Monday, January 20, 2014

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Next 2013 Poll!!

After a two day delay thanks to the voting limits error (my apologies once again for that), it's now time for the results from last month's poll and to kick off our latest poll! As you may remember, last month's poll posed this question to you guys: What was your favourite new metal/hard rock band of 2013? A stellar 151 votes came in (partially thanks to Facebook campaigns from some of the included bands), so thanks to everyone for voting and showing interest once again! So, what were the final results? They lie below!

Jack Spades (54 votes, 36%)
The Strange Coyotes (42 votes, 28%)
The Danger Cats (16 votes, 10%)
AlgomA (11 votes, 7%)
Rotopsy (8 votes, 5%)
RamWagon (4 votes, 2.5%)
Other (4 votes, 2.5%)
Brutaly Fatal (2 votes, 1.6%)
Mike Haggith & The Din (2 votes, 1.6%)
Project 421 (2 votes, 1.6%)
Bad Back (1 vote, 0.7%)
Glitch (1 vote, 0.7%)
Late Shift (1 vote, 0.7%)
Punch (1 vote, 0.7%)
Saints & Serpents (1 vote, 0.7%)
The Thrill Junkies (1 vote, 0.7%)
Plastic (0 votes)
Project Legion (0 votes)
The Side FX (0 votes)
The Throwbacks (0 votes)
Unbound (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I'm mostly not surprised by the 0-1 vote getters given their 2013 activity levels, but I thought Plastic would get at least one Yooper vote, and I assumed Bad BackGlitch, and The Thrill Junkies would get some more attention as well given their fast assimilation. The three bands with 2 votes were pleasant surprises despite not seeing them live much last year, and despite tying for 6th place with 4 votes, Sault Michigan hard rockers RamWagon did win the poll for their side of the border! I can't speak for "Other", but sentiment for older bands who only debuted live in 2013 (like Giwakwa and 415E) would make sense. Rotopsy's fifth place spot with 8 votes is encouraging for Blood Shed Productions' growth, and AlgomA's 11 votes were impressive given their sporadic dates and lack of a Facebook vote push! The Danger Cats' third place run was solid and shows their support well, but as you can see from the totals, fans of Jack Spades and The Strange Coyotes were clearly in a dogfight over the past month for first place.

While The Strange Coyotes' fast rise and entertaining funk/metal sound has won them a lot of praise since the fall, Jack Spades pulled out the win in the poll! Their high profile 2013 gigs and opening slots for the likes of The Dayglo Abortions and The Ripcordz are bound to have helped, plus their own talented lineup of metal & punk mainstays, but of course, look out for more big things from these bands and most of the others in the poll in 2014! Congratulations to Jack Spades, and thanks to everyone for voting!

As for this month's poll, we're continuing with our "Favourite _____ of 2013" theme with a look this month at new albums and CDs, hence our newest poll question: What was your favourite new local metal album of 2013? There was definitely more albums and more heavier bands releasing them in the past year than we saw in 2012, partially thanks to digital distribution and expanded self-production from local artists, so we have a lot to get to, including some Sault Michigan-area releases, albums from now-broken up bands, and even a tribute album to a missed local band. As was the case last year, to be included in the poll, albums must have had their initial paid release in 2013 (reissues don't count unless there's new material), they must have been on sale in some form (so Sykotyk Rampage's 2013 albums aren't included), and they must be packaged as an album (rather than in a paper sleeve with no visible effort.) With that said, here are your choices for your favourite metal or hard rock album of the past year!

Any of Blood Shed Productions' 2013 demos: This independent local death metal/grindcore label has been quite busy in the past year, releasing numerous self-produced demos & split releases from affiliated artists like Brutaly Fatal, Crucify The Whore, Malignant Neoplasm, Rotopsy, and Tomgrindy. Some of these may blur together given similar lineups & genres, but the do-it-yourself mentality and outlet for some younger artists is welcomed! Did you like any of Blood Shed's 2013 demos the most?

Bring the Fallen - Stand Before: In honour of their one-off farewell reunion set at Oddzfest 2013 Metal Mash-Up in July, local death metal quintet Bring The Fallen finally released their only EP "Stand Before" that night, ending over four years of dormancy following the 2009 recording sessions. Fans enjoyed the limited release, and it helped give much needed closure to their run, but was "Stand Before" your favourite 2013 local album release?

Crimson Crusade - Upon the Eve of War: Recorded at The Smoke & Oak Room and released on June 3rd after their set opening for Skeletonwitch at The Canadian, this young local death metal quartet demonstrated a solid mix of Death-influenced originals on their debut EP, and it's definitely helped them in their continued local rise in recent months! Was "Upon the Eve of War" your #1 new metal CD of the past year?

Haggith - Deuce: Though not known to be their last studio album at the time of it's May release, local grunge quartet Haggith's third album (and second "mainline" one) kept their strong fanbase happy with a mature yet rocking blend of alternative hard rock originals, helping supply songs for their remaining 2013 concert sets. Haggith left a big impression in their brief run, and their studio material lived up to that, but was "Deuce" the top new CD of last year for you?

Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe - Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe: A surprise late release of this digital album (on a "name your price" model) came in December from The Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe, a technical death metal solo project led by talented local guitarist Matt Parr. Though it has flown under the radar somewhat, Matt's skills & high production values are clear as day on this Bandcamp exclusive, but would you agree with that?

Late & Loud - Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal: Still Hard: An expanded reissue of their 2012 demo EP, local classic metal favourites Late & Loud put out this CD (with four new recordings) in honour of the last concert of their active run at the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands finals in April. Their loyal Loudmouths sure enjoyed the "Still Hard" reissue, and it even made it on The Rockstar Bar's wall, but was it your favourite new release of 2013?

Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch II: Where It Ends: A sequel to Strange Coyotes drummer Mike Haggith's October 2012 album "Neighbourhood Watch", this album (Mike's 47th) was released in September, giving a lighter but more symphonic and orchestral take on his prolific solo material and extensive musical background. Well recieved and well composed, but was this your favourite new local hard rock album of the past year?

Pillory - Cringe at the Cross: Fulfilling early plans from early in their run, local thrash metal quartet Pillory released their debut demo EP last month on the one year anniversary of original guitarist Andres Duchesne's passing, featuring only his surviving bandmates and songs he co-wrote on the finished product. Early word has been good, and their full new lineup's return is in just a few days, so was their CD the best way to kick off things?

Sailor's Tongue - Pierced: Coinciding with their set at Rotaryfest's Second Stage in July, local hard rock quintet Sailor's Tongue released this demo CD as an attendee-exclusive teaser of their full debut album, which is still awaiting a release (perhaps at this year's Rotaryfest?) Though uneven in quality, "Pierced" was a good sign of things to come, but would you concur after hearing it?

Strange Coyotes - Strange Coyotes: Just two weeks after their inception (and before ever playing a show under this name), new local funk/metal trio The Strange Coyotes released their own Bandcamp-exclusive digital album with a "name your price" method, though in this case, it was recorded live in an improvised jam style. Fans enjoyed the results, and though some of the live insanity was lost in translation, did you enjoy this album the most of all?

Any of SweetKenny's three 2013 albums: The only Sault Michigan-area hard rock CD releases of last year that I know of, Dafter, Michigan hard rock veteran Ken Sutton continued his own recent prolific pace with three solo CDs this year, including the "Doo Hickey" EP in March, his longer and fuller release "Perception" in June, and his all-instrumental seventh CD "Cracks In The Wall" in November. SweetKenny has plenty of talent and creativity, and he's shown it this year, but were any of his albums your favourite?

Telephone & Address - Rotten EP: The Chris Shoust-led grunge/lo-fi acoustic project released it's newest CD last month, which is even SOCAN registered, with it available via direct message or presumably at his next shows. I admittedly have yet to hear it, but if it lives up to Chris' past work, it should be an interesting release! If you've heard the "Rotten EP", can you vouch for it as your favourite 2013 local album?

Various Artists - Heart of Gold: A Tribute to Woods of Ypres: Though not featuring any local musicians, this double disc set was in complete tribute to defunct local blackened doom metal band Woods of Ypres and their late frontman David Gold upon it's June release, with 19 bands (including a handful of David's former bandmates) paying tribute to their music by covering Woods of Ypres material. It's a great package for a great cause, but did you like it more than the other included albums?

Other: Did we miss your favourite new album release? Perhaps you liked one of Sykotyk Rampage's many free albums from last year, a non-metal release, or maybe even one from late 2012 or early this year? Or was I forgetful and missed an album for the poll? If, for any reason, your preferred choice isn't above, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! Given the delayed start to this month's poll, we'll end this one on February 19th to slowly move back to our polls' usual placements on the 18th of each month, and I'll emphasize, voters are limited to one vote only! Cast your votes A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for more news (and hopefully some Bret Michaels concert fallout) this week! Thanks everyone!

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