Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Look Back In The Year Of Local Metal

On this New Year's Eve, it's fitting to take a look back at the year that was, especially as 2013 was our busiest year ever at the SMS! From major concerts and events to band breakups and sad losses, there were a lot of highs & lows in the local metal scene on both sides of the border, so as usual, let's flash back to what happened in local metal & hard rock in the past 12 months in this special year-end post!

As usual, the biggest heavier concerts of 2013 were at The Dreammaker's Theater at Kewadin Casino, which hosted at least eight concerts with hard rock/metal bands (nine if you count Banned's anti-bullying rally set this month!) The year started strong with the original Queensryche rocking Kewadin on January 12th, with Sebastian Bach and the debuting 415E following suit just over a week later, with a classic trio of April Wine, Sweet (Steve Priest's version), and Head East rocking the Soo the following month. Modern hard rock fans were excited when Allstar Promotions brought Hinder, Trapt, and Acidic to the Soo Kewadin on March 24th, followed by Shinedown (pictured) & Prosevere on July 21st, and the well received Team Jessica benefit on August 14th featuring Pop Evil, The London Gentlemen, and Missy & Chelsea. Finally, hair metal fans got their fix in mid-2013 with Tesla & Fifth Way's returns on July 27th, plus Night Ranger and John Waite on September 22nd, giving a nice blend of old and new throughout the year, and hopefully there's much more to come in 2014!

Over in Sault Ontario, we again saw a number of huge, high profile, and very entertaining concerts in 2013, with the summer and fall stacked in that regard! For out-of-town touring bands, the Soo was graced with shows featuring 40 Sons, Airbourne, Biipiigwan, Bleeker Ridge, Caym, The Dayglo Abortions, Diemonds, Fuckface Unstoppable, The Golers, The Ripcordz, Skeletonwitch, Striker, West of Hell, Wilson, and Xanadu (among many others), ensuring some major shows throughout the year, with promoter/singer J.D. Pearce a major reason for them, so kudos to him for sure! As well this year: The Suicide Kings & The Bear Hunters won this year's two local battles of the bands, Garden of Bedlam headlined twice at The Algonquin Hotel, Josh Stephney and Bring The Fallen said goodbye to the Soo with July's Oddzfest 2013 Metal Mash-Up, AlgomA promoted the Big Loonie Bus Show in Echo Bay, The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre welcomed an expanded Soo Zombie Walk entertainment lineup in October, and lots of fundraisers like Toystock and the Ray Brown benefit provided quality entertainment, among many other 2013 dates!

Back in the Sault Michigan area, there was again many notable concert events outside of the Dreammaker's Theater, including the third annual LemmaFest in June, Tantrym Tyme's win at this year's Rock Till You Drop battle of the bands at the Chippewa County Fair, September's Walk To Rock Against Bullying outside of City Hall, and the Nick Cam Jam cancer benefit in Brimley last month. Out of town bands who played locally this year included Infathom, The Darwin Project, Nudge, Peril, and Driven, while a solid selection of local talent (mainly of the cover-centric variety) rocked the area, with Banned keeping an almost constant presence with tons of regional gigs year-round! Also this year: Power Slug continued their under-the-radar concert slate, Half A Man and Scofflaw returned at LemmaFest, 415E & Tantrym Tyme stayed busy through the summer, Full Throttle rocked the scene in early 2013, RamWagon became a frequent favourite in late-year Rapids Lounge shows, and members of Theatre of Night debuted at The Corner Pub on Memorial Day, among others! Look for more big Eastern U.P. events as we make our way to 2014!

Unfortunately, 2013 saw a sadly higher amount of local metal/hard rock musician deaths, starting with the sudden passing of Unbound frontman Justin Fratpietro in January, whose death preceded the band's launch, but their early 2013 activity was all dedicated in his memory, with their only concerts taking place in his hometown of Thunder Bay. Other passings this year reflected former mainstays in heavier local bands of past years, including former J.A.B. guitarist Jean-Paul Fecteau in April, former Thansis Colle bassist Jimmy Smith in June, and former The Chosen/Saint Mizry drummer Ray Brown (pictured) after a tough battle with cancer in November. I might be missing others, but these were the ones I could verify. Ray and J.P. were both honoured in life and death respectively with successful benefit concerts towards Ray's expenses and J.P.'s family this year. It's always tough to lose someone, but hopefully their memories are kept in the closest & highest regard by their family & friends!

A lot of general (but important) news items took place in 2013 as well, none bigger than Woods of Ypres' posthumous nomination and victory of a Juno Award in March for Best Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year for their last album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light"! It's just a shame that David Gold couldn't be here to accept it, but this was a very significant event for his legacy and the local scene for sure! Also this year: The Canadian Nightclub flooded once again and saw more renovations, while The Sault welcomed 180 Projects to the live concert scene and said goodbye to Bottoms Up Lounge, with venues like The Nicolet Tavern and Madison's Pub undergoing major name and theme changes. For bands, we saw Garden of Bedlam play live in Quebec, Shit Liver move to Toronto, Lion Ride release their last studio recordings, and Sykotyk Rampage release dozens of free new songs, while bands like Gates of Winter, The Bear Hunters, and The Suicide Kings continued high profile work towards new CDs. Also this year: Luke LeBlanc continued his cancer fight, SooToday bought Local2, and Colosimo's Music Store closed, joining other notable news events in 2013!

A solid crop of new CDs and album releases also made their way to shelves, online marketplaces, and concerts this year, especially in the last few months! In April, Late & Loud reissued their "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal" EP with new recordings in honour of their last show, while Haggith followed suit with their last studio album "Deuce" in May. The summer saw the releases of the long awaited Woods of Ypres tribute CD "Heart of Gold", Crimson Crusade's debut CD "Upon The Eve of War", Sailor's Tongue's "Pierced" demo, and Bring The Fallen's long-shelved "Stand Before" EP to give closure to their run, while Mike Haggith's "Neighbourhood Watch II" saw an early fall release. The last months of 2013 saw a steady stream of new paid albums, including Pillory's "Cringe At The Cross" demo, Telephone & Address' "Rotten EP", self-titled digital releases from The Strange Coyotes and The Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe, while Sault Michigan's Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton released three albums this year, and Blood Shed Productions put out a number of independent demos throughout 2013! Hopefully the trends keep up in the next 12 months!

Following a slow year for new band debuts and launches in 2012, things turned around quickly in that department in 2013! In Sault Ontario, we saw BeeFMouTH members return to prominence in the doom metal trio AlgomA, with drummer Jamie Vincent fronting the crowd-favourite hardcore duo Bad Back, while members of T-Rex Manning and The Bear Hunters launched the new local punk/metal band Jack Spades this summer. New heavier leaning cover projects like Glitch and The Thrill Junkies made their debuts at local bars, while new all-female hard rockers The Danger Cats made plenty of new fans in the last months of the year, and Giwakwa & The Hydra's Teeth made their long awaited live debuts. Saints & Serpents succeeded The Valentine's Day Massacre, The Strange Coyotes & Project 421 debuted at Haggith's farewell show, Suicide Kings & Haggith members formed Punch, bands like Brutaly Fatal & Rotopsy made their mark through Blood Shed Productions, and over in Sault Michigan, RamWagon, Plastic, and 415E injected some new life across the river! Look out for these bands to keep up their early success in 2014!

As in prior years, local metal/hard rock bands saw a lot of turnover in their membership, and among the biggest was to Sault Michigan hard rock cover quintet Full Throttle, who lost 3/5ths of their lineup earlier this year to the newly formed RamWagon, leaving Jason Lamoreaux & Mark Gillotte to make a new lineup, though the changes gave us two "new" bands in a sense! Also this year: Pillory settled on Josh Amendola & Tyler St. Amour to round out their new lineup, Unbound recycled the With Blood Build Character name to go along with major lineup shifts following Justin Fratpietro's passing, Banned reverted to a trio after a brief country-influenced quintet run, and Winkstinger said goodbye to both Ryan Sherman and Anthony Orazietti. Among single lineup switches: Josh Stephney left The Bear Hunters & Giwakwa after moving out of town, James White returned to Caveman Morrison on bass, drummer Paul Burns left Plastic, Joel Syrette became Griphook's new frontman, and Blake Jackson rejoined Sailor's Tongue on guitar, among other band member changes in 2013!

Of course, it could be expected that some prominent local metal bands would disband or fall inactive in 2013, most notably local classic metal quartet Late & Loud and grunge/alternative rockers Haggith, who both ended brief but eventful runs this year, though members remain active in bands like The Hydra's Teeth and Punch. Among other band breakups this year: Central Algoma death metal bands For All That Is Lost & Inhuman Methods abruptly disbanded early this year, Turner Up and The Valentine's Day Massacre ceded way to The Thrill Junkies and Saints & Serpents, and bands like Ashes To Dust, The Side FX, Unbound, and Winkstinger have been void of major updates in many months. For Sault Michigan bands, End of Existence fulfilled their name to focus on Theatre of Night, Monkey's Uncle successors Sir Charge disbanded in their own right, and bands like Dirtbag In A Dress and Half A Man have been dormant since the summer, but fingers crossed that most of these artists keep up their music work!

Luckily though, the local scene saw some welcome comebacks and reunions from local metal talent in 2013, with Bring The Fallen's one-off reunion at July's Oddzfest event hitting many metalheads in a good way, giving needed closure to their run! Also in 2013: Destroilet finally returned to the stage 2 years after their previous concert (and they haven't looked back since), bands like Frightlight, Winkstinger, Half A Man, That's Chester, Scofflaw, and Sailor's Tongue returned after 8 month+ concert hiatuses, As It Stands resumed activity after a year-long break, both James Watterworth and Telephone & Address returned to regular local solo sets, and Josh Stephney rejoined The Bear Hunters at this month's Bam Margera concert! In other comebacks: Sudbury's Aggressive Acoustic brought hard rock back to Coch's Corner/708 Queen, Aerosmith tribute Mama Kin brought hard rock back to Hempfest, and Tym Morrison brought heavier tunes back to The Harp (formerly Madison's Pub), ensuring some welcome returns over the past 12 months!

2013 was an exciting and interesting year, and here's to much bigger and better things from all avenues in 2014! Hard to believe we'll truly be in the mid-2010s tomorrow. That's all for now, but stay tuned for our preview post on what to look for in 2014 tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Caveman Morrison & Griphook), A New Band, New Year's Eve Concert Previews, And More!!

In our second-last post of 2013, things are stacked, so what's on tap? Previews of two heavier-leaning New Year's Eve concerts, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the next while, lineup changes for two bands, and leading off, a new local band, so here's what you need to know!

New local metal band Project 421 finally have a Facebook page, so we can now add them to our band links! You may remember that this was the surprise band that debuted at The Algonquin Pub on December 7th during Haggith's farewell show, though according to their Facebook page, they were launched in October. Their lineup features guitarists Blair Burch (who sang at their debut show) and Frank McGillivray alongside Punch's Daniel Horton on bass and former Fitswitch/Frightlight drummer Larry Mousseau, and though I had heard on the 7th that they had a singer who wasn't ready for their debut, a post by Daniel on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group on Saturday suggests that they are actively looking for a new vocalist. Their record label is PaperClip Productions (naturally), they plan to introduce original material into their 1970s-1980s cover sets, and Daniel indicated that the band already has some 2014 dates booked (though specifics have not been revealed at present.)

Featuring alumni of older local bands like Broken, I was impressed with Project 421's live debut three weeks ago, and hopefully the guys have some big stuff in store for next year, so become a fan and inquire about their singer vacancy at the above links!

Now to the LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, starting with a short notice announcement for TOMORROW NIGHT, as local metal cover trio Caveman Morrison will rock out at The Roosevelt Hotel for New Year's Eve! Apologies for the short notice, the band only just announced this show yesterday. A rare Tuesday night show for them (but it makes sense given the occasion), this will be their first public concert in almost three months, and unless there's more late notice concert announcements to take note of, this is bound to be the heaviest way to ring in the new year in Sault Ontario! The show starts at 10:00 PM, with no announced cover charge and a 19+ age limit, and for more details, visit the official Facebook event page! I expected a few New Year's Eve concerts despite the Tuesday placement, and a solid evening of classic metal & hard rock hits should be a perfect way to celebrate if you're on this side of the border, so keep it in mind for your partying plans, and for a preview, here's Caveman Morrison covering Ozzy Osbourne's "I Don't Know"!

Also in new concerts, the first confirmed Sault Ontario hard rock shows of 2014 will go down this weekend on January 3rd & 4th, as local hard rock cover quartet Griphook will rock The Roosevelt Hotel in their own right, albeit with a major lineup change. When the shows were announced last night, the band revealed that they have added former 100 Gran frontman Joel Syrette to their lineup as their new singer/guitarist, replacing Jim O'Leary. Apparently, Jim is moving to Ottawa soon "to pursue other musical endeavours", which is disappointing, but Jim's a talented musician (his Flat Stanley work is proof), so we wish him the best of luck for sure! As for Joel, videos I've seen of him with 100 Gran point to a very talented skillset (and really nice vocals that fit the genre well), so this should work out well going forward! I assume he'll also take over Jim's duties in their classic rock sister trio The 7 Year Itch too, but with no online pages for them, I can't verify that right away. The new look Griphook's shows next weekend have 10:30 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 19+ age limits, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details!

Note as well that a comment reply on December 20th on Griphook's Facebook page implied that they would be playing a date at Searchmont (likely referring to a 7 Year Itch date there this past Saturday) and a "New Year's blowout" at Bossy's Pub N' Grub, but I have no other information on the latter event (including for which band is playing), so it's either private or will get very late public notice. I'm curious to hear and seem more from Griphook with Joel up front, so stay tuned for updates, as well as those 100 Gran videos I alluded to earlier!

Finally for today, we have at least one more New Year's Eve concert preview, as Kinross hard/classic rock trio Banned will return to The Cozy Corners Tavern & Grill in Barbeau, Michigan TOMORROW NIGHT for their own New Year's bash! I say trio as I'm now fairly certain that they've parted ways with guitarist Denny Smith, given the band's removal/privatization of all but one extant video featuring him from their YouTube channel. If true, their current lineup (Alex & Don Traynor and Jim Pentland) is the same as it was late last year, which isn't a bad thing in itself, but hopefully things are amicable, and best of luck to Denny in the future! Tomorrow's New Year's Eve show will be Banned's first date in Barbeau in almost five months, and though a pile of 2014 shows are likely, this should be a fun heavier-leaning way to end the year across the river! This should be a 21+ event with a 9:00 PM start time, and there's no announced cover. For more details, visit the above links!

Banned should put in another fun concert tomorrow night to end 2013, so keep it in mind in your New Year's plans! I still don't know why they privatized and deleted their videos with older lineups from this year, as they were solid performances even if somewhat more varied than in 2011 & 2012. Is there some "old shame" and/or an intended focus on the current lineup? Hopefully they aren't gone forever, but for now, preview TOMORROW'S New Year's show with this Foster The People cover from last year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our special look back at major events and news in 2013 TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Strange Coyotes' Album Review!!

Finally, it's time for our last monthly feature post of 2013, and it's our 54th CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're looking at new local funk metal trio The Strange Coyotes' self-titled debut album! Surprisingly released on November 13th (just two weeks after their launch), this was recorded in an improvised jam style at PaperClip Productions earlier that month. Featuring singer/guitarist Chase Wigmore and bassist James Watterworth alongside drummer Mike Haggith, this album was released via The Strange Coyotes' Bandcamp page on a "name your price" model (similarly to Insipid Brutality's posthumous demo), so while it can be downloaded for free (and streamed there too), it is officially on sale and is probably recommended to be bought at some price level. Note however that plans for a physical release have not been elaborated on at present. Featuring 7 songs stretched across 27 minutes of music, let's begin our last CD review of the year by looking at the opening song!

Starting the album with it's shortest track, "Cosmic Trigger", which builds with a funk rock instrumental section for most of the first half before vocals kick in, transitioning from a bouncy dream-state to higher pitched screams. The song ends almost as quickly as it begins though, and it feels like just the first half of what should have been a longer track. The loose feel and mood changes are nice though, and despite being an anti-climax of sorts, it's a nice prelude to the longer songs to come! It's followed by "Squatter's Remorse", which leads with some guitar improvisation from Chase and vocals that have a solid heavier flow, but though it builds in energy, the instrumentation doesn't gain a lot of traction and boosts of intensity like I was hoping, aside from some nice guitar work midway through. Chase's riffs are very nice, and Mike's drumming is solid, while the closing half of the song takes on a spacey experimental vibe that has a nice ambiance! That random growl seemed badly out of place though. Overall, this is a solid track that gives me more of what I expected, but it felt like something was missing, especially at it's length.

Third is "Fuckin' Oddies, Bro!" (presumably namedropping The Oddfellows Hall in the title), which opens with some confrontational warped speaking before the song actually begins, with Chase providing lead vocals in this somewhat folksy rocker that feels like a fuller adaptation of one of his solo songs. The picking and vibe doesn't feel anything like "Squatter's Remorse", and I like the insanity, evil vocal flourishes, and strange goings on for this track, which feels the most so far like something that truly came from an improvised jam performance. My only complaint is it ends too soon, as the last stretch has a fading heavy riff that (again) sounds like it's leading somewhere with no resolution, but this is my favourite early track on The Strange Coyotes' EP so far!

The next song is called "Therapy (Is Not For The Weak)", which opens irreverently again with some funk bass work and background yelling before some weird experimental vocals coupled with growling and drumming (even some circus-esque guitar work) kick in, before moving into what sounds like a stretch of music played backwards, before ending softly on guitar. Definitely the most unique song on the album so far, it's honestly hard to describe, but I'll admit that I was never bored, and I didn't hate it (I'm curious to hear how this is tackled live too!) Song #5 is "Prostitute", another shorter track, but it starts with more processed vocals (including some demonic effects), before completely shifting gears into a softer acoustic rock track. The singing is somewhat unintelligible, but the jarring opening & ending effects aside, this has the closest feel to a "standard" song, if feeling somewhat unfinished again, like it faded out too soon. Interesting softer change though!

The penultimate song on this album is "Third-Degree Syphillis", a 5 minute original that really drags it's heels early despite nice instrumentation. Low vocals and a deliberate minimalistic pace are the tale of the tape for the first 3 minutes (they really should have trimmed that down), but the last stretch finally builds some energy and aggression, with evil laughing vocals, very solid drumming from Mike, and more of a direction that helps out a ton! If The Strange Coyotes had severely cut the opening 3/5ths down, this would be even better, but the somewhat tedious opening almost took the wind out of the song's late sails. The album ends with "Pissed Drifter", which revisits the backwards playback of "Therapy" early before drifting into a more creative and louder stretch of deliberate instrumentation and effects, including some more offbeat and dream-like vocals, so while it's more interesting to listen to than "Third-Degree Syphillis", it meanders longer and doesn't have the spontaneity of their live performances or some early songs on this album (but the guitar work is cool late!)

So, what are my final thoughts on The Strange Coyotes' debut album? I liked a lot of it, but something was lost in translation between their concerts and this studio jam. Improvised or not, The Strange Coyotes (and their predecessors Project Legion) have a looser, freer-flowing, more spontaneous, and heavier sound in concert, and I don't think the album captured that the way that a live concert recording would have. Individually, the performances & production were both solid, with Chase, James, and Mike all highly impressing on their instruments, and Chase & Mike's vocals fit the material well, so I have no qualms there! I liked the first half of this album much more than the second, and the creative post-effects was a nice touch, but the music seemed to trail off into a more reserved and deliberate tone that I don't find to reflect their strengths. As well, many songs seemed to have stretches that led nowhere or were anticlimactic, but when they were on (like on "Fuckin' Oddies, Bro!"), they were on!

Overall, The Strange Coyotes' digital album is entertaining and a welcome change from some other contemporary local metal bands, but I'd like to see future studio recordings better reflect their live concert experience (perhaps by adapting more of the members' solo material into this style?) Pick up "The Strange Coyotes" at the above links! Stay tuned early next month for our next CD review at the SMS, when we look at local thrash band Pillory's debut demo "Cringe At The Cross", and stay tuned for more news (plus our look back at 2013) soon! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Garden of Bedlam/Destroilet Concert Review!!

In our first of two straight concert reviews as we wind down 2013, last night saw Garden of Bedlam rock The Algonquin Pub for the first time with Destroilet in tow! Very solid crowd for this downstairs concert, albeit with a late start, with Destroilet not taking the stage until 11:15 PM, over two hours after the door opening time. Everything went well though, so here's my thoughts on the bands!

Opening last night was local hardcore punk quintet Destroilet, who punched through another entertaing and blistering set of originals and covers! Along with plenty of cuts from their CD (like "End Me" & "Eternal Fire"), they covered plenty of familiar songs by bands like The Descendents and The Adolescents, and if you're familiar with their longer concert sets, you'll know they fit a lot of songs in! The guys were on form from prior sets this year, and vocals were easier to hear than at some recent shows, with Mike Hull and Christian Foisy trading off well for most of the night, and prolific local musician Mikey Hawdon even joined in on guest vocals for a song! John Conway and Adam Larocque really shined on guitar and bass, and Mike's energy was uninterrupted, even if his shirt surprisingly stayed on from start to finish! Their set was slightly abbreviated late, but Destroilet's energetic and reckless blend of old school hardcore punk shone last night, and here's to much more from them in 2014!

And of course, your headliners were local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam in just their fourth live concert (and third in the Soo) of 2013, so what'd fans get in their return? A very entertaining and determined set from these local mainstays, and the guys sounded as good as I've ever heard them! Their 14 song set included 7 songs from their CD "Everything Will Die", plus "Shallow" from their debut EP, and a selection of covers, including the return of their System of a Down cover "Sugar", two Metallica songs, and a surprise cover of Slayer's "Raining Blood" that definitely got a huge reception! I was a bit surprised that no Tool songs made the setlist, but what we got was great, and the fans ate it up, slowly eroding the line between stage and floor! Buzz's vocals were strong, rangy, and aggressive, Josh Belleau was on fire on guitar, and Derek Turner was drumming like a madman throughout! We haven't got as much live Garden of Bedlam action in the past year, but this was a great way to help end 2013, and fingers crossed we get some new concerts and material from them in the new year!

Overall, this was a very entertaining concert full of heavy metal action, and hopefully a solid prelude for things to come from both Garden of Bedlam and Destroilet in 2013! My photos & videos from the event can be seen at this link or at our Facebook page, and here's my videos, of Destroilet playing their original "R.O.Y.C." and Garden of Bedlam covering Volbeat's "Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood"!

That's all for today, but I'll see you guys TONIGHT at The Algonquin Pub once again, this time for Another Year, Another Santa 2013! Thanks everyone!

Friday, December 27, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), A New Album Release, And More!!

Just in case a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT popped up, I had stories at the ready for tonight, and one did, so we have a surprise second post tonight! Along with the latest from a local label and some new concert videos, we have details on a recent new album release, and leading off, TONIGHT'S new show announcement, so read on below for what you need to know, and check out this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on The Lumbermen in the post below this one!

As possibly expected, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will continue his newest weekly concert arrangement with another unplugged show at The Harp Pub & Grill TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, Tym only officially confirmed tonight's show a couple hours ago on it's Facebook event page. Tonight's event will be Tym's fourth straight Friday nighter at the former Madison's Pub since this newest weekly arrangement began, and hopefully his acoustic metal & hard rock covers entertain patrons at this central concert venue once again tonight! Like his other Harp shows, TONIGHT's gig will have no announced cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and a 10:00 PM start time. For more details, visit the above links! Despite the very late confirmation, it's nice to see Tym continuing this regular weekly run, and I'll have to stop in one of these Fridays! Go check out Tym TONIGHT if you can, and for a preview, here's Tym covering Heart at The Service Grill!

Next up, we have a new digital album release to make note of today, as local/London metal solo project The Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe released a self-titled album on Bandcamp last weekend! A collection of instrumental compositions by project leader Matt Parr, the album has 7 songs, though two are under 50 seconds in length, an artist named Ree Zheng is credited on the first song, and the untitled sixth song was co-written by former Crimson Crusade guitarist Brock Pinder. Like fellow local metal band The Strange Coyotes' debut album, this is for sale on a "name your price" model, so while you can download it for free, I'm sure Matt wouldn't object to purchases of it, and doing so would support his material! The songs on the album join a number of other assorted works-in-progress recordings on his SoundCloud page, including a cover of Yelawolf's "Pop The Trunk" and two untitled songs. I have yet to hear the new Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe album, but given that it is on sale, it's definitely a planned CD review on the site, but when?

Not next month, as I have Pillory's new album slotted to kick off 2014, but an H.M.M. review could come as early as February depending on a successful release of Telephone & Address' "Rotten EP" at tomorrow night's Algonquin Pub concert that I'm going to. Either way, an early 2014 review is certain, so keep an eye out, and trust me, Matt's a very talented guitarist, so message him at the above links if you're interested in adding him to your band!

Also on the docket, newer local hard rock quartet The Danger Cats have some new Facebook videos online from their X-Mess concert appearance at LopLops Lounge last week! Uploaded on Sunday, the videos confirm that singer Summer Snow-Leopard was back for the event, so these are our first glimpse at the band's full new quintet lineup, though it's hard to compare to prior shows yet given the uniqueness of this one. The videos include a cover of The Ramones' "I Just Want To Have Something To Do" (featuring Summer on lead vocals) and, as embedded below, an original (I think) named "Wanted Man", with the latter featuring Kate Kougar on lead vocals, and guitarist Paula Panther playing the cowbell and tambourine instead. The videos have good angles of the band (albeit at very different perspectives), and while I do think the girls benefit being plugged in, they sound good! Summer needs more work on her stage presence though, and on The Ramones cover, you may recognize Hydra's Teeth bassist Benn Garside dancing in front of the camera for much of it, which is fun! Check out their "Wanted Man" performance below, and more at the above links!

Finally for today, here's the latest from local goregrind label Blood Shed Productions! Updates have been sparse over the last few weeks from their metal acts, but in their most recent Facebook page posting from earlier today, owner Ringsnaps Gibson acknowledged that Bloodshed activities "are going to be a bit delayed", partially due to the sudden passing of his brother Justin earlier this week. Though not a musician as far as I knew, Justin was integral in helping out Tyler and the label, as well as transporting gear for gigs, and those close to the Blood Shed umbrella are definitely feeling the loss. I never knew Justin, but our condolences definitely go out to the Gibson family and the label at this trying time, especially with the news breaking right before Christmas. Also in the post, Ringsnaps announced that going forward, metal duo Brutaly Fatal (who he recently joined on drums) will be drastically changing focus and will be playing little to no grind or death metal material going forward.

A reason for that shift wasn't announced, but it does come following the most recent Brutaly Fatal jam session video on the label's YouTube channel, which shows Austin McCrea and Ringsnaps playing a funk rock song. Is this the band's new direction, or just random experimentation? We'll find out in 2014 hopefully, so stay tuned for updates from them and other Blood Shed metal artists!

That's all for today, but I'll see you guys TONIGHT at The Algonquin Pub for Garden of Bedlam and Destroilet! Thanks everyone!

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: The Lumbermen

A day late due to some holiday commitments, but here's this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Back to our usual schedule this month, we're of course taking another look at a hard rock/metal band that's not based in the Soo, but has featured at least one past/present Sault Ste. Marie native in any of their lineups. This month's selection has an alum that will be familiar to many recent punk & metal fans, so check out this month's profile (and our last of 2013 in this series) below! (Updated on November 27th, 2014)
The Lumbermen (Peterborough, Ontario)

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

Bryan Reid (vocals/guitar)
Mike Galley (guitar)
Colin Kennedy (guitar)
Steve Kerslake (bass)
Mikey Reid (drums)
Mark Rand (bass)

Official website: http://www.thelumbermen.com
Official Facebook page: http://facebook.com/thelumbermen
Official Bandcamp page: http://thelumbermen.bandcamp.com
Official YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/thelumbermen
Official Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/thelumbermen
Local Info: The Lumbemen's original bassist was prolific local punk/metal musician Mark Rand (a.k.a. Marky Lion), who's been a mainstay in bands from here and in Southern Ontario for years now! Currently well known as the bassist in the Peterborough hardcore trio Cross Dog (alongside former Lumbermen bandmate Mikey Reid), Mark's also made waves as Lion Ride's rhythm guitarist, along with roles in out of town and local bands like Detroit, Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, The Merves, hackthemodem, Pumpkinseed, Kidshit, Bondar, Fuller, DDPBB, The Mark Rand Band, and at least two different solo projects, with Mark honing skills as a vocalist, guitarist, and/or bassist in them all! Though he's lived in the Peterborough area for a few years now, Mark still plays the occasional local date, most recently with Cross Dog in September 2013. 

Band Bio: The Lumbermen were launched in August 2011, and made their live concert debut with a headlining show that October. Shortly afterwards, the band began work on their self-titled debut EP, which was released in February 2012 with 3 original songs, including the first single "Propane & Rodeos". A number of big events took place through that fall (including opening for Nashville Pussy and holding a music video screening party) before taking a break through this spring, during which original bassist Mark Rand was replaced by Charming Ruins drummer Steve Kerslake. After their new lineup debuted in April, The Lumbermen have been hard at work with big new concerts, a new single and music video for their song "Ego", and more, so hopefully we hear more from them in 2015! The Lumbermen's sound leans towards a southern-tinged hard rock sound that has a gruff but energetic feel that gives a unique element to their scene, and I like what the guys are doing with it!

Some of The Lumbermen's songs have a laid back casual feel while retaining some grit, which is an interesting contrast that works in it's own way, and Bryan Reid's vocals fit this style very well! I will say that I think The Lumbermen are best experienced live rather than in studio, as the concert videos that I've seen show a much angrier and carefree style that studio work doesn't capture. Mark's bass playing was very good when he was in the band, and while I have yet to find much media of the current lineup, hopefully Steve fits in! I like The Lumbermen's gritty and raw style, and I'm curious to hear more from them, but for now, check out their live videos and debut EP at the above links, and here's their music video for their first single "Propane & Rodeos"!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! To start this series' 2014 run, we'll be looking at Curse The Witch, the Kitchener alternative/hard rock band featuring Hollow/Carbon Black drummer Vinnie Milosevich in their current lineup! Watch out for that on or around January 26th, and I'll see you guys at The Algonquin Pub TONIGHT for Garden of Bedlam & Destroilet! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sault Ontario Holiday Weekend Concert Previews!!

Happy Boxing Day, everyone! I hope your Christmas was awesome in every way, and with the weekend approaching, it's time to preview an interesting slate of three multi-band metal & hard rock concerts in Sault Ontario over the next few days! No shows in Sault Michigan that I can currently source over that span, and keep in mind that Tym Morrison may be back at The Harp tomorrow as part of his current arrangement with this venue, but I'm waiting for official confirmation before plugging it here. If anything short notice pops up, we'll have it tomorrow!, but now, let's preview what you should know for this weekend as it currently stands!

Three local metal/hard rock bands will descend upon The Roosevelt Hotel TONIGHT for Heavy Winter, a Boxing Day concert full of entertaining music! Headlining tonight's show is local/Toronto hardcore punk trio RedD Monkey, whose cello-infused blend of aggression and classical influences should be more than welcomed back for their first local concert date since August! Opening up tonight's concert are local modern hard rock standouts The Suicide Kings (in their first Rosie date in over 7 months) and local punk/metal cover quartet T-Rex Manning (in just their second concert period in that span), so both should add their own unique flavours to this seasonal concert! Remember, local classic metal quartet The Hydra's Teeth are not playing this show anymore due to scheduling conflicts (and they haven't been replaced on the bill), thouugh be sure to look out for them in 2014! The ninth Thursday concert promoted at The Roosevelt Hotel by promoter/T-Rex Manning frontman J.D. Pearce, TONIGHT'S show has a $5 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 10:00 PM start time.

For more details on Heavy Winter, visit the official Facebook event page! Apart from the obvious seasonal ties (could this be considered a spiritual successor to RedD Monkey's Green Christmas shows?), tonight's concert offers a good chance to see three bands who haven't been common sights over the last half of 2013 just before the year runs out, so don't miss out at The Rosie TONIGHT! For a preview, here's RedD Monkey live in Ottawa!

Moving to The Algonquin Pub for today's remaining previews, TOMORROW NIGHT there marks the long awaited return of Garden of Bedlam to the local stage! Last seen opening for Airbourne in August (with their last full local set coming in the spring), this very popular and talented metal quartet are no strangers to The Algonquin Hotel, but tomorrow's show is (I believe) their first formal concert set downstairs, so keep that angle in mind! Local concert activity from Garden of Bedlam has been somewhat scarce in 2013, but you know they'll have a great concert set full of hard hitting originals tomorrow night, so don't miss out! Local hardcore punk veterans Destroilet will open up tomorrow's show in a rare show with no out of town bands, but knowing the run they've been on since re-emerging on stage this spring, their explosive old school sound will hit the right mark tomorrow! Admission will be $5 for tomorrow's concert, you must be 19 to attend, and a 9:00 PM start time is advertised. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

It's about time that Garden of Bedlam return for a fuller set of their very cool and well-recognized original material and covers, and hopefully there's a big turnout tomorrow downstairs for them & Destroilet at The Algonquin Pub! Be sure to count me in for this one, so I'll see you guys there, and for a preview, here's Garden of Bedlam covering Metallica at The Rockstar Bar in April!

Finally for today's previews, a unique bled of genres hits The Algonquin Pub THIS SATURDAY NIGHT for Another Year, Another Santa 2013, which features a handful of heavier acts in their probable last local dates of the year! Most unique of all (given our coverage focus) is the headlining act, British Columbia DJ/techno artist Tim Day, who's returning to his hometown for this concert. Definitely a shift from our norm, but he's very good at what he does! The band lineup includes "the original crash band" Sykotyk Rampage (last seen opening for Haggith at The Algonquin earlier this month), RedD Monkey frontman Steve Mozarowski in a solo set (replacing the full band for unannounced reasons, though no word on the form of his solo material yet), local grunge/hardcore duo Bad Back, and local lo-fi/grunge/acoustic solo act Telephone & Address, who will reportedly put their "Rotten EP" on sale in physical copies on Saturday! $10 for 7 songs, and I definitely hope to be there on Saturday to pick up a copy towards a 2014 review on the site!

Promoted by Bad Back's Jamie Vincent, Another Year, Another Santa 2013 has a $5 cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and a 9:00 PM start time. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Definitely a unique and interesting mix of performers, with an EP release, a DJ, and a somewhat unfamiliar solo performance rolled in as well, but it's nice to see the diversity and seasonal fun this Saturday night, so don't miss out! For a preview, here's Sykotyk Rampage live at The Algonquin earlier this month, and I hope to see you guys there!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile tomorrow (apologies for the delay), and for more news soon! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas From The Sault Metal Scene!!

Merry Christmas, everyone! (or, Happy Holidays if you prefer!) As has been a recent tradition, I've got some Christmas surprises for the occasion, but unlike last years, I've pared them down a bit and put them all on Christmas morning to both accentuate the day and note that there's less SMS-fitting albums at access to post online that aren't already there. For today, we have two archive metal albums to unwrap, along with a look at a fittingly seasonal local metal band, but first, we have a long overdue addition to our band links, just in time for Christmas!

First off today, we're finally welcoming Sault Ontario power trio Stiffler's Mom into our full coverage on the SMS! This was probably very overdue, but I think holding their current material and cover selection as being "lighter" than their old Sin Stereo work was an overstatement to say the least, as they still rock hard in concert! Last seen on stage at Docks Riverfront Grill last weekend, Stiffler's Mom is comprised of singer/drummer Greg Simpson (also of That's Chester, Bone Yard, and Maxx Entertainment), along with guitarist Michael Davies and bassist Jon Ferguson, who have played together (aside from a brief 2011-2012 breakup) since way back in 1998. Stiffler's Mom have played a number of big events during their run (including opening for INXS at The Essar Center), recorded at least one CD, and have been instrumental in the recent Toystock fundraiser concerts for Christmas Cheer, and their blend of old school covers (many with a heavier edge) are always a good time!

Though they're only just now getting full attention on the site, I've enjoyed Stiffler's Mom since even before the SMS was a thought in my mind, having seen them at a dance at Bawating Collegiate & Vocational School circa 2004. They're talented, have a lot of fun, and always engage the crowd, so hopefully we hear much more from Stiffler's Mom into 2014, and here they are pumping out heavier renditions of Johnny Cash and Golden Earring songs at last year's Toystock!

Next for our Christmas surprises, I uploaded two more local metal albums from the archives onto our YouTube channel, including defunct Sault Ontario classic metal quartet Late & Loud's only EP "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal"! Originally independently released in November 2012 upon their return from their first breakup, the version I uploaded is actually the April 2013 "Still Hard" reissue, which featured two added songs and two re-recordings of the original pressing's bonus tracks, with much higher quality. Released prior to their last set at the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, songs 1 & 6-9 were recorded at The Smoke & Oak Room with producer Dave Pihlaja, while the other 4 were produced by singer/guitarist Jonathan Tiberi's Daybreak Johnnies bandmate Steve Hopkin. Also featuring singer/guitarist Brendan Christie, bassist Benn Garside, and drummer Josh Hatherley, the songs (in order) include "Heavy or Bust", "Trouble", "Live For Excess", "Never Again", "Love Letter Lockdown", "Fast As A Bitch", "Machine Gun Maiden", "Whisper of the Damned", and "Rock N' Roll", so click each link to hear each song!

Note that I didn't include the self-recorded 2012 versions of "Never Again" & "Love Letter Lockdown" from the original pressing, and though I may post them in the future, they are of much lower quality. Late & Loud put in a fun album in both instances, though the lack of a full time singer still was felt, and it's a shame we only got recorded physical material of Late & Loud's at the end of their run. As they're currently inactive (and this EP's out of print), I thought "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal" would be nice to have on YouTube in full, so check out the full album before, and here's the first song!

Lastly for "new" album uploads on YouTube is "How Empty I Am", the 1997 album from defunct local metal trio Sulfur! Purchased at Value Village earlier this year (lucky find), this 8 song EP was recorded locally at Satellite Sound Studios, with the featured lineup including singer/guitarist Andy Chillman, bassist Mike Bird, and drummer Derek Turner, who would all find greater success in the London metal band Papa Fogals Chair. In order, the album includes the songs "Flower Girl", "Side Walk", "Empty", "Monkey Spank", "Don't Be So Tamed", "Real Me", "Evaluate", and "Our Glass Universe", with a bonus track of scattered irreverent dialogue following the last song after an extended stretch of silence, so click each link to hear each song! 16 years after it was released, it's nice to hear Sulfur's recorded output, and they do remind me of a more alternative-based shift from the later PFC sound, which expanded in membership and aggression, but Sulfur should entertain fans for sure!

We have yet to review "How Empty I Am" on the site (due to the recent constant flow of new heavier album releases), but I hope to give it a formal look in 2014! Check out the full album above, and here's the first track!

Finally for today, I think it's more than fitting to take another look at arguably the most seasonal metal band in the Twin Saults, that being Sault Michigan classical metal outfit Theatre of Night! As you may remember, their first album was "Christmas Night", a 2010 collection of metal versions of carols and Christmas standards, though it has seen a 2011 re-release and plans for both a brand new version and a new all-original album, both with German soprano singer Gaby Koss providing lead vocals. Though recent fundraising campaigns and optimistic plans haven't found a public resolution yet, their older Christmas songs and select newer recordings with Gaby are online for streaming and purchase, so there's no better way to enjoy the season and local talent in equal measure! Coming off a partial live performance in Sault Michigan in July as well, Theatre of Night (featuring I.S.O.M. and End of Existence alumni) have a lot of talent and ambition, and hopefully their next big plans will be realized soon!

Buy and stream their material at their Reverbnation page, and also check out their YouTube channel for videos, songs, and slideshows for their Christmas, American patriotic, and general renditions and originals! Check out their most recent slideshow (featuring their version of "What Child Is This?" with Gaby on vocals) below, and have a wonderful Christmas night no matter what!

Once again, Merry Christmas to all, and I hope you guys get lots of family time, good food, and of course, lots of presents! We'll be back TOMORROW MORNING with previews of an intriguing slate of post-Christmas concerts with metal/hard rock bands, so watch out for that then! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril, Scarkazm, and RamWagon), And More!!

In our last post before Christmas, we have a few assorted news items (including a band withdrawal for an upcoming concert), but first, here's a bunch of LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next year at two linked regional Eastern Upper Peninsula concert venues!

Sault Michigan hard rock quintet RamWagon have confirmed their early Kewadin Casino concert dates for all of 2014 via their Facebook page (with no changes to the original tentative posting), so when can you see them in the new year? If the current word is any indication, mostly at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino, with 12 shows scheduled there for January 3rd & 4th (their first with new drummer Ron Suchey), March 14th & 15th, May 9th & 10th, July 11th & 12th, October 17th & 18th, and December 19th & 20th! They'll also be back at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin branch on March 28th & 29th, August 1st & 2nd, October 24th & 25th, and November 28th & 29th, though the band has noted that they'll announce more dates when confirmed. All 20 concerts have 21+ age limits, no announced cover charges, and 9:00 PM-ish start times, so check the above links for more details! It'd be nice to hear of some new gigs outside of the Kewadin Casino umbrella (there haven't been a ton since their launch), but hopefully we hear more soon from their camp, and don't miss the new lineup's debut next weekend!

Also in new Kewadin Casino concert announcements, Charlevoix classic metal trio Peril will return to the U.P. for the first time in 2014 with shows at The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace on January 10th & 11th, plus on February 28th & March 1st, while they'll play their first Soo Kewadin dates of next year on February 7th & 8th! Currently their only announced shows at any location of 2014, their current concert schedule through March 1st was announced on their Facebook page yesterday, with their shows denoted in red (as the poster outlines all of frontman Jeff Hudson's bands' early 2014 concerts.) Like the above RamWagon concerts, these should have 21+ age limits, no cover, and 9:00 PM start times, and check the above links for more details! It's great to have Peril's entertaining classic metal cover sound back in the Eastern U.P. for some more dates early next year, and hopefully these are just the first of many, so keep an eye out for updates!

Now, speaking of Jeff Hudson's bands, you may know that he plays in a few other active rock groups that aren't frequently seen in the Soo area. That might be changing though, as Jeff's Traverse City-based metal trio Scarkazm as playing at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino for two weekends on January 31st & February 1st and on April 25th & 26th! The former dates are listed on the schedule above, while the April shows are via their website. A melodic groove metal band featuring Jeff on drums, Scarkazm have recent original material along with a wide array of covers, they have a solid crunch and chemistry that I'm enjoying on early listens, and hopefully these upcoming shows will encourage more dates for both Scarkazm and Jeff's non-Peril bands up here! As above, these are 21+ shows with no cover and a kick-off time of 9:00 PM, so check the above links for details, and stay tuned for more concert announcements as we get them!

Finally for today, here's a handful of assorted recent news items, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Windsor progressive hard rock band Awake To A Dream are looking to play in Sault Ontario in early 2014 (preferably January-February), so if you can help their solid melodic rock sound towards a local date, message frontman Chris Wilbur on Facebook at this link! They've already gotten some local contacts via Chris' post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group earlier this month, but just in case, see if you can help!
  • Local power/classic metal band The Hydra's Teeth have dropped off of THIS THURSDAY'S Heavy Winter concert at The Roosevelt Hotel due to a scheduling issue, as per the Facebook event page. Disappointing for sure, but promoter J.D. Pearce is working to get them on a 2014 show of his, and if any late lineup replacements are announced, we'll have them here!
  • Former Blind Baby frontman Tadd Gravelle is looking to join a new Sault Michigan-area music project, as per his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post last week. He's aiming to jam and write original music, and it'd be nice to see him in a new band, so message him above or at this link for further details!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for some Christmas surprises TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Monday, December 23, 2013

RamWagon Updates, New Videos, And Much More!!

We're back with some more news as we close in on Christmas, so what's in store for this Monday morning? New songs by two Sault Ontario solo singer/guitarists, and more assorted notes, but first, here's the latest from one of the most prominent new hard rock bands in Sault Michigan this year!

We'll start today with the latest from Sault Michigan hard rock cover quintet RamWagon, as they've officially added former Monkey's Uncle drummer Ron Suchey to their lineup, replacing Marcel Grengs. As announced on their Facebook page last week, Marcel left RamWagon to "pursue another drumming gig", though I don't know extra details at present, or if this will mean anything concerning his role in The Highest of Fives. Hopefully he's got some big plans though, and we'll hopefully keep you guys posted! Ron should be a good addition for RamWagon though, especially if you're familiar with his band work, and his addition reunites him with fellow Monkey's Uncle alum Nathan Switzer, so there should be pre-existing chemistry! The new lineup is projected to debut in January at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino if the recent "tentative" schedule posting on their Facebook page is any indication, but given that they admitted it was tentative, we won't call them on here until we get extra confirmation (either from the band or Kewadin's entertainment page.) Stay tuned for updates though!

Next up, here's some new YouTube video uploads from prolific local solo musicians, starting with a new song from Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's YouTube channel, as uploaded on Friday! Entitled "Tonight" and based around the conceit of holding a party & having a good time, this is a heavy original (if paced slowly) with Tym making grate use of his upper vocal register! I would have paced the song a bit faster and had more varied lyrics, but this is a solid new original, so give it a listen below!

Also, Ashes To Dust guitarist Alex Hemy uploaded a cover of Michael Buble's version of the Mariah Carey song "All I Want For Christmas Is You" onto his YouTube channel on Saturday! Staged far differently than his other solo covers (this time well dressed, and seated beside a Christmas tree), the multiple camera angles and transitions work really well, and he handles this version of the song well, if with slightly less of a Michael Buble sound, but if you're up for some seasonal covers, check out Alex's new video below!

And finally for today, here's three shorter assorted stories from the last little while! As usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or venue name:

  • As they've now hosted two distinct hard rock-featured concerts within the same year (let alone the same month), I've now added LopLops Lounge to our active Sault Ontario concert venue listings! This artistic and higher end lounge (right near The Grand Theater) has suddenly hit the SMS' attention via two recent Danger Cats concerts, and stay tuned soon for videos from one of them!
  • Only a third of RedD Monkey will be playing at THIS SATURDAY'S Another Year, Another Santa 2013 concert at The Algonquin Pub, as the Facebook event page now only credits frontman Steve Mozarowski among the performers. A reason for Pete & Joe's absence hasn't been publically announced, and I don't know yet what form Steve's set will take as a result, but I'm curious to find out! Get more details above!
  • Dafter, Michigan solo hard rock artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton's upcoming new album "Ink!" now has it's official album cover, featuring striking yellow & black "warning sign" stripes, so give it a look at this link, and stay tuned for updates on the CD!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes soon, along with some seasonal surprises! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

YouTube Channel Profile Series: BurgandyHill's Channel & Vinnie

For this cold Sunday morning, we have our last YouTube Channel Profiles of 2013 for you guys! This monthly feature series takes a look at 1-3 YouTube channels that have at least a 50% concentration of local metal/hard rock videos, so you guys can check out and subscribe to some older and notable YouTube channels from the regional scene! Today's post features looks at two Sault Ontario-focused channels, from both the scene's past and recent memory, so read on below for what you should know in these profiles!
BurgandyHill's Channel (http://www.youtube.com/burgandyhill)

Owner: YouTube user & Sault Ontario resident Burgandy Hill

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 5th, 2009; Videos posted from March 26th-30th of that year

Channel Summary: Burgandy's videos both came from the YMCA Battle of the Bands at The Lock City Grand Theater on March 20th, 2009, where she filmed part of local death metal band The Undead Warriors' first place set! The live concert debut for the band that we know better as Bring The Fallen, this battle run saw a different lineup than we're used to, with singer Josh Stephney filling in for the absent Joey Graham on drums, with rhythm guitarist Dan Souliere providing temporary lead vocals. The first of 3 battle victories for them, The Undead (Brown Pelican) Warriors won recording time that night that was eventually used to record their 2013 EP "Stand Before", featuring the two songs played in Burgandy's videos, those being part of "Defiling Despondence" and (as embedded below) all of "Night Riders"! They're definitely worth looking at for a unique early angle of Bring The Fallen's successful local run, though the angle & lighting isn't fantastic, and Dan's vocals are hard to hear. Note as well that Burgundy hasn't used her channel in over 4 years, in case that changes your mind on subscribing.


Vinnie (http://www.youtube.com/chilly33rd)

Owner: Former Hollow & Carbon Black drummer Vinnie Milosevich, who currently drums for the Kitchener rock band Curse The Witch

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 16th, 2007; Videos posted from February 2010 through June 2013

Channel Summary: Mostly focusing on his local music work, Vinnie's YouTube channel features 4 videos of his old local band Hollow, including three from a local concert in 1994 and one from one of Hollow's reunion gigs in August 2011. His only other video is of him covering The Matthew Good Band's "Haven't Slept In Years" with his old Kitchener cover band Knee Deep at a concert in Hamilton from earlier this year, with no videos following of his more recent music work.

Why Should You Watch: Vinnie's channel will likely be most notable to fans of Hollow and their prolific local band members, but the presence of local concert videos from almost 20 years ago should be of note on their own to curious local music fans! Keep in mind that Vinnie hasn't updated his channel in about 6 months, just in case activity remains sporadic there.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Pantera Cemetary Gates - Cover done by my old band Hollow: Vinnie's first upload is also his most watched, and it's one of three 1994 Hollow concert videos that he posted in February 2010 at an uncredited local venue. Presumably featuring singer Luigi Miceli, guitarists Tym Morrison (Caveman Morrison) & Terry Eaton (2 Buck Beers), and bassist Dan Beaupre (Griphook) as well, this cover of Pantera's "Cemetery Gates" joins covers of Metallica's "Creeping Death" & "Master of Puppets" from this same show. The quality isn't too hot, especially thanks to the camera being behind a big crowd, but Hollow show a lot of skill, and I wonder what Luigi's up to now, as he's a solid singer, despite the occasional lyric flub! Just keep in mind that these videos come from a tape camcorder.

Hollow Reunion Show - August.06, 2011: The last local concert upload on Vinnie's channel is from of one of Hollow's two reunion concerts in August 2011, where they covered King's X's "Dogman" at Bossy's Pub N' Grub. Featuring Carbon Black alum Travis Sharpe (now of The Thrill Junkies) in Luigi's place, the filmer of this clip has a good angle of the band, though the lighting could be better. We don't get enough reunions of older local metal bands, and with solid quality performances like this one, hopefully the idea comes up again soon!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! To kick off this series in 2014, we've randomly selected two more channels to profile, as the first we selected only had two distinct music videos there, so we added a channel with a single video to fill it out. Both are from Sault Michigan, and they include YouTube user The37533's channel (featuring three Tantrym Tyme concert clips) and madrid77's channel (featuring a copy of SooToday's video from Kiss' 2007 stop at Kewadin Casino), so look out for all of that on or around January 22nd! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes as we get closer to Christmas! Thanks everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

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

Unless there's another short notice concert announcement, today's post covers the rest of this weekend's regional metal/hard rock concerts that I can verify! That leads off today's post (including a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT), but we also have news on a local concert venue's change in name & focus, and some more assorted updates, so read on below for what you need to know!

Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return to The Harp Pub & Grill for another solo acoustic concert TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, Tym only just announced the show on Wednesday. The third straight Friday night show that Tym has played at the former Madison's Pub, the Facebook event page for tonight's show says that he's live at The Harp "every Friday", which appears to indicate that Tym has another weekly concert arrangement set up with a local venue, which is nice to see! Tym hasn't had an ongoing regularly scheduled series like this since his early 2012 run at another central venue (Bossy's Pub N' Grub), and hopefully this finds similar success (or bigger) if it's of a similar consistent length! Note however that I don't know what this means for Tym's frequent recent appearances at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill, where he generally played his Friday shows at this year. TONIGHT'S show at The Harp has no announced cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and a 10:00 PM start time.

For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's nice to see Tym ramping up bookings at The Harp (his debut there on November 1st must have been a huge hit), and assuming this new series continues, keep an eye out for an announcement of a December 27th show there! For a preview, here's Tym live at Mill Square this summer!

Now to quite a unique concert preview for TOMORROW NIGHT for our second hard-rock featured Loplops Lounge concert spotlighted on the SMS in just over a week! The show is X-Mess, an all acoustic punk rock revue at this higher-end downtown lounge, but there will be some hard rock on hand, as all female rockers The Danger Cats will break out the unplugged instruments for their sixth live concert! It'll be interesting to hear how they adapt in this environment, so keep it in mind for tomorrow! Also, no word on if singer Summer Snow-Leopard will be back for this show, but a personal Facebook posting implied she's back in town, so we'll have to see! The advertised headliners are an acoustic punk act named The Debts, and though public information has yet to be revealed on them, I will say they're a trio and feature some established names in local music, so they should put in a great set! The other acts are credited solo performers, including North West guitarist Greg Callaghan (who has played a number of solo unplugged punk shows in recent months) and "Dr." Sal Velinus, of whom I know little regarding his musical background.

Promoted by J.D. Pearce, this concert goes down TOMORROW NIGHT at 10:00 PM, you must be 19 to attend, and there is a $5 cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an interesting and unique seasonal concert (you're even encouraged to wear ugly Christmas sweaters), so don't bypass it tomorrow night, and for a preview, here's The Danger Cats covering Hole at their live concert debut!

Also today, a local concert venue has had a major change to it's name and theme in recent months, as The Nicolet Tavern at 304 Albert Street West is now a country themed bar named The Rednecks Saloon. A reason for the change hasn't been publically announced (at least online), but this poster jokes that The Nicolet was "gunned down by a redneck." Renovations took place as well for the new look in late October, with the bar re-opening on Friday, November 1st, and though their phone number & much of the menu are unchanged, I haven't heard a whole lot about bands playing there since. The Nic last featured a hard rock band (Griphook) on October 25th, a week prior to the re-opening, with bands in recent years there generally leaning towards veteran cover groups. I have no clue at present if the new Rednecks Saloon will have an all country focus for music (a'la Reggie's) or if it's just the general theme of the bar now, but hopefully they won't completely forgo some classic hard rock once in a while! Stay tuned for updates if they come in!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band name:

  • A selection of professional photos from Saturday night's Bam Margera/Fuckface Unstoppable concert were taken by attendee Jeff McKersie and uploaded to his photography website earlier this week! Joining some earlier local musician shots, he got 5 great pictures each of F.F.U. and co-headliners Wilson (none of the local bands though), and they turned out great, so check them out at this link, and Jeff's now in our local concert/musician photography links!
  • As a thank you to fans for their support during their run, defunct local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith have posted free streaming copies of their two "mainline" studio albums "Dragon Joy Ride" and "Deuce" on their BandCamp page! No word on if "Apocalypse", non-studio album releases, or any unreleased material will find it's way there eventually, but check out the free copies at the link above, and follow the members' current bands!
  • Speaking of posthumous Haggith-related activity, the band revealed on the Facebook event page for their final show earlier this month that frontman Curtis McKenzie is "rumoured to be entering sessions" to complete his Sound X solo project's debut album "Three Year Relapse", though nothing further has been publically stated. Hopefully Curtis gets that project back up & running!

That's probably all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes as we get it, along with this month's YouTube Channel Profiles on Sunday! Thanks everyone!