Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Look Back In The Year Of Local Metal, Hard Rock, And Punk

For our last post of 2014, we're taking one big look at the year that was, as there were plenty of big events, concerts, stories, debuts, farewells, and CD releases that happened among local metal, hard rock, and punk bands in the past 12 months! Hopefully I'll touch on all of the biggest and most noteworthy elements of each category below, so let's dive right in and reminisce on 2014 in the Sault Ste. Marie area!

Partly due to the ongoing hiatus from Allstar Promotions, the area didn't see as many major concerts at The Dreammaker's Theatre at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino in 2014, but one big Essar Centre show helped out a great deal! The year started in earnest with the return of Poison frontman Bret Michaels (with North Carolina hair metal veterans FireHouse in tow) for a well recieved Kewadin concert on January 18th, before The Essar Centre's full hard rock concert drought ended on June 20th with a huge show headlined by Seattle hard rock legends Heart! Alongside Jason Bonham, fans were treated to Heart classics and a special Led Zeppelin tribute set to a rousing fan response,a and here's hoping that spurs more heavier shows at the Sault Ontario arena! The sixth local concert from shock rock legend Alice Cooper followed just one week later at Kewadin Casino, while the return of Georgia hard rock favourites Jackyl (and hair metal veterans Winger) capped the heavier year at the casino on August 21st, and hopefully paving the way for more big shows in 2015!

Outside of the shows above, there was plenty of big concerts in the area to take in over the course of 2014! In Sault Ontario, we welcomed notable out of town bands like Anciients, Anvil, The Brains, Crued, Empyrean Plague, Endast, Fuck The Facts, Gob, K-Man & The 45s, The Merves, Michael White & The White, Random Killing, The Ripcordz, White Cowbell Oklahoma, and Who Made Who for local concerts, among many others, courtesy of promoters like J.D. Pearce, Tidal Records, Oh! Right Arm! Promotions, Heavy North Entertainment, and more! Also this year, Sault Ontario saw the short lived Heavy Thursday series at the former Roosevelt Hotel earlier this year, rare outdoor winter concerts at the Bon Soo Marquee, 10+ band shows via the fourth annual Sewer Swampstravaganza, Dank Fest, and Sault Band-O-Rama, the debut of The Emergency Festival in August, J.D. Pearce's 10th annual Halloween Party & 2nd annual X-Mess, The Rad Zone's 30th anniversary party with The Ripcordz, and charitable events like Rock For Dimes & the third annual Toystock, among many other major concerts in the past year!

Though activity for concerts and original bands was slower across the river in Sault Michigan this year, there was still their own fair share of entertaining live music! Out of town bands like Infathom, Nudge, Driven, and all four of Jeff Hudson's active hard rock bands (Peril, Scarkazm, Audio Circus, and Kiss'd) graced Eastern Upper Peninsula stages in the past 12 months, including many concerts at the regional Kewadin Casino branches! Arguably the peak of the hard rock concert year was the fourth annual LemmaFest outside of the Dondee Lanes on June 21st featuring numerous local artists, while bands like Division of Sanity, Tantrym Tyme, and Train Wreck made their presences felt at local summer festivals and beyond. Normal weekend concert runs at local bars saw bands like Banned, Power Slug, and 415E rock local stages throughout the year, while RamWagon and successors The Bottom Line, Full Throttle, and Highway 63 all made their successive marks thoughout 2014, among other Yooper hard rock bands this year!

Aside from local concerts, there were plenty of big news stories in 2014 that affected local bands, shows, and fans. In terms of concert venues, Sault Ontario said goodbye to The Roosevelt Hotel, Smack Daddy's, and Docks Riverfront Grill, but welcomed Cafe Natura and Studio 10 as new active venues for heavier bands. The local concert festival calendar took hits as well when Rotaryfest's Second Stage took a one year hiatus and Hempfest relocated 8 hours north to Moonbeam. The Soo did gain an internet rock radio station though when Village Media launched VM Rocks as part of their new umbrella of 5 VM Radio stations, giving fans added alternatives! Also this year: Earache Records reissued Woods of Ypres' first 3 CDs, The Suicide Kings changed their name to Beaumont Avenue (and opened for Randy Bachman in Spanish), Local2's Tuned web series debuted, Papa Fogals Chair headlined a stag & doe in May, and the Sebastian Bach-featured Swearnet movie (filmed in the Soo) was finally released, joining other big news stories in 2014!

In terms of new CD and album releases, there were no shortages in that department! On the metal side of things, The Bear Hunters helped cap off 2014 in style with their debut album "Eternal Hibernation" and it's preceding "Collapse The Sun" single, while AlgomA's Deadbeat Media-released "Reclaimed By The Forest", and Shit Liver's long awaited self-titled CD also kept the brutality going for fans & customers! Punk and metal fans alike took in the release of Jack Spades' debut EP "The First" in June, while The Northern Tragedy's EP "Home Ice" came out in March, and Tidal Records-affiliated digital EPs from Northwest and the brand new Habitat Shuffle were put out over the summer. Also this year: Blood Shed Productions put out new demos from Crucify The Whore, Rotopsy, and This Is Your Band On Drugs, Bad Back put out two minimally advertised demos, and Mike Haggith, Michigan's SweetKenny, and Telephone & Address put out solo albums of their own, all a good harbinger of new releases to come next year!

2014 also saw it's fair share of new and debuting local bands, with few making such a unique splash as The Apocalypse Afterparty, the masked rap metal duo whose unique mid-2014 gigs left many fans wanting more! Other bands that debuted included local funk rockers The Elements and the short lived punk band Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking (both among the last bands to play at The Rosie), young local post punk quartet Gnaeus, doom/punk trio The Revolution, Free Beer successors Habitat Shuffle (with new album in tow), classic hard rockers Mourning Wood, Robert Sartini's short lived newest metal projects Shadowthrone & Gorrifier, and Anthony Boudreau's new bands Infamous & Them, among others! Sault Michigan saw it's own debuting hard rock bands too, including hard rock cover bands Highway 63 & Exiled, the short lived Bottom Line & Full Throttle, and LemmaFest one-off bands Mr. Fister & Nightmare Grin. Hopefully these bands and more take further hold in 2015!

Like in any past year, numerous local bands saw lineup changes in 2014 for varying reasons, with none seeing more changes than The Revolution (originally the second Brutaly Fatal), who ran through three drummers & parted ways with bassist Rainey Vincent this year. Meanwhile, Haggith saw the departures of bassists Caleb Cachagee & James White, while their singer Curtis McKenzie joined (and left) Project 421, with existing guitarist Blair Burch now singing in his place. Also this year: ex-Gates of Winter drummer Jonathan Harvey replaced Mike Vincent in Chronic Demonic, The Danger Cats parted ways with singer Summer Snow-Leopard, Destroilet enlisted Brenton Ellis as their co-lead singer, The Strange Coyotes split with frontman Chase Wigmore, bassist Mike Mannarino left Skeyes of Seven, and Rick White replaced Scott McLurg on drums with The Thrill Junkies, while in Sault Michigan, 415E rounded out their lineup with Mitch Goetz & Tony Hubbard, Banned welcomed bassist Wayne Lawrence, and Theatre of Night split with drummer Greg Giles, among other band member switches this year!

Where new bands debut, others are bound to disband or fall inactive, with Frightlight's farewell concert at the annual Halloween Party being among the most notable and public farewells of 2014, though almost all of the band can still be seen in other active projects. Also in 2014: Caveman Morrison, Crimson Crusade, The Fury, Glitch, The Hydra's Teeth, Pillory, Punch, RedD Monkey, and Sailor's Tongue all fell inactive or announced their own breakups, while the already defunct Late & Loud announced that their second reunion show on August 1st at The Rockstar Bar was their "last show ever", and bands like The Billy Bastards & Garden of Bedlam, while not defunct, have not played a public concert at all this year. In Sault Michigan, popular hard rock trio Scofflaw ended their local run, while RamWagon, both versions of Full Throttle, and The Bottom Line saw their brief runs all come to an end, and the tumultuous run of Chained Memories came to a close this year as well. Hopefully everyone in these bands stays musically active!

As usual for our year-end posts, we'll close on a high note with comebacks, as the Sault area saw a number of comebacks from breakups and hiatuses this year! The longest such ended break came via local/Toronto hardcore punk quartet Detroit, who just headlined at The Algonquin Pub to end a 4+ year breakup, and hopefully it's not the absolute last we'll see of them! Also in 2014, we welcomed Haggith back after a 4 month breakup with almost immediate album plans, while their side project Mike Haggith & The Din, the soon to be renamed Strange Coyotes, the original Brutally Fatal, "derd rockers" The Issues, and pop punk project For July all resumed activity after their original disbandings. Late & Loud brought their classic metal back for two reunion shows this year, while Pixo Control predecessors The Fever Tops held their own one off reunion in April as well, giving their run proper closure. As well, Frightlight, Mike Haggith's solo project, Shit Liver, The Side FX, and The Thrill Junkies all made their returns to the local concert stage after 8+ month breaks, and hopefully we get more similar returns next year!

2014 was another big year for the local metal, hard rock, and punk scenes, and here's to a great 2015! We'll spotlight some of the events to come in a special preview post hopefully tomorrow, so look for that and much more usual business on the site shortly! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Blood Shed Productions & Power Slug), Plus Mike Haggith Updates!!

Alright, this is almost certainly our last news post of 2014, as we have a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT to touch on for TONIGHT in the Eastern Upper Peninsula! However, we'll fill things out with another new concert for the 2015 schedule in February, and the latest from a prolific local solo musician, so here's what you need to know!

Sault Michigan hard rock cover trio Power Slug will return to Dan's Place in nearby Rudyard TONIGHT for their New Year's Eve party! Apologies for the short notice, the band just announced the show on their Facebook page last night, and it's also the first concert they've plugged in advance there since July. Fresh off of their most recent announced gigs two weeks ago at The Rapids Lounge, look for more entertaining heavier covers and classics from Chris, Chris, and Bob as they take the stage for one last time in 2014! For reference, this is the first full hard rock show that we've heard about at Dan's Place since Exiled's show last month, and it's nice to see this venue staying active! TONIGHT'S New Year's Eve show has a likely 9:00 PM start time, a 21+ age limit, and no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the above links, and for a preview, here's Power Slug covering The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band live last summer!

Next up, we have another new concert coming up on Saturday, February 21st, and it's a house party show from Blood Shed Productions to celebrate the release of their anticipated 11-way split demo! Yes, the ambitious disc (featuring 7 local acts and 4 from out of town) will apparently see it's initial release on that night next month, but who all's playing? Headlining slots at 10:30 & 9:00 PM are to be announced, but three bands who are featured on the compilation will be playing that night, including local rap/metal duo The Apocalypse Afterparty (in their first local concert set in around 6 months) at 9:30 PM, and promoter Tyler Gibson's two main live goregrind projects, Crucify The Whore & Rotopsy, at 8:30 & 7:45 PM respectively. Tyler's other live band, the reunited death metal duo Brutally Fatal, will take the stage at 7:00 PM, while the show will begin with four Blood Shed rappers, including Mikey Thomas at 6:30 PM, Phat Boii at 6:00 PM, Legitly Logic at 5:30 PM, and Miracle Man at 5:00 PM.

We'll let you know when there's official word regarding the two open band slots, but for reference, the other 4 local bands on the split are grunge/hardcore duo Bad Back (who some attendees on the Facebook event page are strongly hinting should play), experimental grind duo This Is Your Band On Drugs (who haven't played live since the spring), the yet-to-debut Das Skalpell Kampf, and the studio-only Malignant Neoplasm. Might one or two of them be in mind, or perhaps one of the out of town bands? Stay tuned for updates! To be held at 130 Poplar Avenue (a central location that hosted a private Apocalypse Afterparty event in the summer), this will be an ALL AGES event, and if there's a cover charge or a known price for the split demo yet, neither have been posted. For more details, visit the above links! This sounds like an entertaining event whether you're into young rap talent or grindcore and metal, so keep it in mind for February in what may be all of the above acts' first shows of 2015! Stay tuned for more!

Finally for today, Haggith drummer and local solo artist Mike Haggith has been staying busy with a sudden new compilation album release that came out on Christmas Eve! A self-titled digital album (despite coming after "The Best of Mike Haggith: Volume II"), the compilation features 13 songs from Mike's five most recent studio albums, including two songs from "A Place Of Our Own", three songs from "Neighbourhood Watch II: Where It Ends", "The Issue (Resurfaced)" from "The Present Din", two songs from the original "Neighbourhood Watch", and four from "Suspended Animation", plus the live version of "Miss 76" from his "Live At Swampstravaganza IV" digital EP. The album also includes "The Snake", a new song from his next upcoming full length CD "The Warinside", which features backing vocals from Mike's Haggith bandmate Curtis McKenzie. "Mike Haggith" is currently available on a "name your price" model, so you can either have it free or you can pay any amount you choose for it, so do whatever feels right at this link!

In terms of being a review candidate for our monthly CD reviews, this compilation is far down the list, as we always give preference to new studio albums over compilations, and Mike has dozens of back albums and "The Warinside" ahead of it in line, but it's a well put together collection of recent solo highlights, so give it a look above! As for "The Snake" (which has been uploaded in full and as an abridged single to his YouTube channel in the past week), I'll hold full thoughts until our likely review of "The Warinside" next year, but give it a listen, as fans of Mike's music should be in good hands!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our 2014 retrospective post later today, and a preview on 2015 at large tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Bear Hunters - "Eternal Hibernation" CD Review!!

Let's help end 2014 in style with our last CD review of the year, and 66th monthly review total on the SMS, as we're finally taking a look at local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters' debut full length album "Eternal Hibernation"! Released at a well received CD launch concert at The Canadian Nightclub on November 29th, this CD is the band's second overall (after this fall's "Collapse The Sun" single), and it compiles the band's first 10 public original songs. Released independently (and mixed and mastered) through lead guitarist Mitch Sirie's independent label Edge of Eden Productions, "Eternal Hibernation" was recorded locally last year & this year with producer James White at White Wreckords. Dedicated to the memory of late original rhythm guitarist Andres Duchesne (who cowrote two of the album's songs), The Bear Hunters' current lineup is represented on the disc, including singer Nik Deubel, Mitch on lead guitar, Josh Stephney on rhythm guitar, Justin Lam on bass, and Johnny Belanger on drums.

Copies of "Eternal Hibernation" can be bought locally at The Rad Zone, through band members, and at the band's concerts for $10, while digital copies can be purchased on Bandcamp for $7, and song titles below are linked to their streaming Bandcamp copies. Featuring 10 songs clocking in at around 41 minutes in length, let's begin our review with a look at the first song! "Eternal Hibernation" opens with "Dominate", which is also the CD's shortest track. Lyrically about overcoming and dominating complacent and directionless people, the song opens with a familiar opening isolated guitar riff before the whole band kicks into gear, with Nik's clearly enunciated growling vocals easy to hear, unlike at some of their live concerts! Though it lacks some of the technicality of the band's newer originals, it has a consistent groove with nice complimentary guitar work from Mitch & Josh, and strong bass from Justin! Nice hard driving song to kick off the CD, though the quality jumps on solo guitar sections are a bit jarring.

Second is "Casualties of War", which speaks of how war and combat affects soldiers in non-physical ways too, so they're also casualties of war. Faster, heavier, and longer than it's predecessor, this song has more of a groove metal influence in it's guitar work, though the mix isn't as clean for individual instrument clarity. Johnny's drumming is really solid and relentless here, and Mitch's guitar solos hold up well and doesn't take away from the intensity! The nearly non-stop attack and added melodies make this an early highlight on the CD for sure! That's followed by "Condemned", with lyrics from the point of view of someone who kidnaps and slowly kills a deceitful man. Another nice marriage of death and groove metal with a catchy melodic guitar riff throughout the verses and nice bass work, Nik's vocals are on point and consistent, but I actually prefer the clean chorus vocals that he used live for this song in the early days than the lower growls here. The song might benefit from being a bit faster, and the verses can get a little monotonous, but the guys sound nice & brutal again!

Song #4 is "Deception", which seems to speak of a personal journey into hate, anger, and opposition of societal norms. Opening suddenly with a mid-paced (and scratchy sounding) instrumental section, this song is well performed instrumentally with solid crashing drums and relentless vocals, but the song has always seemed to be missing a melodic stretch or change in tempo, and to me, mostly glides along without risking anything major. Well performed with nice cohesive guitar chemistry, but it's lacking an extra "something". Then we have "Succumb To Eternity", which is notable as the CD's only album without Nik having a credit for the lyric composition. Bassist Justin Lam handled all lyrics here in this song about wishing death and vengeance upon an enemy, similar in tone to a "Condemned" prequel. Opening with a galloping drum section by Johnny, this song can be repetitive, but it has a strong aggressive melody, nice mix, and memorable mid-chorus guitar licks from Mitch that come through nice and loud! I like the aggression and drumming here, and though it's not as ambitious as some other tracks, it's one of my personal favourites!

Sixth up is "Bloodthirst", which is another song about wishing death and bloodshed on an enemy, which increasingly seems to be a recurring theme. Opening with a slow guitar section that slowly builds in substance for the first minute, the song begins in earnest after that with familiar but intense verses and some of Mitch's best guitar solos on the CD (especially coming out of nowhere between verses), helping add up to one of the album's darker & more dramatic songs in tone! The song does seem to get a bit stagnant late, but everyone's on their game here, and fans of their heaviest material will be right at home! Next is "Overthrown", which has a similar lyric trajectory, though this time about overthrowing and enslaving people. Relentlessly beginning with heavy riffs and nicely varied harsh vocals, this song largely doesn't stray from the norm early, but it has a nice groove, well paced drums, and a bit of a punk bite at times too. A reserved bridge and more melodic last minute help deviate things well with a softer ending, helping another strong track!

Eighth on "Eternal Hibernation" is "Karma", which is about causality and how one's bad actions lead to bad karma, in violent fashion like on prior songs. Another aggressive song that chugs along with The Bear Hunters' usual ferocity, the song has more of a swing vibe in it's lyric cadence, and it's among the more aggressive and dark songs on the CD, though Mitch's guitar solo really shines late! The song on the whole does feel too long though, and was losing steam before the solo with it's pacing and repetition. Well composed and suitably brutal, but laggy mid-way through. Second last, we have the album's first single "Collapse The Sun", which isn't an anti-summer song, rather about bringing darkness & despair on society. This is one of the shortest songs on the album, but also one of the catchiest via it's structure, guitar melody, and chorus that's easy to sing... I mean, growl along with! Mitch & Josh seem to be having a lot of fun on the riffs and solo here, Justin's bass work is solid, and while it lacks later technicality, this song was a great choice for the first single

Just like at most shows, "Eternal Hibernation" ends 'er with Render (as in, "Render This Void"), which is also the album's longest song. Lyrically about one's path to Hell and oblivion, this song opens strong with solid guitar work, an aggressive and straightforward structure, and brutal vocals, and though it's not too fast, it gets the job done for death metal fans! The bridge ramps things into a doomy level that doesn't relent for the rest of the song (save for the guitar solo), but the closing riff and instrumental portion (which gradually slows down until the song's end) goes on far too long for my taste, and the song would have ended stronger to me if you trimmed a minute or so off the end, leaving the CD's closer to drag too long for me. With all of that said, what are my final thoughts on "Eternal Hibernation"?

Overall, I enjoyed The Bear Hunters' debut CD, and found it to be a well realized culmination of a long journey to get their first originals out! All of the guys performed well individually, with Nik's crushing vocals, Mitch & Josh's tandem guitar riffs, Justin Lam's excellent bass lines, and Johnny's consistent drumming all coming together very well! To me, this album hit it's best heights when the guys used their melodic and groove metal sides like on "Collapse The Sun", "Succumb To Eternity",  and "Casualties of War", which gave an extra kick to their death metal intensity! The production and mix is generally good for a completely independent production, but sometimes, instruments were buried or scratchy, and there was some inconsistency in that department. On the negative side, I would have liked to have seen some of the old clean vocals, more guitar solos than we got, some more lyrical variance, and a reduced ending to "Render This Void", but for a first effort, you can't complain too much.

Some may also wonder why songs like "I Fear No God" and "Transcend Judgment" are absent, but the guys have already established that those are to be on their planned second full length CD, "The Dead Testament". All of that said though, "Eternal Hibernation" is a strong and brutal first effort for The Bear Hunters, and they can only grow from here as they approach their next album plans! Pick up this album A.S.A.P.! I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, but what's coming to the site to kick off 2015 for our reviews? I'm not 100% sure yet, but a new CD from Dafter, Michigan solo project SweetKenny is very possible, as Ken's new solo CD "Slobber" is tentatively scheduled to come out next month. If it comes out as scheduled, that or his newest CD at present "Amazonian" could very well be next, but that all depends on the "Slobber" release, and who knows what else is on the imminent horizon. In any event, stay tuned for updates on our next album review as we hear it, and for our 2014 retrospective post TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Monday, December 29, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (415E & Havadder), New Year's Eve Concert Previews, And More!!

In what may be our last news post of 2014 (with a CD review and 2014 retrospective to follow), we're tackling announced New Year's Eve show previews today, as despite being mid-week this year, there are still some hard rock bands taking to local stages to ring in 2015! If there's a short notice confirmation, we'll try to address that as well, but let's kick things off with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E will send 2014 out in style with a headlining New Year's Eve concert THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino! Apologies for the short notice, the band just announced this show on their Facebook page today. Despite the late word, this should be a great show for Yoopers who want to ring in the new year in style with some live hard rock originals and covers, and if you've seen Dave, Mitch, and the Hubbards live this year, you'll know what they bring to the table! For reference, the Sault Michigan Kewadin's New Year's entertainment will come via local indie rockers The London Gentlemen, in case you were wondering. 415E's St. Ignace show on Wednesday has a 9:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 21+ age limit. For more details, visit the above links, don't miss 415E one last time in 2014, and here's the guys at The Dreammaker's Theater!

Also, local classic/hard rock quartet Havadder will headline a New Year's Eve party concert at Studio 10 (yes, the strip club) THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice, they just announced this show on their Facebook page yesterday. To be the veteran quartet's second ever show at the Hudson Street nightclub, Wednesday's show will bear similarities to their headlining show there on Halloween, including refreshments, New Year's party favours, a midnight champagne toast, a Fender guitar door prize giveaway, and yes, "adult dancing" between Havadder's sets if that's your thing (our source for the above info is frontman Jason Roy's personal Facebook page.) Also, expect drummer T.J. Case to be absent on Wednesday, as he will be playing with Mourning Wood at The Rednecks Saloon that same night (more on that in a bit), but it's not yet known if their fill-in drummer will be Scott McLurg again or someone else. Given the seasonal nature and frills of this event, tickets will be $15, and can be bought at the Studio or through Jason.

This is definitely a 19+ concert, and a 10:00 PM start time is likely. For more details, visit the above links! Havadder's Halloween show at Studio 10 must have went well for them to come back for New Year's Eve, and hopefully there's a nice turnout for their often heavy yet diverse cover attack on Wednesday night! For a preview, here's Havadder live earlier this year!

Moving to previously announced concerts, local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control and garage punk quartet Gnaeus will head to Cafe Natura (downstairs, specifically) to open a year-end concert TOMORROW NIGHT alongside familiar faces from some of their shows earlier in the year! Both of these rising young bands will be opening for a reunion of local blues rock quartet The Frasiers as well as local folk musician Chris West's Great Chamberlain solo project (which Pixo Control frontman Michael Mikus has played live with in the past), so if you liked these artists from events like The Emergency Festival and Lopstock, keep TOMORROW'S show in mind, especially as all but The Pixo Control haven't played live since the summer! The Frasiers will headline at 10:10 PM tomorrow, with Great Chamberlain on at 9:40 PM, The Pixo Control at 8:30 PM, and Gnaeus opening at 7:30 PM. This show has NO cover charge, and no announced age limits, so visit the Facebook event page for more details on this event!

Also, no word on why this show is taking place downstairs in Cafe Natura's basement. This should be an interesting concert for fans of blues, folk, and alternative rock, so don't miss out on the action tomorrow night in what may be the last hard rock-featured concert before the New Year's parties! For a preview, here's The Pixo Control live at LopLops this summer!

Finally for known heavier concerts over the final days of 2014, we'll head to The Rednecks Saloon where the aforementioned Mourning Wood will play their own last concert of the year by headlining the former Nicolet Tavern's New Year's Eve party THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT! The newer classic/hard rock trio will bring their diverse and often aggressive cover selections there on what will be a Mardi Gras-themed event (despite Mardi Gras meaning "Fat Tuesday"), but it's a neat theme that fits the party atmosphere, so keep that in mind! Similarly to the Havadder New Year's party, Mourning Wood's will have entry via ticket purchase (in their case, $10, to be bought at the venue), and it's also a 19+ event with a 10:00 PM start time. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It sounds like Terry, Steven, and T.J. have a great event of their own coming on Wednesday, so keep it in mind for your own New Year's eve plans as we close the door on 2014! For a preview, here are the guys at Toystock!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Bear Hunters CD review and a retrospective look back at 2014 in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Knee Deep

As we slowly wind down the year that was, here's our final Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile of 2014, a day late due to just coming home from Detroit yesterday (our apologies!) After our annual November break to edit and refresh past profiles in this series, we're back to our usual spotlights of out of town metal, hard rock, or punk bands featuring past or present Sault Ste. Marie residents today with a look at an all-cover band featuring a familiar face behind the skins, so read on below for what you should know!
Knee Deep (Brantford/Kitchener, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics. This information is incomplete, mainly regarding pre-2011 lineups and former singer Jason's last name. If you can help, let us know at

Eric Mills (vocals)
Jean-Marc Singaram (guitar)
Jay Cutaia (guitar)
Chris Kowalsky (bass)
Vinnie Milosevich (drums)

Farzan Tashvighi (vocals)
Mike Brown (vocals)
Jason ????? (vocals)
Craig Pauley (drums)

Official Facebook page:
Official Reverbnation page:
Official Bandmix page:

Local Info: Knee Deep's only local member is drummer Vinnie Milosevich, who SMS readers may remember from extensive band work in the 1990s with bands like Hollow, Carbon Black, and Metal Militia (all alongside Mourning Wood's Terry Eaton & Griphook's Dan Beaupre), with Vinnie last playing locally during two Hollow reunion concerts in 2011. Vinnie has lived in Southern Ontario for the last decade plus, where he and Terry launched the short lived Buster Cherry, though Vinnie has since focused on newer projects like Curse The Witch and two separate stints with Knee Deep!

Band Bio: Active since at least 2006 (but only launching their Facebook page in 2011), Knee Deep are a cover band that specialize in alternative rock songs from the 1990s, which has carried them to a strong reputation and frequent concert schedule throughout Southern Ontario in recent years! Though their instrumental lineup has largely remained stable since 2011, they've went through four singers in that span, while Vinnie Milosevich has drummed with Knee Deep on two separate occasions (from 2011-2013, and again since this spring), replacing Craig Pauley both times. Though best known for solo headlining shows, they have played some notable multi-band and charity events, and throughout, the guys have shown a nice chemistry and knowledge of 1990s rock! Despite the singer changes, Knee Deep have picked frontmen well, with all bringing their own style to the table, though if you prefer a more aggressive vocal style, look for 2012-2013 videos with Mike Brown on vocals.

I can't speak for their run with Jason singing, but the videos and audio tracks that I've heard showcase a nice skill range and strong understanding of the original songs, so if you love 1990s hard rock and are in Southern Ontario, Knee Deep are a solid bet to check out! Their Reverbnation page linked above has four audio demos, while videos of Knee Deep can be seen at JCKDRocks & MrBuzz650's YouTube channels featuring renditions of everyone from White Zombie and Type O Negative to Lenny Kravitz and Green Day. Here's the guys covering Weezer's "Buddy Holly" earlier this year!

I hope you guys liked our last Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile of the year! We'll kick off 2015 in this series with a look at Larval Host, the Toronto sludge metal band featuring former RedD Monkey drummer Joe Bumbacco next month in this series, likely on or around January 26th once again, so stay tuned for that and more by year's end! Thanks everyone!

New Concert Videos, An Inactive Band, And Much More!!

Now that I'm back from Detroit (the city), we can get back to normal business on the site, including a new video of Detroit (the band), a recent Kewadin concert video, a band that we're likely moving to our inactive band links in the coming days, and more assorted notes. Read on below for what you should know, and yes, we have some big (and somewhat overdue) feature posts to come before the month & year are out, so keep an eye out!

Did you miss the Detroit reunion concert on Tuesday night at The Algonquin Pub? I sadly did, but if you want a video of the proceedings, Bad Back drummer Nathan Sauve has you covered! He uploaded this video of the local/Toronto hardcore punk quartet (including two of his old Lion Ride bandmates) onto his YouTube channel on Christmas Eve, which is definitely a nice Christmas gift of sorts! Nathan shot Detroit playing their songs "Blue Collar", "Lord, Beer Me Strength", "Fortress" (complete with guest vocals from singer Brent Ellis' Destroilet bandmate Adam Larocque), and "Shithouse Ratt", though the first and last songs are incomplete. Nathan had planned to shoot more of their set but forgot his backup battery, though what we get is a solid sampling, especially if you liked their "Let The Hammers Fly" EP, as all but "Fortress" were on that one! Filmed from a stationary side stage angle, the guys have great energy (and generally longer hair than 5 years ago), but the audio can be muffled.

Very nice overall, and the familiar drum intro is great to hear one more time, so give the new Detroit video a look below, as who knows when/if you'll see Brent, Curtis, Mark, and Mikey back together again? Also, keep an eye out in case more media turns up from Tuesday night!

Next up, we have one more band to likely add to our inactive band links in 2014, that being local metal cover trio Caveman Morrison. While frontman Tym Morrison indicated in June on their Facebook group that there were "not a lot of places to play" for them and he didn't know what the future held, the guys have not played a live public concert since New Year's Eve last year at the former Roosevelt Hotel, so we're approaching a year's inactivity for them. Caveman Morrison had been a fairly frequent sight at numerous local concert venues since reforming locally in 2009, following successful stints here and in Calgary through the mid-2000s. Joined by many different musicians in assorted lineups, Caveman Morrison were best known for cover-only shows, but did play Tym's own original material on special occasions. In the past year, Tym has transitioned to a regular weekly solo concert run at The Harp Bar & Grill, while recent members James White & Johnny Belanger remain active in multiple metal & punk bands each.

The sudden halt in new Caveman Morrison concerts was surprising, but if the venue drought is accurate (plus the continued success of Tym's Harp shows), immediate future plans for Caveman Morrison don't look too promising. Tym and company had a solid sound and knew lots of classic metal & hard rock songs, and given that he plays similar material at his solo dates, a Caveman return likely wouldn't be hard to orchestrate! Until then, best of luck to Tym, James, Johnny, and all of their other past members in the future!

Also today, we have a new video of a hard rock cover from a recent Kewadin Casino concert, once again coming from the Aaron Lewis show at The Dreammaker's Theater in Sault Michigan last month! As you may remember, Aaron is best known as Staind's frontman, but he has been carving a solo career in country music in the early 2010s, which was the main focus of this tour, though he's been covering Staind songs like "It's Been Awhile" and "Outside" in the process! This video is of Aaron tackling another Staind hit, "Right Here", as uploaded by YouTube user Melissa McNamara on her YouTube channel 2 weeks ago (which also has a video from last year's local Shinedown concert.) Though filmed on the vertical cell phone camera angle, Melissa is much closer to the stage than when she saw Shinedown, and the audio quality is nice on this cover, which is familiar to the original song but has a country feel. The visuals can be a bit bright, but it's a solid video, so give it a look!

Finally, here's three assorted shorter items from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist, event, or venue name:

  • Sault Michigan nightclub The Back Door is apparently closing early next year, as per posts on their Facebook page this month hyping their New Year's party as their "final" such event. If this is true, a reason for the impending closure has not been posted there. We mention this on here because The Back Door experimented with booking live bands last year (including Banned & Power Slug), and if the club's days are indeed numbered, I know many in the area will be disappointed! We'll keep you posted if anything else is said.
  • Local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver will make their Quebec debut (and first live appearance of 2015) when they play a concert in Montreal on January 16th! Awesome news, and hopefully it's a success for them! Click here for more details!
  • The Tidal Records Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub in March will have individual awards for the best individual performances and original song, with prizes being provided by event sponsors, as per promoter J.D. Pearce on the Facebook event page last week. Though most recent battles haven't featured individual awards, 2012's Humane Society Battle and the old Case's Music Battles both utilized the idea, and it's a nice idea to give competitors something extra to try for! Stay tuned for more updates on this battle as we hear them!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile next! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Treble Charger), Highway 63 Concert Previews, And More!!

Here's one more auto-posted Christmas post for you guys on this holiday occasion, and there's a huge LOCAL CONCERT ALERT that will be a nice Christmas surprise for many readers, along with the last two (advance notice) local concert alerts for the weekend, and one more Christmas surprise! Read on below for what you should know, and check out our first weekend concert preview post below this one!

Juno nominated local/Toronto indie punk rockers Treble Charger will return home for a special headlining concert on Friday, February 6th as part of the opening ceremonies for next year's Bon Soo Winter Carnival! Last seen locally at a Searchmont Resort fundraiser in January (though they've played in Southern Ontario since), Treble Charger will be the featured entertainment at a big concert at The Machine Shop, the newer local concert/live event venue at Mill Square (the former St. Mary's Paper site) at 75 Huron Street, which is the new host location for Bon Soo. The Machine Shop's grand opening is slated to be in June, but they've hosted select events prior to then (like the Gino Vanelli concert), and it'll be interesting to see how things look and hold up in February! Of course, Greig, Bill, and company are very well known locally for their extensive work and albums together since the mid-1990s, and they're picked up where they left off since their 2012 reunion, so don't miss songs like "Red" and "American Psycho" at Bon Soo for what might be their biggest local show in over a decade!

According to the SooToday press release, local support will come via local grunge/alternative rock trio The Pixo Control and local folk/roots veterans Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect, and while neither are outwardly great fits in terms of genre, both have more than enough talent and strong resumes, so they should do fine! I wonder if this was the exciting news that The Pixo Control couldn't spoil from earlier this month? Also, I should clarify that this does not appear to be the same event as the condensed version of The Marquee, which is also slated to take place on February 6th, but was announced as being held at Mill Market (a different building on the same site) and starting earlier in the day. If they are in fact the same event, we will clarify that on here! The Treble Charger concert itself will take place on February 6th at 7:30 PM, it is ALL AGES, and tickets will cost $39.95, which may seem high, but they're less than half the price of the tickets from January's Searchmont Fundraiser, so it could be a lot worse! Tickets can be bought at the aforementioned Mill Market and at the LIFEforia Wellness Club at 681 Pine Street starting on January 10th, along with Bon Soo buttons for the festival itself.

If you're interested too, there will be 50 limited edition VIP tickets for the Treble Charger show, which will cost $69.50 and will allow you to have a meet & greet with the guys and attend the sound check party, so if if you want the extra experience, bring extra cash when buying tickets! All ticket prices include taxes., and check the above links for complete current details! It's great to have Treble Charger back once again for what should be a huge concert next year, and it's sure a great way to kick off Bon Soo 2015! Stay tuned for potential updates as they roll in!

Next up, here's the remaining weekend concert previews for this weekend (barring any late notice confirmations), as Sault Michigan classic/hard rock quartet Highway 63 will play their last concerts of the year (I believe) at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino THIS WEEKEND! Coming three weeks after their most recent shows, the newer band featuring Monkey's Uncle, Analog Deficiency, Power Slug, and RamWagon alumni have been learning a few new covers for this weekend's shows, and hopefully there's a solid turnout for Highway 63's shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT over the post-Christmas weekend! Like usual for Rapids Lounge gigs, these shows have 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits. For more details, visit the above links! Hopefully the Switzers and company have a great weekend of hard rocking covers over the next few nights, and here's Highway 63 live this fall!

Finally, here's a continuation of past years on the site, minor though it may be, as here's a news/profile-less Christmas surprise! Because of the concert previews, major news, and upcoming busy schedule, I reluctantly didn't prepare a Christmas surprise post with seasonal videos and archive surprise "presents", but I will cap this one off with a seasonal rendition that we've never had on the site before as a consolation! This comes from local Celtic punk favourites Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, and while the vast majority of their studio output can be found on their three CDs, one unique track of theirs found it's way to a compilation release in 2011, that being "Christmas With The Salads & Friends"! Released by Toronto ska punk veterans The Salads, this is a collection of 17 Christmas carol adaptations from bands like illScarlett, The Johnstones, The Killing Time Band, and even The Fairmounts (as fronted by Rising Tide drummer Mikey Hawdon), among many others.

The Rising Tide themselves submitted a lyrically adjusted cover of "The 12 Daze Of Christmas" ("Days" is misspelled intentionally) which switches the gifts for alcoholic beverages (i.e. on the first day, Dustin got a straight shot of warm whiskey.) Lyrics aside, it's a straightforward cover that's nicely adapted to their Celtic punk sound, and it's a nice seasonal addition to your punk playlists! Remember though, this song is not on their CDs, only on The Salads' compilation, but you can stream it below, and don't miss them at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT!

That's all for today, but I hope you guys have a merry Christmas, enjoy the holiday with the ones you love, and we'll be back in short order with more news and special posts to end the month & year with! Thanks everyone!

Boxing Day Weekend Concert Previews!!

Merry Christmas to all of our readers, or Happy Holidays if you prefer! In our first of two posts on this Christmas day (auto-posted due to spending time with the family, of course!), we have the first of the Boxing Day weekend concert previews, and for the curious, we'll touch on the Highway 63 shows and the recent major Bon Soo concert announcement later today. Also, if you're curious, Tym Morrison is not playing at The Harp this weekend (at least, not according to his website), presumably for a holiday break, but we'll touch on his January shows soon! Now, here's what you should know regarding three different Boxing Day events TOMORROW NIGHT in Sault Ontario!

We'll begin our previews at The Rockstar Bar, who will host local/Toronto Celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide for one last time in 2014 TOMORROW NIGHT! Making their third local stop of the month (after sets at The Rankin Arena and at last week's Tidal Records Christmas show), this popular union of Inner City Surfers and Boot Hill Crooners alumni should be in fine form to deliver some post-Christmas original entertainment on Boxing Day, and perhaps some select covers? Speaking of which, Dustin's new local band The Cover-Up (featuring Lion Ride, Room 206, and Northwest alumni) have been named as late openers after numerous fan requests following their debut last weekend, so come early to take in their set! Also, I will note that a Rockstar Bar Facebook group post from Thin Ice frontman Nathan Albidone implies that the popular country cover band will be playing there on Friday, though it remains to be seen if that is incorrect, a matinee, or if both shows will occur simultaneously with one downstairs at The Algonquin Pub.

We'll let you guys know if we hear anything! In any event, this show will take place on Friday night at around 10:00 PM, you must be 19 to attend, and a $5 cover charge is likely. For more details, visit the above links! Dustin and the Tide's nicely blended mix of Celtic and folk rock with modern punk should be a holiday treat once again for punk fans, so be there TOMORROW, and here are the guys live a few years back!

Next up, we'll head to The Rednecks Saloon, where local hard rock quartet Beaumont Avenue will make their long awaited return to the stage TOMORROW NIGHT! The first of two shows over the holidays for the former Suicide Kings, we haven't seen Beaumont Avenue in concert since August due to drummer Ben Boudreau's out of town school commitments, and while fans could have seen the rest of the guys in the interim with Urawk, I know many miss their full original concert experience, so look for their own songs from their forthcoming debut CD and a solid cover base TOMORROW (and remember, they'll be at The Rockstar Bar next weekend too!) Their Boxing Day show tomorrow should start at around 10:00 PM, there is no cover charge, and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's great to see Mike, Steven, Mitch, and Ben back in the saddle together (and Ben back home in general), so don't miss the return of Beaumont Avenue, and here they are at Rotaryfest!

Finally for today's preview post is the "Bloody Boxing Day Basement Jam" from Blood Shed Productions, which will be the local goregrind label's last concert of the year, and though it is located at a house, the address is public, so feel free to come down! Partly planned to make up for a shortened private Boxing Day event last year, there have been lineup adjustments since we last plugged this show, including a band replacement, so who all is playing now? The headliner is local experimental singer/guitarist Chase Wigmore in his first set since leaving The Strange Coyotes (he'll be on at 11:00 PM), while Blood Shed death metal acts Brutally Fatal and Rotopsy will take the stage at 10:15 & 9:30 PM each. The 9:00 PM-ish slot was originally slated for the local return of The Apocalypse Afterparty, but they were quietly replaced on the lineup by the newer local metal trio Them last week for unannounced reasons. Disappointing for A.A. fans, but hopefully we see them back soon!

Remember, Them (who currently lack an online page) feature Bring The Misery, Infamous, and Revolution alumni, and are also among the bands at next year's Tidal Records Battle, so don't bypass them tomorrow night! Rotopsy bassist Tyler Gibson's grind solo project Crucify The Whore will take the stage at 8:00 PM, following a trio of Blood Shed rappers (Mikey Thomas, Rotopsy's Dylan "Legitly Logic" Taylor, and Tomgrindy's J.P. "Phat Boii" Archambault) at 7:30, 7:00, and 6:30 PM respectively. A rap set from Miracle Man was once originally scheduled for the show, and while it was also removed from the lineup for unannounced reasons, his alter-ego (Brutally Fatal frontman Austin McCrae) will open the basement jam with an acoustic set at 6:00 PM, perhaps channeling his Re-Born work? To be held in the basement of a home at 11 Hearst Street (near Trelawne and Grosvenor), this ALL AGES event has no announced age limits. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

This should be an entertaining show for Blood Shed, goregrind, and rap fans, and hopefully things go off without a hitch tomorrow night! Stay tuned for potential fallout as it comes in, particularly concerning how Them sound, and as a preview, here's a new Brutally Fatal video uploaded to the Blood Shed YouTube channel on Saturday! A rehearsal video shot that day featuring some text plugs for the Boxing Day show, it's simplistic and doesn't tell us much about the new song, but it gets the job done to promote the jam, so give it a look below, and see above for more info!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for the rest of our weekend previews, the big news regarding a show at Bon Soo in February, and much more to end the year! Thanks everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2014

YouTube Channel Profile Series: schloppster & mckersie1984's Channels

Hey guys, we'll try to keep news coming steadily while I'm out of town, and that will start with this month's YouTube Channel Profiles, our last of the year! As you may remember, this monthly feature series looks at 1-3 randomly selected YouTube channels with at least a 50% concentration of local metal, hard rock, and punk-relevant videos, in order for readers to discover these channels, possibly subscribe, and check out some entertaining and/or notable YouTube clips! This month's installment features two profiles due to the first chosen channel only having two videos period, so one more channel with only one distinct video was randomly picked to fill it out. Featuring a recently notable local punk band & our first Sault Michigan channel in this series since May, read on below for this month's profiles!

Owner: Former Clownsack singer Schloppy (real name Bob Cook, source here, who you may also recognize from Seeking Reverence)

Channel Timeline: Launched on August 14th, 2006; Videos posted on that day and on August 28th of that year

Channel Summary: Likely intended as an official YouTube channel of sorts for the 2005-2012 Sault Michigan funk/hard rock band Clownsack, Schloppy uploaded two music videos to his channel in August 2006, both set to studio tracks from their debut CD "Rotten Candy", which was released that spring. Both feature the band dressed as clowns and performing songs based around and inspired by their attire and alter egos, with members never publically confirming their identities on band pages during their run.

Why You Should Watch: This is definitely worth checking out for fans of Clownsack, whether you preferred their funk rock sound or their unique stage presence and theme! Note however that this channel hasn't been visibly used since the videos were uploaded, and it isn't the most substantive source of Clownsack videos on YouTube either, Former guitarist/producer Butter Cookie (real name Fran Blackwood) has uploaded 17 videos of Clownsack from their mid-late 2000s heyday onto his YouTube channel, including a re-post of the "Clown Sauce" music video that Schloppy/Bob uploaded, so keep that in mind as well!

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Clownsack Clownsauce YUMMY!!!!: Viewed over 4,400 times since being uploaded over 8 years ago, Clownsack's first of two music videos was for their song "Clown Sauce" from the aforementioned "Rotten Candy", and it is a nice summative (though tongue-in-cheek) track of their musical & visual themes! Their original lineup is featured here, including Schloppy & Butter Cookie alongside bassist Slappy (Tony Rogers, now of No Decision), original drummer Scratchy, and dancer/backing vocalist Doinky (neither of whom have had their identities confirmed publically that I've found.) This video features the band playing live at (I believe) The Savoy Bar & Nightclub circa December 2005, and it captures their stage show nicely with a lively stage presence, liberal use of silly string, and an upbeat edgy funk rock sound! That said, the sync with the original song could be better, and Fran's later upload of this video is of much better quality with less pixelization. Watch for a Hulk Hogan homage before the song fully kicks in too!

Clownsack gotta see this!!!!: Schloppy's only other video is a music video set to their song "Social Homicide", also from "Rotten Candy" and also set to live concert footage. This time, the show appears to be an unidentified event at The Dreammaker's Theatre at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino circa early 2006, though surviving websites do not verify which show they opened at, or if we even have the venue right (no, it's not the Kiss show, that was in 2007.) In any event, a big crowd turned out! Featuring two female guest dancers (both also wearing clown paint), the performance lacks some of the energy on the "Clown Sauce" video, but it's of similar quality in it's editing, and it features another solid Clownsack original from their early years! Note however that while Fran hasn't uploaded this video in full to his channel, segmented parts of it can be seen there, and they do have an improvement in quality.

mckersie1984's Channel (

Owner: Local photographer Jeff McKersie

Channel Timeline: Launched on September 5th, 2010; Videos uploaded on April 11th & 12th, 2012

Channel Summary: Best known locally for his excellent photography (which you can view at the link above), Jeff's YouTube channel puts his photos to good use by combining shots that he took while in school of local/Toronto Celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide into a slideshow video set to one of their original songs! Specifically set to their short original "Tick Tick Tock" (the 2011 version with drums from their CD "Whiskey Will Be Our Sun"), this is a solid original with a folksy feel and a raw edge, and Mikey Hawdon's drumming helps fill things out, with lots of great photos of The Tide included to look at along the way! Note that Jeff posted two versions of this same video on successive days for unclear reasons, but the version featured here is the second copy, which has more views. Don't miss The Tide at The Rockstar Bar on Friday night!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Thanks to random selection, we'll have another double profile to kick off 2015 with, as the first randomly selected channel only has two distinct video types that fit the site, so we randomly picked a channel with one video to fill it out. That said, next month's profiles will be on scub115's channel (featuring videos from Ace Frehley's Kewadin Casino show in 2009) and defunct local metal trio Despised Eyes' channel (featuring their one and only music video), so look for all of that on or around January 22nd! That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news as we continue to approach Christmas! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Detroit Reunion Concert Preview, Strange Coyotes Updates, And Much More!!

Firstly, I wanted to apologize for a missed concert on the site, as there was a fundraising concert at The Rockstar Bar this past Friday for the Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH) that featured local hard/alternative rockers Late Shift alongside a reunion of the country rock quartet The Road Rockets and new(?) local bands named GDH and Free Sample (any info on them?) We only first heard about this show on Friday via Rockstar Bar Facebook posts, but we didn't have enough items for a rushed second post, so we plugged it on our Facebook page to at least get the word out. Had we heard about it in advance, we'd have absolutely plugged it (especially given ARCH's contributions to this city), so our sincere apologies for not being able to get it on the site!

With that said, let's transition to today's news post, featuring a preview for a special mid-week concert taking place on Tuesday, a recent departure from a local band, new material from another, and more assorted notes, so here's what you need to know!

A very special concert goes down on TUESDAY NIGHT at The Algonquin Pub, where local/Toronto hardcore punk quartet Detroit will reunite for the first time in almost 5 years! The popular band featuring Lion Ride alumni Brenton Ellis, Mark Rand, and Mikey Hawdon (plus Brent's ex-Maximum RNR bandmate Curtis Faux) will all return home for their first local date since December 2009 for a night full of songs from their two CDs, and whether you've missed Detroit or are new to the party, get ready to let the hammers fly as their intense, short, and attitude-fueled sounds return for one night only! Local support will come via local hardcore punk veteran Destroilet (who opened for Detroit in 2009) in their long awaited first show as a sextet, with the aforementioned Brent Ellis joining Mike Hull on co-lead vocals, so how will the expanded lineup do? Find out on Tuesday! The other support bands include local grunge/hardcore duo Bad Back (in their first public Sault Ontario gig since the summer) and local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades (in a rare concert opening set), so be there early to see them as well!

Promoted by Destroilet guitarist Christian Foisy, this show has an early door opening time of 8:00 PM with Jack Spades advertised to open the show, this is a 19+ event, and there is a $5 cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! The Christmas season usually sees at least one band reunions or homecoming each year, and seeing Detroit back is a pleasant surprise for sure, so brace for impact on Tuesday night, and I wish I could be there! (I'll be in Detroit, the city, for most of next week.) Do not miss this show, as who knows when/if Detroit will be back, and here are the guys live in Toronto in early 2009!

Next up, we have some surprising news regarding a recently reunited local funk metal band, as The Strange Coyotes have sadly parted ways with singer/guitarist Chase Wigmore. The news was revealed on the band's Facebook page on Friday, but aside from saying that his departure was "voluntary", a reason for his exit wasn't publicized. The Strange Coyotes had only just reunited less than two months ago following a surprise reunion to back up bassist James Watterworth's solo set at the Oddfellows Hall on Devil's Night, but would only play two more gigs (a Blood Shed house party and Sault Band-O-Rama) before Friday's announcement. No word as of yet what will happen to the live album that the guys recorded at Band-O-Rama, but hopefully it doesn't get thrown out. The Strange Coyotes plan to replace Chase on guitar and continue on as a band, but will be changing their name in the coming weeks, likely to Delusionair, which is part of James' "Delusionair Lionhair" alias that he sometimes uses for solo gigs.

If Delusionair is their new name, it may be to emphasize an increased role for James as the band's sole frontman, but keep in mind that Chase used the singular "Strange Coyote" name briefly before their first breakup, so he may have been the creator of the name. It is disappointing to see Chase leave the band, as he's a unique talent and very skilled guitarist, but hopefully he stays active with This Is Your Band On Drugs, The North Shore, and his solo work! Stay tuned for updates on The Strange Coyotes' new name and lineup when everything comes in!

Also today, here's the latest from local goregrind duo Rotopsy, specifically their three songs on the upcoming Blood Shed Productions 11-way split demo! Uploaded to their new Bandcamp page in recent days, their featured songs will be studio versions of their recent live tracks "Mold Induced Hypersensitivity", "Swamp Donkey", and their newest song "Cops 'N Moms", which as you may remember, had a memorable and well received debut at the aforementioned Sault Band-O-Rama last month, and largely features clean vocals rather than growling. Aside from an effect-laden opening for "Swamp Donkey", the songs are largely similar to their live versions, but do show more maturity and more of a closeness to their live versions! "Cops 'N Moms" is also the only one of the new songs that's made it's way to the Blood Shed YouTube channel, so give it a listen below, and hear more of their lively and improving studio sound above!

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

  • Local death metal favourites The Bear Hunters have officially launched a Bandcamp page to sell their debut CD "Eternal Hibernation" in digital copies with! They'll be $7 there (or more if you choose), but physical copies can still be bought locally for $10 (and no, the "Collapse The Sun" single isn't on Bandcamp, at least not yet.) Pick up "Eternal Hibernation" in your preferred format A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for our review of it by year's end!
  • Local independent record label Tidal Records have been announced as a presenting sponsor of the battle of the bands at The Canadian Nightclub throughout March, though the extent of their involvement and contributions are to be revealed. Tidal Records have been making a strong name for themselves since forming last year, and hopefully their work with the battle will ensure it's an even bigger & better event! Our source is changes to the Facebook event page linked above on Thursday, and apply A.S.A.P. to get your band signed up to compete!
  • In some confirmations regarding performers at last night's X-Mess acoustic show at The Algonquin Pub, funk/hard rockers The Elements were absent bassist James White (but featured an unidentified guest mandolin player), Ms. Tillers featured both Kate Drew AND Jamie Van Schooneveld from The Danger Cats, and Sleigher were basically a seasonal reprise of Johnny Belanger & Jesse Cook's past joint solo appearances. Hopefully the show went awesome! Our sources are James' & promoter J.D. Pearce's personal Facebook pages yesterday.

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profiles TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!