prior to 2008. They played some big shows and did some notable things between 2003 and 2007, so why not share that? Also, I'd like to see them at least mention their self-titled 2005 EP in their bio, but I'm not surprised they don't. They've seemed to disown that EP in the last few years, but it's better than they might let on! Still, for new band updates and to hear previews of the new CD, become a fan of Gates of Winter's new page at this location!

Finally for today, video footage has came online from what proved to be Nixxon Dixxon's last concert on Saturday at The Bird. This comes from YouTube user myangels1266's channel, and it's of Nixxon Dixxon covering "Heroes" by Shinedown! Really good performance, "Heroes" suits Brandon Carr's voice well, and the band are playing at the top of their game! My biggest complaint is the lighting in The Bird, as it's dark and full of bar lighting that doesn't accentuate the band at all. Hell, you can see the Music Choice radio channel on the TV better than the band! Still, it's a great performance, check it out below! It still sucks to see Nixxon Dixxon breaking up, but my fingers are crossed that they'll be back one day, maybe when Jake comes home on a break? Who knows! For now, check out the latest video!

That's all for today, but make sure to visit The Sault Metal Scene tomorrow for our weekend concert previews and some more assorted stories! Also stay tuned over the next few days for our next CD review! Will it be from one of the many bands with one in the works or announced, or will we dip into the archives and review a classic album? You'll know by Tuesday! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Hellhitch & Kilacel

Can you believe we're up to our 8th Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile? Feels like just yesterday that this series was launched! Well, we have two more bands to profile today that, though not from Sault Ste. Marie, contain at least one Saultite in their past or present lineup! Though today's bands vary in country and in notability levels in the local scene, both are worth talking about! So, here are this weekend's profiles, and, as is usual, if there's something incorrect, missing, or lacking info/details, please tell me! (UPDATED: November 26th, 2014)
Hellhitch (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; members not in their last lineup in italics. This lineup is incomplete. If you can help complete it or fill in any gaps, e-mail me at robertfigures@hotmail.com!)

Mike Lawrence (vocals)
Tyler Sitter (guitar)
Mike L. (bass)
Marcel Krusher (drums)

Official MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/hellhitch

Local Info: The only Saultite to my knowledge in Hellhitch was frontman Mike Lawrence, and though I can't confirm a lot of details about his local background, he did live here, as cited on his personal page on Intelius. Plus, Hellhitch were listed for years on the old MySpace regional charts for Sault Ste. Marie despite never being based here, so I'm thinking he launched the page while on a visit home. Mike moved out of town at some point prior to 2005 (no reasonable guess when), and is still active in the Toronto music scene, most recently in an old school punk band named Brooklyn Fletcher, so if you see him playing down south in the near future, take note!

Band Bio: Hellhitch were active in the Toronto metal scene in the mid-2000s, playing shows from (at least) 2004-2006. 2005 appears to have been their peak year, and it was only in October of that year when the band's MySpace page was launched. One of Lion Ride's favourite Toronto venues, The Bovine Sex Club, appeared to be a frequent site for their concerts, and they played their last gig there in early 2006. Employing a southern rock-influenced style of metal including a good amount of originals, Hellhitch made some waves in the scene, and a few online sites openly praised them and their sound! Sadly, information on Hellhitch is hard to come by, so I apologize for the lack of specific details on the band. Mike was most recently visibly active in Brooklyn Fletcher as previously mentioned, while Tyler and Marcel later found themselves in another Toronto area band named Angelsmoke, with Tyler later moving to Alberta. I don't think they ever played a Sault area show, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

Hellhitch have two audio recordings online that I know of, their originals "Cocaine Caviar" and "Broken Bones". My favourite of the two is "Cocaine Caviar", which reminds me of a more Southern-type metal band with a certain swagger and rawness that's refreshing! Reminds me a bit of if a late '70s hard rock type band and a Southern rock band were blended together. Mike is a pretty good singer, and compared to most metal singers I hear for SMS purposes, he's pretty unique in style, employing a melodic and deep, but gritty voice! The backing instrumentation is good all around, nothing "mindblowing", but the band were definitely capable musicians and got their message across in their music, especially Marcel on drums! I lump Hellhitch in as a good band to have a drink to and have a good time, they have that vibe down pat, without sounding like AC/DC to pull that off! "Broken Bones" isn't as good, taking a mellow laid back feel through most of it that seems out of character, but still well played. I don't know what kind of full repetoire Hellhitch had for originals and live shows, but from what I've heard, they are promising, and deserve to be heard again!

Check out both of Hellhitch's posted originals at this location! I can't find a video of Hellhitch online at all, so to make up for that, and to try to expand Hellhitch's sound and reach, I have uploaded "Cocaine Caviar" to The Sault Metal Scene's YouTube channel! Good stuff, check it out below, and more from Hellhitch at the above links!

Kilacel (Muskegon, Michigan)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics)

Luke Ponce (vocals)
Chris Webster (guitar)
Chris Leask (bass)
Matt Millering (drums)
Kyle Klinefelter (bass)

Official blog: http://kilacel.blogspot.com
Official Twitter page: http://twitter.com/kilacel
Official MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/kilacel
Official Reverbnation page: http://reverbnation.com/kilacel
Official Facebook group: http://facebook.com/group.php?gid=123438708135

Local Info: Two members of Kilacel had local ties, including final bassist Chris Leask, who has been recently prominent in the Sault Michigan hard rock bands Power Slug, River Witch, Great Bodily Harm, and Blind Baby! Chris' bands have been very visible in recent years, particularly Power Slug, so be sure to keep an eye out for them! As well, guitarist Chris Webster was a member of the partly-local hard rock band Elipzis in the early 2010s, with his very clear guitar skills helping them play numerous major concerts both locally and in the Lower Peninsula, before Elipzis parted ways in the summer of 2011. Though I can't confirm if he ever shared a local residence, keep an eye out for him in the Muskegon cover rock band Live Radio! It should also be noted that their MySpace page credited ex-I.S.O.M. drummer Bart "Black Trab" Rennels as a guest musician.

Band Bio: Kilacel were formed by frontman Luke Ponce and Chris Webster in late 2007 after Luke's return to Muskegon following a stint living in California. They soon added drummer Matt Millering to the lineup, and after a few attempts to get a bassist, they settled on Kyle Klinefelter in early 2009, though he'd be replaced by Chris Leask earlier this year. The band rose quickly in the Muskegon rock scene, winning a notable battle of the bands last year to earn a slot on the Muskegon Summer Celebration festival, opening for bands like Pop Evil and Saving Abel! They also gained some press on Musekgon-area television and newspapers at their peak, along with playing many concerts in the area, not to mention in Sault Michigan also, notably at The Corner Pub. Work was announced on an LP, but Kilacel went on hiatus in April 2010 for family reasons, as there were "3 babies on the way" according to their Twitter page, and are now presumably defunct. However, Luke and Matt have resurfaced in the Nunica, Michigan hard rock band Coldville, who share a similar sound to Kilacel.

I have to say, Kilacel's sound is familiar once you hear it, reminding me on first listen of something you'd hear on rock radio, but I think it deserves more credit than that. Luke Ponce has aggressive vocals when need be, but can also keep a nice melody, even when offering pseudo rap vocals on songs like "All You Get"! The band injects a lot of influences in their sound, including a bit of progressive rock that helps to differ themselves from other bands of their style. Chris Webster supplies some pretty good riffing and solos, while Kyle Klinefelter handled the low end well, and Matt Millering was definitely skilled on the drums! Can't comment on how Chris Leask sounded in Kilacel, but his local should be an indication. Kilacel added a nice spin to a familiar radio hard rock sound, and even though Coldville share a similar sound, a Kilacel reunion wouldn't come amiss!

The only page of Kilacel's with original material is their MySpace page, which has two originals, "All You Get" and "Ignite The Cell". My favourite (and the heavier of the two) is "All You Get", but check them both out! Their MySpace page also has some studio clips and a drum solo from Matt Millering, but if you want to see the band playing a full song, YouTube has you covered! YouTube user laner7 uploaded three clips of Kilacel's set at 2009's Muskegon Summer Celebration to their channel, including live renditions of "Ignite The Cell", "All You Get", and my personal favourite, "Shotgun Bullet Baby", which you can check out below!

There we go, our 8th Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile is complete! I am admittedly lacking details on both bands above, but they did deserve to be profiled regardless! Still, if you can help fill in any gaps, add additional information, or correct a mistake, don't hesitate to e-mail me at robertfigures@hotmail.com! As for which out of town bands will be profiled next month? Well, I have chosen Fifth Way, the Detroit hard rock band featuring former Saultite/LSSU graduate Zak Stelmaszek, and the new solo project from Lion Ride guitarist Marky Lion (a.k.a. Mark Rand!) Watch out for those between September 17th and 23rd!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for much more local metal news and updates very soon, including my next album review at some point in the next week, previews of this weekend's concerts, and much more! I'll be back before you know it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

As It Stands' Return & Nixxon Dixxon's End, Plus 7/47 And AtrophiA News!!

It's assorted news time at The Sault Metal Scene, with the latest Woods of Ypres news, some needed updating I made to one of our recent profile posts, and a local band's reemergence, but first we welcome back (and say farewell) to two prominent local bands! Here's what you need to know on this Monday afternoon!

As It Stands are BACK! The local hardcore band last seen in January 2009 have reunited with their classic lineup intact, and have been announced as the local openers for September 2nd's Endast/Blood Drunk concert at Foggy Notions! Their involvement in this show is confirmed at both a brand new Facebook event page and at As It Stands' MySpace page. The event page also confirms that the concert will have a $5 cover charge and an unnaturally early start time for a show at Foggy's, that being 6:30 PM, running through 11:00 PM. Despite the start time, nothing I've read indicates any difference to the age limits, so it's probably still 19+. Check the above links for more, I can't wait for this concert! Great to see As It Stands back, they were one of the more prominent local hardcore bands of recent years, even releasing an EP at their peak! This will be their first show that I know of in almost 20 months, after which the band broke up and reformed as Out Of The Mouth Of Babes, with Josh McNally & Matt Maccarone singing at varying points. We only got to see OOTMOB live once, in February at Nite-Life Dance Club's portion of Algoma Hope4Haiti, and though I can't confirm whether OOTMOB are still active or not, As It Stands are definitely back in action! I'll keep you posted with updates on their return show with Endast and more, and IF ANYONE HAS A COPY OF THEIR EP, LET ME KNOW!!!

Next up, I can confirm what I'm sure many of you were fearing: Nixxon Dixxon are breaking up. This past weekend's shows at The Bird were their last. As far as I can tell, the breakup is mostly due to Jake LaLonde's relocation to California to attend The Musicians Institute (no, I don't have word on if he made the finals yet), and though it's a shame that they're not staying together with at least a temporary drummer, I appreciate that they don't want to replace their friend and bandmate that easily! No statements have been made concerning their end on their MySpace page, but frontman Brandon Carr worded his thoughts very well on his personal Facebook page. Here's what he had to say:
"All those years in Jacob Lalonde's basement and Chris Hubbard's garage come full circle. And thanks to Kyle Beaumont, we sure had some good laughs. All that goofing around never felt we were trying to get better, just doing something that made sense to us. Through thick and thin we always have each other, and making music with ya guys sure helped push away a lot of those empty feelings. Nixxon Dixxon's last gig"
It's clear to me that Nixxon Dixxon loved playing together, and they've came a long way in the process. Once just a young local cover band, they've rapidly grown in recognition and success, and they are literally going out on top. Not many teenagers can say they opened for Bret Michaels, let alone twice, and they definitely had the talent to back it up! When I said they were one the most talented bands in Sault Michigan, I meant it! Age restrictions and my lack of a vehicle precluded me from seeing a full show of theirs, but I always enjoyed the YouTube videos I saw and the songs I heard on MySpace (frankly, they should repost them.) Sault Ontario music fans got a chance to see Nixxon Dixxon at December's Kiss Battle of the Bands, and the fact that a Sault Michigan band few had heard of made it to the finals surprised many, but not me. I had them as a dark horse to win, and deservingly so! I don't know what the future holds for them, but I wish Jake the best of luck in California, and I hope the rest of the guys get back in a new band soon, cause there's too much talent there to not use in music somehow! And if they do re-emerge in the local scene, we'll be watching!

Thirdly, remember 7/47, the young local hard rock quartet featuring Free Refill drummer Mike Pascoe on guitar? Well, we hadn't heard much from them since last August (their MySpace page is very outdated), but they never broke up, and recently played a set in Mackinac City with a new lineup! I have no idea what the occasion was for this show, but it appears to be recent, and you can see the banner on stage for The Guitar Studio Rock Camp, who 7/47 were formed through. I can't 100% verify who's in the current lineup, except for bassist Jack Slater, who uploaded three videos from said show onto his YouTube channel! I'm assuming that Mike Pascoe and drummer Joe North are still in 7/47, but going by photo evidence, it looks like Tyler Wall (Mike's former Free Refill bandmate) is not in 7/47 anymore. Of course, if I'm wrong, let me know! Most striking to me is 7/47's new female singer, who actually has a pretty good voice, though it got wavery at points on heavier rangier stuff. Jack uploaded videos in the past week of 7/47 covering Sublime's "Santeria", Seether's "Broken", and the video I'm embedding below, their rendition of Halestorm's "It's Not You"! Good stuff, check it out below, and hopefully we hear some updated information and local dates from 7/47 soon!

It's odd, this post is taking a roller coaster effect. A band returning, a band ending, a band returning, and now, a band that's already ended! As you know, I've been trying in recent months to include monthly feature posts, generally for band profiles and such. Well, I want to try and update old ones as new information about certain bands comes out, and that scenario recently came up for AtrophiA, the first band I profiled in our Defunct Local Band Profile Series. I went back and made some edits to my SMS profile on them, and because it's not a front page story, I'll tell you what I changed to bring it up to date! I added former bassist Ryan Gray to the lineup (you'll recognize him from bands like Sindicate and Batteries Not Included), I added that they used to be called Metal Militia, and biggest of all, I posted a video! I thought that the AtrophiA profile looked too bare without a video of some kind, so I ripped the videos that guitarist Andrew Chiarello posted on Facebook, combined them together into one video (as none were full songs), and posted it to our YouTube channel WITH COMPLETELY GOOD INTENT to give the profile an embeddable video to check out!

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! Besides, people should see these clips more, and YouTube videos are definitely more widespread than videos on Facebook! Good quality too, check the clips out below, and check out the newly updated SMS profile on AtrophiA by clicking here!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for news from Gates of Winter and Woods of Ypres (including, maybe, the answers to all the questions?) And yes, tomorrow will bring our newest Saultites In Out Of Town Bands profile, so watch out for that as well! Thanks everyone!