Friday, October 31, 2014

Devil's Night At The Oddfellows Hall II Concert Review!!

Once again, Happy Halloween to all of our readers! Today marks our second of three concert reviews via our run of three attended local metal/punk concerts in three days, as we were in attendance for last night's second annual Devil's Night concert at The Oddfellows Hall, but before we get into the review proper, check out our previews of Sunday's Brains concert, this weekend's Sault Michigan hard rock shows, and more in the post below this one! Attendance wasn't great last night (I'm not even sure if there was ever 50 people inside for a band at once), but being on a rainy Thursday night, who knows if that played in. Still, plenty of varied surprises abounded, so let's begin our review!

As announced, last night's show began with an hour-long rap block from Blood Shed Productions-affiliated rappers, but I was running late, so I regrettably missed the opening set from Phat Boii. He has rap talent, so hopefully I'll get another chance to check him out in the near future! When I got to the hall, Miracle Man was on the mic, and in case you didn't know, Miracle Man is the rap alter-ego of Revolution/Brutaly Fatal frontman Austin McCrae. Donning his best Paul Stanley makeup for the occasion, he laid down some good rap, if a bit casual and lacking a lot of crowd engagement, and it was nice to see Chase Wigmore hop in on guest bass during his set! The rap section ended with Mikey Thomas (ex-Haggith bassist Caleb Cachagee's cousin, pictured), and even though he was the rapper I was least familiar with going in, he really impressed with high energy, visible aggression, and a fast rhythm for the genre, and it was a solid way to cap the rap start to Devil's Night!

The regular band portion kicked off with as a solo set by the talented James Watterworth (credited as Delusionair Lionhair), but fans were surprised when he reunited with former Strange Coyotes bandmates Chase Wigmore and Mike Haggith for his entire set! Given how unamicable things sounded earlier this year, it's great to see everyone back on the same page! I'd stop short of calling it a full band reunion though (at least, not yet), as Chase and Mike just provided backing instrumentation to James' existing originals like "DNA DNU", "No Attachment", and "Best That You Can", but it did bring back memories of last year's Devil's Night show, where they joined James during his solo set then as well. Compared to James' true solo sets, it's always nice to see his solo songs fleshed out with a full band sound like this, and everyone sounded good and energetic, so hopefully we hear more from James (and perhaps The Strange Coyotes) soon?

The aforementioned Austin McCrae was up next with his doom/punk trio The Revolution (formerly the second Brutaly Fatal), getting back to his heavier rock sound to a solid reception! Evenly split between 4 originals (like "Monsters" and "Mercury") and 4 covers (of everyone from Kiss to Weezer), the guys showed good musical talent, with Rainey Vincent's bass work shining for most of the set, and I like how drummer Brandan Glew is talking more between songs, as it lifts some of that weight off of Austin, who still strikes me as too aloof and shy in terms of crowd interaction. To me, their set was a tale of two bands: On originals, they're tight, aggressive, and have a good thing going, but on covers (with the exception of "God of Thunder"), the guys sound like a completely different band. "In Bloom" was noticeably messy, and in general, the covers are still a jarring jump from their doomy originals. Still, solid set, and hopefully The Revolution keep plugging away!

Blood Shed Productions goregrind duo Rotopsy returned to the site (and one year anniversary) of their live concert debut next,  and if you're a fan of their minimalist brutality, you'll have been right at home! Debuting a few new songs (one with an unbelievably long name) along with playing established originals like "T.F.T", "Let Us Rot", and "Grinded Live In Your Faces", Dylan Taylor and Tyler Gibson were on form with their enthusiastic two-man metal, but Tyler was stuck on the upper stage for their set, which left their set to be more reserved and less bouncy than I'm used to. Luckily, Rotopsy were playing to one of the peak crowds of the night, such as it was, and their loyal fans were headbanging and moshing away from start to finish, including the odd sight of a moshpit slowly moving away from the stage! Unaccustomed fans still might see Rotopsy as an acquired taste, but they have a good thing going and a good following!

Next was supposed to be the return of local grind/experimental duo This Is Your Band On Drugs, but for unannounced reasons, they didn't play last night (for what it's worth, I didn't see singer Nick Burns around, which could be related.) We were still treated to a return for one of guitarist Chase Wigmore's bands, as his acoustic/indie rock trio The North Shore (formerly Like Father Like Son) made their surprise return to the stage in T.I.Y.B.O.D.'s place! Unlike at their Dank Fest set in April, drummer Felipe Salvestrini was on hand to form their full current trio lineup, producing a casual, though well composed sound that was a pleasant diversion from the surrounding metal, albeit as a large outlier. It was nice seeing former local hardcore singer/promoter Jeremy Hannah back on stage too, and while Chase's guitar work fit the material better than at Dank Fest, he too was stuck on the upper stage and had limited movement. Nice seeing The North Shore again though!

Local classic metal quartet Project 421 were up next in their first concert appearance in over 5 months and first since the departure of singer Curtis McKenzie, though he has not been replaced in the band, so existing guitarist Blair Burch is back on lead vocals... for now, at least!  If it is permanent, fans will be glad to hear that Blair's lead singing voice has considerably improved and loosened up since their late 2013 launch, and I wouldn't complain if he remained on lead vocals! The guys covered everyone from Black Sabbath and Kiss to Bad Religion and Alice Cooper in their set, with Frank McGillivray nailing some solid solos, and Larry Mousseau dependably good on drums as usual, and it was a surprise to see the guys cover "Children of the Sea" so well last night! Blair still does do some songs that are out of his vocal range, but Project 421's new/old sound works well, and hopefully they're back on stage before you know it!

The aforementioned Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson hit the stage next to rock out with his goregrind solo project Crucify The Whore, and his 10 song set definitely got Blood Shed loyalists moving and moshing! Playing songs like "People These Days", "Batch Cones", and "Bunk, Shake, and Headache", his set was impaired by being stuck on the upper stage again, which kept him from feeding off the crowd as much. Aside from that, Tyler's guitar riffs and pig squeal vocals were consistently brutal from past concerts, and he definitely seemed happy to be back on stage rocking out with fans and friends alike (same for the Rotopsy set, and yes, Dylan joined him for a C.T.W. song too!) Again, not everyone's cup of tea, but he's having fun, and the Blood Shed crew have a devoted following, so what more could you ask for! Look for more from C.T.W. in the coming months!

Local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith were up next with a set that they were really hyping up in advance of last night's show, so what was special about it? Well, aside from "No Cure For Insanity" & "Rage Train", all of their songs last night were from their upcoming studio album "XIV", with only "By The Hand" and "Runnin' From Love" not played. As a result, their set sounded heavier than normal, going with the trend of their recent non-Apocalypse music, and everyone sounded good! Curtis McKenzie definitely was showing off his vocal range to solid effect, and now that I've seen new bassist James White playing the band's more typical material, it's easy to see how good of a fit he is with Haggith! That said, if you were hoping for covers, songs from "Deuce" or the "Apocalypse" CDs (or anything with Curt on rhythm guitar), you'll have been disappointed, but Haggith's hard hitting yet melodic set was very good, and look out for their next studio material when released!

The show's nominal headliners were Sudbury death/groove metal quintet Archelon in their first local appearance (though they've played with local bands in Spanish & Cochrane, and you may recognize guitarist Brady MacCoy from Catharcyst.) They were definitely the most ready for Halloween, with each member wearing at least a hat for the occasion! Somewhat newer than most out of town bands that we see here, Archelon played a 7 song set roughly divided between original songs like "To The Teeth" and covers of the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Pantera, with death metal vocals to kick things up a notch. Solidly brutal, the guys had a great command of what crowd was left (things peaked for Haggith), and singer Bobby Cobras had an intense presence and projection that belied his roadkill bunny costume, later giving an emotional tribute to his dad who recently died. The drums were overdone on "Seek & Destroy", but I'm curious to see where Archelon go from here, and Brady's Dean Razorback is beautiful!

Last on Devil's Night was the aforementioned Chase Wigmore in his fourth appearance of the day, and if you've missed his solo acoustic experimental sets, you were in good hands if you stayed past 1:00 AM! I couldn't stay for the whole set, but fans got a mixture of irreverent covers and established originals, including a song meant for The Strange Coyotes, and like in his sets last year and early this year, Chase's humour, unique presence, and guitar talent was clear as day! He even made use of his carny work over the summer early yesterday with some announcing after the rappers' set, so Chase as we knew him is back! What I saw was fun, and hopefully I'll get a chance to see his show in full in the coming months, perhaps with a full Coyotes reunion? Overall, the second annual Devil's Night concert from Heavy North Entertainment was very good, and full of surprises, but the turnout wasn't great, even with the intended anniversary and Devil's Night timing. Everyone seemed to have fun though, and in the end, that's what matters most! Here's to another Devil's Night show in 2015!

I got 9 photos of each act (sans Phat Boii, apologies again), and you can see them at this link or at our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's the 11 we shot, and in chronological order, here's Miracle Man playing "Welcome To The Bloodshed" (with Chase & guest rapper Dylan "Dillionaire" Taylor"), Mikey Thomas rapping a song whose title was unannounced, James Watterworth & friends playing "Sneeze", The Revolution playing "Prisoner of Hate", Rotopsy playing "Swamp Donkey", The North Shore playing "Shotgun Blasting" (I think), Project 421 covering Fleetwood Mac's "The Green Manalishi (And The Two Prong Crown)", Crucify The Whore playing "Entrepeneur of Depression" and "Necro Incest Gangbang" (they titled it, not me, don't shoot the messenger), Haggith playing "These Four Walls", Archelon playing "Banshee", and Chase Wigmore covering Hank Williams III' "Pills I Took" and Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks", albeit very loosely!

Miracle Man & Mikey Thomas

James Watterworth & friends and The Revolution

Rotopsy & The North Shore

Project 421 & Crucify The Whore

Haggith & Chase Wigmore

Archelon - Banshee

That's all for today, but we'll see you guys at The Algonquin Pub TONIGHT for The Halloween Party, as we send Frightlight off in style! Thanks everyone, and have a happy Halloween!

The Rest Of The Halloween Weekend Hard Rock/Punk Concert Previews, And More!!

Happy Halloween, everyone! Our busy Halloween weekend continues today with our last previews of the weekend's concerts, including the known heavier Sault Michigan shows and a special Sunday nighter to cap the season with, but we also have some assorted recent notes at post's end. Now, here's what you need to know!

Newer Rudyard, Michigan hard rock quintet Exiled will provide their own Halloween entertainment TONIGHT when they headline a "Monster Bash" at the Dondee Lanes in Sault Michigan, marking their debut at this venue! Announced earlier this month on their Facebook page, this will be Exiled's first concert appearance since sharing the stage with Ricochet at the Savoy on the 10th, and though public information on the Halloween events to be had tonight are minimal, I would expect costumes being encouraged, at the very least, and who knows what other seasonal perks will be in store! Of course, Exiled's own blend of covers (and experienced lineup featuring Monkey's Uncle, NoXcape, and Division of Sanity alumni) should entertain fans at the Dondee, so don't miss out if you're across the river! Like at other recent Dondee events, there will be an earlier start time of 8:00 PM, no announced cover charge, and a 21+ age limit. Click here for more details on the Monster Bash, and hopefully some live video footage of Exiled turns up!

Also this weekend on the American side of the border, Kinross classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Fresh off of a road trip to Engadine this past weekend, these will surprisingly be Banned's first stops at St. Ignace's Kewadin branch of the year, and as you'd expect, there will be some type of Halloween theme going down tonight, so bring your costumes! Even without the seasonal setting, Alex, Wayne, and Don should have an entertaining variety of originals & covers to take in this weekend to help end one month and bring in another, so keep their shows in mind as well if you're in the E.U.P.! Both tonight & tomorrow's shows have no announced cover charge, 21+ age limits, and 9:00 PM start times. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Banned covering C.C.R. earlier this year!

Finally for this weekend's hard rock and punk concert previews, local concert promoter J.D. Pearce's final show in his "Punkrocktober" run of seasonal shows goes down THIS SUNDAY at The Rockstar Bar, which may be after Halloween, but better late than never! Headlining on Sunday are Montreal psychobilly favourites The Brains, who return to our area almost a year after their well received 2013 show here, and if you like your rockabilly with a large infusion of punk and attitude, you should take to The Brains' return again! Opening for them on Sunday are Montreal punk quartet Boids, whose own more traditional blend of punk rock should serve them and fans well, so don't miss their set either, as they have good energy and talent to go around! Though a local opening band is still "to be announced" as per the Facebook event page, a personal Facebook post by frontman Rob Speers says that local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements will be opening, and they'd be a good fit here, so keep an eye out for them!

This 19+ concert goes down Sunday night at around 9:00 PM, and there is a $10 cover charge. For more details, check the above links! After seeing three shows in three days, I can't guarantee if I'll be at this one, but fans of psychobilly and good old fashioned punk rock should not miss out on The Brains & Boids THIS SUNDAY, so check above for more info, and here's The Brains live in 2012!

We'll close today with some assorted recent updates from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Veteran Sault Ontario drummer Mike Severin is looking for local musicians who'd be interested in joining an old school punk band that he intends to launch, who would cover bands like The Clash, The New York Dolls, and Social Distortion. He's looking specifically for a singer and/or guitarist (no word on if he has a bassist already), and interested parties must be able to jam one night a week. If you're interested, message Mike at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post on Tuesday!
  • I've deleted the defunct Sault Michigan/Japan metal project Mugwort from our inactive band links, as their MySpace (and only online) page's link now redirects to an unrelated person's personal account, so it looks like it was taken down. Mugwort weren't around long and didn't post much, but follow singer Bob Helsten's similar local bands like I.S.O.M. and End of Existence for more material!
  • I've replaced defunct Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Nixxon Dixxon's link on the site from their now-deleted Facebook page to their still active MySpace page, which still has substantial concert photos to warrant the link's inclusion on our listings, despite it's older studio cover songs having been pulled a few years back. It'd be cool to see Nixxon Dixxon reunite at some point, but follow 415E and The London Gentlemen for members' current work!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our review of last night's Devil's Night show at The Oddfellows Hall in our next post (if all goes well), and we'll see you guys at The Algonquin Pub TONIGHT for The Halloween Party with Frightlight! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gob Concert Review!!

Hey guys, it's time for our first of three concert reviews from our run of three SMS-covered Halloween season concerts in three days (with Archelon to come TONIGHT and Frightlight TOMORROW), but be sure to check out our previews of most of this weekend's remaining Sault Ontario concerts in the post below this one! As expected, last night saw Gob and three local bands rock out to a packed house at The Rockstar Bar (definitely one of the best crowds I've seen there), and yes, there were still plenty of Halloween decorations around the bar! Now, to the bands!
Opening last night's show was local punk trio Redundant in the first concert appearance of the fall, and they were up to their usual tricks! Blending covers from bands like Green Day, Weezer, and even the likes of John Denver and Eminem, plus originals like "That December", the guys made the most of their set with plenty of entertaining songs and a lot of unfiltered and amusing banter, even introducing members for the first time on stage! Though the guys kept to their punk attitude and liveliness, a moment of poignancy came before "Molly's Lips" when frontman Justin Langlois offered a toast to his late best friend, Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold, as their first punk show was seeing Gob at Club Princess in the 1990s, and they had vowed to see Gob together again. Nice moment, I know how hard David's passing hit him, but I bet he'd be proud! Also joined for a late set cover of The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bob" by Jack Spades' J.D. Pearce, it was good seeing Redundant again, and hopefully we get more punk action soon!

Next up was local indie/punk quintet Northwest (replacing Oakville punk band Seaway), who unveiled a surprise lineup change last night, as they've enlisted Marc Santos (ex-A Fall From Innocence, Fuller) as their new drummer, replacing Clint Wilson. Frontman Wayne Watkins told me that Clint left amicably due to his own busy personal schedule, and if there was any doubt to that, Clint joined the guys to sing chorus vocals on "I Got You", which was cool, and best of luck to him in other projects! Northwest's short half hour set included all 4 songs from their new digital EP plus two non-EP originals ("Hangover Habits" & "Drinking Games"), and given that this was my first time seeing them outside of a battle of the bands, I can say that they seemed looser and more energetic this time around! Marc's a solid fit on drums, and the triple guitar attack from Wayne, Greg Callaghan, and Mike Yakasovich didn't seem like overkill! Solid sound that will appeal to fans of members' older bands, and apologies to Mike Smykacz on the lack of great pictures, I was stuck where I was!

Last among the local bands last night was local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades in what personal Facebook posts were hinting would be their last concert set of the year,  so it's a good thing that the guys delivered a solid set of originals and covers to leave us wanting more! Their nine song set included all 5 songs from their EP "The First" plus their newer songs "Crossroads" and "Motorwolf" and Misfits & SNFU covers (with Northwest's Greg Callaghan joining in for guest vocals on "Drunk on a Bike"), and even with "Frederick" dropped from the set, all was well! Though J.D. and guitarist Jesse Cook dropped their masquerade mask and Link wig early, the Halloween spirit radiated throughout their set, including with Tiffany Stocco's skeleton dress! Solid and hard hitting punk & metal, with Justin Lam shining on bass as usual, and J.D.'s vocals soaring at their heights, so hopefully the guys make the most of their end-of-2014 break, and don't miss Frightlight tomorrow!

And of course, your headliners last night were Langley, B.C. punk veterans Gob in their first local appearance since headlining at The Outback almost 6 years ago, and they definitely left it all on stage for their return! This was one of the most densely packed crowds I've ever been in at a local concert (definitely #1 for The Rockstar Bar), but moshpits still made their mark, with someone's beer even hitting me dead in my left eye during "Oh! Ellin". In other words, this was a great punk crowd, and they ate up every song, from classics like "Soda", "For The Moment", and "Ming Tran" to songs from their new CD "Apt. 13" like "Cold" & "Radio Hell", and you can tell the guys were happy to be back in the Soo! Singer/guitarists Tom Thacker and Theo Goutzinakis commanded things nicely with solid punk riffs and rhythms, and Steven Fairweather's bass held up well also amids the punk chaos! After being stuck in line for a drink for most of Gob's set in 2009, it's great to see them as intended last night, and hopefully they're back far sooner next time!

Great concert overall, and it's nice to hit more of a straightforward non-hardcore punk show for a change, hopefully we get more in the coming months! Kudos to J.D. for bringing Gob in again, and remember to go see him and Rick from Redundant with Frightlight TOMORROW NIGHT downstairs at The Algonquin, plus James White with Haggith TONIGHT at The Oddfellows Hall! SooToday's Donna Hopper was on hand for at least part of the night, so hopefully some photos turn up there in the coming days, and as for our photos, you can check them out at this link or at our Facebook page! Lastly, here's our videos, so here's Redundant covering Rise Against's "Swing Life Away" & Operation Ivy's "Knowledge". Northwest playing "Young, Wild, and Hopeless", Jack Spades playing "Crossorads", and Gob playing "Oh! Ellin"! (Each video works, double click on the black box twice!)

Redundant - Swing Life Away & Knowledge

Northwest - Young, Wild, and Hopeless

Jack Spades - Crossroads

 Gob - Oh! Ellin

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our last of the Halloween weekend concert previews tomorrow morning, and we'll see you guys at The Oddfellows Hall TODAY (in a couple of hours, as a matter of fact) for Devil's Night with Archelon, Haggith, and much more! Thanks everyone!

More Sault Ontario Halloween Weekend Concert Previews!!

Now, let's get our second of at least three Halloween concert preview posts up on the site, as we take a look at Sault Ontario punk and hard rock shows taking place tomorrow & Saturday night! We'll touch on Sault Michigan shows (and The Brains, in all likelihood) tomorrow, so we haven't forgotten about them! Now, here's what you should know on the Sault Ontario side of the border for Halloween!

A milestone will be reached TOMORROW NIGHT when local concert promoter J.D. Pearce hosts The Halloween Party for it's announced 10th anniversary! Though his official Halloween parties only date back to 2006, he retroactively included a separate seasonal show from 2005, but either number is impressive, and the party will rage on for sure! Returning to The Algonquin Pub for a second time after a year's stay at the former Roosevelt Hotel, tomorrow's party will be headlined by local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight in their fifth appearance at this annual event, their first public concert set in over 8 months, and sadly, their last show ever due to members own external commitments. Given how sporadic Frightlight shows have been lately, it's not a huge surprise, but there's no more fitting way to give Frightlight a frightening farewell, as their concert debut was at J.D.'s party in 2009, and both then and now, the show was on Halloween night, so they've came full circle!

Support will come from local hardcore punk sextet Destroilet in their second straight appearance at this event, and first live concert with new co-singer Brenton Ellis, so how will the guys sound with two singers in their arsenal? Find out TOMORROW! The other opening band is "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage in their own second appearance at J.D.'s Halloween shows (after playing at The Algonquin in 2012), and if you're craving their usual unfiltered 19+ sound and presence, come early to take in their sonic assault, perhaps with new songs from their recent "albums"? Notably, this is the first Halloween party since it left Coch's Corner to feature an all-local lineup, and it's also being held on a Friday night rather than the usual Saturday to line it up with Halloween proper. A $10 cover charge is in effect for TOMORROW NIGHT, you must be 19 to attend, everything starts at around 9:00 PM, and a costume contest is very likely as well.

For more details, visit the above links! This will be a bittersweet night for sure, but even if Frightlight weren't disbanding, this would still be a great occasion to see them given their horror ties, and that they haven't played to a proper audience (their Marquee set doesn't count) since July 2013! I'll be at The Algonquin with costume in tow, and I hope to see you guys there for another great Halloween party tomorrow night! See above for more, and here's Frightlight live at their most recent Halloween party set in 2012!

Also taking place tomorrow is a Halloween night concert from local classic/hard rock cover quartet Havadder, who will be playing at a very unfamiliar venue TOMORROW NIGHT, as they'll be rocking out at Studio 10! That's right, Jugga and company will apparently be the first band to ever play at the Hudson Street strip club (not far from their usual recent venue, The Rednecks Saloon), but what sort of frills can you expect if you go see Havadder tomorrow? According to the Facebook event page, there will be a guitar draw, a costume contest (the winner gets $150), a limited run of Havadder t-shirts, and yes, there will be "dancers" between Havadder's sets, so if that's your thing, there you go. There will be a $2 cover charge at the Studio, you must be 19 to attend, and Havadder should be on at around 10:00 PM. For more details, check the above links! This is definitely a unique setting for a concert, but hopefully Havadder's show goes well, bring your costumes, and here are the guys at Rednecks!

Finally for this concert preview post, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return once again to The Harp Bar & Grill for his 47th weekend of solo gigs there! As usual for this ongoing weekly concert arrangement, Tym will be hosting and playing at their usual jam night TOMORROW NIGHT, before playing a normal acoustic gig THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, and while it's expected that there will be some type of Halloween themes and costume encouragement at the former Madison's Pub tomorrow, it's not explicitly stated if there will be a contest or any other seasonal incentive. For reference sake, the Facebook event page doesn't explicitly reference a Saturday show this weekend, but his website's concert calendar does, so we'll go off of that. Also, an edit to said calendar (and a personal Facebook post last week) indicated that Tym did not play at The Harp at all last weekend, which would be the first weekend since December of last year when he didn't play at least one concert there.

Those shows were announced via his calendar but were later called off for one reason or another, so our apologies for missing that! Note to self, make sure Tym's still playing if there's no Facebook event page. Still, very impressive to play 46 straight weeks, and he's not done at The Harp yet! Admission is likely free this weekend, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:00 PM start time is likely. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Tym at The Harp last year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Gob concert review, more Halloween concert previews, and more soon! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gob & Archelon Concert Previews, Plus More Recent Updates!!

The Halloween weekend is creeping up ever closer, so let's kick off our previews of the seasonal punk and metal action with previews of two big pre-Friday shows! We'll likely have three Halloween weekend concert preview posts, with one for Sault Ontario shows from Friday-Saturday, and another for Sault Michigan in general, with The Brains show on Sunday also very much in mind for wherever it can fit, not to mention possible late notice events. Along with some assorted recent items, here's what you should know for our first of the Halloween previews!

One of the biggest punk concerts of the year goes down TONIGHT, when Langley, B.C. punk veterans Gob make their long awaited return to the Soo at The Rockstar Bar! The Juno nominees were last seen here when they headlined at the former Outback in January 2009, so it's been a long time coming for fans of their classic songs like "Soda" and "I Hear You Calling", and you won't want to miss the punk rock energy and enthusiasm like only they can bring TONIGHT! Also, for you Sum 41 fans, keep in mind that guitarist Tom Thacker is Gob's frontman. Unlike in 2009, local punk bands will open for Gob tonight, and they include local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades (in what personal Facebook postings are hyping as their last set of the year), newer local indie/punk quintet Northwest (in their first set since the release of their self-titled digital EP), and local punk trio Redundant (in their first public concert of the fall), so all should be great fits to open for Gob tonight! Remember, Oakville punk band Seaway are not playing tonight (they were only on eastern Canada dates, the Soo not being among them), so Northwest were added last month to replace them.

Promoted by Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce, admission for tonight's show is $20 in advance and apparently at the door too (a higher door charge isn't publicized), but if you pay $25, you'll get a copy of Gob's new CD "Apt. 13" upon entry, so keep that deal in mind! If you wanted to get your tickets online, you can also buy them at This is a 19+ concert, and everything starts TONIGHT at 9:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! An almost 6 year wait for a new Gob concert in the Soo is too long, so I hope to see you guys there TONIGHT, and here's Gob live in Toronto in 2012!

Also on the Halloween concert schedule is the second annual Devil's Night concert at The Oddfellows Hall TOMORROW NIGHT! After last year's October 30th concert helped launch promoter Tyler St. Amour's promotion agency Heavy North Entertainment, he's going bigger and better for it's encore tomorrow, with H.N.E. (in association with Blood Shed Productions) hosting twelve different acts at The Oddfellows Hall, so who all is playing? The announced headlining band is Sudbury groove metal quintet Archelon in their local debut, and they should brutalize fans tomorrow, but they actually aren't the last act on the bill. The 1:00 AM slot actually belongs to local experimental musician Chase Wigmore, who will be making his long awaited return to the stage after a 5 month work hiatus, so welcome Chase back home by checking out his creative originals at night's end! Archelon will instead be second last at 12:00 AM.

As for the rest of the lineup, local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith will play before them at 11:00 PM (in their first Oddfellows set with their current lineup), while the rest of the bands have shorter half hour timeslots each. Local goregrind solo project Crucify The Whore will take the stage for their own brutal originals at 10:00 PM, while local cover metal rockers Project 421 will play their first set since the departure of singer Curtis McKenzie at 9:15 PM, but will Blair handle lead vocals, or is there a surprise in store? The aforementioned Chase Wigmore's grind duo project This Is Your Band On Drugs will also return to the stage for a set at 8:30 PM, while Blood Shed Productions goregrind duo Rotopsy will hit the stage at 7:45 PM, and local doom/punk trio The Revolution (formerly the second Brutaly Fatal) will rock out at 7:00 PM. Also, former Strange Coyotes bassist James Watterworth (credited under his Delusionair Lionhair alias) will kick off the rock band portion of the day at 6:15 PM.

The Devil's Night action will start at 5:00 PM with local rappers (a first for a Heavy North Entertainment show), with Blood Shed-affiliated rappers Phat Boii, Miracle Man, and Mikey Thomas splitting an hour to start the show, so if you want some hip-hop, be there early! Admission will be $5 in advance (through promoters) or $7 at the door tomorrow night, this is absolutely ALL AGES, and visit the official Facebook event page for more details! This is a stacked lineup to be sure, and fans of last year's Devil's Night show will like the familiarity (all official performers but The Bear Hunters and Crimson Crusade are back), so again, I hope to see you guys there TOMORROW! For a preview, here's Archelon live in Spanish!

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

  • In a neat surprise announcement, local death metal band The Bear Hunters have revealed that their CD release show at The Canadian Nightclub on November 29th will be ALL AGES! The news was revealed on the Facebook event page on Monday. No word on if the possibility of no age limits was a factor in moving the event from The Algonquin, but this is great for all Bear Hunters fans, so don't miss the show and CD release next month!
  • I've again deleted Strongs, Michigan metal project East Branch from our band links, due to the deletion of their Facebook (and only online) page. The Werehold Records-affiliated project was active as recently as June's Friday the 13th song posting event, but activity has been quiet since. Hopefully they reemerge at some point, perhaps on Friday, February 13th?
  • I've changed the link for defunct local/Grand Rapids metal band End of Existence from their Reverbnation page (which has since been deleted) to their Facebook page, which is still used to promote drummer Greg Giles' solo company Giles Arts. I wish they wouldn't have deleted and privatized so many of their online links, but at least Facebook's still active!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more Halloween concert previews in the coming days, and we'll see you guys at The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT for Gob! Thanks everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: The Labour Of...

Before we dive into Halloween concert previews and hype, let's get our final monthly feature post on the site today, and apologies for this being a day late! As usual, this is our monthly Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, which is our monthly look at a metal, hard rock, or punk band that isn't from the Sault Ste. Marie area, but does feature (or used to have) one or more regional natives in any of their past or present lineups. This month's selected band is another in our recent absorption of punk bands into our coverage, and they were a well known Toronto-area band in their heyday, so read on below for what you should know! (Updated on November 27th)
The Labour Of... (Toronto, Ontario)

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

Julian "Jules" Swift Phillips (vocals/guitar)
Curtis Faux (guitar)
Brenton Ellis (bass)
Tosh Imai (drums)
Noah Earle (guitar)
Christian Wilde (bass)

Official CBC Music page:!/artists/the-labour-of
Official Facebook group:
Official Soundclick page:
Official Reverbnation page:
Official PureVolume page:
Official Supernova page:

Local Info: The Labour Of...'s last known full lineup featured two Sault Ontario natives, those being guitarist Curtis Faux and bassist Brenton Ellis (a.k.a. Diamond Brent Panther), both of whom have been very prominent here and in the Toronto area! Collaboratively, both guys manned the more comedic Toronto project The Sexual Vigilantes in the late 2000s, and simultaneously joined Brent's then-Lion Ride bandmates Mikey Hawdon & Mark Rand in the hardcore punk band Detroit, with whom Brent sang lead. Brent & Curt reprised their Detroit roles with the Toronto cult favourites Maximum RNR in the early 2010s, while Brent will also be notable locally from work fronting the late 1990s punk band The Bombed Squad & currently co-singing with Destroilet, and Curtis currently plays with the thrash metal band Chainbreaker, and alongside Labour Of... bandmate Jules Swift in their band The Cola Heads. If you like pop punk though, The Labour Of... will be more your style!

Band Bio: Active from at least 2004-2009, The Labour Of... became a prominent sight among Southern Ontario punk bands in the mid-2000s with their "M4K heartcore" style of emo-influenced pop punk, with members all coming from diverse musical backgrounds. Surviving information on their run is minimal (especially concerning their early years), but frontman Jules Swift was the band's visible leader, and also used the band's name for his own independent recording studio. After Curtis and Brent replaced Noah Earle & Christian Wilde circa 2007, The Labour Of... played at the former Foggy Notions in the Soo that November, recorded a demo named "Moving Ahead", and announced plans to record a full length CD, but it's not explicitly stated on extant pages if it came out. Searchable news on The Labour Of... is minimal after 2008, and they likely quietly dissolved the following year, though you can frequently see Jules & Curtis with The Cola Heads in Southern Ontario.

While far removed from the hardcore punk sound that you might be more used to from Curtis & Brenton's other collaborative band work, their poppier and more emo-influenced sound had a good energy that was definitely had a timely sound for it's era, and Jules has a very good voice with a great range to suit the material! Their last full lineup definitely had the more polished sound too, and while there isn't a ton of surviving songs of theirs on their pages, you do get a good sense of The Labour Of...'s chemistry and sound! I'll concede that this isn't my favourite punk subgenre, but The Labout Of... made it work for them, and fans of bands like Nebraska Arms or Northwest should like them! You can check out studio original songs from The Labour Of... at the above links, and there are a scattered selection of YouTube videos from their later run too, including this artistic clip of the guys playing their demo's title track "Moving Ahead" in Toronto in February 2008!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! As has been the case in recent years, we'll take a brief break from our normal profiles in this series next month so we can update past installments as part of an extended special post on or around November 26th. Basically, this will be our chance to update posts in this series, restore or replace dead photos and certain links, address band breakups, reunions, and lineup changes, and address what these bands are up to now, if anything. Watch out for that late next month, and stay tuned for more news and Halloween concert previews this week! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Soo Zombie Walk 2014 Concert Review!!

Hey guys, it's now time for our review of yesterday's band portion of the sixth annual Soo Zombie Walk, but also be sure to check out this morning's new news post featuring lots of recent updates in the post below this one! In terms of the event itself, this was my first Zombie Walk that I've attended in full since 2011 (I only saw the bands due to a cold in 2012, and scheduling conflicts with The Ripcordz threw a wrench into last year), so I can now attest to how things have changed and grown since the Grand Theatre days. Like last year, the Zombie Walk was held at The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, which opened up the event to a far larger space for activities, which included numerous local vendors selling food, jewelry, art, crafts, and much more along the outer walls. There were games for kids, photo sessions, face painting, and between the bands, Jell-O brain eating contests. I also wanted to mention before we got too deep into the review that there was an official Zombie Walk afterparty last night... it was just far removed from what it used to be.

According to a poster at their booth, one (or maybe both?) of the Wacky Wings' in town hosted this year's afterparty, but it appears to have been strictly an afterparty with a costume contest and free virgin Bloody Marys. No bands that I know of, but Wacky Wings isn't known as a concert venue. Advance marketing for the walk didn't touch on the afterparty, but I apologize for missing it on here!

Opening yesterday's pre-walk music was Northwest guitarist Greg Callaghan (credited online as Greg Calhoun) in his second straight solo appearance at the Zombie Walk, and it's been too long since I've seen him playing an acoustic set like this, so how'd things go? He played a wide variety of covers, ranging from artists like Danzig and Dio to Michael Jackson and David Bowie, and he adapted some decidedly un-acoustic songs to that format with relative ease! All of the songs too dealt with dark and horror themes, going with the themes of the event. If you've seen Greg's solo sets before, you'll know exactly what you got, and his deep singing voice contrasted his guitar talents well, though the crowd was only mildly receptive, though you can't expect a nightclub or crowd reaction given the family nature of the walk. Solid set, and hopefully we hear more from Greg and Northwest soon!

Second yesterday was the original crash band, Sykotyk Rampage, marking their return to the stage after 5 months away! Despite this being their first show back since the unveiling of their newest "albums", their set was more themed around zombies and the family friendly themes of the event, so they eschewed adult language and beer references in their songs, instead adapting lyrics for most to reflect zombies, brain eating, and so forth (i.e. "Drinking on the Weekend" became "Eat Brains on the Weekend"). That's par for the course for Sykotyk Rampage Zombie Walk sets, but now that I've seen them play to the pre-walk family crowd, I can tell that their live show loses a lot of energy when they can't be their usual 19+ selves. Musically, the guys sounded good though, and while guitarist Dirk Becker didn't take any lead vocal spots, bassist Tony Briglio did channel his inner Lemmy for a surprise cover of Motorhead's "Killed By Death", and even brought his brand new stand-up bass for the first few songs! Good stuff overall, but for the real sykotyk experience, come see them on Halloween!

And headlining the band portion of the pre-battle events was local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith in their first set of the fall, and true to form, their set was themed around songs from their 2012 album "Apocalypse" and it's sequel, which is still planned to come out on Tuesday (no, advance copies weren't available yesterday.) Their 10 song set featured six tracks from the first CD (like "Red Car" and "Days") plus four from "Apocalypse II", including all previously unveiled songs from their YouTube channel and the brand new "Hands of Death". Most of these songs aren't commonly heard at recent Haggith shows (fans may be most familiar with "If You Get Out Alive"), but if you know the "Apocalypse" series well, you'll know that these songs are more intricate, simplistic, and downbeat, but the guys handled them well, and it was nice to see Curtis and Daniel in zombie/Joker makeup!

Also, this was the first time I've see Haggith since James White replaced Caleb Cachagee on bass, and he fit in just fine with the guys, but I'll get a fuller sense of how he fits in when the guys play other common originals at The Oddfellows Hall on Thursday. Though I prefer Haggith's heavier and more lively songs, it was nice hearing some older tracks again, and stay tuned for updates on the "Apocalypse II" release! As for the Zombie walk itself, we all left the Bushplane Museum and went down Bay Street until hitting Russ Ramsay Way/Brock Street, then heading down Queen Street (passing the old Zombie Walk home, The Grand Theater, in the midst of their anime/cosplay convention), before finishing on Pim Street back to the museum. The zombie resistance gathered in the lawn outside of the library to take on the zombie horde, and it's safe to say there was some good battles! I will concede however that the walk seemed shorter than it did when it started at The Grand (but that could just be my adjusting to the format), and the earlier timeslots did take away from the ambiance, as the walk seemed to be cooler when it was at night.

The walk ended with prizes awarded to the best costumes for zombies and resistance fighters (kids and adults alike) which included custom trophies and skull candy dishes, and congratulations to the Big Bird zombie above for winning the adult zombie prize! Myself, I went as a zombie hipster (no offense to the hipster culture was implied, it was all in good fun!), and it was fun to get back into the walk again after three years! As for the bands, they were all solid and fit the themes of the day, but I will say this: Something is lost when you move punk and hard rock bands from a 19+ post-walk afterparty to a pre-walk family-friendly event. I have a feeling that all of yesterday's bands would have been better served to headline a proper afterparty like the Zombie Walk had from 2010-2012, but also have music and bands before the battle too so that there's entertainment for the families. Basically, let us have our cake and eat it too! I do hope to be back at next year's Zombie Walk, but I'm already debating whether to be a zombie, or join the resistance... time will tell!

Check local news media for fallout from the walk itself (we'll let you know if anyone covered the bands), and the zombie/resistance photos above are courtesy of Kenneth Armstrong's SooToday article on the walk. We got plenty of photos of the bands that you can see at this link or at our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's Greg Callaghan covering Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London", Sykotyk Rampage playing "Zombie Hunter" ("Disbeliever" with zombie lyrics), and Haggith playing their new song "Hands of Death"! (Note that the embedded videos below still work when clicked on, I don't know why they don't show a thumbnail image right now. Just in case, I've labelled each.)

Greg Callaghan - Werewolves of London

Sykotyk Rampage - Zombie Hunter (a.k.a. Disbeliever)

Haggith - Hands of Death

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week as we approach a stacked Halloween weekend for concerts! Thanks everyone!

Bear Hunters & Telephone And Address Updates, Plus Much More!!

Before our review of yesterday's Soo Zombie Walk music goes up, here's a post to clear out some recent news stories, including updates on an upcoming concert, news on an upcoming CD, and much more, so here's what you need to know!

We'll start today with some long awaited updates on The Bear Hunters rescheduled CD release concert (now on Saturday, November 29th), starting with confirmation that it indeed has been moved from The Algonquin Pub, and will now instead be held at The Canadian Nightclub, as per guitarist Mitch Sirie on the Facebook event page on Wednesday. A reason for the relocation wasn't announced, but the six week postponement and existing event schedule at The Algonquin may have played a part, and Mitch had hinted since the postponement that the venue may change. At least their debut CD "Eternal Hibernation" will still be launched at a quality venue, and it seems like too long since The Canadian hosted a metal show! For reference, this show doesn't displace Toystock, which was always on Sunday the 30th. As well, Mitch confirmed last week that local hardcore punk sextet Destroilet will be the local openers, marking rare appearances for them at The Canadian, and their intense originals and covers should be welcomed late next month!

Remember to join these bands (plus Brampton's Livid & The Bloodthirsty) on November 29th at 10:00 PM for a night of death and hardcore metal, wherein you can buy The Bear Hunters' new CD and enter prize draws as well! $5 in advance, $7 at the door, 19+, and stay tuned for updates when they roll in!

Next up, here's the latest from Red & Black frontman Chris Shoust's solo grunge/punk project Telephone & Address! Despite just releasing his new solo album "Need Not Apply" last month, Chris is already working on a new Telephone & Address CD that is to be named "Rust Orchid" , as revealed on the Telephone & Address Facebook page yesterday. Apparently, Chris has already laid down the tracks for it and is just waiting for money to press it physically, and it will be "much different than the last", so don't expect it to be a bass & programmed drums release. Might it return to his old acoustic guitar sound, or something else entirely? While we wait for more info and it's release, Chris has also posted digital copies of both of his recent Telephone & Address albums ("Need Not Apply" and "The Rotten EP" on the project's new Bandcamp page, so what should you know concerning their mp3 versions?

Featuring alternate (though similar) cover artwork that differs from the cardboard packaging of the CDs, "The Rotten EP" costs $6 on Bandcamp, while the longer "Need Not Apply" is $15, which is comparable with the physical copy costs. It's cool to see Chris post these digitally so fans can get copies still, especially as CDs were only pressed in limited quanitites, so pick them up above, and stay tuned for more on "Rust Orchid" when it comes in!

Finally for today, here's six shorter recent news items from the last little while, and as usual for stories like these, these are in alphabetical order by artist, event, or show name:

  • I've deleted defunct local hard rock band 20 Pack of Marshamallows (featuring future Haggith members) from our defunct band links due to their Webs page (and only visibly surviving online page) being "frozen", and though there's no visible explanation why, continued disuse might be why, as the project has been defunct since the late 2000s. Disappointing, but maybe Curt will get it running again! We similarly switched the link on here for defunct local metal duo 2wo Man Baand to their MySpace page due to a Webs freezing.
  • Local doom metal trio AlgomA have produced a bunch of official guitar picks featuring their logo and the crow icon that has appeared on recent marketing of theirs, as seen here, though a sale price (if any) hasn't been publicized. If you want yours, contact the band at this link (or be at their next show?), and for a limited time, copies of their new CD will come with a pick if bought on BigCartel!
  • In another band link change for the site, I've swapped defunct local metal band ApocalyptiCDistroyeR's link on the site from their now-closed Wix website to their Facebook page. The project has been defunct (barring the occasional solo song posting by Jesse Middaugh) for a few years now, but hopefully everyone stays active!
  • Local concert promoters Heavy North Entertainment are asking for thoughts on booking French grindcore band Benighted for a local concert, which is a big opportunity for owner Tyler St. Amour as they're one of his favourite bands. That'd be a cool show if it happened, and not just because of where Benighted are from, so check them out above and voice up at H.N.E.'s Facebook page to show your support!
  • Local goregrind/rap label Blood Shed Productions will be putting on a private afterparty for after this coming Thursday's second Devil's Night show at The Oddfellows Hall, which will be called "The Apocalypse Afterparty". but ironically won't feature the band of the same name. This event will be held at Rotopsy frontman Dylan Taylor's house, so keep that in mind if you know the address or want to inquire further, and see above for the full schedule & timeslots for the Devil's Night show itself!
  • In yet another link edit for the site, I've removed the short lived mid-2000s metal band Children of the Dawn (fronted by future Stillbroke mainman Jesse Frigault) from the site due to the closure of it's host site Piczo, whose domain name now redirects to a celebrity lifestyle website called Posh24. Given their activity level and lack of media, this won't be a major content removal, but I wanted to mention it!
  • Another private concert event from Oh! Right Arm! Promotions (albeit one with public invites) goes down on Saturday, November 1st that will feature San Francisco metal band Castle, local alt-rockers The Pixo Control, and Toronto techno/rock solo act Boxes of Boom. The address is private unless you already know it/plan to ask, but keep it in mind for next weekend, and click here for more info!
  • The newest episode of Local2's music spotlight video series Tuned with Donna Hopper went up on Tuesday, though surprisingly, it doesn't feature the Rad Zone anniversary concert that they were on hand for, instead featuring interviews and performance footage with out of town indie bands The Wooden Sky and Wax Mannequin from recent local concerts (though the concert calendar segment does plug next month's White Cowbell Oklahoma concert.) We'll let you know when the episode from The Rad Zone & Ripcordz's party comes online, and more!
  • One final band link change for today, as defunct local deathcore quartet The Valentine's Day Massacre's Facebook page was deleted at some point earlier this year for unannounced reasons. I wish bands wouldn't delete pages like this, but we can keep them in our links though via their Reverbnation page. Hopefully we see the guys back up here soon, possibly with D3athcharg3r or (if still alive) Saints & Serpents?

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our review of yesterday's Soo Zombie Walk next! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Who Made Who & Exiled), Plus New Videos!!

Well guys, this is our 2,000th published post at the SMS, so I just wanted to briefly thank everyone for the support and readership since we moved our main operations from Facebook to this website in December 2008! Here's to 2,000 more, and beyond! Now, today's post is otherwise business as usual, as we have some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS and recent video postings, so here's what you need to know!

New Sault Michigan hard rock quintet Exiled will make their Dondee Lanes debut this coming Friday (Halloween night) when they headline a "Monster Bash" there! Announced on their Facebook page last week (apologies for the delay, it slipped us by), this show comes three weeks after their joint show with Ricochet at The Savoy, and adds to a stacked Halloween weekend concert lineup for hard rock and punk bands in the Sault area next weekend, including the previously announced Banned shows in St. Ignace and plenty more on the Canadian side. Featuring alumni of Absolute, The Bottom Line, and Division of Sanity, Exiled should deliver an exciting night of music on Halloween, so keep it in mind for your Halloween concert plans, and bring your costumes! Like this weekend's 415E shows at the Dondee, there's an earlier start time of 8:00 PM and a 21+ age limit in effect, though a cover charge hasn't been announced. See above for more details, and stay tuned for updates!

Also in recent concert announcements, Toronto-based AC/DC tribute band Who Made Who will return to Sault Ontario on Saturday, November 15th for a headlining show at The Rockstar Bar! Our source is the new concert calendar posting on their Facebook page, though keep in mind that the venue hasn't officially confirmed the booking on their pages. One of the most frequently seen tribute bands in the Soo, fans may remember seeing The Ultimate Tribute to AC/DC at the same venue in March, which followed a number of prior gigs (mostly at The Canadian) through 2012. Fans of AC/DC should be amped up Who Made Who's high voltage rock 'n roll and their return next month, and I wonder if the guys added AC/DC's new song "Play Ball" to their set? A $5 cover charge is likely for next month, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:00 PM start time makes sense. Check above for more info, and we'll let you know if we hear more!

We'll close today with new videos, including a new live video from local classic/hard rock quintet That's Chester! You may remember that drummer Ric Datson pulled videos of them covering AC/DC and Supertramp songs from his YouTube channel in September due to copyright issues, but the absence didn't last long for one of them, as the video of them covering AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was re-posted on his channel on October 1st! This comes from a recent wedding that they played in Elliott Lake, apparently outdoors under a tent, and it's a solid cover from these local veterans! No word who's playing the bongos though, the odd corner camera angle mostly cuts off their head, but Ric confirmed that the person's not in the band. Give the full video a look below, and hopefully the Supertramp video resurfaces at some point!

Finally for today, Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night are the subject of two new videos on keyboardist Craig Harrison's YouTube channel, as uploaded there over the past week! Both feature Theatre of Night original songs alongside a slideshow of his own art, including one for their song "Ragnarok Rising" and another embedded below for their song "Uthgar's Last Stand", which he noted in the description was based on a Norse comic he drew in college. We still await the new Theatre of Night original CD, but fans should like the orchestral metal on display, and Craig's art (while noticeably different from former drummer Greg Giles' art that used to be prevalent in their material) is very well done in it's own right! These new postings join a brand new original song on their Reverbnation page named "FellHallow's Eve", which is obviously seasonal, and taps moreso into their classical sound than their metal side. Give everything a look above, and here's Craig's new video for "Uthgar's Last Stand"!

That's all for today, but I'll see you guys at The Bushplane Museum TODAY for the Soo Zombie Walk and the pre-walk bands! Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soo Zombie Walk) & Haggith Updates!!

Barring some more late notice show announcements, we'll close this weekend's hard rock & punk concert previews today with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT concerning a well anticipated annual event's band lineup for this year! At the end of the post though, we also have some added updates from one of the bands at said event, so read on below to get caught up for the weekend!

The band lineup for this year's sixth annual Soo Zombie Walk TOMORROW has finally been officially announced, so now we can detail this year's musical entertainment! Apologies for the short notice, organizers only just detailed the bands this weekend on the walk's website, and we held our announcement of them for this weekend's previews. Like last year, the Zombie Walk (which will see many Saultites dressed as the undead and roaming downtown for brains) will return to The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, and once again, bands will be rocking out pre-battle at the museum as part of the expanded event schedule at it's current location. If you liked last year's zombie walk bands, you'll enjoy this year's lineup, as every act (save for James Watterworth) is returning to entertain the zombies, with local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith returning for their third straight zombie walk set, and first public concert appearance of the fall!

With this talented band's upcoming CD "Apocalypse II" nearing release, look for more zombie-themed originals from that and it's predecessor in their set! Also, local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage will join them for their fourth straight zombie walk set, and their first local concert appearance in 5 months! The Beckers and company should entertain with their crash rock sounds, and they have plenty of new material to source from for their set, so don't miss their first set of the fall tomorrow! Northwest guitarist Greg Callaghan (again credited as Greg Calhoun) will also return from last year for a solo opening set, and while it remains to be seen if his set will be "evil" like in some past appearances, he should have some entertaining covers in store to kick things off! According to a conversation with Sykotyk Rampage's Dirk Becker, they and Haggith have switched places from the announced timeslots, so Haggith are apparently headlining at around 4:00 PM, with Sykotyk Rampage on at 3:00 PM & Greg Callaghan on at 2:00 PM.

For the rest of the schedule (which includes brain eating contests, food, vendors, face panting, photos, and games) from the 2:00 PM opening until 5:00 PM, click here, while the walk itself will take place from 5:00-6:00 PM on Pim, Queen, Brock, and Bay Streets, starting and ending at the Bushplane Museum (click here for the full map.) Admission will be $2 plus a non-perishable food donation, while kids 12 and under just have to bring a food donation to enter. For more details, visit the above links! It should also be noted that no official Zombie Walk pages for this year make mention of an afterparty, so it's looking like this will be the first year since the inaugural walk in 2009 where there wasn't an afterparty, which admittedly took a back seat to the new expanded afternoon lineup after the event moved from The Grand Theater last year. The Zombie Walk is always a fun addition to the Halloween calendar, and I just hope organizers have worked out the kinks from last year after all of the changes (particularly the confusion regarding when the walk itself actually began.)

As last year's walk moved to the Halloween weekend, it conflicted with the Ripcordz concert that night, so I only went to the one event, but as it's back on the weekend before J.D.'s party this year, I can definitely return for the zombie walk tomorrow! It will be great to join the walking dead once again, and to take in some artists I haven't seen in a while too, so I hope to see you fellow zombies there, and for a preview, here's Haggith live last month!

Closing today's post, we'll touch on some more news from the aforementioned Haggith, including news on their upcoming CDs "XIV" and "Apocalypse II"! At this point, it's looking like the latter concept sequel album will be out first, as the band revealed on their Facebook page last week that it will be released this coming Tuesday (October 28th) for $5, and copies can be pre-ordered via their online store. Additional streaming media and sale availability is to be announced, but I'm a bit surprised that they aren't rushing the release for tomorrow given their Zombie Walk involvement and the CD's zombie themes (maybe there's a surprise in store?) The release date for "XIV" (whose name refers to it's release this year, thanks Curt!) is to be determined, but the store above referenced an October 14th date that has since came & went, though whether or not drummer Mike Haggith's recent personal break was a factor isn't stated. Given it's impending release, is "Apocalypse II" next for a CD review on the site?

I'd have to say it's not going to be reviewed next, mostly because it's a sequel to a prior concept album, so it'd be a disservice to the story to cover them out of order. That said, the original "Apocalypse" from 2012 isn't new and doesn't have precedence in our queue for that reason, so Northwest's new EP is still most likely for November. However, if the non-concept "XIV" comes out next month, then that's likely next, but I'll keep you guys posted in any case! We'll leave you guys with this short 12 second cell phone video from Haggith's Facebook page on Saturday of singer Curtis McKenzie singing his track from one of the band's upcoming originals. Sounds good, but stay tuned for more updates as the weeks progress!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow, and of course, we'll see you guys at the Zombie Walk tomorrow! Thanks everyone!