Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Poll On Your Favourite New Bands Of 2013!!

With the 18th of the month now upon us, it's now time to close last month's poll and launch our newest poll at The Sault Metal Scene! Before we get to the new poll, you may remember that we posed this question to you guys last month: "How significant are battle of the bands finishes to you in terms of a local band's recognition & success?" We got 20 votes, which is a good total that gave us some good results, so thanks to those of you who voted, and now, here are the final results!

Little to no significance (13 votes, 65%)
Depends what the band does afterwards (4 votes, 20%)
Depends on the judges/judging method (2 votes, 10%)
Depends on the prizes/stakes (1 vote, 5%)
Very significant (0 votes)
Depends where the band placed (0 votes)

What do you guys think? I will say that is seems obvious what won the poll, as almost 2/3rds of voters replied that how well a local band does in a battle of the bands has little to no bearing on their opinions of them. Of people who were open to battle finishes playing a part in a band's success, none saw the idea as very significant, with most of them only weighing battle success on what the band does afterwards, which makes sense, as a high battle placement is somewhat negated if the band breaks up shortly after. Knowing the runaway winners of the poll, it seems clear that most voters like and support bands based on their talents, genre, personal connections, and so on, and don't put high weight into battles of the bands in their calculations. Bands like Frightlight got big locally without competing in even one, and for bands like The Bear Hunters (our most recent local battle winners), they were successful and well liked for years before winning one. I think battles of the bands are fun events that help bring the scene together, and high finishes are usually great feathers in the cap, but they shouldn't be a huge influence on if you must like a band or not.

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, we're kicking off our usual "favourite _____ of the year" polls with one focusing on new bands! Unless there's a major surprise for a new concert coming up, we've likely seen every new debuting metal/hard rock bands in the region for 2013, and I'm glad to say, things have really picked up for new bands and new blood in the area! We haven't seen a bumper crop like this since (at least) 2010, which is awesome to see, but like before, I'm curious to see what new bands you guys enjoyed the most in 2013! Like in past instances of this poll, included bands must have both launched to the public AND played a public live concert set in 2013, so new live bands who launched in 2012 or earlier (like The Hydra's Teeth, Giwakwa and Crucify The Whore) are not included, but you can vote for them by clicking "Other" if you want! We're also not including bands who've only played one song live this year (like Chronic Demonic), one-off bands (like Loud Lazer), bands who've only played private events (like Train Wreck & the Haggith members' tribute acts), and bands who reunited/changed their name from an earlier form.

With that said, I have 20 different bands for this month's poll, including "Other" to cover anyone absent, so without any further adieu, what was your favourite new metal/hard rock band of 2013? Here are the choices!

AlgomA: Though their live appearances haven't been plentiful, this local sludge/doom metal trio (featuring BeeFMouTH & Fuller alumni) have made a big impression this year, including opening for the likes of The Golers and Soul Killing Female, headlining their own huge event in Echo Bay, and beginning work on their first EP! Their unique local sound and veteran presence have carried them well after their launch, but is AlgomA your favourite new local metal band?

Bad Back: AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent joined forces with fellow Fuller alum (and original Lion Ride bassist) Nathan Sauve in this new extreme/grunge duo, who've opened for the likes of Biipiigwan and Catgut since their summer debut! Delivering a big sound in a minimal size, Bad Back's hardcore/noise sound has been making fans fast, and 2014's looking really good for them, but do Jamie & Nathan have your vote as your top new heavier band of 2013?

Brutaly Fatal: One of the numerous newer grindcore/death metal projects through upstart independent label Blood Shed Productions, the Austin McCrea-lead project has supplied some solid bass work and brutality through the year, even if somewhat minimal, but their live debut in October went well, and their new two man lineup looks to deliver an even bigger sound in the coming months! Did Brutaly Fatal impress you the most in the past year?

The Danger Cats: A rare all-female hard rock band in the region, this new quintet (featuring former Lazer Queen frontwoman Kate "Kougar" Drew) have gained a nice reception and following in their late-2013 concerts, including very well received sets at Haggith's last two Algonquin Pub concerts, and two intriguing LopLops appearances this month! Have you been feeling the The Danger Cats' sound more than other new bands this year?

Glitch: Debuting on the same September night at The Danger Cats (albeit a floor up at The Rockstar Bar), this new cover quartet have entertained to big audiences there and at Toystock throughout late 2013 with their party & hard rock classics! Featuring Sneaky Pete, Lion Ride, and Tripod the Dog alumni, they have the skill and experience to become local mainstays going into the mid-2010s, but did you enjoy them the most in the past 12 months?

Jack Spades: The newest punk/metal project from prolific singer/promoter J.D. Pearce, Jack Spades have opened for The Dayglo Abortions, The Ripcordz, and Bam Margera in just a 4 month span, and they're just getting started! Also featuring T-Rex Manning, Bear Hunters, and Winkstinger members in their lineup, there's a familiarity to J.D.'s other bands, but with some different covers and new entertaining originals, do they have your support among the new crop of bands?

Late Shift: The new local alternative/hard rock band from alumni of Redefined, North West, and The Groove Committee, Late Shift debuted at last month's Amy Ellis Benefit at The Canadian with a fun cover sound that effectively hardened up some softer/overplayed covers and rocked expectedly hard on others, and the wigs & sunglasses helped the theme! We haven't heard much from them since, but was Late Shift's first appearance enough to win it for you?

Mike Haggith & The Din: A short lived jam rock project from 3/4ths of the also-defunct Haggith in swapped roles, Mike and The Din only played a handful of live concerts in mid-2013 (most prominently at Bushplane Musical Madness II), but they provided a fun, loose, and improvised take on Mike's solo originals, along with a number of high quality recordings of their material! Did Mike & The Din leave the best first impression on you this year?

Plastic: One of the newer hard rock bands to launch this year in Sault Michigan, this new alternative rock trio (featuring Half Stupid & Cherubic Red alumni) debuted at this year's LemmaFest and kept going strong through the departure of drummer Paul Burns in September, though they played a number of solo headlining dates in the area this summer. Very intriguing band, and hopefully they get a new drummer soon, but did Plastic impress you the most in 2013?

Project 421: The surprise band that debuted at Haggith's farewell concert earlier this month, Project 421 unites alumni of old local bands like Fitswitch & Broken with Haggith's Daniel Horton on bass, and they tore through a very cool set of older metal classics for the gathered fans! Details on future dates (which will feature a full time singer) aren't out yet, but did Project 421's first show earlier this month endear themselves to you more than the rest?

Project Legion: This funk/experimental metal band only saw the stage twice in October before their surviving members disbanded them to form their successors The Strange Coyotes, but fans who saw either of their dates may think highly of them on their own merits, possibly as their first show featured Sabrina Strange in their ranks! The Strange Coyotes have already done more collectively, but did you prefer the brief run of Project Legion?

Punch: A new supergroup formed by 2 members each of Haggith and The Suicide Kings, Punch debuted with a third place run at last month's Viva La Battle before opening for Diemonds earlier this month at The Algonquin, and the next year's looking bright for them to be sure! Essentially the main successors to Haggith following their dissolution, Punch have the chemistry and talent to take them far, but did you like them the most of all of the recent new hard rock bands?

RamWagon: Another new band in Sault Michigan, RamWagon was formed after a split in the members of fellow regional hard rock cover band Full Throttle, but the new band has been far more active in recent months, including a number of Kewadin Casino stops and a debut set at LemmaFest! Also featuring alumni of The Highest of Fives and Monkey's Uncle in their lineup, did RamWagon make it to #1 in your opinion for new regional groups?

Rotopsy: Another newer goregrind duo from Blood Shed Productions, the former Spitneck have also had a fast rise this year with demo CD releases and a live debut at The Oddfellows Hall in October! Though they have a somewhat polarizing sound like with their sister band Crucify The Whore, they have loyal fans and a lot of fun with what they do, and hopefully Ringsnaps & Dylan keep it up into 2014! Were Rotopsy your favourite new heavier band?

Saints & Serpents: Essentially the successors to the now-defunct Valentine's Day Massacre, this partly-local death metal quartet debuted on stage this past Friday... albeit in London, where the band's 3 local members have been based since last year. V.D.M. fans should be overjoyed that they're still hard at work, but if you've seen Saints & Serpents live, did they top the fully local bands that also launched and played live in 2013?

The Side FX: Inactive for almost 4 months following the departure of guitarist Alex Walls, this new local hard rock band (featuring Papa Fogals Chair alumni Mike Bird & Derek Turner) debuted at The Roosevelt Hotel in July, but have not played live since. The Side FX had a lot of promise based on members' past work and their own public postings, and hopefully they turn up again, but did their July show give you the most enjoyment of this year's new bands?

The Strange Coyotes: Evolving from their predecessors Project Legion at their October show at The Oddfellows Hall, The Strange Coyotes followed up on that with a surprise digital album release and a well recieved opening set at Haggith's final show earlier this month! Featuring Haggith, Blackwater, and Smiling Giraffes alumni, this new trio has a lot of explosive and creative originals to show, but have they impressed the most so far?

The Thrill Junkies: More or less the successors to both Turner Up & Havadder's 2012 lineup, The Thrill Junkies first brought their classic/hard rock sound to the stage in Spanish as part of the Rock N' Roar festival & battle, before rocking the Soo a number of times this fall at numerous venues (including at Toystock!) The Thrill Junkies are quickly making a new name for themselves in this new band, but are they your top new local hard rock band?

The Throwbacks: Debuting this weekend at The Roosevelt Hotel (more on that soon), this new trio plays classic & modern rock covers, and they unite Lucky 13's Jeremey Salatuk & Jeff Gray with Jeff's former Turner Up bandmate Brent Royer (presumably on vocals & drums.) Their lineup and past band experience hint that they'll cover a good selection of hard rock songs, but once you see them, will they be your favourite new band of 2013?

Unbound: Most recently seen re-using the With Blood Build Character name, local hard rock band Unbound's public launch in January sadly came after the sudden passing of singer Justin Fratpietro. With tributes to him in mind, Unbound's concerts all took place in his hometown of Thunder Bay this spring, though a local debut under either name hasn't taken place, and there's been no public updates in 9 months. Still, did you like Unbound/W.B.B.C. the most among new acts?

Other: Did you prefer a new local band that wasn't listed above? Did I miss your preferred choice, or does your top "new" band happen to be one that was alive before this year, only played privately, hasn't played a full live show yet, or wasn't even metal or hard rock? Some examples that could fit are elaborated on above, but if your preferred "new" band isn't listed, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until January 18th to cast your ballots, and hopefully we'll get a good turnout of votes and responses to this year's crop of heavier new bands! There was definitely a unique and talented mix of bands this year to launch and debut, and I'm very curious to see the final results, so vote A.S.A.P. in the form on the right, and stay tuned for more news and concert previews soon! Thanks everyone!

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