Thursday, March 31, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Rednecks Relaunch Party, Mourning Wood, And Havadder), And Weekend Concert Previews!!

The first weekend of April is drawing near, so let's start previewing concerts taking place during it today, with this post largely comprised of SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS! Alas, four of these shows were only announced this past weekend, too soon for us to plug them in advance of this coming weekend with, hence why they've been held for our previews, but don't bypass them! We'll touch on this weekend's Tym Morrison, Project 906, and potential further late notice shows in our next post, but for now, here's what you should know!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Mourning Wood will become the first band to play at The Park Grille at 196 Industial Park Cresent when they play there TOMORROW NIGHT, but it's not a trial run, as further Friday nighters are coming on May 6th & May 27th! Apologies for the short notice on TOMORROW'S show, we only heard about it via the official Facebook event page on Sunday. For those unfamiliar, The Park Grille has been open since May 2014, is located behind Soo Mill, and is known for it's "industrial man sized food", so if you live up at this end of town, here's a joint that you might want to check out! Mourning Wood's concert TOMORROW (their first since gigs at Rednecks two weeks ago) is just the start of The Park Grille's band experiment, which will also see blues rock veterans Mojo playing there twice later this month, as well as new hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires for four gigs this spring (more on them specifically shortly.) For the time being, at least, all of The Park Grille's concerts are on Fridays only, but Mourning Wood members will be busy on Saturday, which we'll outline in a bit.

There is no announced cover charge or age limit for Mourning Wood's shows TOMORROW, May 6th, or May 27th (but remember that this is a restaurant), and bands will play early sets at 8:00 PM. For more details, visit the above links! With steady bands booked on Fridays through the end of May, it'll be interesting to see how successful The Park Grille's band experiment is, so consider being at Mourning Wood's first show of the venue's concert run TOMORROW, and here they are live!

Next up, local classic/hard rock cover trio Havadder will end their near-three month break with shows at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies again for the short notice, the band also only announced the shows via the official Facebook event page on Sunday. Their first announced shows since the band confirmed guitarist Jamie July's departure (though trio gigs have not been uncommon at this time of year anyway), Havadder have been fairly quiet since early January, though we have seen Travis & Scott with The 3 Day Millionaires in the interim. No word on where Havadder have been lately, but it'll be good to see Jugga and company rocking out at The Rockstar Bar again TOMORROW & SATURDAY, so keep their returns in mind! These shows are 19+ events with 10:30 PM start times, but it came out on The Rockstar Bar's Facebook group earlier this week that the venue has abolished cover charges for local bands, including this weekend's Havadder concerts!

No word on if this solely applies to cover bands playing alone, or if the policy will extend to multi-band events, but given how most band-hosting bars in the Soo don't have an announced regular cover fee anymore, this should be welcomed by fans! For more details on Havadder's return to the stage, see the above links, and here's the guys live last year!

Lastly for late notice concert announcements, The Rednecks Saloon will be hosting a "grand re-opening" concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT with a stacked lineup of local bands! Again, apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced this past Saturday via it's Facebook event page. No word on why they're having this "Redneck Relaunch Party" when they haven't recently closed (has there been renovations lately?), but in any event, 7 local acts will take the stage on SATURDAY, so who all is playing? In descending order from headliners to openers, we have a rare multi-band concert set from hard/alternative rock cover quartet Lucky 13 (in their second gig with new guitarist Robin Lee) at around 1:15 AM, with local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements in a rare Rednecks appearance at around 12:25 AM, though no word on if Alex Hagerman will be back behind the kit or not. At 11:35, we'll actually see the return of local metal/hard rock cover trio Caveman Morrison to the local concert stage!

Last seen on stage at the former Roosevelt Hotel on New Year's Eve in 2013, it's great to see Tym bring back his live local band after a two+ year hiatus, so consider coming to the former Nicolet on Saturday to check them out, and they're back in our active band links too! According to co-promoter Terry Eaton in a Facebook conversation, he believes that bassist James White and drummer Johnny Belanger are back from their last incarnation, but the band hasn't confirmed this yet. A debuting local band named The Band Camp Rejects will take the stage at 10:50 PM, and while members are opting to remain secretive until SATURDAY, I can confirm that their lineup has familiar faces. We'll let you know when something is publically revealed! Local hard rock/alternative trio The Din will play their first set since their VM Radio Battle of the Bands runner-up performance at 10:00 PM on Saturday, while two local solo acts (folk artist Jacob "Shit Creek Survivor" Quarrell and rapper Mikey Thomas) will open the event at 9:30 & 9:00 PM.

Co-promoted by Mourning Wood's Terry Eaton & Steven Flint, and with sound presumably provided by Twin City Sound as a result, there is NO COVER CHARGE for this 19+ concert, so how could you miss out on all of this live music action on SATURDAY NIGHT? Check the above links for more details on the Rednecks Relaunch Party, and here's Lucky 13 live!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our previews of this weekend's Project 906 & Tym Morrison concerts, and any late notice confirmations, next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Haggith - "XIV" EP Review!!

It's time for our 81st monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're taking a look at defunct local hard rock/grunge quartet Haggith's fourth studio album "XIV"! With no new hard rock albums to touch on, we chose this album for our latest review to tie in with Haggith members' battle of the bands runs with The Din, Eclipse, and Pillory earlier this month. Their third and final mainline release before dissolving last summer (though the previously recorded "Apocalypse II" was their last release), and named after it's original target release year, "XIV" was self-produced and released through PaperClip Productions on April 17th, 2015, though recording plans were shrunk following founding guitarist Daniel Horton's departure from the band during recording sessions, forcing surviving members to chop "XIV" down to EP length. The disc features Haggith's 2014-15 lineup, but only singer Curtis McKenzie and drummer Mike Haggith feature on all 4 tracks. Bassist Jordan Leach plays on all but "Red" (which Daniel plays bass on), while Curtis plays guitar on the two songs completed after Daniel's departure.

As well, Mourning Wood's Steven Flint provides a guest bass solo on "Road Rash", which he performed with Curtis & Daniel in their old band Punch before Haggith re-purposed that song. On sale for just $2 via the PaperClip online store, "XIV" can also be streamed via Haggith's YouTube channel (and titles are linked below from there as well), but there are no official digital sale copies of it. In any event, consider buying "XIV" to support Haggith's work! A short release with just 4 songs at just 14 minutes in length, let's begin with the first song, "Red"! Running at a disc-low 1:55 in length, this is a steadily paced rocker that has a fun driving feel, strong guitar and bass work from Daniel, and nice melodic vocals from Curtis, but the song definitely feels unfinished, abruptly ending with a higher sung verse, seemingly before a spot where a guitar solo would have been. Was this song currently in production when Daniel left? Note that the YouTube copy of this song fades out at the end for unexplained reasons.

Second is a cover of Punch's "Road Rash", which was taken on by Haggith after that band dissolved. Notably the only song on "XIV" featuring all 4 members of the 2014-15 Haggith lineup together, the song gives us our best example of Curt's vocal range, and Mike's drum fills and rhythm are on point, with Jordan more than holding his own on bass! That said, Steven's bass solo shows his own skill nicely, but it admittedly feels like it was tacked on from a separate song. The lyrics can be a little repetitive, and Daniel's guitar solo isn't highly mixed on the final product, but this is a strong track that was a live fan favourite! Third is "Anthem", which was a long-time live staple for Haggith, but only received it's first studio release on "XIV". Designed as the band's own anthem (appropriately) for fans to "hail" Haggith with during the call & response choruses, the loss of the live energy and spontaneity does affect the studio version, but Curt does an admirable job on guitar in Daniel's stead! However, it may have been better left as a live track.

"XIV" closes with a remake of their song "Rage Train", which was originally recorded for their 2012 debut CD "Dragon Joy Ride" by Curtis, Daniel, and Mike. The new version (sans Daniel, and with Jordan on bass) doesn't divert from the original's path too much, but it is a little longer, better produced, and benefits from the guys' added studio experience in the intervening years! It's not Haggith's most technical or fastest song, but it has a grungy bite in both versions, and while it's subjective, I prefer the remake for the recording quality and added energy. For fuller thoughts on the original song, visit our "Dragon Joy Ride" review at this link. The EP closes with about 25 seconds of silence before an unidentified band member says "That's it? Fuck." This is tacked onto the end of "Rage Train" on YouTube, but on CD copies, it's allocated to a 5th bonus track.

So, what are my final thoughts on "XIV"? It's an entertaining EP from this talented local band, who delivered their last studio work with energy, aggression, and maturity! Curtis McKenzie's singing was on point as usual, he and Daniel Horton delivered strong riffs and good solos, Jordan Leach fit in well on bass, and Mike Haggith's skilled drumming was a constant presence, with the production and songwriting helping back everything up! I preferred "Road Rash" myself, but while none of the songs were bad, "Anthem" felt like a missed opportunity given it's title theme (I'd have included a professionally recorded live version, myself.) That said, "XIV" is one of those albums that will always have the question "What if?" hanging over it. Before Daniel left the band, "XIV" was planned to feature 7 more original songs (and no "Rage Train" remake), though Eclipse have since taken on "Wasted", "Rebel From Above", and "Metal Cage" as their own. What if Daniel has stayed on to finish the originally intended CD?

We may never know, but huge kudos go out to Haggith for completing and releasing "XIV" in this form, and while it lasts, it's a strong blast of hard rock that set their mainline album trilogy out on a high, so buy or stream it above! Just as an addendum, note that my CD copy features the first 3 seconds of the next song at the very end of each preceding track. I am unsure if that is an isolated case, or if other initial pressings of this EP are similar, but keep that in mind if you have a physical copy! I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, and stay tuned for a likely review of AlgomA and Chronobot's upcoming split disc next, as it comes out on Friday! Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 28, 2016

AlgomA/Chronobot Split Pre-Release Promotion, A New Song, And Much More!!

In possibly our last news post before we post this month's CD review, today's post will lead off with details on what will likely be next month's CD review topic, as it's getting a lot of online press coverage and promotion this month! Alongside, we have a new-to-us song from a recent addition to our band links, and some assorted recent notes, so here's what you should know!

The forthcoming split EP from local doom metal trio AlgomA and Saskatchewan doom metal band Chronobot (which comes out THIS FRIDAY) is the subject of some advance media coverage, so what should you know on it? Parker Folse from the metal website No Clean Singing previewed the split for this article from March 20th where they officially unveiled one track from each band's half of the release, so if you want to hear the studio version of AlgomA's "Phthtisis" or Chronobot's "Red Nails", see the above links, or visit the featured Soundcloud page! Without giving too much away (as this split is very likely for next month's CD review), Parker reviewed "Phthisis" as a "raw, vicious onslaught" for those "in the mood to be trampled", among other graphic depictions. Given the genre, this should be taken as a compliment! Then on Thursday, the metal blog Doomed To Darkness Zine gave the split an 8/10 score in this review, positively reflecting on AlgomA as "a very great sounding mixture" of their subgenres.

Also featuring in-depth thoughts on both bands' talents and sounds, it's a solid review for the lead-up to the formal release on Friday, so give it a look at this link and more above! Most recently, AlgomA bassist Kevin Campbell and Chronobot keyboardist Darius Simonot were separately interviewed by Jill Girardi for this article from their label Dead Beat Media (who are releasing this split), so what should you know from that? In the interview, Kevin is asked about how the two bands hooked up for the release, the recording process for AlgomA's half of the split, the meanings of their contributed songs, the concept of the album art, why they opted for a vinyl release, future plans for their next split with Hooded Menace, touring plans, how the band formed, and much more, while Darius got basically the exact same questions concerning Chronobot. These interviews are solid reads for fans of both bands, so be sure to check out the full interviews above or at this location!

In terms of scoops, Kevin did note that Pixo Control/Id Iota bassist Dustin Goodall helped mix and master AlgomA's songs, "exciting news" regarding their second full length CD will apparently come later this year, and he revealed that "The Electric Fence" is apparently their first original where a character in the lyrics survives the story within. This is a big week for fans of AlgomA and Chronobot, so see above for more promotion of this split disc, stay tuned for details on it's release on Friday! Lastly, AlgomA posted their debut CD "Reclaimed By The Forest" in full on their YouTube channel yesterday, so stream it free above & below as we await the split's release!

Next up, here's a new/old original song from new local experimental hard rock solo project The Coyote Speedfreaks! It's new to us via a share on their Facebook page last week, but Chase actually uploaded this to his personal YouTube channel in July 2014, so that's at least how long this project has been in the works before their public reveal a few months back. Entitled "One of Many", this techno-influenced number isn't as heavy as the Speedfreaks' later material, but it's well composed and creative, so give it a listen below!

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

  • Local classic/hard rock veterans Havadder have quietly parted ways with guitarist Jamie July, as per his recent removal from their Facebook page's lineup. A reason for his departure hasn't been announced, but Jamie (who joined Havadder upon their late 2013 reunion) increasingly only played with them during summer gigs, so it hasn't been uncommon to see them play as a trio. Hopefully the split was amicable in any case, so best of luck to Jamie in the future, and stay tuned for more on Havadder's show this weekend when our next concert preview post goes up!
  • In another musician search from ex-Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent, he's now looking for a bassist for what appears to be his band Troubled Mind (alongside fellow Skull After Betrayl alum Adam Brett), which he describes as "weird metal and fucked up rock". Mike has jam space, the band only plays originals, and both guys provide vocals, but they aren't opposed to having a new bassist sing as well. If you're interested in trying out, message Mike at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Thursday!
  • SooToday's coverage of last week's VM Radio Battle of the Bands final round was posted online on Friday, where Donna Hopper mostly covers indie rockers K.I.C.K.'s victory, and includes remarks from K.I.C.K.'s Simon Shearsby & Kevin D'Orazio, where they talk about the experience, Kevin's addition to the band, and their plans to use their winnings to record a debut EP. Sadly, only one photo is included with the article, and Donna was unable to cover the semifinal rounds live, but it's a good write-up of the event, so give it a look at this link, and stay tuned for her Tuned episode on the battle!

That's likely all for today, but stay tuned for this month's CD review and weekend concert previews in our next two posts, if all goes according to plan! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Id Iota Updates, New Sault Michigan Videos, And Local Band Lineup Notes!!

With this last week of March now upon us, let's dive into some recent news and notes, including some lineup additions and clarifications to take note of, new videos from some Sault Michigan-area artists, and first, the very latest from a talented local band, so here's what you should know!

Let's start with the latest from local alternative hard rock band Id Iota, who have welcomed Dan Linklater as their new bassist, replacing Justin Girardi, as per this new photo on their Facebook page. This reunites Dan with his former Dirty Few/Vertically Impaired bandmate Blair St. John, so there's instant chemistry from that alone, and he should fit in nicely! With that said, there's no word yet on when we'll see Id Iota live in the Soo next, but the band also revealed in the Facebook post with the picture that they'll end their concert hiatus with shows in Barrie, Toronto, and Waterloo next month, presumably as openers for The Pixo Control's upcoming Southern Ontario tour run in the same cities, but neither band has confirmed the joint billing. They're a good match, especially as Dustin Goodall is in both bands, so hopefully the tour goes very smoothly for them! Lastly, the aforementioned Facebook post also confirmed that Id Iota are indeed working on their debut EP, which they hope to finish before the tour run!

After a couple months of secretive and cryptic posts teasing their recent recording sessions, it's great to finally get public confirmation that an EP is in the works from the Free Beer/Habitat Shuffle successors, and they'll be back on stage for the first time since last summer in due course as well! That said, will Id Iota's EP be released before the tour, or just completed? Time will tell, but stay tuned for updates as we hear them!

Next up, here's our first media posting from the reunited Sault Michigan band The Creepy Little Coffee People! Uploaded by frontman Bob "Orb Hearthstone" Helsten to his YouTube channel on Wednesday, this is of the acoustic hard rock quartet's new song "I Know", and it has a hard rock structure despite it's unplugged style. It doesn't sound bad, harbouring a bit of a driving feel as it goes along, but with a lineup of Clownsack, I.S.O.M., Shift, and Retro Troop alumni, how could it be bad? Check out this new Creepy Little Coffee People song below, and stay tuned for more from them!

Next up, here's another solo performance/gear demonstration video from Project 906/ex-Ten Kings guitarist Joe Jenkins' YouTube channel on Friday! In this video, he's comparing two of his guitar pedals to gauge their sound and effectiveness, and is looking for input from fans of his channel. I think I prefer the Lockeness Modster Purple Plexi Clone for it's cleaner tone, but see what you think below, and give Joe's strong playing a look there too!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, all relating to lineup additions and clarifications from Sault Ontario bands! As usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or event name:

  • Garden of Bedlam's Derek Turner filled in on drums with local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements during their Rockstar Bar set on Friday, reuniting him with ex-Side FX bandmate Rob Speers. Our source is personal Facebook postings from last week, and while there's been no public word on why Alex Hagerman missed the show, he and his fiancee did welcome a baby girl a couple of weeks ago, so that may be related. Congratulations to the happy couple, and hopefully Derek and The Elements delivered a great set on Friday!
  • Local classic/alternative rock cover quartet Lucky 13 have added ex-Thin Ice bassist Robin "Bones" Lee to the fold as their new lead guitarist, replacing Jeremey Salatuk, as per bassist Jeff Gray's personal Facebook page this morning. I'm not familiar with Robin as a guitarist (or in a non-country genre), but he should have fit in well this talented veteran band in his debut on Saturday, so stay tuned for Lucky 13's huge next show that we'll be plugging in this weekend's concert previews!
  • As a clarification for a recent addition to our band links, we can now confirm that new local punk band Programmed To Fail (formerly The Transjenners) is a two man project from local musicians Craig Kelly & Justin Thorkilson, as confirmed via Justin's personal Facebook page. I'm unsure of complete instrument roles for the guys, and neither are familiar from past local bands, but Craig is apparently their lead singer. Justin's a nice guy, and it's good to put some faces to this band, so look for more from them when announced!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's CD review in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

YouTube Channel Profiles: Mr. Ander, brianhmyles, and Jamie July's Channels

For our second post on this Saturday night, here's this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Our monthly look at 1-3 YouTube channels with at least 50% local metal, hard rock, and punk content returns with three randomly selected channels today, as the first and second channels that we selected only had two similar videos each, hence maxing out for this installment. We have some interesting footage from both sides of the border to look at today, so read on for this month's YouTube Channel Profiles!
Mr. Ander (

Owner: Former Bring The Fallen/AtrophiA guitarist Andrew Chiarello

Channel Timeline: Launched on August 14th, 2013; Videos posted in May 2014

Channel Summary: Three years after Bring The Fallen dissolved, Andrew re-emerged with two solo performance videos on his YouTube channel in May 2014, including a rendition of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" and, as embedded below, an instrumental original (I believe) named "RockBro". I don't know why Andrew hasn't been in a major local band in recent years, as he was a standout in Bring the Fallen, but these videos show that he hasn't lost a step at all, and still displays the technical skill and ease on the guitar that fans remember! However, Andrew hasn't posted on his YouTube channel in almost two years.

brianhmyles's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user and likely Sault-area resident Brian Myles

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 15th, 2011; Videos posted the following day

Channel Summary: Brian's only uploaded videos come from the Buckcherry-headlined concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on March 14th, 2011, so it looks like his YouTube channel was launched solely to post his videos from that event. Though the show also featured Papa Roach & My Darkest Days, Brian's videos are both of the Los Angeles hard rock notables playing their songs "Sorry" and, as embedded below, "Crazy Bitch", complete with lengthy crowd banter. Both shot on vertical cell phone camera dimensions, and with attendees' heads in the way, the quality is otherwise decent, but Josh Todd's vocals are relatively flat compared to other shows of theirs. Brian's channel is definitely worth checking out for footage of this huge show from 5 years ago, but note that he hasn't used this channel since at least 2012.

Jamie July (

Owner: Former Havadder guitarist/vocalist Jamie July

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 7th, 2014; Only video posted that same day

Channel Summary: Jamie's YouTube channel has just a single upload, that being of a sample video of classic/hard rock veterans Havadder live at The Rednecks Saloon shortly after their late 2013 reunion, featuring Jamie alongside founding singer/guitarist Jason Roy and then-members Lucas Bugyra & T.J. Case (Asylum Country) on bass & drums. The side-stage video features Havadder covering multiple songs, including some with Jamie on lead vocals, but the poor audio quality makes it hard to discern the individual tracks. As one of the few public videos of this incarnation of Havadder, it's worth watching for fans, but there are better quality videos from before and after this show. Also, Jamie hasn't visibly used his channel since this video was posted.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, our random selections have again given us three channels (again, as the first two only had a single video), and in another coincidence, these will again include a Havadder video and footage from a major touring concert! On or around April 26th, we'll be profiling Havadder's old official YouTube channel (with a single live video), YouTube user HockeyTraditionalist's channel (with a Treble Charger video), and jjjjjeeeennnaa's YouTube channel (with three videos from Three Days Grace's 2008 Essar Center show), so stay tuned for that then, and for a new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

A New Local Band, New Music Videos, And More!!

Before we get this month's YouTube Channel Profile on the site, here's a local metal video showcase for your Saturday morning, and it includes a pair of music videos from two young local bands, a video from a recent private event, and to start, here's a new local solo project to add to our links!

We have a new local band to add to our band links, and they are The Coyote Speedfreaks, the newest solo project from local solo artist and Them singer/guitarist Chase Wigmore! Presumably taking their name in part from his old band The Strange Coyotes, we've actually been aware of this project since their Facebook page was launched in December of last year, but we only received confirmation of Chase's involvement or any local ties on Thursday. An apparent new signing to Blood Shed Productions (who also put out Chase's CD with This Is Your Band On Drugs), The Coyote Speedfreaks have two new "albums" that you can stream via new uploads on the Blood Shed YouTube channel, they being "Songs To Chew Your Leg Off To" (with 4 songs all running for over 7 minutes) and as embedded below, "Our Hero's Journey" (with 11 songs of a more typical length), though it remains to be seen if these will be pressed and sold in physical copies.

Chase has always been a creative, unique musician, and he keeps that going here! The Coyote Speedfreaks deliver some experimental, electronic-influenced hard rock that is never boring and jumps styles with relative ease, with a number of heavy songs to boot (and one song runs for 18 minutes), though this project is largely instrumental aside from some samples and post-effected backing work on select songs, and I don't know how well these songs would translate to a public concert given the sampling and effects within. Give The Coyote Speedfreaks a listen below, and stay tuned for more!

Next up, here's the long awaited debut music video from local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control, as posted to their YouTube channel yesterday! As you saw in earlier teasers, this is for their fast paced song "Scratch" from their debut CD "Probably Not", and was filmed with Sudbury's Here Kitty Kitty Productions at The Townehouse Tavern in Sudbury during the band's January tour run, as part of undisclosed "footage of all sorts" that they shot at the time. Of course, The Pixo Control are represented here by their current lineup of frontman Michael Mikus, drummer Keeghan Rosso, and bassist Dustin Goodall, who didn't play bass on the studio track, but did mix the album. The full video is well shot from many useful angles, complete with some trippy post-effects and suitably energetic performances, and it lives up to the hype, so give their "Scratch" music video a look below!

Also today, here's a new live video from VM Radio/Speak Easy Battle of the Bands runners-up The Din, courtesy of their private concert from this past Sunday at Outspoken Brewing on Queen Street during the Fishbowl Festival's closing party! Uploaded to The Din's YouTube channel on Monday, this is an acoustic rendition of their cover of the old Haggith song "75", and it's well adapted to the softer genre format, but the video is fairly fuzzy, and the old fashioned color tint, if intentional, doesn't work well to me. Give it a look below, and congratulations again on their 2nd place finishes!

Lastly, here's a new music video for local goregrind duo Rotopsy's short original song "Cops N' Moms", as uploaded to their Facebook page on Thursday! Featuring brief new video footage of Tyler Gibson & Dylan Taylor performing before transitioning to assorted live footage from public shows and house parties alike, it's fairly well edited, but the switch of camera angles can be jarring if you watch all the way through. "Cops N' Moms" is repetitive, but it's one of Rotopsy's more accessible songs, and funny if your recall it's origin story, so give it a look below, and stay tuned for more material and show updates from Rotopsy!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profile next! Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The 2016 VM Radio Battle Of The Bands Finals Recap!!

At last, here's our recap of Wednesday night's VM Radio Battle of the Bands final round, and apologies again for the delay, our K.I.C.K. video upload failed twice before finally making it onto Facebook. After two weeks of intense action from 5 local bands (plus a fun guest set from Jack Spades), the contest came to a head at The Canadian Nightclub on Wednesday, and aside from the obvious high stakes, the only differences from the semifinals were in the presence of more sponsor prizes and promotional papers from The Din and K.I.C.K. on tables at the venue. Also, Tidal Records' Dustin Jones was back behind the judges table on Wednesday after being absent from last week's semifinal due to personal commitments, but as both of last week's bands advanced to the finals, he still got to see everyone compete! Wednesday also saw the best turnout of the month for attending fans, but what did everyone see? Here's what you should know!

After a random drawing coincidentally gave us all 3 bands in alphabetical order (all playing 9 songs, no less), local alternative hard rock trio and week #1 winners The Din opened the finals with a set of mostly originals like "We Met As Surrogates" and the debuting "Differences", plus covers of The Barenaked Ladies and The Beatles, with only 4 songs repeating from their semifinal set. The Din received another good reception, with Mike Haggith & Tammy Hill exploring their surroundings well during their set, but did they do enough to win their first battle of the bands? Next was local hard rock quartet (and week #2 wild cards) Eclipse, who played 5 originals like "Crywolf" and "Rebel From Above" (a renamed revival of Curtis & Daniel's old band Punch's eponymous song, and also played by Haggith), which were bookended with four covers from bands like Genesis and System of a Down. Breaking out their smoke machine once again, Eclipse had a strong set, including 4 songs not played last week, and they too had a good reception!

Indie/acoustic rock quartet (and week #2 winners) K.I.C.K. closed the night with a set that didn't stray too far from last week's song selection, with only 2 songs replaced, but they won over attendees with originals like "Silently Screaming" and "HWY 17" (which even got a few slow-dancing couples!), plus many fan favourite returning originals and their OneRepublic and The Weeknd renditions. The Keep It Cool Kids got a strong response and seemed to be having fun, complete with a surprise introduction by last year's winners in Gnaeus, but did K.I.C.K. win it all this year? After their set, judges Rob Speers, Dustin Jones, and myself convened to add up scores and determine individual award winners, and while I again won't publically reveal the final tallies, I will say that we didn't universally agree on our first place picks, though one judge had two of the bands tied.

And also, I'll confirm that the winning band edged out second place by just three points, making this (at least) the fourth judged local battle since 2009 where the winning band won by 3 points or less. If you ever wanted a sign as to how talented and competitive local artists can be, this is it! Now, here are the final results, courtesy of MC/promoter J.D. Pearce, plus the winners of this year's individual awards:

1st Place: K.I.C.K.
2nd Place: The Din
3rd Place: Eclipse

Best Vocal Performance: Curtis McKenzie (Eclipse)
Best Guitar Player: Tammy Hill (The Din)
Best Bass Player: Fred Dunn (Eclipse)
Best Drummer: Aaron Dunn (K.I.C.K.)
Best Song: K.I.C.K. - "Wanted"

After three weeks of hard fought battling, K.I.C.K. edged out The Din to claim their first battle of the bands victory in their first try, so congratulations to Simon, Tyson, Kevin, and Aaron are absolutely in order for their strong and fan pleasing performances this year! It is a coincidence that K.I.C.K. were, like Gnaeus last year, the last band in both of their battle sets, and narrowly defeated a heavier band by a small margin to win the battle? If anything, it shows how talented each band is, and how much potential the scene has! Like they did at the Speak Easy Battle earlier this month, The Din and Eclipse both finished in second & third place, but considering that The Din and 3/4ths of Eclipse (in Project 421) didn't place or make the finals in either of last year's battles, they won big from their huge turn-arounds this year alone, and Eclipse were competitive in the totals too! There's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! As for Stereo North and Heavy Head, the fourth & fifth place finishers from week #1, I do want to thank them for their entertaining sets too, they showed a lot of talent and promise!

As for the awards won last night, K.I.C.K. picked up $500 for their victory (if they won anything else for first place, it wasn't announced), while there was again no announced prize for second or third place. Curtis McKenzie overcame his cold to receive a $100 Rad Zone gift card for his second straight Best Vocal Performance award (he won with Haggith last year), while The Din's Tammy Hill & Eclipse's Fred Dunn each received a Case's Music prize package for their Best Guitar & Bass Player awards. K.I.C.K.'s Aaron Dunn matched his brother Fred with a Best Drummer award, winning a custom drum skin from Maxx Graphix, while K.I.C.K. won recording time at Tidal Records for "Wanted" as the Best Song. The Most Energetic Band and Best Fan awards didn't return from last year's battle, while the Fan Favourite Band award was apparently scuttled due to a virtual tie among the fan vote, as per J.D. in a personal conversation on Wednesday.

Overall, this year's VM Radio Battle of the Bands was a great time, both for the fun of this style of event, and for my return to local concerts after 6 months away due to (ongoing) family health matters, and hopefully it won't be another 6 months before I see another live concert! Huge thanks go out to J.D. for inviting me to be a judge at this year's battle once again, it's a privilege that I was more than happy to accept, and if the call comes for next year, I'll be ready to serve if at all possible! Thanks as well to Dustin, Rob, and last week's guest judge Christian Lemay for their input, support, and professionalism this month, you were great judges once again, and I'd be happy to work with you guys again if the situation arises! Of course, thanks to all of the aforementioned sponsors who put this year's battle on (including Village Media and Labatt Breweries), and to The Canadian Nightclub proper for being a great host venue once again!

As for our videos from the battle finals, I kept up my tradition dating back to 2013's Rockstar Bar Battle by filming each finalist band's first two songs (it's the finals of a multi-night battle, they deserve the extra song!), and after some unforeseen delays, each track is now online on our Facebook page! There will be more media coming from Village Media's local news sites (SooToday and Local2), but in the meantime, here's The Din playing "In Search of the Perfect Moment" & "Cowardly Hearts Beneath The Stars", Eclipse covering System of a Down's "Hypnotize" & Billy Talent's "Fallen Leaves", and K.I.C.K. playing "Burning Desire" & "Stranded"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, more news, and this month's CD review in short order! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Reanimator & Gnaeus), Highway 63 Concert Previews, And A New Video!!

Before we post our recap of Wednesday's VM Radio Battle of the Bands (apologies for the delay, the K.I.C.K. video upload has been very problematic), let's tackle some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month, our last concert previews for this weekend, and a new video from a finalist at said battle! Here's what you should know!

Montreal thrash metal quintet Reanimator will make their local concert debut when they rock The New American Pub on Sunday, April 24th! Sure to impress fans of old school thrash metal and it's new wave, Reanimator's brutal and fast paced originals have laid waste to many stages since their 2005 debut, so prepare yourself for April 24th if you've missed seeing a touring thrash metal band in the Soo! Reunited local death/thrash metal trio Pillory will open this show in their second announced concert of the year, and first outside of a battle of the bands, so if you haven't seen Robert, Jordan, and Bret's new originals, be at The New A early to take in Pillory's onslaught! A third local opening band is to be announced, we will let you know when that comes out. A presentation of Six, Two, Oh., this 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge and a 9:00 PM start time. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a solidly heavy show, so see above for more info, and stay tuned for update!

Next up, the winners of both last year & this year's VM Radio Battles of the Bands will unite for a special concert on Friday, April 29th at The Rockstar Bar, as local post-punk quartet Gnaeus and indie/acoustic rock quartet K.I.C.K. will join forces! Jokingly titled "Summer BASH!" despite taking place in the spring, this will be K.I.C.K.'s first announced concert since Wednesday's VM Radio Battle victory (more on that in our next post), and will mark Gnaeus' first concert of the year, plus the debut of their new lineup, as the band has parted ways with drummer Brendan Garlick. His departure is due to his move to Whitby for personal commitments in February, and while bassist Matt Fronzi confirmed to me that they have found a replacement, the band has yet to publically reveal his identity. Brendan is a solid drummer and a nice guy, and it'll be odd not seeing him behind the kit, but best of luck to him in the future, and we'll confirm their new drummer's identity when announced!

Note as well that the Facebook event page and event poster both credit John "DJ Fuels" Wardlaw as also performing on April 29th, but his set will actually be taking place downstairs at The Algonquin Pub concurrently with the bands upstairs, so if you prefer some turntable mixes, it's only a floor down! A 9:00 PM start time is in effect for this 19+ concert, which has a special admission fee of $10. This union of local battle of the bands winners will be a fun time for fans of these two friendly groups, who should compliment each other well next month, so see above for more details!

Also today, here's our last known concert preview for this weekend (barring anything on super late notice), as Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 are scheduled to rock The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Two weeks removed from their last advertised shows in St. Ignace, this union of Jager, Analog Deficiency, Power Slug, and Hair Trigger alumni should have a solid weekend of familiar covers in store for fans this weekend, so don't miss out if you want some hard rock action this weekend in the E.U.P.! Note that the band hasn't plugged any concerts in advance since early last month, but we have seen nothing to indicate that these shows are off, so don't read into anything unless stated otherwise. These shows have 9:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no announced cover charges. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Highway 63 live!

Finally for this post, here's the newest video from local alternative hard rock trio (and VM Radio & Speak Easy Battle runners-up) The Din! Posted to their Facebook page prior to Wednesday's final round of the VM Radio Battle, it's a short yet amusing video of a very "energetic" Mike Haggith and Brandan Glew prior to loading their gear for the event. Give it a look below, and stay tuned for our battle recap later today! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Lucky 13 & The 3 Day Millionaires) And Sault Ontario Weekend Concert Previews!!

While our videos from last night's VM Radio Battle of the Bands finals slowly go online, here's the first of this weekend's concert previews! This post contains Sault Ontario shows from tomorrow through Saturday, including some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, and if you're wondering, yes, we will cover Highway 63's E.U.P. shows and anything on super late notice in our next news post, be it tonight or tomorrow. Now, here's what you should know on this side of the border!

New local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will step outside of The Rockstar Bar for the first time with solo concerts at The Rednecks Saloon going down TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the shows via the official Facebook event page yesterday. Fresh off of their three-night-stand at The Rockstar Bar for the St. Patrick's Day weekend, this union of Boxcar Junction, Havadder, Wishbone, and Turner Up alumni should be in familiar form as they play their first shows at the former Nicolet Tavern this weekend, so don't miss their hard hitting covers TOMORROW and/or SATURDAY NIGHT! 10:30 PM start times are advertised for these 19+ shows, neither of which having an announced cover charge. Check the above links for more details, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires live earlier this month!

Next up, fellow local classic/hard rock cover veterans Lucky 13 will return to the stage for one night only at The Rockstar Bar THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice, the band only announced these shows via their official Facebook event page yesterday also. A one nighter due to tomorrow's Elements concert that we're covering at post's end, SATURDAY's concert will be Lucky 13's first in over 2 months, and will apparently mark the debut of the band's new lineup. Courtesy of his removal from their Facebook page's lineup, it appears that founding guitarist Jeremey Salatuk has left the band, possibly due to his involvement with the aforementioned 3 Day Millionaires, who are playing concurrently at Rednecks tomorrow. Jeremey's a strong guitarist no matter the band, but it'll be odd to not see him with Lucky 13 for their first time since their 2012 debut. Best of luck to him in the future though! The band hasn't announced the identity of his replacement yet, we will be sure to let you know when we hear anything!

Note that the band has mentioned "new changes" to their lineup, with the plural suggesting another lineup difference or new element to their live show, but we await public confirmation on what that could be. In the meantime, SATURDAY'S Lucky 13 concert has a 10:30 PM start time, no announced cover (but bring $5 or so just in case), and you must be 19 or older to attend. For more details, visit the above links, stay tuned for more on Lucky 13's new lineup, and here's their old lineup live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, local hard rock solo singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will return to Gliss Steak & Seafood for more acoustic concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Continuing his long-term matinee concert arrangement at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, Tym's skilled and prolific blend of covers continue to be a reliable sight in the area, so don't miss out on what should be an intimate yet entertaining weekend of favourite songs! Remember, Tym is now just playing Fridays and Saturdays at Gliss, the Thursday shows were recently removed from his schedule, while last Thursday's Cocina Del Diablo show appears to have been a one-off. Tym will be on at 6:00 PM tomorrow and Saturday night, and while there's no announced cover charges or age limits, remember that this is a sit-down restaurant. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live at The Harp a few years back!

Lastly for today's previews, local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements and newer local hard rock quartet Eclipse will join forces for what should be a fun concert at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT! Marking their first non-acoustic set in about two months, The Elements will be joined by guest saxophonist Josh Norling (Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect) in a sequel to their Halloween Party set last fall, though expect a more diverse set than October's Sublime tribute. The Elements will play 5 songs from their newly announced forthcoming debut EP as well, so keep that in mind as well! Opening tomorrow's show will be newer local hard rock quartet Eclipse (fresh off of their third place run in the VM Radio Battle of the Bands, more on that soon), and their hard hitting originals and covers should entertain whether you made the battle or not, so be at The Rockstar Bar early for their set!

This Good Friday concert has a 10:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge (but bring $5 or so just in case), and a 19+ age limit. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's The Elements (and Josh) rocking some Sublime live in October!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Highway 63 previews, more news and notes, and yes, our VM Radio Battle of the Bands Finals recap soon! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The 2016 VM Radio Battle Of The Bands Finals Preview!!

After two weeks of intense action from five talented local bands, this year's VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub will conclude TOMORROW NIGHT with the final round, where this year's remaining three bands will collide for their first battle of the bands title, so here's our extended finals preview! Like in the semifinal rounds, the finalist bands will play half hour-ish sets for attending fans, with judges Dustin Jones, Rob Speers, and myself scoring them on the same criteria as in past weeks, but the stakes are ever higher! Not only will the grand prize winners be announced tomorrow, but individual awards will again be given out in varying categories, with Village Media, Tidal Records, Case's Music, The Rad Zone, Maxx Graphics, and Labatt Breweries among the presenting sponsors to look out for. Given how well the semifinals went, tomorrow's finals should end things with a bang, so here's some info on this year's three finalists!

The Din: After defeating Stereo North & Heavy Head in March 9th's semifinals (and finishing in second place during the next day's Speak Easy Battle), local alternative/hard rock trio The Din will look to claim their first battle of the bands victory tomorrow in their fourth try. Their new lineup has steadily impressed fans so far in 2016, but can Mike, Tammy, and Brandan claim first place tomorrow night, and make everyone give into The Din?

Eclipse: Less than a week removed from their third place run at the Speak Easy Battle, newer local hard rock quartet overcame frontman Curtis McKenzie's cold by punching their finals ticket as the wild cards after a strong performance last week. With the battle title, and a possible repeat Best Vocalist Award on the line for Curt, can he, Daniel, Fred, and Chris "eclipse" their other bands' past battle runs with their first battle victory tomorrow?

K.I.C.K.: Making their local battle of the bands debut in style last week, the Keep it Cool Kids defeated Eclipse to move on to tomorrow's finals, impressing fans with their acoustic-tinged indie rock sound and surprise covers. A rematch with Eclipse awaits tomorrow night, but The Din are also in the mix, and it's anyone's guess who will win out tomorrow, but can Simon, Tyson, Kevin, and Aaron kick their way to the VM Radio Battle crown?

Tomorrow's action also sees a rematch between K.I.C.K. drummer Aaron Dunn and his brother, Eclipse bassist Fred Dunn, while the dynamic between Din frontman Mike Haggith and Eclipse's Curt McKenzie and Daniel Horton is well known locally, as they were all in The Din's original lineup, and most notably, were bandmates in the band Haggith. The guys are on good terms, but keep that matchup in mind, especially if you miss Haggith! Of course, this year's winning band will receive a large cash prize and other prizes to be announced tomorrow, and while the rest of the individual prizes (and potential 2nd/3rd place awards) aren't announced online, you can see some of the individual awards laid out at the venue tomorrow night. As I said last year, I hope all 11 performers tomorrow will bring their A-game, leave it all on the stage, and deliver the best performance possible to win over fans and judges alike! You all worked hard to make the podium, now do what you can to reach the top of it and seize the day tomorrow night!

For attendees, tomorrow's finals have a special cover charge of $10, unless you previously bought tickets for the finals/full battle. Everything starts at 9:00 PM, and there's no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an awesome final round, especially given the talents they have and the performances they put on in the semifinals, so don't miss out on the action! For a preview, here's our videos of each of this year's finalists, and we'll see you guys at The Canadian TOMORROW NIGHT! Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2016

New Van Halen Covers By Local Guitarists, Plus Lots Of Assorted Updates!!

(Updated at 3:11 PM) Before we begin this post, I wanted to apologize for a missed concert, as Munising, Michigan metal quartet Infathom (featuring former Half A Man singer Dillon Semasky) apparently played at Pickles Bar & Grill in Brimley on March 12th, marking their first E.U.P. concert appearance since 2014. I profusely apologize for missing it, Pickles is still not a common venue for our coverage, but hopefully it was a blast, and we will keep a better eye out for Infathom's next trips east! Now, today's post features some assorted recent updates, and first, some Van Halen cover videos from two local guitarists, starting with two instrumental renditions by 415E guitarist Chris Hubbard, as posted to his YouTube channel yesterday! Including covers of "Panama" and (as embedded below) "Jump", both feature Chris handling guitar, bass, and drums on multiple camera angles.

These covers are very strongly done by this huge local talent, who has proven his Van Halen fandom is not in vain time & time again, but the overhead camera angle is not a great view for when he plays guitar. Still, give Chris' solid new Van Halen covers a look above & below!

Next up, here's the first cover video from former Ashes To Dust guitarist Alex Hemy's YouTube channel in over a year, and fittingly, it's also of a Van Halen cover (in this case, "Panama" as well!) Playing along to what sounds like the original track minus the original guitar, Alex has a good grasp on the song, but the camera angles are a little odd. Still, it's nice to see a new performance video from Alex at last, so give it a look below!

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

  • In their first public posting of the year, reunited Sault Michigan acoustic hard rock band The Creepy Little Coffee People revealed on their Facebook page yesterday that they made a guest appearance during an open mic night at The Merchant's Bar this past Thursday. This isn't their first live performance in such an event since reuniting, but it's the first to get public word that I've found. Hopefully we hear more from The C.L.C.P. soon!
  • Sault Ontario alternative hard rock trio The Din played a set at the Fishbowl Festival's closing party last night at Outspoken Brewing on Queen Street, and photos from their set are available on their Facebook page! The closing party was a private event for volunteers and participants of the month-long festival, hence why we didn't plug it here (or know about The Din's involvement beforehand), but hopefully it was a blast, especially at the unique venue, and hopefully The Fishbowl Festival returns for 2017!
  • Local alt-hard rock duo Infinity Grinder re-emerged for the first time this year via a bunch of new instrumental song postings on their SoundCloud page in the past month, including an extended track named "Quong" and a 9-track "Green Room Session" featuring Terrence and Brad jamming new originals alongside guest keyboardist "Rudeger Picklefeather" (which I presume is an alias, but I don't know his real identity.) The songs are strong and entertaining, but vocals would be a nice touch. Hopefully we hear much more from Infinity Grinder soon!
  • The planned LemmaFest V meeting yesterday was cancelled for unannounced reasons, and will be rescheduled, as per the official Facebook page earlier today. Despite that, there is already visible interest to perform at the returning Sault Michigan festival from bands like Munising's Infathom, a possible Scofflaw reunion, and a local metal band named Stoned Ape Evolution, who have been together since 2014, wear masks on stage, and feature local musicians John Napoletano and Melvin Willis in their lineup, but don't have a known online page that I've found. The anticipation builds, so stay tuned for more LemmaFest 2016 updates!
  • Former Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent is looking to put together another new local metal band, preferably a death metal band with him on drums (as you've seen with Faceityoureametalband and Troubled Mind), though he's open to playing guitar if the band plays "an amazing genre". If you're interested in jamming with Mike, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from yesterday!
  • Apologies for the delay in mentioning these, but four new episodes of the 7L arts/music podcast have went up on their Soundcloud page in the past month! None are fully devoted to metal, hard rock, or punk topics, but host Teddy Syrette talks to friend Emily Youngsen about dreams, Cafe Natura owner Kelly Barton, local musician/writer Jeff Hinich, and a few local rappers in each. Musical performances by The Din (credited as "fill in blank") and Pillory frontman Robert Sartini (who actually fits nicely in an acoustic setting) are also included in the first two. All are fun listens, so check them out above, and stay tuned for more from 7L!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our extended preview of Wednesday's VM Radio Battle of the Bands finals TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

New Sault Michigan-Area Videos, Plus Lots Of Assorted News & Notes!!

Today's post is half devoted to assorted short items, but we'll kick things off with some new videos from Sault Michigan-area artists, starting with our first live concert footage from new local blues/hard rock quartet Project 906, courtesy of their St. Patrick's Day concert at Pickles Bar & Grill in Brimley on Thursday! Filmed by drummer Will Storey's mother Cherie Rosing-Rye and shared by the band onto their Facebook page earlier today, this is of their cover of Metallica's "Fuel", and while it only captures under 2 minutes of it, you get a good sense of their talent, though Will is mainly the focus during Joe Jenkins' guitar solo, the vertical camera angle doesn't help, and the audio's very staticy. Not a bad rendition though, and I like the St. Patrick's Day hats! Check it out below, and don't miss Project 906's next shows at The Dondee!

Next up, here's the latest solo videos from 415E guitarist Chris Hubbard, courtesy of his YouTube channel last week! One is of him covering Van Halen's "Top of the World" on drums, and solidly handling himself in the well angled & edited clip, but the other (embedded below) is of Chris "messing around", which basically translates to him shredding some solid Van Halen solos, riffs, and licks for 11 minutes that, if the comments are any indication, would leave Eddie himself very proud! Chris is a huge talent, so check out his newest cover videos a look above & below!

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

  • Destroilet bassist Adam Larocque is looking to start a grunge cover band, with the aim being to cover bands like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters, and Alice In Chains, and he does have a jam space available. This might be fun, so message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Sunday if you want more details!
  • Local post punk/garage rock quartet Gnaeus have changed the name of their upcoming debut CD from "Loomings" to "Meditations", as per their newest post on their Facebook page. A reason for the name change wasn't publically announced, but they had teased the new title as far back as January. The new name works, so stay tuned for more on Gnaeus (including on their drummer position) when publically announced!
  • After previously looking to form a local Slayer tribute band, local guitarist Lee Catling is aiming to jam thrash or "fast punk" with other musicians. He hopes to play rhythm guitar over lead guitar, and is willing to learn anything. If you're interested in jamming with Lee, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Tuesday!
  • Sault Michigan concert festival LemmaFest is reportedly coming back this June after a year's hiatus! The Mike Lemma tribute outside of Dondee Lanes did not take place last summer due to legal concerns for one of the promoters, but their Facebook page confirms that planning is underway, and a meeting to flesh out organization, performers, and other ideas will take place at The Merchant's Bar tomorrow at 2:00 PM. It's great to see LemmaFest back for it's fifth go-around, so check the above links or attend tomorrow's meeting for more details!
  • After 9 months of public inactivity (unless they did indeed play at last fall's Jason Michaud benefit), local punk trio Redundant have confirmed on their Facebook page that they are back, are writing new songs, planning new studio work, and booking new shows, with a few light photos of the guys also being shared afterwards. 2015 was a very quiet year for Justin, James, and Rick, so hopefully we hear a lot more from Redundant in the coming months, as they are a fun band who have been missed lately!
  • Courtesy of a Jack Daniels-influenced poster on Thursday, local grind/thrash quartet Them have announced a few new singles that they're working on for their planned debut EP via their Facebook page, including "Slaughter House Blues" and "March Into Regression", the latter being an apparent re-purposing of the name of frontman Tyler St. Amour's old death metal/hardcore band from the early 2010s (who were also known as Bring the Misery, among other names.) Nice to hear more from Them, and stay tuned for updates on their next originals!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes in the coming days! Thanks everyone!