Sunday, July 31, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (K-Man & The 45s, Bloody Diamonds, And Banned), Plus Six, Two, Oh. Show Updates!!

Before we begin this post, I wanted to apologize for a missed show on here, as local classic/hard rock quartet The 3 Day Millionaires apparently played at The Rockstar Bar on Friday (at least, I can't confirm if they played last night too.) The band and venue never confirmed the shows online publically, and I only heard about Friday's show via drummer Scott McLurg's personal Facebook page yesterday. Hopefully it was a great show, we'd have covered it had we known about it! Now, here's some concert updates, and first, some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS on both sides of the border! (Updated at 11:49 PM)

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to the annual Sugar Island Music Festival for sets on Friday, August 12th & Saturday, August 13th! No strangers to this annual local music festival after having played there annually in recent years, Banned will up things with two sets this year, which will see them play at 7:45 PM on the 12th and 8:30 PM on the 13th. As usual for the Sugar Island Festival, the lineup at large is comprised of folk and country bands, largely sans online pages, with many repeating from past years, including acts like 3-Zip, All Arms, 3½ Men, 2 ¢, and Frank Kieronski sharing the stage with Banned on both days. For the full schedule for both days (and Sunday the 14th), visit this link! However, note that Banned themselves have yet to confirm their involvement this year. As usual, admission is $10 for the whole weekend (no single day passes) via buttons that you can purchase at Grooves Music in the Soo, or at The Hilltop Bar, Ed's Bayview Store, and the Westshore Convenience Store on Sugar Island, and presumably at the gate.

Kids under 12 get in FREE with adult accompaniment, and click here for details on camping and other fees, plus directions to the festival grounds. It should be fun to see Banned back on familiar summer festival ground next month, so consider the trip east to Sugar Island in two weeks time for all of the action, and see above for full details!

Next up, we'll head north to Sault Ontario for a pair of newly announced September concerts from promoters Six, Two, Oh. at The New American Pub, starting with the return of Montreal ska punk favourites K-Man & The 45s, who will return to the Soo on Saturday, September 17th! Making their fourth fall concert appearance in Sault Ste. Marie in as many years, this will be K-Man & The 45s' second local concert at The New American, but this year, it has the added quirk of being in support of their new album! We're well accustomed to this fan friendly quintet's ska punk intensity by now, so make sure to bring extra cash to get your copy, and might we see a Ska-Mones set for good measure? Recently dormant local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements will reprise their 2015 role as openers for The 45s on September 17th, but unlike last year, a second local opening band may be added. Like the Bloody Diamonds show on the 2nd, this show has a $5 cover, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time. It's great to see K-Man & The 45s back in the Soo once again, so visit the official Facebook event page for full current information on their return!

Six, Two, Oh.'s other newly announced New A show in September will be headlined by Halifax/Toronto dark blues rock quartet Bloody Diamonds on Sunday, October 2nd! Not to be confused with the more locally familiar Diemonds (who are also a female fronted band from Southern Ontario), Bloody Diamonds are coming off the recent release of their "Tough Love" EP, and their catchy yet gloomy blend of blues and hard rock should be the right medicine for many fans at The New A in October! Local alternative hard rock trio The Din will open in one of their first post-CD release concerts (and a rare New A appearance), while at least one additional local band is to be announced. A $5 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ show, which will start at 9:00 PM on October 2nd. This should be a fun night of hard rocking action, so visit the official Facebook event page for current and upcoming details on this show!

Finally for today, here's some local opener details for two more upcoming Six, Two, Oh. shows at The New American Pub that we had announced on the site already, as confirmed on Facebook event pages in the last few days! One is the Debutaunt concert on August 9th (one week from Tuesday), which has quite the eclectic opener lineup to support the Edmonton pop punk band, as rapper Mikey Thomas & stand up comedian Shane McGuigan will open this show! I wouldn't have predicted either (and I'm not familiar with Shane at all), but it'll definitely be interesting to see how this merger of punk, rap, and comedy goes on August 9th! The other lineup addition is for the Big Brother-headlined show on Saturday, August 20th, as the aforementioned Elements will open in their first announced concert in four months, so welcome them back to the stage in three weeks time in their first of two upcoming ska punk shows at The New A! At least one more opener is to be announced for that show, so stay tuned for updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes next month! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Gnaeus - "Meditations" Review!!

It's now time for our 85th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and for a special change, here's an advance review of an album that doesn't even come out until next week, namely local post-punk/garage rock quartet Gnaeus' debut album "Meditations"! An mp3 review copy was generously sent to me by the band last week, with permission to review as soon as possible, so with The Din's debut CD also coming out next month, we might as well keep things rolling with a pre-release look! To officially be released independently at their CD release show at The Rockstar Bar THIS FRIDAY, "Meditations" (formerly known as "Loomings") was recorded at Mission Control Studios last year with producer Dustin Jones, and features Gnaeus' original lineup, including singer/guitarist Aaron Alessandrini, bassist/backing vocalist Matt Fronzi, synth player/guitarist Brad Irwin, and the departed Brendan Garlick on drums (Alex Proulx replaced him after recording sessions wrapped up.)

Gnaeus has yet to reveal prices for "Meditations", or potential online availability, but a price in the $10 range would be likely, and we'll let you guys know when we hear anything in that regard! Featuring 9 songs running for about 34 minutes in length, let's begin our advance review with a look at the first song, "Lovers"! An upbeat, faster paced original with a garage/indie-inspired guitar riff, this gives fans a good look at Aaron's grittier-than-expected vocals, which give the song a bluesy bent (imagine if the song was played slower on purpose?) This studio version is a little more direct and not as poppy sounding as their early studio recording, but it's well performed, with Brad's synth playing a nice compliment, and Brendan's drumming is well paced! If anything, this song could use an extra guitar track to fill it out, as the verses do sound a little empty, but it's a very solid opener!

"Mountains" follows next with a softer and slower sound that contrasts with Aaron's passionate vocals that honestly sound like they're for the wrong song, but I like the energy and range he puts in here, especially on the choruses! Everyone's in fine form musically (especially with Matt's strong bass work), and the backing vocals add a slight haunting quality! That said, the song seems to end before it really starts, and at least in this mp3 copy, the song ends abruptly out of nowhere. Third is "Circles", which is both the longest song on "Meditations" and the Best Song award winner from 2015's VM Radio Battle of the Bands. The track contrasts a somewhat ethereal sound with forceful, sometimes yelled chorus vocals, and strong solos after the choruses. I like the sing-along style of this song, which has a nice beat, but again, the aggression and grit in Aaron's singing (particularly in the choruses) contrasts from the light instrumentation. Myself, I don't mind though, it adds a heavy touch!

Fourth is "The Edge", which is the slowest & most intimate song yet on this CD, with a pleasant yet serious aura and, despite the reserved nature, arguably the fullest sounding yet on the album! The singing is a nice match to the tone here, and Brad's synth work helps convey the melancholy yet nice mood throughout! Based on personal preference, I do prefer other songs to this one, but if you like indie and alternative music more than their punk and garage influences, you'll enjoy "The Edge"! Things pick up though on the next song, "Calling Out", which is a little darker and plays more on their garage side of their sound, with strong guitar work and a somewhat ominous rhythm and riff to go along. To me, this song tends to meander a little bit, and the vocals sound like they were lowered in the mix despite their chorus aggression but it's strongly done for it's intent and style, and Brendan's drumming keeps things rolling well!

Let's play "Exercise in Self Awareness" next for this review, and despite the removal of "An" from the start of the title, this remains one of my favourite of Gnaeus' originals! Aaron's forceful, direct vocals and Matt's backing screams compliment each other overtop strong instrumentation, including a cool solo and a nice catchy rhythm that has always caught my attention! The backing audio again has some empty qualities, and the song is way too short (an album low 2:31), but it packs a wallop while it lasts, and it's a personal highlight! Track #7 is "Fire", which is sort of a "call to arms" song asking fans to let their fire out and stand up for what you believe in. One of their punkiest songs yet in tone and message, this song still retains their garage qualities with strong synth work and nice melodic licks, but like with it's preceding track, it feels like it ends before it really gets going, and the lyrics could be a little more varied.

Second-last on "Meditations" is "When You're Gone", which has a personal sounding, romantic theme to go along with a solid vocal performance from Aaron that again has some blues influence (might the "keep it cool, kid" line be a reference to the local band K.I.C.K.?) My biggest problem with this song is the chorus, which has members providing gang vocals (good for their punk side), but uses them for a largely repetitive chorus that mostly repeat the title. I'd have varied the lyrics there, but I like the verses, and Brendan has some of his best drumming yet in this song's latter half! This album closes with "The Sound", and to paraphrase it's chorus, the sounds they make work fine on this slower, methodical garage rock number that reminds me a bit of "Calling Out". Though the song again has some emptiness in the verses, well utilized vocals from Aaron and Matt, a gradual building pace, and a very strong ending to the album for fans of Gnaeus' diverse range of styles!

So, what are my final thoughts on Gnaeus' debut CD? Overall, it's a successful debut from this potential-loaded quartet, and while the "post-punk" side of their sound wasn't always front and center, their talent and songwriting definitely was! Though it can be a slight adjustment given their sound, Aaron Alessandrini's gritty and often bluesy vocals are welcomed by this metalhead, with Matt Fronzi adding some pointed screams in the background where needed! His bass work was solid, as were Aaron's guitar work and occasional solos, while Brad Irwin's synth was always there when needed, and Brendan Garlick delivered solid drums before he moved away, hopefully he pops up again in a band down the road! Songs like "Exercise in Self Awareness" and "Lovers" showcase Gnaeus at their best (to me), but there are things I'd address. There are songs where Aaron's vocal style isn't a perfect match, "Mountains" ends very abruptly, and if you're expecting a full punk album, you may be disappointed at some of the slower, synth-heavy songs, but tracks like "Fire" will have you covered.

As well, many songs sounded like they needed an extra guitar track (either from Brad or a hypothetical fifth member) to fill out emptier stretches, but overall, this is a strong launch for this very talented band, and I know Gnaeus will have more great things to follow up with in the future! Pick up your copy of "Meditations" THIS FRIDAY, stay tuned for more details on it, and keep an eye out for our likely review of The Din's debut CD "Give In To The Din" next month! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 29, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril, Scarkazm, Banned, and 415E)!!

Today's post is once again largely devoted to Sault Michigan-area bands and concerts, specifically events at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino, as Kewadin Casino's entertainment page has finally been updated to reflect shows there through year's end! We already knew about Soo Kewadin dates through then, but it's great to finally get official word about St. Ignace shows! Now, this post doesn't address shows from Highway 63 this year, 415E next month, or Banned through October, as those bands already confirmed them via their own Facebook pages, while we already touched on next week's shows from Manistique's 517 in yesterday's post.

Now, let's begin out spotlight of new hard rock shows at The Northern Pines Lounge with the return of Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm to St. Ignace on Friday, September 16th & Saturday, September 17th! Coming two months after this strong power trio's latest stops in St. Ignace, it's great to see Adam, Dave, and Jeff come back north for two more nights of hard hitting covers and originals, so don't bypass their returns in September! And yes, we'll get to their sister band Peril later in this post. As usual for Scarkazm's Kewadin shows, there are 21+ age limits in effect, there's no announced cover charges, and 9:00 PM start times are to be expected. For more details, visit the above links, and get ready for another weekend of Scarkazm's hard rocking intensity in two months!

Next up, Kinross classic/hard rock trio Banned will also return to The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace for shows on November 4th & 5th, and then on December 9th & 10th! Joining the band's own previously announced dates at both Kewadin branches, these shows join their also newly announced return to the Sugar Island Music Festival that we'll spotlight separately in an upcoming news post, especially considering the annual summer festival's high profile nature. Though you can also see Banned in the region for four weekends in the interim (including in St. Ignace in September), keep these late 2016 shows in mind if you're eager for more action from Alex, Don, and Wayne at this location! Again, these are 21+ shows with no cover charges and 9:00 PM start times, so check the above links for more details!

One week after Banned's November (and December) shows at The Northern Pines Lounge, the St. Ignace Kewadin will also welcome back Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E for shows on November 11th & 12th, as well as on December 16th & 17th! These shows join the former Hubbard-Menard Band's own next gigs at The Northern Pines Lounge next month, continuing their string of well received St. Ignace appearances. Dave, Chris, Mitch, and Tony should be in fine form as they continue rocking the area in November & December, so don't bypass those weekends either! Like above, these are 9:00 PM shows with no cover charges, and you must be 21 or older to attend them. See the above links for more details, and don't miss them at The Northern Pines Lounge in three weeks time!

Finally for the new St. Ignace Kewadin concert announcements, Traverse City metal trio Peril will also return to The Northern Pines Lounge for a weekend of hard rocking favourites on Friday, November 18th & Saturday, November 19th! Though these come two months after their Eastern U.P. returns at the Soo Kewadin in September, these will be Peril's first announced shows at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino in about a year, so if you've missed seeing Jeff, Adam, and Brooks together on stage (Scarkazm aside), remember their St. Ignace returns in November, especially if you can't make it to The Rapids Lounge beforehand! Once again, these are 21+ shows at 9:00 PM both nights, and there are no announced cover charges. Check the above links for full details on these and other Kewadin Casino lounge concerts for the remainder of 2016, and we'll confirm more when/if announced!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for much more on the site in short order! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (517, Banned, And Mourning Wood) And This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

Before we begin this post, I wanted to apologize for missed concerts last weekend, profusely so given it's circumstances. Last weekend, Marquette hard rock cover quartet Nudge played at The Satsfied Frog in Sault Michigan for what turned out to be the final time, as the band is reportedly dissolving next month due to frontman Danzo McCracken's impending departure for personal reasons & new musical ambitions. The shows slipped us by during last week's concert previews, which I heavily apologize for, but I do wish everyone in Nudge the best in the future! Danzo's always been great regarding our coverage of Nudge's trips east, and hopefully we see the guys back in new projects!

Now, today's post is largely focused on this Civic Holiday weekend's concert previews, which are fairly quiet barring possible late notice announcements, but we also have some new LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month to touch on. We'll start with two SHORT NOTICE shows, as Sault Ontario classic/hard rock cover veterans Mourning Wood will return to The Rednecks Saloon TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced these shows via the official Facebook event page yesterday. Following their Reggie's Place gigs last week (which were as a trio, no word on whether Steven or Paul were absent), Mourning Wood will be playing extremely short handed this weekend, with only frontman Terry Eaton on hand for unannounced reasons. Lucky 13 guitarist Robin Lee will return to fill in on bass, while original drummer T.J. Case will rejoin his old band in place of Glen Thomas this weekend, so keep that angle in mind!

Mourning Wood have played many gigs as a trio or with guest artists lately, and while their regular quartet lineup is still advertised online, we would definitely let you know if anything is announced to the contrary! Nicknamed "The Phil A. Show" in reference to the fill-in performers, TOMORROW & SATURDAY'S Rednecks shows are 19+ shows with no announced cover charges and 10:00 PM start times, so check the above links for more details, and here's a sampling of Mourning Wood's varied and often heavy set!

Next up, here's a new show for next month that (I believe) is the local debut of Manistique hard rock trio 517, who are advertised as rocking The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino on Friday, August 5th & Saturday, August 6th! If you're not familiar with 517, they have been active since at least 2011, feature Manistique musicians Bob Mercier on guitar, John Zentner on bass, and his son Jonny on drums (the three split vocal duties), and they play heavy-leaning classic and modern rock, as per members' Fandalsm pages (and no, their name doesn't reference their area code, they're 906 too.) 517 don't have an online page that I can find, but John's personal Facebook page features three live videos of renditions of Ozzy Osbourne, ZZ Top, and Chuck Berry songs. 517 sound good from what I can hear, and add some grit to their covers ("Sharp Dressed Man" even has some an off-colour lyric change), and it should be interesting to see how 517 do out east!

Announced via Kewadin's entertainment page (along with multiple gigs at the Manistique Kewadin), these join a series of new August-December hard rock shows in St. Ignace from other hard rock bands that we'll touch on in an upcoming post. 517's Northern Pines Lounge shows are 9:00 PM events with no announced cover charges and 21+ age limits, so see above for more!

To close things, here's this weekend's previously announced hard rock concert previews, and we'll start in Sault Ontario, where local hard rock solo singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will return to Gliss Steak & Seafood for his usual solo headlining shows TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY! Entering the fourth week of his return to triple bookings at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, Tym's strong and prolific covers and favourites should get a solid reception when he rocks Gliss for this weekend's slate of matinees there! As is standard for this long term run, he'll be on at 6:00 PM tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday, and while none of these shows have an announced cover charge or age limit, remember that this is a sit-down restaurant. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's Tym live!

Finally, let's head back to Michigan and The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino, where Sault Michigan classic/hard rock quartet Highway 63 are scheduled to return for headlining dates TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Though not newly advertised on the band's Facebook page yet, the band confirmed them earlier this year in a mass schedule post, and Highway 63's fan favourite covers should find another solid audience when they return to The Northern Pines Lounge this weekend! With alumni of Monkey's Uncle, Power Slug, Hoist the Sails, and The Mama's Boys in their lineup, how could they not? Like the 517 shows next week, this weekend's Highway 63 gigs are both 21+ affairs with no announced cover charges and 9:00 PM start times. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Highway 63 live earlier this year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more St. Ignace concert announcements and more soon! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Rudyard Music Festival), A New Local Metal Band, And More From Sault Michigan!!

Here's a second post on this Tuesday, and it's 100% devoted to bands and events in the Sault Michigan area! We haven't had one of these in a long while, and it's good to spotlight the Eastern Upper Peninsula in full for a change, but also give this month's YouTube Channel Profile a look below too! Today, we have notes from former local radio mainstays, big updates regarding a major upcoming show, and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month, but first, here's a new addition to our band links!

We have a new local metal band to add to our Sault Michigan band links, and they are the Bay Mills metal quartet Stoned Ape Evolution! Details are scant on this band so far, but they first came onto our radar in the spring when members expressed interest in playing in this year's (now cancelled) return of LemmaFest. You may recognize seeing Stoned Ape Evolution at the Bay Mills Bands Together fundraiser event in May, and the band says on their new Facebook page that they are working to "bring a taste of a bigger metal band to a smaller area". Notably wearing masks on stage, their lineup is (intentionally?) not listed on Facebook, but personal Facebook pages confirm that 2 members are John Napoletano and Melvin Willis, neither of which I'm familiar with from other recent local bands. Stoned Ape Evolution have yet to share media of them in action, but given their visuals and descriptions, comparisons to the older masked local metal band Clownsack are easy to make.

I've been intrigued by Stoned Ape Evolution since we first heard about them during the preliminary LemmaFest V discussion, and they seem to be making some headway locally in terms of playing at big multi-band events! A non-cover, extreme metal band that actually plays live isn't something we've readily seen in the E.U.P. as of late, but hopefully Stoned Ape Evolution can help fill that gap! With that said, when can we see them live next?

...During the first annual Rudyard Music Festival, which takes place at the Rudyard Township Park on Saturday, August 20th! Organized by local classic rock cover band Steelhead (formerly Ricochet), this ALL AGES event will see at least 12 music acts playing at the park, which may seem like an atypical setting, but remember that Steelhead frontman Alex Schrovenwever played at the "Music in the Park" series here when he was a member of Banned. Currently confirmed bands joining Steelhead include the aforementioned Stoned Ape Evolution & local hard rock/blues quartet Project 906, as well as Traverse City's New Jazz Trio, plus the online pageless bands The North Country Band, Dondee Lanes regulars Second Offense, The Gaskins, and The Wednesday Night Headliners (if we get more info on them, we'll let you know!) Solo performances are also planned by the aforementioned Alex Schrovenwever, Crossroads member Dennis Verrett, Hayley Malaska, Bob & Robert Malaski, and Jimmy Williams, with more acts apparently to be announced.

Campers are welcome to attend this family event at 18725 South Mackinac Trail, with food (including a pig roast), kids activities, and free camping welcome for what Steelhead are hoping becomes an annual event. While there's no admission fees announced, a start time isn't clear yet, but 12:00 PM would be a good guess. While there are a lot of unknowns regarding the lineup, this sounds like a fun event, and it may help lessen the blow of losing LemmaFest for a second straight year! Visit Steelhead's Facebook page for continued information, and stay tuned for updates!

Also today, here's some updates regarding the FireHouse concert in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday, August 6th, so what's new on this event? Firstly, the show has nothing to do with Moloney's Alley (the bar), but is scheduled to take place in the actual alley behind the venue of the same name, though the city may move the show to the corner of Ashmun Street & Portage Avenue, which promoters Superior Entertainment actually prefer. Nothing's 100% final though, but we'll keep you posted! As for the local openers, promoters have decided to hold a battle of the bands within this concert, with a cash prize awaiting the fan-voted winner, which would definitely be interesting to see! The full lineup has yet to be announced, but as of July 6th, one or two bands were still being sought. If you're interested in competing and/or opening for FireHouse, message Superior Entertainment at this link or Harmony Health Foods owner Steve Twardy at this link, and visit the official Facebook event page for more on this huge outdoor show!

Finally, here's a note that doesn't bear directly on the Soo anymore, but I thought it was worth addressing. According to various news releases like this one on radio & broadcasting websites, Northern Star Broadcasting (who owned 6 radio stations in the Sault Michigan/Newberry market between 1995 & 2010) have sold all but one of their current stations in Northern Michigan for $1,950,000 to the Black Diamond Broadcast Group, with the remaining station (WCKC in Cadillac) being sold to Up North Radio. According to Northern Star president Del Reynolds on this post on the Michigan Radio & TV Buzzboard forum in May, the reason for the sales stem from his wife Mary (Northern Star's vice president) going through health issues that are making it hard for her to keep up the pace of running the company. Northern Star Broadcasting may be best known locally for owning stations like the former 97.9 Classic Rock: The Bear, 99.5 Yes FM, and Country 105 during their run in this region, while Del had previously co-owned Yes FM briefly in the mid-1980s as well.

The Cheboygan & Indian River stations in the sale (including Rock 105, 97.7 Classic Rock: The Bear, and the two Big Country stations) get good to fringe reception in the E.U.P., and will still be available to hear for fans of those stations that can pick them up. Del and Mary have a long history in radio in Northern Michigan, and while it's sad to see them exit radio station ownership, hopefully Black Diamond can keep the tunes pumping for years to come with their new & old signals!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more soon! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: sykotykrampage

It's now time for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, as we once again spotlight 1-3 randomly selected YouTube channels with at least 50% of their content focusing on local metal, hard rock, and/or punk music! This month's random choice has some coincidental attachment to recent personal events involving this band, as the final services for Sykotyk Rampage members Paul & Dirk Becker's father Dirk Sr. actually take place today, so our thoughts and condolences obviously go out to the Becker family at this difficult time. Read on below for this month's YouTube Channel Profile!
sykotykrampage's Channel (

Owner: Likely Sykotyk Rampage guitarist/vocalist Dirk Becker, but this isn't officially stated on the channel

Channel Timeline: Launched on April 21st, 2006; Videos posted from February 2009 until February 2010

Channel Summary: The official YouTube channel for local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" veterans Sykotyk Rampage, their six videos are half comprised of music videos for fan favourite songs from their late 2000s albums, and half live music videos taken from a battle of the bands set in 2010.

Why You Should Watch: This is definitely worth watching for fans of Syktoyk Rampage and their bluesy alternative hard rock originals, which have the added quirk of being improvised in studio, as you may remember! However, if there was anything posted there from 2006-2008, it has since been deleted, and while Sykotyk Rampage are still active & prolifically releasing new material, this channel hasn't visibly been updated since 2010, though more YouTube videos are available elsewhere.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

DRINKING ON THE WEEKEND - by SYKOTYK RAMPAGE: This channel's first three videos are all music videos made in-house at River Front Recreation Studios, including for their songs "Superman Can" (featuring animation from the 1940s Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons) and "9 Days" (featuring heavily filtered video footage of the band interspersed with stock footage of nature & the desert.) Embedded below is their most viewed video & signature song, "Drinking on the Weekend" from 2006's "Original Crash Band" album. Represented by the band's 2007-2012 lineup (singer/drummer Paul Becker, guitarists Dirk Becker & Shane Kokis, and ex-bassist Brian Cattapan), this combines jam session footage from "The Cave" with band photos, layered under many filters, effects, and fast motion camera movements, with early album covers closing the video. Fun and chaotic video set to their classic drinking song, and well worth watching for Sykotyk diehards!

Called in Dead "live" by Sykotyk Rampage: The other three videos on Sykotyk Rampage's channel come from live video footage taken during their set at February 2010's Sault College/Scotties Tournament of Hearts Battle of the Bands at what's now the Community First Curling Center, where the guys finished in third place. Two of the videos come from footage professionally shot at the battle by organizers, which Sykotyk Rampage edited in post-production to include filters and some other effects. One is also for "Drinking on the Weekend", but featured here is another fan favourite drinking song of theirs, "Called in Dead", which is well filmed and admittedly didn't need the post-production that it was given, but captures a fun set with some dancing fans even, plus cameos by Curious George himself!

Treating You Bad -live- SYKOTYK RAMPAGE: The most recent video on the channel also comes from the Sault College Battle, but this time, the video was actually shot by myself, which the band copied, edited, and re-posted with permission on their channel. Featuring their song "Treating You Bad" (a frequently played song at concerts of the era), this uses more filters and post-production effects than the others, likely because what I filmed wasn't professionally done, but it's well put together, and fans of their harder edged material should like Sykotyk Rampage in action here! For our original, unedited version of this video, visit this link!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Through 100% random selection, next month's profiled channel will again be a single channel, this time that of defunct Sault Michigan hard rock band Division of Sanity! Look for that on or around August 26th, and stay tuned for more news and previews this week! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rotaryfest 2016 Concert Video Showcase, Including That's Chester's Special Guests!!

Apologies for the week+ delay in getting these on the site, but here's a showcase post of YouTube videos from this year's Rotaryfest! Surprisingly, Sault Online's Mike Caruso has not posted any footage of this year's summer festival band lineup, but the always generous Christopher Paci was on hand for the Saturday lineup to film many of the day's bands, as uploaded to his YouTube channel last week, so kudos to him for getting as much as he did! Shaky camera at times, but the audio is consistently good! Going in descending order, we'll start at the covers-only Stage 1, where Chris filmed three songs from co-headlining Paul McCartney tribute band The McCartney Years, including their renditions of Beatles classics "I've Just Seen A Face" & "The Long & Winding Road", plus the Wings song "Nineteen Hundred & Eighty-Five". Not badly done at all, Yuri really does sound like Paul, and the Soo's own Dean McKey is solid on drums! However, Chris didn't film The Ghost Town Cryers' closing set.

The only other main stage band that Chris shot was local classic/hard rock cover veterans That's Chester, who made their long awaited return to the stage at this year's Rotaryfest! The band had teased guest appearances via jam session photos on their Facebook page in the lead-up to the festival, but only formally revealed their identities that evening & later via personal Facebook postings, so who were the guests? Original That's Chester frontman Richard Fullerton (now of the Ottawa cover bands Mothership & Trashed Taxi) came home for the occasion, while the teased female singer was Jeannine Jefferson, who played the Acid Queen in last fall's stage production of The Who's Tommy (in which That's Chester played the house music.) As for the guest guitarist, that was North Bay musician & sound/lighting tech Dan Belanger, who also worked on Tommy, and has jammed with That's Chester in the past. He's a solid player, and while it's tough to fill the late Eugene Orlando's shoes, he fits in nicely!

Chris' videos both feature Dan on guitar, including a cover of Doucette's "Mama Let Him Play", but embedded below is their version of Kiss' "Rock & Roll All Night" with both guest singers joining in (Richard splitting lead vocals with Greg Simpson, and Jeannine on backing vocals.) Attendees heads can get in the way, but That's Chester sound great, and I'm sure Eugene would be proud of their set! If only fellow That's Chester alum Jim O'Leary was available, imagine if all three singers performed together? Check out their Kiss cover below, and see more above!

Moving to the original-focused Stage 2 (also at Clergue Park), Chris filmed every act there except Liam Seymour's solo band and The Wild Iris. Two of his videos were of headlining indie rock quartet K.I.C.K., who were filmed playing their songs "So Long" and this song whose name I can't place off hand. The Keep It Cool Kids sound good and on their battle winning form, so indie rock fans will want to check those out! Post-punk quartet Gnaeus were also filmed playing their mellower original "The Edge", and while it's not one of their more up-tempo songs, the guys play this song nicely as the build towards the "Meditations" release continues, so check it out below too!

Progressive rock quartet Machines Dream's video features them playing (most of) their song "My Ocean Is Electric", and if you're not familiar with their technical and skilled blend of prog originals, do yourself a favour and give them a listen! They're not "heavy", but yet, they are very heavy in other ways! Another video from Stage 2 comes from alternative hard rock quartet Id Iota playing their EP-opening original "California Wasted", and while Dustin Goodall is often obscured behind the stage's lineup banner, Id Iota sound solid on this fun sing-along track, so give it a look below!

Lastly of Chris' uploads, he filmed opening alternative hard rock trio The Din playing their song "Potato (Should Have Known Better)", which was previously known by the longer name "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device". Solid performance from this fast rising band, on what looked like a beautiful day, so give their Rotaryfest video a look below, and kudos again to Chris for the videos!

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Gnaeus & Project 906), As It Stands Updates, And Much More!!

Here's a surprise second post on this Saturday, as we have a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT to tackle for TONIGHT, with new videos to boot! To round things out, we have one more new show coming up next month, a big posthumous release of an unreleased EP, and some assorted recent notes, so here's what you should know!

We can officially confirm and call TONIGHT'S Project 906 show, as they'll be playing at the local chapter of The Highland Clan Motorcycle Club's annual Summer Bash! Apologies for the short notice, we didn't call this as a show during our weekend concert previews as we weren't positive on if it was a public event, with Project 906 guitarist Joe Jenkins confirming that it was this morning. Taking place at 235 Magazine Street (minutes from The Satisfied Frog), this event follows a poker run from the HCMC that is ongoing as of this writing, so hopefully that's a hit as well, and Project 906 should deliver a solid set at the Summer Bash TONIGHT! While this may seem like an atypical concert for Project 906, remember that Joe's old band Exiled played a few motorcycle club events during their 2014 heyday, including one from the Highland Club. Note as well that the Facebook event page doesn't credit any events going on tonight (let alone Project 906's set), but the band's Facebook page announced their involvement earlier this week.

A 7:00 PM start time is in effect for TONIGHT'S Summer Bash, which has no announced cover charge or age limits, but have both in the back of your head just in case. For a preview, here's three new jam session videos, courtesy of Project 906's Facebook page in recent days! The videos are covers of Nena's "99 Red Balloons", Philip Sayce's "Morning Star", and as embedded below, Billy Squier's "Lonely Is The Night", and they sound good, but Billy's vocals can be hard to make out over heavier stretches, and Joe is often obscured by a pole in the jam room. Solid all the same, so check them out above & below, and don't miss TONIGHT's Highland Clan bash!

Next up, here's another new show, as local post-punk quartet Gnaeus will indeed hold their CD release show on Friday, August 5th when they officially launch "Meditations" with a headlining concert at The Rockstar Bar! A rare appearance for Gnaeus at The Algonquin Hotel, this is a fitting locale for the guys to launch their long-awaited debut CD, and while they have yet to reveal prices for physical copies, have cash on hand to get yours! In a reverse from the following week's "Give In To The Din" release show at The Tech, alternative hard rock trio The Din will return the favour as openers on the 5th, while indie rock quartet K.I.C.K. will open the proceedings on August 5th with their own skilled originals! One could call this a rescheduling of April's cancelled Summer Bash concert that Gnaeus and K.I.C.K. were supposed to play before the venue's renovations scuttled it, but it's not advertised as such.

There's no announced cover charges for this 19+ show, which will begin at 9:00 PM on August 5th, but make sure you bring money for both your copy of "Meditations" and for any potential admission fees. It's great to see Gnaeus finally announce their CD release show, and with them and The Din flipping roles for another release party a week following, it's a big month ahead for new local album releases! Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for updates!

Also, remember how defunct local hardcore quintet As It Stands were recording an EP in July 2011 that was never released prior to their 2014 dissolution? Well, the band has finally unveiled the tracks recorded that year, as per their Soundcloud page, so fans can finally hear what would have been their third & final EP! The apparently self-titled release was recorded at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga with producer Kevin Dietz, and while the posted tracks are raw & off the floor without final mixing, As It Stands felt it was time to finally let fans hear the songs. The tracks are "A Sinking Sinner", "Embay the Terrible", "Oh Herm, Herm Delish", their cover of Blink-182's "Stay Together For the Kids", and "One Less Than Wayne Gretzky", so click each link to hear each song! For reference, this confirms that the songs that As It Stands recorded at Stereo Soul Studios in 2009 and in Stoney Creek in 2010 were not intended for this particular album. This is a FREE posting, and at least at the moment, is not being formally sold.

It's not clear if As It Stands' earlier studio recordings (including their mid-2000s EPs "The Re-Occurring Nightmare" & "Kill The Music, Save The Children") will see a re-emergence too, as the band teased in April, but it's great to finally hear the 2011 recordings in full! These capture As It Stands at full strength and intensity from their arguable peak as musicians, and if you loved A.I.S. during their run, do yourselves a favour and check out their unreleased 2011 EP above, and hopefully there's more to come! Also, here's the Facebook preview video that the band shared prior to the Soundcloud unveiling, featuring a late snippet from "Embay the Terrible"!


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

  • New local improv hard rock trio Gianni Gagoots have been added as the final openers for the Castle-headlined concert at The New American Pub on September 28th, as per the official Facebook event page. Solid choice for their second live concert appearance, so don't miss them late next month at The New A!
  • Ex-Bankshot/12 Gauge Ready guitarist Lucas Schmiedendorf (a.k.a. Sal Velinus) is looking to form a new local band, and while he enjoys melodic punk and ska, he doesn't mind dabbling in folk or country. He has friends in mind for said band, likely a drummer and bassist at the moment, but he'd like to find musicians that could play guitar, horns, keyboard, or perhaps even a female vocalist. If you'd be interested in trying out or jamming with Lucas, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Tuesday!
  • We have regrettably removed defunct local hard rock bands Meant To Last and These Sins of Time from our band links due to the quiet deletion of their Facebook pages, which were their only substantial online pages (both have surviving Twitter pages, but neither has enough to warrant linking them on the SMS.) These were the two recent hard rock bands from local singer Alexa LeClair, who is a talented artist, and hopefully she can get a band going with greater success in the future!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for much more news and notes next week! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Iskra), Gnaeus & Din Album Updates, And More!!

With weekend concert previews complete, let's tackle some big recent updates in this stacked news post! Today, we have the latest from a veteran local band, big updates concerning two upcoming local alternative hard rock albums, and first, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT with a familiar touring band coming back to our area next month, so here's what you should know! (Updated at 11:06 AM)

Just under three weeks after their headlining date at The Oddfellows Hall, Victoria, B.C. grindcore quintet Iskra will return to the Soo on Tuesday, August 2nd at... The Gore Street Cafe?! In what may be the heaviest show to ever hit the laundromat, fans of Iskra's brutal crust originals will return for what should be a devastating encore next month, so if you want a second helping (or missed their Oddfellows show last week), be at The Gore Street Cafe on August 2nd! This confirms the earlier teases that Iskra would return to the local stage on this date on the way back during their Canadian tour, but contrary to the original & now-cancelled plans, Blood Shed Productions are not promoting this show anymore. Local openers haven't been announced yet for this month, and while there was a local opening lineup for the original Blood Shed-planned date, don't expect those acts to be carried over verbatim.

As usual for Gore Street Cafe shows, this is an ALL AGES concert, and will operate under the "pay what you can" model, so don't let the admission fee scare you away! It's great to see Iskra finally secure the long hinted return date on August 2nd, and that we'll see them much sooner than the prior 12 year gap, so stay tuned for updates, and visit the official Facebook event page for current details on this grind encore!

Next up, here's the latest from local post-punk quartet Gnaeus' upcoming debut CD "Meditations", so what should you know about it now? Well, according to this shared meme photo on their Facebook page, it will apparently be released on Friday, August 5th! We're under two weeks from the release in other words, and while Gnaeus hasn't publically elaborated further on the release, bassist Matt Fronzi indicated plans for a release show in a personal conversation (which we'll wait for the band to publically announce before covering here.) The full official album cover has also been unveiled, as you can see on the left, and it is indeed one and the same as the original "Loomings" cover, just with Gnaeus' name and new album title in all lowercase with a new and weathered font. Looks good and fitting to their style, though still no word on if the preview image from the Rotaryfest program was ever officially intended to be the cover art.

As a preview for the release, Gnaeus posted a lyric video for their song "Fire" onto their YouTube channel yesterday, which is a rarity alone in the fact that it's a lyric video from a local band! It's yet to be established if the physical album booklet will have printed lyrics or not, but it's nice to have words to sing along with if need be! Check the above links for more on "Meditations" and Gnaeus' upcoming plans, look for the new CD next month, and give their lyric video a look below, and keep an eye out in just in case we have an advance review in store in the next week or so!

Also, here's some of the latest updates from local alternative hard rock trio The Din, who are also nearing the release of their own debut CD "Give In To The Din"! We're badly behind on Din updates so far this month, so let's start rectifying that with this preview of the album artwork & booklet courtesy of CDBaby (where their album is being manufactured), which lets fans get a full 3D look at the front, back, and inside of what you'll get in physical copies! The preview is very tricky to maneuver with a mouse, especially when trying to look inside, but if you buy the album proper, you can avoid any issues! The full CD will have 9 songs, including "In Search of the Perfect Moment", "Flux", "Alleyways & Apartments", "Out Of My League", their cover of Haggith's "75", the newer "Remember", "Potato (Should Have Known Better)", another new song "The Rose", and "A Drive Through The Peninsula". Everything looks good and professional so far, and of course, copies go on sale on August 12th at The Tech!

As another preview, The Din unveiled the studio version of "Alleyways & Apartments" on their YouTube channel on Tuesday, which is notable as the song that the band recorded at Mission Control Studios with Dustin Jones engineering things, though Pretoria Hill Productions' Daniel Schmidt produced the track along with the remainder of the album. We'll hold comment until our review of the album (likely coming next month), but check it out below, stay tuned for more from The Din soon, and don't miss the release show!

Finally today, here's the latest from local classic/hard rock cover quartet Griphook, as per their latest post from their Facebook page last week! The post reveals that frontman Joel Syrette is taking a hiatus from the band while attending Queens University in Kingston, and as a result, he did not play with them at Rotaryfest on Saturday. As a result, bassist Dan Beaupre's former Hollow bandmate Adam King (recently of Mustang Heart) filled in for him, which is a solid and fitting choice, and hopefully Adam performed well last week! It's not clear if he'll join Griphook for future gigs or not, but the band did note on Facebook that their hiatus since January was due to band members "going through some ups and downs", and while they didn't elaborate further on that, they said that they remain "dedicated to keeping rock n' roll alive." It's great to see that Griphook are alive and still kicking, so stay tuned for more on their next shows when announced, and best of luck to Joel in Kingston! Hopefully we'll see him back on the local stage in time!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates shortly! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril & 415E), Sault Michigan Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

As promised, we'll close our weekend concert previews with the last of the currently known and advertised hard rock shows taking place in the Soo area, but to round things out, we're dipping into the Sault Michigan scene for some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS and new videos, plus some assorted recent notes from the Ontario side of the border! Here's what you need to know!

Traverse City, Michigan classic metal trio Peril will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino for a pair of shows on Friday, September 23rd & Saturday, September 24th! Though the band hasn't addressed them online yet, Kewadin Casino's entertainment page has been newly updated to reflect Rapids Lounge dates through year's end, which confirmed these and one new concert weekend from another band (coming up next.) Believe it or not, these are Jeff, Adam, and Brooks' first announced shows in Sault Ste. Marie this year, last playing in the E.U.P. last fall, though we have seen their sister band Scarkazm often in the interim. Peril have been missed in recent months, and hopefully their familiar classic metal and hard rock renditions will pull in another big crowd this fall! As usual for their regional dates, there are 9:00 PM start times in effect, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits. Check the above links for more details, and stay tuned for more from Peril and related bands!

Just as an aside, the aforementioned Kewadin Casino entertainment page also lists future Rapids Lounge dates for Banned & Highway 63 through the end of the year, but both of those local classic/hard rock bands have already confirmed all of them via their own Facebook pages, so there's nothing new there to report. However, there is one more weekend that was confirmed for a hard rock band, as you'll find below!

Next up, here's our likely final concert previews of the weekend, as Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Soo's Kewadin Casino branch for headlining concerts TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT, and they too have some new shows to announce for The Rapids Lounge on Friday, September 30th & Saturday, October 1st! This union of Nixxon Dixxon, Splitshot, and Highest of Fives alumni are fresh off of last week's St. Ignace Kewadin stops, and they should be in fine form for another high impact weekend of Van Halen-inspired rock n' roll both this weekend and this fall! Again, we await a schedule release for the St. Ignace Kewadin, so if they have more dates coming there, we haven't heard about them yet. Tonight's, tomorrow's, and the September & October 415E shows are also 9:00 PM events with no announced cover charges and 21+ age limits. Check the above links for more details, and here's 415E live!

Also today, here's the latest from local hard rock/blues quartet Project 906, who have shared a bunch of new videos to their Facebook page in the last few days! We'll cover the new jam session videos separately in an upcoming post to give them proper emphasis given that they're not from concerts, but we do have two concert videos to address on here! Both apparently coming from their Pickles Bar & Grill stop in Brimley last week, one video is a slideshow of photos from the concert, running for just 15 seconds and sans audio of any kind. It is what it is, but the photos aren't bad! The other video (embedded below) was shared from guitarist Joe Jenkins' personal Facebook page, and it features Project 906 covering ZZ Top's "Tush". The guys do a solid job on this bluesy classic, with Billy Bernier's vocals fitting nicely, so give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Project 906! For reference, they're playing a Highland Clan Motorcycle Rally event of some kind tomorrow, but we can't confirm it's location or if it's a public event, hence why we didn't cover it here. Hopefully it goes well!

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

  • Due to URL changes following layout and design overhauls on CBC Music, we have updated the links for the four Sault Ontario bands (Burn The Past, Glunk!, Sue Inside, and The 12 Gauge Ready) whose linked page in our band links is via CBC. Coincidentally, all are defunct, as we generally link bands to their most substantial (or only) online page, and CBC Music happens to be these four's primary online presence nowadays. I wanted our links to be accurate and work, so just a heads up!
  • We don't generally discuss personal matters of local musicians on here, but I thought I'd mention this to help a musician in need. Destroilet guitarist Christian Foisy and his family recently suffered major fire damages at their home, destroying their garage in the process. Thankfully, he and his family (including his five week old daughter) are safe and sound, and to help raise money for repairs, bandmate Matt Waples has launched this GoFundMe campaign for the cause, with $1,785 raised as of this writing. Best of luck to the Foisys at this difficult time, and see above for info on how to help!
  • SooToday's Jeff Klassen interviewed relocated local musicians, brothers, and Rotaryfest Stage 1 headliners Kyle & Dean McKey for this SooToday article on Sunday about their music work locally & in Southern Ontario, and it does reference their old hard rock band Sailor's Tongue! That band's beginnings as Pix n' Stix & Edge City were referenced, as well as their original dissolution after Dean moved out of town in 2007, and while their early 2010s reunion wasn't covered, the McKey brothers did note that they still send music files back & forth towards planned new Sailor's Tongue originals. Very solid read, so give it a look above!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Mourning Wood & The 3 Day Millionaires), And Sault Ontario Weekend Concert Previews!!

It's about time to dive into another weekend of concert previews on the SMS, and while this is a much quieter weekend now that Rotaryfest has came and went, we will hold this weekend's 415E previews (and anything on even later notice) until tomorrow's post, so look for them then! Now, let's dive into hard rock and punk shows taking place in Sault Ontario this weekend, starting with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Mourning Wood will reportedly return to Reggie's Place on Queen Street East for concerts TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, we only heard about the shows via drummer Glen Thomas' personal Facebook page on Tuesday, and don't expect the band to publically promote these on Facebook, they never seem to for the downtown Reggie's. Coming one month after this popular and frequently seen band's last shows at the country-leaning downtown bar, THIS WEEKEND's three night stand will be Mourning Wood's first shows anywhere since their Esquire Club gigs last week, which personal Facebook postings confirm was a shorthanded weekend, with both guitarist Steven Flint and bassist Paul Belair absent for unannounced reasons. Filling in were Mojo/Bone Yard guitarist Alex Dettore and Lucky 13 guitarist Robin "Bones" Lee (on bass), and you can see both with Mourning Wood via at least one personal Facebook video upload if you know where to look.

Alex and Robin are skilled veteran musicians with rock and country backgrounds, and hopefully they filled in well at The Esquire Club last weekend! No word (as of this writing) if Steven and/or Paul will be absent TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and/or SATURDAY too, but we'll let you know if anything is confirmed! These latest Reggie's shows have likely 10:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 19+ age limits. See the above links for more details, and here's Mourning Wood live!

Next up, fellow local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will return to The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies again for the short notice, the band only announced the shows earlier this week via their Facebook event page. Fresh off of their Rotaryfest debut last week, these will be The 3 Day Millionaires' first Rockstar Bar shows in over a month, but they do follow their sister band Havadder's own latest gigs at this venue, also last week. TOMORROW'S show will be a standard show for Steve, Travis, Jeremey, and Scott, but Saturday's will double as the afterparty for Sault Roller Derby's Loud and Proud event at The Rankin Arena, so you know the crowd will be hopping THIS SATURDAY, and see above for details on the roller derby event! Both of this weekend's shows are 19+ events with no announced cover charges and 9:00 PM start times. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, the prolific Tym Morrison is expected to bring his acoustic solo hard rock shows back to Gliss Steak & Seafood for a third straight weekend of ttriple bookings TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY! Though not acknowledged via a Facebook event page as of this writing, Tym's lengthy concert arrangement at The Quality Inn's house restaurant has proven to be a long term success, and hopefully his unplugged singing and guitar work will prove to be a fan favourite again at Gliss this weekend! As usual for his weekly Gliss stops, there's no announced cover charges or age limits in effect for these matinee shows, which all take place at 6:00 PM, but remember that Gliss is a sit-down restaurant. For more details, see the above links, and here's Tym live at The Harp a few years back!

Finally for today's previews, local post-punk quartet Gnaeus and hard rock quartet Long Shot will join forces to rock LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT! This union of 2015 Speak Easy battle competitors and fast-rising local bands with debut albums on the horizon should provide a solid night of entertainment for fans, with Gnaeus still riding high following their Rotaryfest set last week to boot! As well, Long Shot will surprisingly be making their first concert appearance of the year (and apparent LopLops debut), so be sure to get there early to take in Long Shot's talented blend of originals and covers! Neither band is publically or officially tying this show to a CD release, so if one/both happen to have a surprise launch tomorrow, it's news to us. Part of LopLops' Fresh Weekend (with DJ John Yun spinning tunes there on Saturday), this 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge and a 9:00 PM start time in effect. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's Gnaeus live at LopLops!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our 415E previews and more tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Iskra Concert Video Showcase!!

Before we dive into this weekend's concert previews, here's a concert video showcase from last week's Iskra-headlined concert at The Oddfellows Hall! Attendee Christopher Paci (a frequent filmer at local concerts) was on hand to shoot the show, and if you were curious, he was back at Rotaryfest to film there, and we'll showcase those on the site shortly! Uploaded to Chris' YouTube channel on Tuesday, he apologizes on each for the poor lighting at the hall, but he was in good angles to get each band filmed! Given the jumbled lineup order, we'll start with his videos of Victoria, B.C. grindcore quintet Iskra, who Chris filmed playing their songs "Priviliged Morality", and 90 seconds of a song I can't place off hand, bot embedded below is "Illegal" (I think.) The dark lighting does these videos no favours, and the audio is a little staticy, but Iskra sound ferocious as you'd expect, so give Chris' videos a look!

Next up, here's Chris' video of the night's opening band, local doom metal trio AlgomA, who were filmed playing a lengthy newer original, with guitarist Boyd Rendell on lead vocals. Better lighting here, partially because it was earlier in the day, so this is one of the better videos that Chris shot, and Algoma sound devastating as usual! Give it a look below as well!

Also filmed last week were the closing band, local death/thrash trio Pillory, who Chris filmed two songs from, those being their new songs "Abhorred Apprehension" and, as embedded below, what I believe is "The Passing". Though the video quality suffers in similar ways to the Iskra videos, Pillory sound brutal, as they have continually sounded since reuniting, though Robert Sartini's vocals are often hard to discern. Check out Chris' Pillory videos above & below!

Finally for the Iskra concert videos, Chris did film one video of local goregrind duo Rotopsy playing their song "Lesbian Luxuries of a Lobotomy Factory" (they named it, not me!) Good side-view angle of Dylan and Taylor's bouncy minimalist metal action, despite the obvious lighting issues, but they are easy to hear in this clip, so check our Rotopsy from last week below as well!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews next, and for our spotlight of Chris' Rotaryfest videos soon as well! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!!

(Updated on August 1st) It's now time to close down last month's poll, and launch our newest poll! Last month, we posed this question to you guys: "Should local bands and musicians take part in the Bored Youth Sault movement?" Despite the poll's timely nature, we only recieved three votes, but 2 of those voters did pick "Yes, they can add a lot to the city's youth culture", so in this miniscule sample size, there are SMS readers who feel bands should get involved! The other vote was for "I'm not Bored, and like the Soo as it is", which speaks for itself, while no one said "Only if it can make a difference", "No, musicians should stay out of it", and "Indifferent/no opinion". While the Bored movement hasn't been as visible in news media in recent weeks, it is still alive and making their voice heard online and through events, and hopefully they can continue to affect positive change where needed, whether local musicians are involved or not. Thanks to the three of you for voting!

As for this month's poll, we're posing this question to you guys once again: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the first half of 2016? As is an annual occurrence at the SMS, we've selected 20 concerts (and "Other") that took place between January 1st and June 30th, in order to see what readers find was their favourite show in this early stretch of the year! Like in our past instances of this poll, the top voted shows in this poll will join your favourite shows in a second half of the year poll early next year in one final ultimate showdown in 2017, so keep that in mind too! Note that once again, our choices do not include concerts whose lineup mostly comprised of bands that aren't metal, hard rock, or punk, hence the absence of notable events like The Sky's The Limit fundraiser and the Like A Pisces tribute show. Also, as the cut-off date is June 30th, no July concerts are included in the poll (among them, July 1st's Hedley show), but look for July events in next year's second half poll! Now, here are your choices!

Bands: Stereo North, (Mike Haggith &) The Din, and The Elements
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: January 23rd
Info: One of a series of late 2015/early 2016 local concerts featuring Stereo North playing with Haggith alumni on the same bill, this well received show at Rednecks united pop punk quartet Stereo North with alternative hard rockers The Din (in one of their last shows before shortening their name), and funk rock action from The Elements. Was this specific show your favourite?

Bands: The Pixo Control & Aldous
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: February 12th
Info: This show marked a rare appearance at The Rockstar Bar for both bands, but The Pixo Control's grunge-influenced alternative originals and indie/jazz rock outfit Aldous rocked out well for fans at The Algonquin Hotel's upstairs venue in February, with the buzz from the "Probably Not" CD release still in the air! Did you like this show more than any other in this poll?

Bands: Eclipse, The Din, Stereo North, and Shit Creek Survivor
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: February 13th
Info: A spiritual sequel to a Rockstar Bar show from January 9th (albeit with The Din having advance notice regarding their set), this Valentine's Day-themed event was also well received by fans despite being postponed a day, with newer Project 421 spinoff Eclipse delivering a strong headlining set, and Jacob Quarrell's solo project kicking things off as openers! Was this your top choice?

Bands: The Din, Stereo North, and Morgan Steele
Venue: The Gore Street Cafe
Date: March 4th
Info: This special acoustic concert was a featured event during The Gore Street Cafe's Fishbowl Festival from February-March, and notably was the source of The Din's debut live CD "The Din Does Laundry". Fans got a mellower take on their and Stereo North's originals, plus a late notice opening set by country pop musician Morgan Steele, but was this show up your alley?

Bands: K.I.C.K., The Din, Eclipse, Stereo North, Heavy Head, and Jack Spades
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: March 9th-23rd
Info: Despite a drop in band applications from 2015, five talented local bands competed in the second annual VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian in March, with indie rock quartet K.I.C.K. edging The Din to win their first ever battle! Notably featuring the second ever live gig from Heavy Head, and a guest set from punk/metal favourites Jack Spades, did you like the battle the most so far this year?

Bands: Jesse Merineau with Caroline Divine, The Din, Eclipse, Aldous, Bryan Brown, Jack Spades, and Pillory
Venue: The Speak Easy
Date: March 10th
Info: Taking place just a day after night #1 of the VM Radio Battle, the second annual Speak Easy Battle of the Bands saw another well received night of fan-voted action, with relocated local indie musician Jesse Merineau (with help from Caroline Divine) picking up 1st place! Notably featuring Pillory's first show in two years and a Shaw TV-filmed Jack Spades set, was this battle #1 to you?

Bands: Lucky 13, The Elements, Caveman Morrison, The Band Camp Rejects, The Din, Shit Creek Survivor, and Mikey Thomas
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: April 2nd
Info: To coincide with recent renovations at the former Nicolet Tavern (including the removal of the wooden fenced off area on stage), a formal relaunch party was held at Rednecks in April, which notably featured Caveman Morrison's return after a 2+ year hiatus, the debut of the (one-off?) Band Camp Rejects, and a rare multi-band concert set by Lucky 13! Did the relaunch win you over?

Bands: Black Tremor & AlgomA
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: April 6th
Info: This installment of Six, Two, Oh.'s punk rock bingo series at The New A was the first to feature an out of town headline act, as Saskatchewan doom/classical trio Black Tremor made their local concert debut with a devastating set of instrumental originals! Also doubling as the de facto release party for AlgomA's split vinyl EP with Chronobot, did you have your dabbers out for this one?

Bands: Pillory, Kaepora Gaebora, Twistory, Crucify the Whore, and Rotopsy
Venue: 124 Anna Street
Date: April 14th
Info: After this residence held a pair of well received house party concerts in 2015, local metal guitarist Josh Amendola hosted the first of two "Metal Massacre" house party concerts in mid-April, with young and newer metal faces taking the stage, including the live debuts of both Kaepora Gaebora & Twistory, plus Pillory's post-battle debut! Did you like the first Metal Massacre the most?

Bands: Gorod, Bookakee, Jack Spades, and Them
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: April 15th
Info: Word of mouth from last year's Bookakee show, so when the Montreal theatrical metal band returned in April 2016 with a different French headlining act (Gorod) in tow, there was quite a response! Despite microphone issues and Winkstinger's dropout, this was an extremely fun show that had to be seen to be believed, particularly on Bookakee's part, but was it your favourite choice?

Bands: Id Iota, The Pixo Control, and Gnaeus
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: April 21st
Info: Capping off their tour of Ontario with Tidal Records, these local alternative hard rock bands returned home for this concert in April, which Id Iota headlined in their first local concert appearance in almost a year, launching their "Maudlin Fair" EP in the process! Also seeing the local debuts of Id Iota bassist Dan Linklater & Gnaeus drummer Alex Proulx, would you vote for this show?

Bands: The Din, The Elements, Eclipse, Redundant, and Heavy Head
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: April 23rd
Info: This spiritual sequel to The Rednecks Saloon's relaunch party from that same month, the first of two Redneck Rock Bashes this year united 5 local bands, including 3/5ths of the VM Radio Battle lineup, and the long awaited return of local punk trio Redundant to the local stage after a few months' hiatus. This was a stacked and talented concert, but would you vote for it over the rest?

Bands: The Motherfuckers, Jack Spades, Shit Liver, Winkstinger, and Rotopsy
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: April 30th
Info: Just over two weeks removed from the Gorod concert, Calgary hardcore punk veterans The Motherfuckers headlined to a strong crowd at The Oddfellows Hall at the end of April, with a boisterous opening lineup that featured local grindcore trio Shit Liver's most recent homecoming and the debut of Winkstinger's new lineup after almost 3 years! Would you vote for this show in the poll?

Bands: Bon Jovi Forever
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: May 6th
Info: Joining the Like A Pisces show from the spring among the early-2016 hard rock tribute shows in Sault Ontario, Oshawa-based Bon Jovi tribute Bon Jovi Forever brought their faithful looking and sounding tribute to the hair metal legends to The Rockstar Bar stage in May, with many fans turning out in the process! Was this tribute concert your favourite in the first 6 months of the year?

Bands: Project 421, Eclipse, and Shit Creek Survivor
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: May 13th
Info: After taking four months off from the stage due to a family emergency and other personal matters, classic metal quintet Project 421 returned to the scene for this Friday the 13th show, and picked up right where they left off alongside their sister band Eclipse! Notably joined the next day by a late notice fill-in gig from both bands (albeit with Curtis McKenzie opening instead), did you like this/both show(s) the most in the poll?

Bands: Eclipse, K.I.C.K., Stereo North, and Heavy Head
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: May 20th
Info: This stacked Victoria Day-weekend concert saw all competitors from the VM Radio Battle of the Bands (save The Din) join forces for an encore at The Rednecks Saloon, with Eclipse making a rare headlining appearance as promoters alongside their friends and recent competitors, including the most recent live set from Stereo North. Did this show win your vote?

Bands: The Bear Hunters, Winkstinger, Jack Spades, Kaepora Gaebora, Eclipse, and Heavy Head
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: May 20th
Info: In honour of his 27th birthday, prolific local punk/metal drummer Johnny Belanger hosted his own "#Litfam Birthday Sheezy" at The Oddfellows Hall on May 20th, featuring three of his live bands, most notably the first Bear Hunters show of the year, and with relocated rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney back in the fold for the first time in a year & a half! Was this your top 2016 concert so far?

Bands: Project 421, The Leash Kids, and Mourning Wood
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: June 4th
Info: The second Redneck Rock Bash concert went down early last month, with a completely different and smaller lineup this time around, partly due to the late dropouts of Redundant and Shit Creek Survivor. Notably featuring the debut of the short lived experimental duo The Leash Kids, and a rare multi-band concert from Mourning Wood, was Redneck Rock Bash 2 your favourite concert in the first half of the year?

Bands: Foam, Twistory, and Kaepora Gaebora
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: June 19th
Info: This recent metal show from Six, Two, Oh. saw London sludge/punk trio Foam make their local concert debut last month at The New A, with newer death metal duo Twistory and quartet Kaepora Gaebora taking the stage in their most recent concert sets. Attending fans spoke highly of this extreme metal show, but would you vote for it over all of the others?

Bands: Jack Spades, Gnaeus, DJ Seith, The Din, K.I.C.K., and Conika
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: June 21st
Info: The fourth straight local installment of Go Skateboarding Day (but second with live bands) saw an almost entire overhaul from last year's lineup, with only DJ Seith returning, but this diverse lineup of punk, alternative, and hip hop (including both VM Battle winning bands) delivered a fun soundtrack to the day's skateboarding events and showcases! Was this outdoor show your favourite?

Other: Did we miss the show you'd prefer to vote for? For reference, hard rock and punk bands that played in Sault Ontario this year (up to June 30th) in shows not listed include The 3 Day Millionaires, Blessed, Curtis McKenzie, Grave Party, Griphook, Havadder, Like A Pisces, Lost Love, Northwest, Reanimator, Stiffler's Mom, Telephone & Address, and Tym Morrison, while there are other concerts featuring the above bands that didn't make the cut too. Was one of them your intended choice, or perhaps a show in Sault Michigan, or one that had no hard rock or punk acts? If, for any your reason, your preferred show isn't listed above, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until August 18th to cast your votes (of which I hope more than 3 people vote), as it's always interesting to see what shows you guys liked the most in the given period! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week! Thanks everyone!