Saturday, February 18, 2017

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!

For the first time in many months, we have some poll results for you guys, and I'm pleased to say that we had our best voter turnout in a long, long time! A very healthy & promising 37 votes came in for this question: What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2016? Thanks to everyone for voting and making the return of our polls a success with numbers that I can realistically work with, so here are the final results!

A Dire Setback (13 votes, 35%)
Stegadeth (8 votes, 21%)
Gianni Gagoots (4 votes, 11%)
The 3 Day Millionaires (4 votes, 11%)
The Band Camp Rejects (3 votes, 8%)
Project 906 (2 votes, 5%)
Soundcheck (1 vote, 3%)
The Karstens (1 vote, 3%)
Heavy Head (1 vote, 3%)
Bizotic (0 votes)
Electric Church (0 votes)
Twistory (0 votes)
Other (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I'm not overly shocked with the bands with no votes, as Bizotic only debuted at the end of the year, and the other two bands are only sporadically seen and don't have online pages, but hopefully 2017 proves to be busier! On the other hand, it's encouraging to see two other online page-less bands (The Karstens & Soundcheck) get a vote each, same for Heavy Head, who aren't frequently seen on stage themselves. Project 906's pair of votes is nice to see too, especially given that their Sault Michigan residence can be a handicap against Sault Ontario acts. Cover hard rock bands had a good showing, which is encouraging for both The 3 Day Millionaires & Band Camp Rejects, while Gianni Gagoots' promising funk jams helped carry them to a share of the 3rd place slot, and deservingly so, as fans will attest! As for the runners up, Stegadeth had a solid half year locally, and the T-Rex Manning successors are well positioned for a huge year ahead!

That said, your winners with 13 votes and over 35% of the final total were newer local alternative punk quartet A Dire Setback, who burst onto the scene in 2016's final months with a number of high profile concert sets and a set already full of original material, and if that's anything to go by, 2017 should be just as eventful, if not more, for this union of local punk veterans! Don't miss them at The New American on Tuesday, and we'll preview that show (and announce their next one) in our next post!

As for this month's poll, we're continuing with out "favourite _____ of 2016" polls by posing this question: What was your favourite new metal, hard rock, or punk album released in 2016? The past year gave us a lot of high profile album releases, especially from punk and alternative hard rock bands, with metal largely taking a back seat by comparison. From posthumous releases to CDs with high profile release concerts, and everything in between, there was a lot to like in terms of new titles on the shelves, but what one will win out? For inclusion in the poll, the album must have had a paid release online or in stores in 2016 (so no As It Stands, Skeyes of Seven, or Sykotyk Rampage), and it must have saw it's initial public release in the 2016 calendar year, so Abhorrent Forest's debut EP was 9 days late to make the cut. Of course, if you insist on voting for one of those, or want to pick one we forgot or didn't include, "Other" is again available! That joins 11 choices for albums released last year, so here's what you should know on each!

AlgomA & Chronobot's split vinyl EP: April Fools Day gave us a relatively unique sight, as local doom metal trio AlgomA and Saskatchewan stoner metal band Chronobot joined forces for a vinyl-only split EP! Released through AlgomA's then-label Deadbeat Media, the unique release got a good reception, helping lead to this year's split with Hooded Menace, but the lack of a CD pressing didn't make the split as easy to obtain. All that said, would you vote for it here?

Crucify the Whore - The Beautiful Sounds of Nature: In a relatively slow year for label Blood Shed Productions' affiliated metal acts, C.T.W.'s newest demo 'The Beautiful Sounds of Nature" was arguably their top release after coming out in March. Featuring 20 more goregrind songs with a typically short runtime, the songs remain as polarizing lyrically and sonically as ever, but Blood Shed loyalists definitely enjoyed Tyler's newest C.T.W. disc upon release. Are you among them?

The Din - Give In To The Din: Getting the largest CD release party of the year among entries in this poll, local alternative/hard rock trio The Din launched "Give In To The Din" with a very high profile concert at The Tech in August, which was even filmed by Shaw TV and aired (sans covers) on TV in recent months! The album got a solid reception, but have you gave in to The Din enough for them to earn your vote? If you'd rather vote for their lower profile live CD "The Din Does Laundry", do so here.

Gnaeus - Meditations: A week prior to The Din's release party (which Gnaeus opened), the local post-punk quartet launched their own debut studio album with their own release party at The Rockstar Bar, fittingly with The Din opening! After long preparations, drummer and album name changes, and a lot of hype, "Meditations" was successfully launched to positive reviews with some creative online videos to boot, but did you pick this album in the poll?

Id Iota - Maudlin Fair: After a 10 month hiatus from the stage and a bassist switch, local alternative hard rock quartet Id Iota re-emerged with their debut EP "Maudlin Fair", as released in Toronto on April 14th at the start of their Southern Ontario tour run with The Pixo Control, before launching locally at LopLops Lounge a week later. A spiritual sequel to 2014's only EP from predecessor band Habitat Shuffle, "Maudlin Fair" was well received, but would you rank it your favourite of 2016?

The Inner City Surfers - Time To Travel On: Arguably last year's most surprising new album release was May's "Time To Travel On", a posthumous digital album from local punk veterans The Inner City Surfers that was posted on iTunes and Spotify in May. Credited to have been recorded between 2002 & 2007, but unreleased until last year, this was a cool surprise, even if it didn't coincide with a return to the stage for the first time since 2012, but would you vote for it?

Long Shot's self-titled EP: Shortly before playing their final concert and prior to Evan Dawe's move from the area, local hard rock quartet Long Shot released their only 3 song EP onto Bandcamp, which recieved positive notices, but fell under the radar a bit due to the band's largely inactive status in 2016 and the lack of a major physical release. "Long Shot" was a good way for the guys to go out, even if this was a bittersweet release, but did you like it more than the rest of these choices?

Malignant Neoplasm - Blast Beats & Bullshit: C.T.W. mainman Tyler Gibson also gave fans a new release from his cybergrind studio project Malignant Neoplasm in August, whose extremely short EP gave us 4 songs, three of which had a combined run time of under 3 minutes! "Blast Beats" won't convert anyone who wasn't an existing fan of the genre, but fans got a nice concentrated blast of tech-influenced goregrind here, and would you vote for it in this poll?

The Strange Coyotes - Strange Coyotes II: Another posthumous album released in February 2016 was a largely live album from defunct improv metal trio The Strange Coyotes, which was the culmination of seemingly cancelled plans to release a live CD from their last show in November 2014 at The Primavera Hall. Featuring guest appearances from the aforementioned Tyler Gibson, and five experimental filler tracks from Mike Haggith and guest Jordan Leach, would you vote for this disc?

One of SweetKenny's 2016 albums: Dafter, Michigan solo hard rock artist Ken Sutton was busy as usual last year, albeit not at his recent activity levels, with only 3 studio albums coming out via his online pages. These includes two albums intended as movie or game scores ("White Knuckles" & "Gator's Bayou"), but he did release one traditional solo album, entitled "In Your Face", which pleased fans of his regular music. Did one/all of these SweetKenny albums earn your vote?

Telephone & Address - Are You Now or Have You Ever Been...: Sometimes titled without the last word, this album was the fourth official release by Chris Shoust's indie punk solo project Telephone & Address, as uniquely put out when he opened for Iansucks at The Gore Street Cafe in October. Playing more of a typical, albeit lo-fi punk style here than his prior acoustic or ambient releases, this album was worth the delays, but would you vote for it over the other options?

Other: Did we miss an album you'd rather vote for? Did I forget to include a metal, hard rock, or punk CD from this year? Did you like a 2015 or early 2017 CD more? Maybe you preferred one that was just a free song posting? If, for whatever reason, we missed your preferred choice, "Other" is for you! (Again, if you intend to vote for "The Din Does Laundry", vote for The Din's studio album above.)

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until March 18th to cast your votes, and hopefully we get another encouraging vote total this month, so do so at the above left! That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post next! Thanks everyone!

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