Tuesday, April 30, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tym Morrison & 415E), The Return Of The Issues, And More!!

Once again, we have news for a 64th straight day at the SMS, so what's on tap? Along with updates to one of our monthly feature series and some more recent shorter stories, we have a local metal band's return and LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS on both sides of the border, so here's what you need to know on this Tuesday evening!

Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return to The Road House Bar & Grill for a show on Friday, May 31st! It's odd to see a lot of advance notice like this for one of his shows here, but Tym's successful and prolific relationship with this Trunk Road restaurant/venue is working out well for his unplugged cover shows, and hopefully there's a big turnout at the end of the month! Admission should be free for this 19+ concert, and Tym will be on at 10:00 PM on the 31st. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be another fun night of metal & hard rock classics from Tym Morrison at the end of May, so don't miss out on another packed night of acoustic covers, stay tuned for more from his solo work as it comes in, and stay tuned later this week for news on the Caveman Morrison band's return to the stage (sooner than you think!)

The other new concerts take place on July 12th & 13th at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, as local metal/hard rock quartet 415E will take the stage! Though their online pages continue to hype a return to the stage next month following their debut at the Sebastian Bach concert in January, their first publically confirmed solo dates are in July at the Soo Kewadin. If the May dates don't pan out, we'll still see the new band featuring Splitshot & Highest of Fives alumni on stage this summer, and it will be great to see their Van Halen-influenced covers & originals back out there! These shows were quietly announced on Kewadin Casino's entertainment page in recent weeks, and just in case, no other new hard rock shows were announced at the local branches recently (unless the still unknown Sir Charge count.) The July shows should have no cover charge, 10:00 PM start times, and 21+ age limits, so check the above links for more details, and hopefully 415E rock the roof off of the lounge come July! Stay tuned for more from them!

In another recent development, do you guys remember the "derd rock" band The Issues that was active in the late 2000s? Well, they returned from a three year hiatus earlier this month! Just as a refresher, The Issues were a 2008-2010 studio-only metal project that were known for hidden identities, fake concert postings, often amusing posts, and entertaining Winkstinger-esque songs (which isn't a surprise, as Alan "Power" Wells sang for both bands), but they had been dormant until activity resumed on their Facebook page on May 3rd! Their new lineup includes singer Velvit Bretfield (a.k.a. Pillory/Lazer Queen drummer Bret Shuttleworth) and guitarist Robbie Rockit (Robert Sartini from Pillory & Crimson Crusade), along with founding members Vinyl Muto on bass and Mullet Studborne on drums, though their identities are still not clear. Their other former members have since departed, including at least two Winkstinger members, and late Pillory guitarist Andres "Denim" Duchesne.

The Issues had some creative and heavy metal & punk material in their original run, but I am curious to hear more from their current lineup, and maybe the relaunched band will play some real local concerts?I like where they were going, so check out Issues material at the links above, and stay tuned for updates!

Also, here's three recent shorter news stories from the last little while, and as always, these are in alphabetical order by artist or venue name:
  • As it's now a host to two distinct local metal/hard rock shows (Bushplane Musical Madness last fall and Heavy North in September), I've added The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center to our Sault Ontario concert venue listings on your left, so head there for contact information and their website! Here's hoping we see more shows there down the road!
  • If you're curious for more details on ex-Lion Ride guitarist Mark Rand's new Cross Dog project (who are opening for The Dayglo Abortions locally in September), they are definitely Peterborough based, and they feature him on bass alongside his girlfriend Tracy Ashenden on vocals/guitar & Mark's ex-Lumbermen bandmate Mikey Reid on drums. My source is Tracy via Facebook conversations, and she told me their genre is "hardcore punk meets stoner rock fusion." Very interesting, I'm curious to hear more!
  • Local singer Sara Densmore is apparently looking to get into a band, and while she emphasized that she likes country, she also can pull off Evanescence, Queen, and Paramore material. If you're interested in seeing if she'd fit your band, message her at this location or see her post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group from April 18th!

Finally for today, here's some recent updates to our Battle of the Bands Rewind Profiles! First, on our Skid Row Battle profile, I updated the section on what the competitors did post-battle to reflect the return of Free Beer (now Sarah's Valley) and their run at the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands this past month, along with notes on the likely demise of Sue Inside. I also added extra details for winners Sense of Truth's run at the Kiss Battle of the Bands the following year, and noted guitarist Steve Myers' podium run with The Pesto Shirts at the Rockstar Bar Battle. Finally, I replaced The Business Suit Trappers in the section on performers' later bands with guitarist Mike Yakasovich's current punk band Crawfather. And for updates to our 2008 Case's Music Battle profile, I noted Behind Society drummer Josh Hatherley's battle finals run with Late & Loud this month, while also making some possibly confusing changes to the section on competitors' later bands. To sum it up, I renamed Unbound to their current name With Blood Build Character, while I removed the original band with that name and replaced them with their predecessors March Into Regression, who were longer lived & played live more. Stay tuned for more updates to profiles in this series soon!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news hopefully tomorrow, and if not, weekend concert previews on Thursday! Thanks everyone!

Monday, April 29, 2013

An Inactive Local Hardcore Band, New Song Postings, And More Recent Updates!!

We have some more news to get to on this Monday afternoon, so what's in store? Along with a few recent news updates, we have new song postings from two wildly different local projects (from recent physical releases), and leading off, what looks like a notable local band's descent into inactivity, so here's what you need to know!

It looks like local hardcore quartet Changing Waves have either broken up or fallen inactive. This hasn't been officially confirmed on the band's online pages, but they've offered no public updates since June, or played live since July. Plus, guitarist Michael Hagerman reportedly moved to Toronto earlier this month for school, and bassist Terrence Gomes has been focusing on his punk band The Northern Tragedy recently, so the odds of them functioning at present seem low. Featuring alumni of Paraside & Good Morning Gorilla in their lineups, Changing Waves debuted as a surprise late addition at November 2010's Total Chaos show at The Oddfellows Hall, and they became a steady and increasingly popular sight at local concerts for the next year & a half, including 13 Rosie metal night appearances, sets opening for bands like Unleash The Archers, Abriosis, and Tribune, and the release of a free demo in 2011. I don't know if something happened internally last year, but Changing Waves were a fun live band with a lot of talent, and their stage presences and energy drastically improved as they went along!

I hope last summer wasn't the last we've seen of Changing Waves, but at least they hit some big heights together, and best of luck to Benjamin, Michael, Terrence, Alex, and Devan in the future! Hopefully everyone stays active in music in some form down the road!

Next up, here's the latest from Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands runner-ups Haggith! The rising local grunge quartet reportedly finished recording their second "mainline" album (and third total studio release) "Deuce" early this morning, and will reportedly release it on May 10th (one week from Friday), which is the one year anniversary of their formation! The CD booklet is all that's needed to complete before pressing copies or posting a for sale copy online, though no word yet on if the date has a linked release concert in mind. If this comes out as planned next month, I'll definitely have a Haggith CD review on the site in June, though I'm not sure as of yet on if it will be "Deuce", their second album "Apocalypse", or drummer Mike Haggith's solo album "The Present Din". In cases like this, I'll either go with the biggest or heaviest release, but time will tell! While we wait, the guys posted two more studio tracks from "Deuce" onto the band's YouTube channel in the past week!

Including the previously announced cover of Mike's solo track "To Whom This May Concern", and a newly unveiled track named "Time For A Change", both feature Curtis McKenzie on lead vocals, while bassist Caleb Cachagee does feature on the former track. "Time For A Change" is a slow building number with a lot of softer elements, but I've embedded the darker & heavier "To Whom This May Concern" below, so give it a listen, and stay tuned for more details on the release of "Deuce"!

Also, local grindcore solo project Crucify The Whore posted a handful of new songs onto their label/studio Blood Shed Productions' YouTube channel in the past week! All are on the "Grindshed" split demo with C.T.W. mainman Ringsnaps Gibson's similar Tomgrindy project (which was reportedly released on Friday), and they include songs named "I Will Crucify The Whore", "You Don't Have To Want To, Because I Do", and three other songs (here, here, and here) that feature possibly offensive sexual references, so be warned if you're easily offended. If you're familiar with C.T.W. material, you'll know what to expect out of these songs, as they're generally short & full of guttural pig squeal vocal effects, but I will admit that there is some more variance on some of these, including some better guitar riffing, techno influences, and pseudo-rapping. At least their sound is getting fuller, but unless you're an established fan of goregrind music, this will be an acquired taste, though I still respect their stances and intent! Check out "I Will Crucify The Whore" below, and hear more at the above links if you want!

And finally for today, here's three recent shorter news updates from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • I've moved local solo musician Neno Jovanovic to our inactive Sault Ontario band links, as his solo project (formerly known as Metallurgy) has issued no public updates since a year ago today. Neno's a talented guitarist, and he knows his way around some solid covers and originals, so hopefully he revisits his music at some point in the future!
  • I apologize for how late this is, but Fred Kember of the 705 Video Magazine posted a review of the April 13th Ripcordz' concert at The Algonquin Pub onto their site two weeks ago! Featuring thoughts on both The Ripcordz & Destroilet's sets (he was late for T-Rex Manning), he highly praised the show, even citing it as proof that "there is still hope for music out there", but check the above links to give it a full look (and to hear some Ripcordz songs not played that night!)
  • While a local debut remains unannounced, new hard rock cover quintet The Thrill Junkies (essentially Turner Up & Havadder's successors) finished in 5th at the Rock N' Roar Battle of the Bands in Spanish on April 6th, earning a slot opening for Loverboy & Lee Aaron at the Rock N' Roar festival there on August 17th! Nice to see The Thrill Junkies repeat Havadder's success from last year, and best of luck come August! (FYI, local classic rock band Griphook also competed, but did not place.)

That's all for today, but stay tuned hopefully tomorrow for another news post! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Sleep When You're Dead), New Woods Of Ypres/Juno Award Videos, And More!!

On day 62 of our posting streak, we have a lot of big stuff to get to, so what's in this post? It's half dedicated to new videos relating to Woods of Ypres, including embeddable clips from the Juno Awards and some awesome new rehearsal/practice footage from a few years back, but first, we have news from a newer promoter's upcoming concerts, including a lineup change and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, so here's what you need to know! (Updated on Monday at 1:22 PM)

A new ALL AGES metal/punk concert has been confirmed for The Oddfellows Hall on Wednesday, May 29th, and it will be headlined by Oshawa hardcore quintet Sleep When You're Dead! Though previously unfamiliar to me, this aggressive metalcore act have some really solid originals and stage experience under their belts, so don't miss this upcoming stop on their Tear It Up & Start Again Canadian tour! There will be at least two local opening slots, one of which will feature the first 2013 appearance of local extreme metal standouts Winkstinger! Dormant since July's Sewer Swampstravaganza, this will mark the live debut of the Battle For The Blood winners' new lineup, though public information on their new bassist (and new rhythm guitarist?) has yet to be revealed. I'll keep you guys posted if something comes out before the show, but it's great to see the guys back to incite more mosh pits after a 10 month stage hiatus! The other opening band was advertised to be local/Toronto classical/punk trio RedD Monkey in their own 2013 debut, but cellist Pete Mozarowski confirmed on the Facebook event page that they wouldn't be playing.

I don't know if the announcement was premature, or if RedD Monkey had to drop out, but it's disappointing, as their fast and unique punk sound has been missed since December! This concert (which is being promoted by AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent) has an $8 cover charge, a 7:00 PM start time, and is ALL AGES like Jamie's other concerts. For more details, check the above links! This sounds like a quality concert for hardcore/metal fans, and with no age limits and a familiar location, it's all the better, so keep it in mind for May 29th, and I'll let you guys know when/if a second opening band is confirmed! Also in news relating to Jamie's recent concerts, there's been a lineup change for his upcoming Royal Red Brigade-headlined punk concert at The Oddfellows Hall on May 10th, as new local punk band Crawfather have dropped off the bill, as per that show's Facebook event page yesterday. A reason wasn't announced beyond that they "had to cancel", but hopefully we'll get a chance to see/hear them soon! Replacing them (and giving an extra metal kick to this show) is local grindcore rockers Shit Liver, in their first local concert in almost three months!

Also playing The Oddfellows Hall for the first time since July, this should be a solid showcase for Josh, Mike, and Matt in a couple of weeks, so don't miss their crusty & grimy sounds amidst the punk and grunge acts on May 10th! It's great to see Jamie introducing some more local acts with established live track records into his shows, and hopefully his all ages promotion snowballs further into the summer! Stay tuned for updates and news on these and more of Jamie's upcoming hard rock-featured concerts!

We'll close today's post with some new Woods of Ypres-related videos, starting with embeddable footage of their acceptance speech for their Best Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Juno Award from last weekend! On Wednesday, YouTube user Darcy Inness posted two takes of their speech onto his YouTube channel, including the video from Dropbox that we initially mentioned, and in a bit of a surprise, some pro-shot footage of their speech! Also featuring the actual announcement of the win and some pre-speech slideshow clips, it shows both guitarist Joel Violette and late frontman David Gold's mom Esther's speeches, and it's much nicer in video quality and angle, allowing us to see the genuine emotions and feelings expressed by them, along with a bit of the crowd partaking in Esther's horn-raised chant of David's name! I have no idea where Darcy found this video, but kudos to him, as it's great to see this in higher quality! Give it a look below, and see the original lower quality Dropbox video at the above links!

Finally for today, Gates of Winter/ex-Woods of Ypres guitarist Bryan Belleau uploaded 47 minutes of footage of David Gold and him practicing Woods of Ypres songs onto his YouTube channel on Wednesday! Likely filmed in 2009 (possibly 2008), I believe these were shot in Sault Ste. Marie, and they feature David leading Bryan through some vocal & guitar renditions of songs from their second album "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth", including tracks like "Shedding The Deadwood", "Summer's Envy", and "The Sun Was In My Eyes". Uploaded in two parts (the last few minutes are viewable here), this is really cool to see, as it shows David teaching how to play some quality Woods of Ypres songs, especially as "Woods II" songs weren't the most prominent in post-2007 concerts. It works on that level, and now we know how "Shedding The Deadwood" might have sounded if played live in the late 2000s! Kudos to Bryan for posting these finally, and give David & Bryan jamming some "Woods II" tracks a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news as the week rolls on and April wraps up! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Garden Of Bedlam/Skeyes Of Seven Concert Review!!

For our second post of the day, it's time for our last concert review of April, and with The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands concluded, it's nice to be back in a spectator capacity again for a full concert review! Of course, last night was the Garden of Bedlam/Skeyes of Seven return gig there, which is the sole content of this post, but check out a bunch of major upcoming concert updates & announcements, plus the identity of our next CD review, in the post below this one! Now, what went down yesterday? The review lies below!

Opening last night's show was local hard rock quintet Skeyes of Seven in their Rockstar Bar debut, and their first show since launching at last July's Anvil concert! Their set included most of the songs from their first gig, along with a bunch of newly unveiled tracks, including covers of Slipknot, Stone Sour, Breaking Benjamin, and Tool songs, the previously unveiled original "Destinations Unknown", 4 brand new originals, and in a surprise addition, a cover of Sense of Truth's "Crawling" (as 2/5ths of Skeyes of Seven were in S.O.T.) Aside from the obviously longer set, Skeyes of Seven sounded & looked much better and tighter, and if there was rust from their 9 month layoff, it was hard to detect! Cory Murchison's vocals were hard edged and melodic, the riffs were on point, and they had good energy! Also, I like that they didn't cover last year's Avenged Sevenfold covers, as I found they didn't fit their style well.

The only main problems I had were that Jonny Amendola's drumming was often muffled (especially on some of the covers), and I'd like to see Alain Fletcher throw some more guitar solos into the originals, especially on ones that used the 8 string guitar. Overall though, Skeyes of Seven had a great first set back, and here's hoping they come back with even more at more shows in 2013!

Headlining last night was prominent local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam in their first show in 6 months and despite their own recent layoff, they were on fire as well! Though their set was abbreviated due to sharing the bill, fans ate up their 14 song selection, which included 7 songs from "Everything Will Die", a couple from their debut EP, and 5 covers, including Metallica, Pantera, Tool, and Volbeat renditions! No new originals, sadly, but no one seemed to mind either, and the good will was quite visible for their return! Musically, Garden of Bedlam were as strong as ever, despite an early guitar issue, and the guys all shown their talents nicely, especially with how well Buzz's vocals hold up (but  he wasn't as clearly audible on heavier songs.) Josh & Evan Belleau were as good as ever on guitar & bass, and Derek Turner's drums blasted through the music as you'd expect! Gotta love the crowd sing-along for "├ćnema" too, that's always an awesome moment!

Overall, this was an awesome concert, and a nice cap to a busy month of metal and hard rock shows at The Algonquin Hotel's two bars! Hopefully we'll see Garden of Bedlam back later this year with more big shows, but for now, click here to see our photos from last night, or visit our Facebook page! And yes, I did get a couple of videos, so here's Skeyes of Seven playing their new original "No One Cares", and Garden of Bedlam covering their second of two Metallica classics, "Of Wolf & Man"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned TOMORROW for a new concert featuring a notable metal band return, new videos of Woods of Ypres at the Juno Awards, and more! Thanks everyone!

Major Announcements On New Johnny Pints Concerts, Plus Late & Loud's New EP!!

Before we review last night's Garden of Bedlam show (videos should be posted on Facebook in the next couple of hours), we have a new news post covering many recent stories, so what's on tap? Mostly news concerning local concert promoter (and prolific metal/punk singer) J.D. Pearce, who has even more big news coming for 2013 concerts, so that will lead off, but also watch for news on lineup additions for a previously announced gig, another one being moved, and a recent EP re-release. Without any further adieu, here's what you need to know!

The aforementioned J.D. Pearce (a.k.a. Johnny Pints) is going to try promoting a metal/punk festival this fall that he's calling Heavy North! Planned to be held at The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center at 50 Pim Street, the aim appears for this to be a multi-day event starting on September 27th, and it will likely feature out of town headliners and local acts, though full details have yet to be announced (i.e. bands, ticket availability, age restrictions, other ground rules.) Most local music festivals that we have in town are either geared towards more mainstream genres (i.e. Rotaryfest) or one-off (like many charitable events), so if this is a success, it could be huge and encourage this to become an annual event! Of course, that was the aim of last year's Ypres Metal Fest. I think J.D. has the drive and resources to pull this off and see if it will be successful, but given the Heavy North branding, I'd like to see an emphasis on local/Northern Ontario bands and non-regional acts with former Saultites in their lineup. I'm sure things will fall into place as we get into the summer, so stay tuned for updates, and message the above links if you want in on Heavy North!

In a possibly related note, the July 8th SNFU/Death By Stereo concert originally planned for the Bushplane Museum was moved to The Canadian Nightclub (who hosted Death By Stereo's last show here in 2009) on Wednesday, as per the Facebook event page. A reason wasn't announced, but could it have been to save the museum for Heavy North? Either way, the SNFU show will be huge, and it still has a huge venue, so click the above links for more details!

Also in new event announcements is The Crusade, a multi-band cancer fundraising concert to be held at The Canadian Nightclub on Monday, May 20th. This is a cause close to J.D., as his mother has survived cancer battles multiple times, so you know this event will be done right! Cancer sucks, I lost my grandmother & step-grandfather to it, so I know full well the importance of an event like this! This ALL AGES event will take place from 12:00 PM to midnight on May 20th, and admission is by donation (or, pay what you can), with a suggested amount of $5. All proceeds will go to The Canadian Cancer Society & The Relay For Life, and while no bands have been announced yet, J.D. emphasized on the Facebook event page that unlike his usual punk/metal/hardcore shows, this is open to everyone! I'd assume some harsher bands will be a part, but expect a wider variance of acts for The Crusade.

If you're interested in playing (all genres are welcome), or would like to donate prizes for likely draws, message J.D. at this location, and get more details above! This sounds like a great event for an awesome cause, so contact the above links to get involved, ad keep an eye out for any SMS-leaning band announcements!

Lastly for updates on J.D.'s upcoming concerts, the local support for the Skeletonwitch-headlined metal show at The Canadian Nightclub on June 3rd is now official, and rather than just one band, we have two, including local melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters! Fresh off of their best ever local Battle of the Bands finish from Wednesday night, their concert pace continues to slowly pick up, and this major show will be their first at The Canadian since (I think) opening for Fuck The Facts last May! The other newly confirmed opening band is local death metal quartet Crimson Crusade (featuring Pillory & Inhuman Methods alumni) in their first concert since The Locals Attack at The Canadian in November! Though only sporadically seen with recent lineups, their Death-influenced sound attracted a lot of positive notices last fall, and they've been busy working on a yet-released EP so far this year, so we'll have to see how they sound and perform in their long awaited return! Check the above links for more on this huge concert in June, and I know I'll see you guys there!

Finally, here's what you should know on local classic metal quartet Late & Loud's CD release from their finals appearance at The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands Finals! As in the Saigon Hookers' show in November, Late & Loud sold $5 copies of "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal" on Wednesday night for fans & attendees, though this was an expanded version subtitled "Still Hard", featuring 4 new songs! The cover art is on your left, and the disc features the 5 songs from the initial EP release (as recorded at The Smoke & Oak Room with Dave Pihlaja), albeit newly ordered. The other 4 songs include re-recordings of "Never Again" & "Love Letter Lockdown" (last year's bonus tracks), plus two brand new recordings ("Trouble" & "Live For Excess".) The 4 new tracks were produced by singer/guitarist Jonathan Tiberi's Daybreak Johnnies bandmate Steve Hopkin, and without reviewing them yet, the quality is better than on last year's bonus songs! The re-release also includes an expanded booklet (including more band photos), a psychedelic custom design on each disc, and a slimmer jewel case.

I fully plan on reviewing the "HRHM" re-release next month on the site (hopefully sooner rather than later), so there's our May CD review at the SMS! I just hope Wednesday wasn't their last show, and I hope Late & Loud stay alive, even if just for sporadic reunion gigs when Jon comes back north. The off-podium finish for the guys is bound to be disappointing, but to their fans (myself included), it was fun and business as usual, and if it was their last, they went out with a bang! Stay tuned for updates as they come in, and keep an eye out for our review of the EP next month!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for my review of last night's Garden of Bedlam/Skeyes of Seven concert later tonight! Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Flint

Before I head off to The Rockstar Bar for Garden of Bedlam & Skeyes of Seven's return to the stage, here's our last feature post of the month, that being our latest Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! As always, this monthly feature looks at a metal/hard rock band from out of town that featured a past/present Sault Ste. Marie resident in any of their lineups! This month's chosen band is fitting given it's ex-Saultite member's recent local prominence, so read on below for this month's profile, and if anything's missing or incorrect, please let me know! (Updated on November 27th, 2014)
Flint (Edmonton, Alberta)

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

Benjamin Sept (vocals)
Connor O'Brien (guitar)
Matt McKeen (guitar)
Karlan Morrison (bass)
Jesse Silkie (drums)

Huy Do (guitar)
Frank Pirker (bass)
Jamie Vincent (bass)

Official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/flintedmonton
Official Facebook group: http://facebook.com/groups/60260754223
Official MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/flintedmonton
Official BandCamp page: http://flint.bandcamp.com
Official YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/flinttelevision
Official Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/flintedmonton

Local Info: The only Saultite to have played with Flint is ex-bassist Jamie Vincent, who's recently been very prominent in the local scene! Originally known locally from guitar work in bands like Fuller, Jamie moved back to Sault Ste. Marie last July, and he's since resurfaced locally as a drummer with the sludge metal band AlgomA, frontman of the grunge duo Bad Back, collaborator in the local/Peterborough hardcore project Kidshit, and as a local concert promoter (specializing in all ages concerts.) Before returning home, Jamie had lived & worked in Edmonton since around 2008, during which time he played bass with Flint!

Band Bio: Evolving from the prior 2007-2009 ambient/experimental band The Newborn Ghosts, Flint are a hardcore punk/noise rock quintet that officially launched in October 2009, debuting live the following month. After completing their full lineup with singer Ben Sept's addition in mid-2010, Flint became a steady sight in the Alberta music scene, including the release of at least four EPs, tour dates throughout the western provinces, and numerous headlining and opening dates in Alberta, including opening slots for bands like Brain Fever, This City Defects, and Greys. Jamie Vincent played bass with the band from shortly after their launch through last summer, when he moved back to Sault Ste. Marie, and was replaced by Karlan Morrison. Their current lineup has stayed busy with more notable concerts, the release of their music video for "The News", and an increased online presence, so follow Flint on their online pages to see what's going down with them at present!

Flint's sound is hard to pin down into one genre, but they have a chaotic noisy sound that is sure to be instant moshpit fuel for their concerts! Picture hardcore punk, garage rock, and The Dillinger Escape Plan thrown in a blender, but even that doesn't even cover it all. Their live concerts are full of life, and Benjamin Sept's vocals are very aggressive and passioned from what I've seen, adding to their unique feel! Musically, it's hard to compare Flint to a lot of bands we touch on for the SMS, as their style is intentionally noisy and chaotic, but Connor & Matt's assaulting guitar work is a perfect fit, and both Jamie and Karlan were up to the task on bass! Jesse Silkie really shines on drums too, and while this style of music isn't my overall favourite, I appreciate it's originality and avoidance of traditional structures! I think Flint have a good thing going, and hopefully the best is yet to come!

For online media, most of Flint's pages linked above have viewable media, including three EPs on their BandCamp page, 12 videos/song postings on their YouTube channel, and a single track on MySpace, so check the above links to get your Flint fix! There's not much for decent quality live videos with Jamie on bass, but here's the first half of a 20 minute set that Flint's current lineup played last fall, featuring 4 original songs!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll look at another out of town band with a recent local musician, that being Lead The Dead, the former London, Ontario death/thrash metal band featuring current Giwakwa guitarist Chris Page! Watch out for that on or around May 26th, and stay tuned TOMORROW for two posts: One full of recent news updates, and our Garden of Bedlam concert review! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), This Weekend's Concert Previews, And A Cancellation!!

Now into 2 months of constant daily posts at the SMS, there's no end in sight, as today, we have previews of this weekend's metal/hard rock concerts! Before we begin though, just a note that Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands winners The Suicide Kings will NOT be playing at The Roosevelt Hotel tonight & tomorrow due to a double booking with local classic rock band Agave Blue (featuring That's Chester alumni.) Disappointing, but we'll see the guys back out there soon, as you know they've got momentum to ride for some more big sets! Now, here's the rest of the concert previews, starting with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will be playing another solo acoustic concert TONIGHT at The Road House Bar & Grill! Apologies for the short notice, but Tym announced the show late on Monday, and we couldn't fit it into anything early enough without a redundant re-posting (but there's still more notice than his show from last Friday!) As usual, Tym's solo unplugged dates are sure to be a solid night of metal & hard rock covers, and his continued relationship with this Trunk Road venue has been a success, so why not go out to The Road House for some music, and perhaps a drink? Plus, Caveman Morrison have been quiet in the past month, so Tym's solo gigs might help fill the gap! Admission should be free for TONIGHT'S show, which starts at 10:00 PM and likely has a 19+ age limit. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be another fun show from Tym Morrison's acoustic solo project, so keep it mind for this evening, and for a preview, here's Tym covering Heart's "Alone" as part of a 2011 Local2 report!

Now to the previously announced local metal/hard rock shows this weekend, starting with the long awaited return of Garden of Bedlam TONIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! Last seen 6 months ago at The Rad Zone's birthday party at the same venue, Garden of Bedlam remain one of the most prominent local metal bands in the region, and their hard hitting modern metal originals and covers should attract a huge crowd to one of their favourite concert spots later tonight, in just their second concert since opening for Anvil last summer! However, this show will be unique among Garden of Bedlam's Rockstar Bar dates, as for the first time, they have an opening band tonight, that being local hard rock supergroup Skeyes of Seven! Featuring Sense of Truth alumni Cory Murchison & Ron Baxter, Half Past guitarist Alain Fletcher, Tripod The Dog bassist Mike Mannarino, and Cherry Crush drummer Jonny Amendola, this will be just their second live concert (and first in 9 months), but I hear they'll have plenty of new originals and covers in store for their sophomore gig, so don't miss out TONIGHT!

A $5 cover is in effect for this 11:00 PM concert (with doors opening at 9:00 PM), and a 19+ age limit is to be expected. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an awesome concert, and I know I'll see you guys there, so don't miss these two big metal band returns TONIGHT! For a preview, here's Garden of Bedlam playing "With A Spark" at The Rockstar Bar in 2010!

In a bit of a jump in styles, there will be an acoustic grunge act playing an ALL AGES concert TOMORROW at The Royal Canadian Legion at 96 Great Northern Road, that being local lo-fi/alternative rock project Telephone & Address! The current musical endeavour from former F.F.B. alum & prolific local artist Christopher Shoust, his material is clearly unplugged but full of heavy-feeling material and themes, and if expanded to a full band, there'd be a lot of harder edged solo material in store! Picture a mix of grunge and outsider folk, if you can. Telephone & Address will be joined at this show (the first in almost 3 years that fits for SMS coverage) by local solo artist Jake Rydall (not to be confused with Blues Harvest/Pesto Shirts member Jake Rendell), and you can click here to check out his own talented unplugged music! This show (the second from AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent's all ages promotion agency) will take place tomorrow night at 9:00 PM, and there's a $5 cover. Check the above links for more details!

Though different from the norm on the SMS, it's good to see Chris playing shows again, and with a new-ish venue and unique sound, hopefully there's a good turnout for Telephone & Address' (perhaps?) live debut! I can't find a video of this project, but click here to see older and newer footage from Chris' local band projects, and keep it in mind this weekend!

Finally on the weekend schedule (for metal/hard rock leaning shows that I know of, at least), Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock quintet Banned will return to one of their recent favourite venues (Todd's Tavern in Moran) TOMORROW NIGHT! This is a one night only gig, I mistakenly put it as a full weekend engagement on our concert listings, so apologies for any confusion! Announced on the band's Facebook page last month, this continues Banned's frequent recent concert pace, and with Todd's Tavern being familiar ground for this widely varied quintet, expect a great set from their current lineup come tomorrow! Like other Moran shows, they'll be on at the early 8:00 PM start time tomorrow, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. Check the above links for more details! Banned always put in fun gigs, so take the drive down to Moran tomorrow if you can, and for a preview, here's Banned covering a Carrie Underwood song earlier this year!

That's all for now, but stay tuned likely before or during the Garden of Bedlam show for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Flint (featuring the aforementioned Jamie Vincent), and for a new news post of some type tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands Finals Recap!!

Hey guys, it's finally time for our recap of last night's final round of The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, and after three weeks of exciting semifinal action, each winning band (plus two wild cards) convened one last time at The Rockstar Bar for all of the marbles! Like the past three weeks, I will NOT be giving the full scores of the bands, nor will I personally critique or review the performances, as I was judging. Instead, like before, I'll just recap the performances and results, out of respect to all involved. Aside from Craig West returning from week 2 to do sound yesterday, and the increased number of bands, the setup was about the same, so check out our recaps of the past weeks for additional details. After a random drawing, the first finalist band to take the stage was week 3 winners The Bear Hunters, who increased their camouflage hunter look for their 5 song set of melodic death metal, including tracks like "Karma", "Render This Void", and the amusing return of guitarist Mitch Sirie's solo track "Squirrel Buddy"! However, the crowd for their set was clearly not as good as last week, which I chalk up as a combination of them going on first, and the crowd not being there for a ⅔rds death metal lineup like last week.

Second up was local folk/progressive quartet (and week 2's wild card) The Pesto Shirts, who played a 5 song mix of covers and originals, including songs like "Secret" and "Gypsy", and covers of Muse & Eurythmics tracks. Without giving away their score or placement, they clearly seemed to amp up their set for the finals, complete with a sizeable core of fans and a more determined presence (it was also fun seeing Steve Myers assist Alisa Borland on keyboard for part of a song!) Third last night was week 1 winners Late & Loud, and they clearly won the visual score with a nice big Japanese Rising Sun flag banner, a solid classic metal look (with departing guitarist Jon Tiberi channeling his Xanadu getup as well), the end-set smashing of Benn Garside's bass, and of course, their "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal" re-release! Their abbreviated set included a Judas Priest cover and originals like "Never Again" and "Fast As A Bitch", and fans ate up their energy, interactions, and enthusiasm!

Fourth on the bill was grunge rockers (and week 1's wild card) Haggith, who played a 6 song set featuring originals like "If You Get Out Alive" and "Wanko", including covers of Stone Temple Pilots and a throwback to the "Heavy Metal" movie soundtrack! Like The Pesto Shirts, they also turned in an amped up set of varied originals & covers that got their own fans going, and they seemed to prove themselves amongst the other competitors (also, kudos to them and their crew for singing along with "Chop Suey" between sets, that was pretty cool!) Capping off last night's lineup was week 2 winners The Suicide Kings, who played four newer originals for their very vocal fanbase (complete with signs), along with covers of Velvet Revolver, System of a Down, and Rage Against The Machine songs, and they put in a determined effort with some good hard rocking energy! I do think they could have been more interactive with their fans, but honestly, they were sparked the whole way through, so maybe it wasn't needed.

After The Suicide Kings wrapped up, the judges (Case's Music's Jay Case, The Rad Zone's Len Ward, and myself) tabulated the scores, and I'll emphasize right now that unlike the semifinals, the scores were NOT clear cut, and we all had wildly different scores and rankings for the 5 finalist bands. Without giving away individual scores, what I will say is that every band scored in the 70s or higher on the judges' individual scorecards, each band finished at least second on a judge's individual rankings, and while there were thankfully no ties like last year, 4 of the 5 bands were separated by just 10 points. With bands of this calibre and talent, there really was no losers, but who claimed first, second, and third place? Here are the winners from last night!

1st place: The Suicide Kings
2nd place: Haggith
3rd place: The Pesto Shirts

Congratulations to The Suicide Kings on securing their first ever battle of the bands win, and as a result of their victory, they won $1,000, 5 hours of recording time at Case's Music, and a guaranteed opening slot at one of J.D. Pearce's upcoming concerts (to be determined.) They also won a trophy each for their victory, and this has to be a huge boost for this still new local band! For taking second place, Haggith claimed $200, medals for their finish, a $50 Rad Zone gift card, and another guaranteed concert opening slot, while The Pesto Shirts won $100 and, a concert slot, and medals. Late & Loud and The Bear Hunters walked out with framed certificates for their participation, which double as 20%-off coupons for Case's Music purchases, which the top 3 bands also won. I'll admit that the final results were a big surprise from how I assumed they would go, but while I won't reveal my predictions or full thoughts on last night's bands, I will single out Haggith & The Pesto Shirts for not just being happy to be there as wild cards. Both bands came prepared with better overall sets, they didn't rest on their laurels, and they made things very interesting and stomped on any predictions that might have been made pre-battle!

And for Late & Loud and The Bear Hunters, you guys played great sets too, no one scored you low at all, and you both put in winning efforts! The Bear Hunters still secured their best ever battle finish (and will be quite visible this summer), and Late & Loud's set was still a triumph for their fans and a fitting send-off for Jon Tiberi! I don't know what their future holds, but I hope this won't be the last time we'll see them together on stage! And for the The Suicide Kings, the guys put in two consistent and very tight efforts this month to claim first place, and they have quite a following, so I see big things for them in the local scene going forward, and hopefully this is just the next step in their local ascension! Congratulations again to Mike, Steven, Mitch, and Ben for their win, and just on a personal note, huge thanks to Jay, Len, J.D., Carrie, Hayley, and Martin for all of their hospitality, assistance, and kind words over the past month! It was honour to judge a local battle of the bands again, and I hope to get the call to judge again in the future! Also, thanks to Giwakwa, The Northern Tragedy, Sarah's Valley, and Sykotyk Rampage for their strong efforts in the semifinals, you all have big things ahead as well!

As this was the finals, and a bigger night, I decided to go above & beyond for my videos, so I filmed the first TWO of each band! To close our recap, here's (in chronological order) The Bear Hunters playing "Dominate" & "Succumb To Eternity" (complete with and introductory cover of "Teddy Bear's Picnic"), The Pesto Shirts playing Muse's "Sing For Absolution" & their song "Secrets", Late & Loud playing "Trouble" & "Machine Gun Maiden", Haggith playing The Stone Temple Pilots' "Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart" & their song "Rage Train", and The Suicide Kings playing their songs "Way Out Of Hell" & "Take Me Away"! (Apologies to them for the visibility, fans on the floor often got in the way.)

That's all for today, but stay tuned TOMORROW for weekend concert previews, and hopefully this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile as well! Thanks everyone! (And yes, I'll have some more in depth thoughts on the re-released Late & Loud EP soon as well!)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Skeletonwitch), Woods of Ypres/Juno Awards Fallout, And Late & Loud's "New" EP!!

58 days into our posting streak, we have one more update before TONIGHT'S Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands Finals, so what's on tap? Along with news on a surprisingly sudden CD release and plenty of fallout from Woods of Ypres' Juno win this past weekend, we're leading off with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for June that should be really exciting for many readers, so here's what you need to know!

Throw another major concert onto local promoter J.D. Pearce's summer concert schedule, but this one may be the most appealing to die-hard metalheads, as Ohio blackened thrash metal quintet Skeletonwitch will headline a huge concert at The Canadian Nightclub on Monday, June 3rd! This hard touring band (and Ozzfest veterans) are bound to be familiar to many fans of modern day thrash bands, and their Arch Enemy-esque sound should be a welcomed injection of brutality onto the summer concert schedule locally! Opening for them on their upcoming Canadian/Northern U.S. tour is Vancouver psychedelic metal quartet Ancients (not to be confused with the Nashville metal band of the same name), and their blend of detailed progressive instrumentation & thrashy mayhem (and even Mikael Akerfeldt-esque clean vocals) should find a solid audience in their local debut! The other out of town band is Toronto groove/thrash quartet Caym, who have a steady intensity and plenty of aggressive & fast songs in store, so don't miss them either come June 3rd! At least one local opening band remains to be announced, and we'll keep you guys posted when they are revealed!

This concert is ALL AGES, and will be held at The Canadian on June 3rd at 9:00 PM, with tickets costing $12 and door charges costing $15. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an awesome night of metal, and if you've missed a full-on metal show with out of town bands like this, don't take it for granted, and go mosh with Skeletonwitch in just over a month! Stay tuned for ticket availability & local opening band details as they come in!

Next up, here's the latest fallout from Woods of Ypres' posthumous Juno Award win from this past weekend! On Sunday, an article entitled "Audience salutes Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold at Juno Awards" from The Sault Star's Michael Purvis was posted onto their website (and presumably featured in Monday's newspaper), and it outlines the defunct local doom metal band's win in the Best Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year category for "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" on Saturday evening. Featuring brief remarks from late frontman David Gold's mother Esther (in a phone interview from Regina) on her acceptance speech & it's reception from attendees, the article also features quotes from guitarist Joel Violette's on-stage remarks, information on the album and David's sudden passing in 2011, and an acknowledgement of fellow local musician Crystal Shawanda's Juno win this weekend as well. It's a nice & respectful article, so give it a look above & in Monday's paper! Now, the article quotes Joel & Esther's acceptance speeches, but the ceremony wasn't televised, so where can you see it?

An attendee of the Juno Awards filmed the speech and posted it onto Dropbox on Sunday, but it's since been deleted for unknown reasons... but not before I could see it and download a reference copy! In the speeches (which run over 2 minutes long), Joel thanked Earache Records & producer Siegfried Meier, and complimented this honour as a "fantastic note for Woods of Ypres to end on", while Esther Gold's remarks (some of which were transcribed in our post on Sunday) include invocations of lyrics from "Adora Vivos", her belief in orbs in photographs being David's energy, and her belief from teaching that if you say something three times, it is yours (which led to the devil horn-raised chant of David's name three times to close their speech.) As the original video's been deleted, I can't share it with you right now, but I may post the acceptance speech video online at some point in the future. I will say that the video is from a sharp angle near the front rows of tables, and it's hard to make Joel & the Gold family out during the speeches, but I imagine it'd be more powerful & emotional on a better angle.

Also, Woods of Ypres were referenced on air during Sunday's televised Juno Awards on CTV along with the other untelevised award winners, and they were actually the last of Saturday's winners acknowledged. Basically, the voice over announcer read the names of the award, album, and band, and the cover of "Woods V" was shown. It's not much, but it's a lot more than I think many people were expecting when it came out last spring! This is still an incredible honour, and it's quite the cap for Woods of Ypres' run in the Canadian music scene! If there's anything that could approach a Juno win, maybe David or Woods of Ypres will come up as a candidate for the Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame? You never know!

Finally for today, here's the latest news from Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands finalists Late & Loud, who are apparently very close to releasing a "new" EP! According to new postings on their Facebook page (including photos), a CD release named "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal: Still Hard" is being pressed for a release TONIGHT at The Rockstar Bar during the finals, and it appears to at least be a partial re-recording/expansion of their original EP release from their November 2012 return gig, a'la Destroilet's newest disc. A likely track listing confirms 9 songs (including "Live For Excess" & "Trouble", which weren't on the November release), while a posting by singer/guitarist Jonathan Tiberi confirms that they're mastering 4 songs (which I assume include re-recordings of last year's bonus tracks "Love Letter Lockdown" & "Never Again".) This appears to be the album cover (as replicated from a Facebook photo of the hard copy), and while the picture of the liner notes is grainy, I believe it indicates that songs recorded at The Smoke & Oak Room last year with producer Dave Pihlaja will be included as is.

This reissued EP will be available for $5 TONIGHT during Late & Loud's finals appearance at The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, so keep that in mind if you're attending! This is somewhat surprising news given that Late & Loud have already indicated that Jon Tiberi is moving out of town after the battle, and who knows what that means for their status going forward (be it a hiatus, breakup, or member replacement), but if there is a level of finality to their set tonight, at least they're going out with a bang! I hope to buy the EP tomorrow and review it in early May on the site, but above all else, I'm judging them fairly and honestly on their battle set tomorrow, not the bonus of a CD release, so I won't comment on anything else related to the disc until after the battle. That said, will Late & Loud defend last year's Sault Humane Society Battle title TONIGHT, or will The Bear Hunters, Haggith, The Pesto Shirts, or The Suicide Kings claim the top prize instead? Come on down to The Rockstar Bar at 10:00 PM to find out! $10 admission, 19+, and I hope to see you guys there! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rockstar Bar Battle Of The Bands Finals Preview!!

TOMORROW NIGHT marks the conclusion of an event unlike any in Sault Ontario in recent years, as the final round of The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands is upon us! As brought to you by The Rockstar Bar, Case's Music, The Rad Zone, and The Sault Metal Scene, you hopefully know by now that 9 bands have gathered at The Rockstar Bar over the past three Wednesdays to compete for slots in tomorrow's finals, and after the eliminations of four bands & some wild card uncertainty, the five highest scoring bands will return for tomorrow's finals, where the winners will receive $1,000, recording time at Case's Music, a guaranteed opening slot at one of co-promoter J.D. Pearce's upcoming concerts, and perhaps more! While the judges (Jay Case, Len Ward, and myself) have completely agreed each night on the bands' placement, there's no guarantees of tomorrow's competition being so clear cut, and I'm expecting some very close calls in the finals from tomorrow's 5 bands, who spread across a wide array of genres! We have death metal, hair metal, hard rock, grunge, and indie rock in play, so there's bound to be something for fans of every genre, but which band will claim victory and make an even bigger local name for themselves come tomorrow?

As in the past three weeks, I will NOT be critiquing or reviewing the finalist bands in our previews, nor will I be making any predictions, as to remain fair & impartial given my judging role. Again, I'll just hype the event for fans and prospective attendees, so you can hopefully attend and support the finalist bands! Now, which bands will be competing for all the marbles tomorrow? Here's information on each, in alphabetical order!

The Bear Hunters: After defeating Giwakwa & Sykotyk Rampage last week, this prominent local death metal quintet stamped the last ticket for the finals, ensuring an improvement on their finish at last year's Humane Society Battle, but can their melodic brutality & loyal fanbase carry them to victory tomorrow night? Note that a win will give rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney his fourth battle win in just over 4 years, counting his 2009-2010 battle success with Bring The Fallen, but will The Bear Hunters achieve similar results this year?

Haggith: Despite falling short against Late & Loud on April 3rd, Haggith never gave up the wild card slot in full, and now they have a second chance to make a huge impression in their first local battle of the bands tomorrow evening! With their third studio album "Deuce" nearing a release, can Haggith improve on their strong runner-up finish from three weeks ago with their diverse grunge & alternative rock attack for what could very well be their biggest live concert appearance yet?

Late & Loud: With a victory over Haggith and Sarah's Valley three weeks ago, this popular classic metal quartet will get a chance to essentially defend their title from last year's Humane Society Battle, in what will likely be their last concert before singer/guitarist Jonathan Tiberi moves out of town. Can Late & Loud's energetic classic sounds carry them to an even more decisive battle victory the second time around, to send Jon (and perhaps the band?!) out on a high note come tomorrow night?

The Pesto Shirts: Though this talented indie/jazz quartet lost to The Suicide Kings on April 10th, their score tied Haggith for the wild card, and now they're back for a second chance against the other top bands this year! While they're clearly the softest of tomorrow's finalists, their talented and diverse originals and covers can't be denied tomorrow, but can The Pesto Shirts outperform their semifinal round set, and give guitarist Steve Myers his first local battle win since the Skid Row Battle with Sense of Truth in 2008?

The Suicide Kings: This newer hard rock quartet qualified for tomorrow's finals by defeating The Pesto Shirts & The Northern Tragedy two weeks ago in their first battle of the bands appearance, but will their prolific & widely seen alternative/hard rock originals and covers carry them to victory tomorrow night? Also, bassist Mitch Sirie is pulling double duty tomorrow as The Bear Hunters' lead guitarist, but will that have any bearing on either band's efforts and sounds in the final round?

It's also worth mentioning that aside from the obvious wild card/first place rematches tomorrow, there will also be a minor rematch from last year's Humane Society Battle, as Late & Loud defeated The Bear Hunters at that event, albeit by closer scores than their placements would indicate. Will similar results happen tomorrow, or have things changed since last year? Tomorrow's winning band will claim the aforementioned announced prizes, with possibly others to be announced, and while nothing official's out concerning runner-up prizes, I'd have to assume at least the top 3 bands will be revealed tomorrow night. A 10:00 PM start time is advertised, admission will cost $10 (well worth it for bands of this quality, and given the final round nature of it all), and a 19+ age limit remains in effect. For more information, visit the official Facebook event page! The semifinals were all fantastic, but now, we've have the 5 highest scoring bands battling for bragging rights and big prizes, so who'll claim first place in the final round?

Will The Bear Hunters shoot their way to their first battle victory? Can Haggith make a huge impression (despite their wild card status) with a first place performance? Will Late & Loud win their second straight battle before Jon moves out of town? Can The Pesto Shirts upend their heavier competitors and transition from wild card to winners? And will The Suicide Kings claim the top prize in their first battle appearance tomorrow? This will be a huge event, so I hope to see you guys at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT for the finals, and for all 20 performers tomorrow, I want to see you all at your best! Leave it all on the stage, impress us and leave the fans begging for an encore, prove that you deserve first place! For a preview, here's each band's first song from the battle semifinals earlier this month (this time in chronological order), and stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow before or during the finals! Thanks everyone, and may the best band win!

Monday, April 22, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Suicide Kings & The Bunchofuckingoofs), Plus New Videos!!

On this 56th straight day of SMS updates, we're staying busy with more recent news and notes, and while we're taking a break from Woods of Ypres/Juno talk to cover some other recent items, we'll touch on the latest fallout from that huge story from this weekend in our next full news post! Today though, we have new videos from a handful of local artists, and leading off, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for this weekend and this summer, so here's what you need to know (and check out this month's YouTube Channel Profiles in the post below this one!)

Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands finalists The Suicide Kings will play at The Roosevelt Hotel for the first time this weekend! A full weekend with shows on Friday & Saturday, these will be the band's first non-battle appearances in over a month, and their first double weekend engagement since their first Docks gigs in February, so I'm sure fans of theirs will be itching to hear their full live concert sets again! Of course, if they perform well or win at the Rockstar Bar Battle finals THIS WEDNESDAY, they should be amped up and bringing their A-game to The Rosie this weekend, but we'll have to see what happens at the finals first! If you're up for some Suicide Kings action on Friday & Saturday, then both shows have 19+ age limits, 10:00 PM start times, and no cover charges. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! As the battle finals haven't happened yet, I won't give any in-depth thoughts on their next shows until we preview these gigs on Thursday, but hopefully The Suicide Kings have a successful weekend of hard rocking originals and covers at The Rosie, and don't miss them in the Rockstar Bar Battle Finals on Wednesday!

Also in new concerts, a venue has finally been confirmed for the other newly announced show from local punk/metal promoter/singer J.D. Pearce, so now, we can properly promote The Bunchofuckingoofs' concert in Sault Ontario on Monday, August 13th! This infamous Toronto hardcore punk quartet will headline what should be a brutal concert at The Algonquin Pub (downstairs from The Rockstar Bar), and their brutal and catchy sounds should be welcomed by local metalheads and punk fans this summer! At least two local opening bands will play support, including resurgent hardcore/punk quintet Destroilet (in likely their first gig there since opening for The Ripcordz) and local grindcore trio Shit Liver, in their own Algonquin Pub debut! It's good to see both bands playing more, as neither has been that visible in the past few months, so don't miss some brutal local action before The BFGs rock The Gonq! Admission prices and start times have yet to be confirmed, but I believe this will be a 19+ event. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

This should be another intense concert of metal and punk action, and kudos to J.D. for yet another major concert in town this summer! Hopefully The BFGs and the local openers deliver a great night of action, so don't miss this show on August 13th, and for more on J.D.'s upcoming concerts, check out our post full of the rest from Saturday!

We'll close today with new videos, starting with footage of two eliminated bands from The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands Semifinals!  One comes from local punk band The Northern Tragedy's third place set on April 10th of them playing the song "3 2 4" (courtesy of their YouTube channel), and while it's filmed well from a good angle with talent clearly present, their energy, crowd engagement, and enthusiasm needs major work for future concerts. The other videos are from local stoner/death metal quartet Giwakwa's second place set last week, and they capture their full four song set across two videos, including their opening songs "Stoned To Death" & "Winter's Hunger" and (as embedded below) "Endless Bummer" and "Iron Lung"! Uploaded by YouTube user Zaphradoo yesterday, and as filmed from a far angle to the right of the stage, these offer a unique angle of Giwakwa's set, but drummer Chris Thompson is often blocked from view by guitarist Chris Page as a result. This was a good & very heavy performance, but I'd like to see them take more of a Crowbar or funeral doom influence, as at times, it often sounds like a slightly slowed down Bring The Fallen. If you're gonna go the doom/stoner route, go all the way with it!

Still, I enjoyed their set, it's great seeing Nolan and Josh back together on stage after two years, and hopefully we'll see Giwakwa back on stage soon with a longer set! Check out the second half of their battle set below, and don't miss Josh Stephney in Wednesday's finals anyway with his other band The Bear Hunters!

Finally for today, local grind/horror rap label Blood Shed Productions have uploaded two songs from their upcoming Crucify The Whore/Tomgrindy split demo "Grindshed" onto their YouTube channel! The C.T.W. track is called "I Like Shepard's Pie", while the Tomgrindy song is called "Tongue Tearing Taco" (a likely sexual reference.) Postings on the bands' Facebook pages linked above imply that the demo will be released on Friday, though it's unclear it will be just a demo or more professionally packaged (copies do cost $5 on request when released.) "I Like Shepard's Pie" shows more development of C.T.W.'s sound despite it's length, though it still feels incomplete lyrically and musically, and the pig squeal vocals do take a back seat to actual death growls! The Tomgrindy song, however, is longer and fuller sounding insturmentally, though the vocals are a mix of assorted noises with few discernible words. On both, images of the demo's likely artwork and assorted logos are featured, but as some feature pictures that some may find disturbing or offensive, I'll only embed the audio here of "I Like Shepard's Pie". If you're up for some more surprisingly prolific material from Blood Shed's grindcore artists, check the above links, and hear C.T.W.'s new song below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned TOMORROW for our preview of Wednesday's final round of the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, plus more news (including more Woods of Ypres/Juno Awards fallout) as it comes in! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series stumpypet1 & Graath666's Channels

It's now time for our latest monthly feature post at the SMS, and it's this month's YouTube Channel Profile! As always, this series looks at 1-3 YouTube channels with a 50% concentration of local metal/hard rock videos, so we can spotlight the channels' videos, purposes, reasons to subscribe, and more! This month, we initially planned to look at one single channel, but as I recently discovered that it only had two distinct types of videos from the same concert, I added a randomly selected YouTube channel with just one video, and given recent major events, it's oddly fitting, so read on below for this month's YouTube channel profiles!! (Edited on October 16th, 2013)
stumpypet1's Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/stumpypet1)

Owner: YouTube user & likely Sault Ontario resident stumpypet1 (real name unknown)

Channel Timeline: Launched on September 20th, 2009; Videos posted from then through September 24th of that year

Channel Summary: This channel was only actively used for about a week in September 2009, and all four videos that stumpypet1 posted were of defunct local hard rock cover band Quite Frankly (featuring No Arrow, Devastation of the Heavens, & Faithless Sin alumni) at a concert that they played on September 19th of that year, where they opened for Stiffler's Mom at a concert either during or after a Sault Ste. Marie Steelers football game. Though there are four videos, they come from three songs played that night, with parts of one song broke apart through two separate clips.

Why Should You Watch: Mainly, you should watch it as the best surviving source of live Quite Frankly videos, even if that wasn't stumpypet1's original intention. The videos are of decent quality, and they capture a talented band from their too short local run, so don't let these slip you by! However, this channel has not visibly been used since the month of it's inception, and Quite Frankly have not been publically active since early 2010, so keep that in mind if you're wary of subscribing.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

QUITE FRANKLY SEPARATE WAYS STEELER GIG: stumpypet1's only full videos are covers of Coheed & Cambria's "Welcome Home" and their most watched clip, this cover of Journey's "Separate Ways"! Both are well performed (especially as this is one of Journey's more tolerable songs), and they serve as good showcases for both keyboardist Vince LaTassa (guitarist Frank's brother) and singer Jacky Alisat, who has an impressively strong voice that's adaptable to different styles! For a band that sounds so professional and diverse, it's just a shame that they didn't last longer, and hopefully the members re-emerge in new bands at some point!

ADAM DRUM SOLO QUITE FRANKLY1: A zoomed in continuation of their cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" (albeit on a better camera), this video features drummer Adam Pettenuzzo (formerly of Children of the Dawn) performing a quality one minute drum solo before the song's normal guitar solo section. Adam was a talented drummer, and it's too bad he's not active in the local scene anymore, but this should serve as a nice glimpse of his skills! Stay tuned after it's done for a short segment of the "Whole Lotta Love" guitar solo section, though sadly, it's also cut off.

Graath666's Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/graath666)

Owner: YouTube user & likely Saskatchewan resident Graath666 (real name unknown)

Channel Timeline: Launched on November 8th, 2011; Only video posted on January 26th, 2012

Channel Summary: Though he still actively uses this channel, Graath666 has only added one video to his "digital world" on YouTube, and it's an upload of defunct local blackened doom band Woods of Ypres' song "Travelling Alone" from their Juno Award-winning final CD "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light"! Posted after the album's partial leak following frontman David Gold's passing, the song is accompanied by a tribute image where Graath666 pays tribute to David & his musical impact, though the used band image is outdated compared to who performed on "W5". "Travelling Alone" is a very solid doom metal song from the album, and though there are admittedly more substantial sources on YouTube for songs from this CD, Graath666's tribute is awesome and a nice addition to the track! Just be wary of the lack of videos otherwise before subscribing.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, we'll definitely be looking at just one band's channel again, as we've randomly selected local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight's channel for a spotlight in this series, featuring 12 live videos from shows in (I think) 2010 & 2011! Watch out for that on or around May 22nd, and stay tuned for a new news post later today! Thanks everyone!