Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Three New Additions To Our Band Links, Plus New Videos!!

For our final post of January 2017, we have a stacked lineup of stories, including a new solo performance video, and leading off, no less than three new additions to our band links! Two active, one defunct, but there's some talent to be had, including new videos from the two new acts, so here's what you should know on this Wednesday morning!

The first of today's new bands to add to our band links is Re:Born, a new quintet that are effectively the successors to defunct classic metal veterans Project 421! Guitarists Blair Burch & Frank McGillivray have returned from that band alongside three new performers, including singer Robert Nevitt (who I'm not familiar with from prior local bands), former Eclipse bassist Fred Dunn, and former Din drummer Brandan Glew. Describing themselves as playing "classic power-rock with modern energy", and as "bringing (a) gen-X attitude into the millennial era", Re:Born publically launched on Monday, but had been in the works since shortly after 421's demise last fall. Note that this band is not related in any way to Re-Born, the 2014 renaming of Brutally Fatal when they briefly played lighter music before their first breakup, so I can't see there being an issue with the new band's similar name. A live concert debut is to be confirmed, but Re:Born have a few videos to check out, so what can be said so far?

Posted to their Facebook page from a recent jam session, the videos include Re:Born covering AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie" and Iron Maiden's "Powerslave", while also playing two prior Project 421 originals, namely "Into the Darkness" and (as embedded below) "Running Away". From what I can hear, the guys sound good, and Robert can carry a solid tune vocally with a good edge! Of course, Blair and Frank have pre-existing chemistry, which certainly doesn't hurt either! Not an optimal look at Re:Born yet due to the guys' placement for the session, and the audio's a little muffled, but so far so good, and check our Re:Born above & below!

Next up, here's that other new-ish band, namely Slow Children Playing, a two man punk band that launched their Facebook page back in May 2016, but had previously formed back in 2014! Profuse apologies for missing this band for coverage on here at the time, but as they've never played a known public concert, it was easy for them to stay hidden. While their identities are not listed on their Facebook page beyond the nicknames "Floppy" & "Sloppy", their newest video for "The Christmas Song" gives credits at the end, confirming that their singer/guitarist is Mayadevi alum Don Henderson, and their drummer is Caleb Pitaro, formerly of RXN (more on them in a bit.) Three audio recordings are posted as Facebook videos to check out, namely of the songs  "Vimy Ridge", "Slow Children", and "Gypsy Road", but their newest track "The Christmas Song" (from December) actually has a full video featuring outdoor footage, inverted and monochrome colour filters, and Don walking to a home to jam the end of the song with Caleb.

Also, "The Christmas Song' features a guest performance by Bizotic trumpeter Louise Lamothe, and while she isn't seen in the video proper, it's nice to hear her add a unique element here! Slow Children Playing have potential and a solid punk base, but the audio quality of their older songs is mixed, Don's vocals are after hard to make out if used at all, and a bassist and/or second guitarist would help fill out their sound. Apologies again for missing Slow Children Playing on the site for this long, but hopefully we see them live at some point, and check them out above & below!

Finally for today's new bands is the aforementioned RXN, who I discovered when researching Slow Children Playing, so what can be said on this band? Pronounced "reaction", this band appears to only have been active for a short while in 2009 & 2010, and only appear to have an online presence via this Blogger page, but as they have a full biography there, they just barely have enough content to warrant an addition to our inactive band links. A high school-age hard rock band founded by guitarist Tukker Patry, their lineup was eventually rounded out by singer Shawn Dunn, bassist Josh "J-Sus" McEwen, and the aforementioned Caleb Pitaro on drums, though Josh left before their final public update. RXN had indicated plans to record studio material (with Tukker playing bass) , and had been working to purchase necessary recording equipment, having wrote original songs while in classes, but updates ceased after April 2010, and the band appears to have permanently dissolved by year's end.

As I only know Caleb musically, and as RXN didn't post any known media of their music, I can't comment on how they would have sounded, but there did seem to be clear ambition and goals at last word, and hopefully everyone remains musically active in some form!

Finally for today, here's a new video from former Bring the Fallen guitarist Andrew Chiarello's YouTube channel, marking his first upload there in three years! The video is of a guitar solo played on Andrew's Ibanez Premium RG721FM guitar, and while just being 59 seconds in length, it's a skillful solo with a progressive flourish, and it's a shame that he's not in an active band right now, as he'd be a huge asset! Very solid overall, so give Andrew's new solo video a look below, and hopefully there's more to come!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews on the site tomorrow to kick off the month! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SweetKenny - "The Dogs Are Watching" CD Review!!

It's now time for our 103rd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're taking a look at Dafter, Michigan hard rock solo artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton's recent album "The Dogs Are Watching"! Officially considered his 22nd solo album, this release has been followed up with newer albums named "Assassins" & "Escape of the Desert Rat" at press time, but we chose this album for review due to it being heavier overall. Released on August 18th, 2017 and recorded last year at Waterfall Records, "The Dogs Are Watching" is the ninth of SweetKenny's official solo timeline to serve primary purpose as a score for intended usage in films, television, or video games, rather than a traditional rock album, with Ken himself providing all instrumentation therein. You can buy this album on Bandcamp for $7, on Google Play for $9.49, and on iTunes for $9.90, while single song purchases exist also, and you can stream the entire album for free as well on Bandcamp and through SweetKenny's website. Featuring 10 songs running for over 36 minutes in length, let's begin our fourth review of a SweetKenny score album!

Thematically, Ken intends this album to be about hackers preventing excessive oversight from the government and their watchdogs, but licensees could theoretically adapt songs as they wished. The first song is "Tracking IP Address", which is a techno/keyboard instrumental that has an ominous keyed opening. The two sounds make for an interesting contrast, and I don't hate it! If anything, it's a little repetitive by the end, and while I don't picture piano music during IP tracking, the deliberately paced techno half makes up for that. Not really a rock song, but effective in it's own way! Second is "Oversight Committee", which maintains usage of a keyboard and a techno beat, but the song has a little more in the way of rock instrumentation, so it feels like a fuller composition. There is an odd percussion bit here that sounds like repeatedly spraying an aerosol can, but nothing else comes out of left field. Good track for what is is, with a casual yet serious rhythm to it!

That is followed by "The Dead Sec." ("Secret" or "Secretary", maybe?) This song is more of a soft guitar performance with a dark techno undercurrent, featuring more keyboard input as well. Given the implication of someone/something ending or dying, this song has the requisite downbeat feel, while maintaining the techno elements of songs' past, and it never feels overlong, which is a plus! That said, it won't appeal to fans of SweetKenny's faster and heavier recordings. Fourth is "Hackers Underground", which is a dark techno number that maintains a reserved pace throughout, presumably to be the background music as said hackers did their work. The mood set here is effective, and the song accomplishes what it sets out to do, but to me, earlier songs have more variance to hold my attention. Not badly composed, but it doesn't stand out the same.

The first half concludes with "Alex's Recon" (I assume Alex is a military soldier tracking the hackers?) By far the longest song on "The Dogs Are Watching", this 6½ minute track has a steady marching rhythm and arguably the heaviest sound yet on the album, but given that it's intended to be set in a reconnaissance mission, you know that serious stuff is going down. Even a gun is heard being cocked mid-way through! The dark ambiance is very effective here, and while the song isn't short, it's never boring as it helps set the mood of the intended mission. One of the album's highlights so far! Sixth on the album is "The Creepies", which runs for an album-low 98 seconds. This brings back the dark techno sound, and honestly, the song does sound like it's creeping up on you with how it progresses and introduces it's instrumentation! It sounds like it's building to something big, but ultimately, it's short length is anticlimactic. Effective while it lasts though!

Track #7 is "Hackers", which also runs for a relatively short time, but it packs a lot in with arguably the "heaviest" sound yet, even if it is a full techno number! If "Hackers Underground" from earlier in the album was also of them at work, than things are ramping up three tracks later! There's not a whole lot new to add, but if you like the dark vibe and techno focus, this will be right up your alley, and it does feel like a substantial track despite it's short length! Then we have "Revelation 360", which is the most unique song yet on the album, which has a minimalist sound almost reminiscent of the backing music when you enter an empty hall in a video game, but halfway through it diverts course and welcomes in fuller instrumentation and a bit of techno and guitar input. The song definitely stands out as it's own piece, especially thanks to it's white noise-esque close, and while I appreciate the diversity, I prefer the dark techno of earlier songs just for my own personal preference.

Ninth is "A Job Well Done", presumably signifying that the hackers completed their mission. This is full-on techno, giving the vibe that they're celebrating at a nightclub, though I somehow doubt Ken had that in mind. I miss the darker edge here, but given where this is intended to take place in the score, I understand the upbeat mood. If anything, the repetitive skipping that comes in twice grinds the action to a halt, but it does what it's supposed to do! The sort-of title track "Watch Dogs" closes the album with a return to the dark techno stylings of prior songs, and it has a catchy beat to it's percussion that I like, plus some of the most prominent guitar work yet! The song has the vibe of a credits song, as if you've completed the movie/game, and it works well on that basis to end the album on a high note, even if it runs a little longer than it probably needs to!

So, what are my final thoughts on this recent SweetKenny score album? Overall, it's an interesting chapter in his mid-late 2010s focus on scores, and while it won't satiate some fans desires for a full-length follow-up to "In Your Face", it's effective at what it sets out to do! I feel like I threw around variants of the term "dark techno" throughout the review, and while Ken doesn't cross into Prodigy-levels, that term is apt, as for a score intended to be about government hackers, what would fit better: electronica or hard rock? Some songs had more of a rock base than others, like "Watch Dogs" in particular, while songs that fully embraced the intended sound worked the best, like "Hackers" and "Alex's Recon". The album had it's repetitive moments, and some songs ended a little too soon, but remember that the album is intended to tell one story. Of the four SweetKenny scores that I have reviewed, "The Hitman Files" remains my favourite musically, but this one may have taken second place for it's overarching story and mood, especially compared to "Epic" from last spring.

If you like techno rock and prior SweetKenny scores, give "The Dogs Are Watching" a listen above, whether you're a fan, newcomer, or interested in licensing this for a score! That's all for today, and as for next month's CD review.... I am leaning towards one of Sault Ontario solo musician Mike McCleary's new solo EPs, either "Hourglass" or the brand new "Weight of the Truth", which just came out yesterday, so look for our full write up on that in the coming days also, and for more news and notes too! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

YouTube Channel Profile Series: AlgomA62

This month's YouTube Channel Profile is finally here on the site, as we kick off another year at the SMS with this ongoing spotlight feature of 1-3 YouTube channels whose content is at least half devoted to local metal, hard rock, or punk bands and/or concerts. This month's randomly selected installment brings us to a single channel, and it's from one of the most prominent local metal bands of recent years, so here's what you should know!
AlgomA62 (

Owner: A member of local doom/sludge metal trio AlgomA (identity not firmly stated, but I'd guess that it's guitarist Boyd Rendell)

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 27th, 2013; videos posted from the next day until September 2017

Channel Summary: The official YouTube channel for AlgomA, this channel was launched shortly after their public concert debut, and transitioned from a live video source early in their run to primary usage re-posting their studio material. The channel features 9 live performance clips (video or audio), a commercial for their Echo Bay concert in October 2013, and 10 studio tracks from their first three physical releases. (FYI, the "62" in their YouTube account's name references Boyd's film production company 62nd Chamber Productions, who handled most of the concert clips here.)

Why You Should Watch: This is a must watch channel for fans of AlgomA's brutal studio releases and live concerts, and as their official channel, more material is bound to turn up there when activity picks up! The fact that none of their videos exceed 450 views at press time is very surprising, but hopefully more and more fans find these clips soon! However, note that no public concert videos have been posted on AlgomA's channel since 2015, and the channel has played host to unlisted videos in the past, some of which still being online and publically linked elsewhere.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

AlgomA - Live @ 180 Projects (03-24-2013): The first & most viewed video on AlgomA's channel is of their full half hour set from their debut concert on March 24th, 2013 at 180 Projects, where they opened for Soul Killing Female. The band was then and now comprised of ex-Beefmouth bandmates Kevin Campbell & Boyd Rendell (then a.k.a. "Marty Chase" & "Darby Wigwaas") on vocals/bass and guitar/vocals, plus future Bad Back frontman Jamie "J.V." Vincent on drums. That night's set featured their forthcoming debut CD "Reclaimed By The Forest" in full order (save the opening track "Bedsores"), including  "Fell Down A Well", the title track, "Tertiary Syphillis", "Go On, Git!", and "Extinct Volcanoes". The video is suitably aggressive and sludgy, well edited, and an intriguing early look at one of the biggest local metal acts of the mid-2010s long before they got any worldwide notice, but their lack of crowd engagement was noticeable, even if it was intentional at the time.

AlgomA - Fell Down a Well (Faust): A common sight at AlgomA's increasingly rare concerts at 180 Projects is a video projector that has been used during performances for visual effects and ambiance, with or without specially edited footage. AlgomA embraced the concept and featured this video during the above performance of "Fell Down A Well", featuring clips from the 1926 silent movie Faust, based on the eponymous German legend about a man selling his soul to the Devil for pleasure and knowledge. The song doesn't really connect to the story, but the dark and gothic visuals set the mood very well, and the early jam room version of the song is raw and brutal itself!

AlgomA - Reclaimed by the Forest [2014]: With the exception of their half of last year's "Trading Faces" split tape, all of AlgomA's physically released studio material can be streamed for free on their YouTube channel, including "Failed Stunt Fatality" from their split single with Hooded Menace, and both songs from their split EP with Chronobot. However, these postings began in March 2016 when AlgomA posted their October 2014 EP "Reclaimed By The Forest", in two forms: Each song in an individual upload, and the whole EP in one 42 minute video. Recorded locally at "Das Bunker" and released through Malaysian label Deadbeat Media, the EP features their songs "Bedsores", "Fell Down A Well", the title track, "Tertiary Syphillis", "Go On, Git!", and "Extinct Volcanoes", and is an aggressive, fully realized slice of Northern Ontario doom metal that fans definiely took to upon it's release! Here's hoping for a full length follow-up in the future!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Next month in this series, we'll be looking at two randomly chosen channels, as the first one that we selected only has videos from two distinct concerts, so I'll add a single video channel to round thing's out. That said, next month's profiles will be on the YouTube channels of former Polly Pocket's Melting In A Microwave bassist Jamie Whalen's channel (featuring four videos of that band from the early 2000s), and former RedD Monkey drummer Joe Bumbacco's channel (featuring one video from their local heyday.) Look for those on or around February 26th, and stay tuned for our first CD review of the year in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 26, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Telephone & Address And Fluid 5ive), A New Local Band, Concert Previews, And More!!

As promised, our 3 Day Millionaires previews are in this post, but we've loaded it with some more big news, including a handful of unfortunate deletions from our band links, and leading off, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, one involving a debuting group, and the other involving a touring band from afar and a local band's new lineup addition! Here's what you should know!

We have a new-ish classic/hard rock cover quintet to add to our active band links, and they are Fluid 5ive! This band actually publically launched via their Facebook page back in September 2016, and while they have yet to play their first live concert, that will be rectified soon, as their public debut will be with a one-nighter on Saturday, February 24th at The Rockstar Bar! Fluid 5ive's current lineup features a few familiar faces for long-time fans of local rock bands, including former Five Below Zero singer Colin Nelson (who even plays saxophone occasionally), guitarist Joe Miller, bassist Pierre Anthony, former Route 69/Swamped drummer Jeff Pennett, and Rob Irving on the keyboard. As well, ex-Flat Stanley bassist Mark Brandow was in their original lineup before departing by last summer, but that's as publically "fluid" as their lineup has gotten. As of their launch, Fluid 5ive teased covers of everyone from AC/DC and Aerosmith to Van Halen and ZZ Top, and even acts like Blackfoot and Henry Lee Summer.

This band aims to primarily play "select cover tunes not usually played in bars" and if that holds true, fans should get a unique spread of music when they hit The Rockstar Bar in just under one month's time! Expect no cover charge for this 19+ show, and while there is an advertised start time of 8:00 PM, I'd gamble on closer to 10:00 PM that night. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details on this show, and the above links for more on Fluid 5ive, and hopefully some media of them performing turns up soon!

Next up, here's another new show announcement for later this year, as local post-punk/acoustic project Telephone & Address will hit the stage for the first time in 2018 with a set at The New American Pub on Sunday, March 18th! Though they're the advertised headliners, touring Louisiana acoustic punk trio Layden & The Lion will take the middle slot for this concert in their local debut, and their indie-influenced yet gritty originals should be a fine compliment, so be sure to check them out in advance! This will be Telephone & Address' first announced live set since August, and first since expanding to a duo, as Chris has enlisted local folk musician Jackson Reed to become their permanent drummer. Jackson had guested with Telephone & Address for their new songs that same month, but confirmation that he's now an official member didn't hit the wires until Tuesday on their Facebook page. Hopefully the guys maintain a similarly solid chemistry live!

No word yet though on what this means for Telephone & Address' yet-released album "Monster", which was recorded before Jackson joined. Northwest guitarist Greg Callaghan will deliver some entertaining acoustic renditions as an opening act for this concert, promoted by Jackson's own agency Ears & Eyes in association with Six, Two, Oh.. An early 8:00 PM start time is advertised for this 19+ event, which has a $5 cover charge. Fans of acoustic rock and punk should definitely check this one out on March 18th, so check out more details at the official Facebook event page, and stay tuned for potential updates on this concert if they roll in!

Also today, here's our previews of TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT's concerts from local classic/hard rock cover veterans The 3 Day Millionaires at The Rockstar Bar! Unusual as a double header at this venue for The Millionaires rather than a one nighter, this will be just the second concert weekend of the year for this band, so if you missed them at the Reggievelt two weeks ago, here's your next best bet! The 3 Day Millionaires lineup is well tested and very skilled, so look for some entertaining cover action tonight and/or tomorrow! As usual for their Rockstar Bar trips, there are 19+ age limits and no announced cover charges in effect, and while the Facebook event page lists an 8:00 PM start time, the poster pictured here confirms that they'll be starting at 10:00 PM both nights, so don't come down too early. See the above links for more details, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires live at this very location last year!

Finally for today here's three assorted shorter news items, all relating to deletions from our inactive Sault Michigan band links due to Facebook pages being taken down. As usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • I have deleted Pickford hard rock quintet Beyond the Surface from our band links due to the closure of their Facebook (and only online) page at some point in the past year or so. Featuring ex-Unleashed frontman Eli Reilly, Beyond The Surface ran from 2010-2011, primarily playing at Pickford High School events and regional talent shows. The guys were talented for their ages, and hopefully everyone is staying active in music in some form!
  • I have also removed defunct local hard rock band The Bottom Line from our band links due to the deletion of their Facebook (and only online) page at some point in the past year. A union of Highest of Fives and future Ten Kings bandmates, The Bottom Line only played a handful of community events in mid-2014 before going their separate ways, and while I hate seeing another band page vanish, they admittedly weren't around for very long. Don't miss guitarist Joe Jenkins with Project 906!
  • Lastly, I have removed local metal solo project East Branch from our band links once again, as their Facebook (and only online) page was taken down once again. The page had initially been de-activated in 2014 before being resurrected last year, but no new public updates followed, and the page was gone again at press time. Hopefully J.R. returns with new music down the road!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profile next, plus this month's CD review in short order as well! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Project 906), Their Drummer Change, And Weekend Concert Previews!!

Here's the first of this weekend's concert previews, and if you're in the Sault Michigan area, you'll enjoy what's on offer, including LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, mostly on SHORT NOTICE! There's also a lineup change to note for a band in question, and while we're rounding things out with s handful of Sault Ontario shows from a prominent artist, we are holding our previews of The 3 Day Millionaires' Rockstar Bar stops to tomorrow morning due to the amount so they don't get buried in an overly long post today. Don't worry, they are coming! Now, here's what you should know!

Sault Michigan hard rock cover quartet Project 906 will be among the competitors in THIS SATURDAY'S previously announced musician competition, now confirmed to be at The Superior Cafe at 107 East Portage Avenue! Apologies for the short notice, the performer lineup for this event was only announced on the venue's Facebook page on Monday. Taking place at the cafe in the Bird's Eye Outfitters complex (on the site of the former Golanka's Bar/The Bird), this battle of the bands-styled event will see performers competing to win gift cards for either of the above businesses or Crooked Music, and this will be a fan voted competition, so get out to support your favourites! Project 906 will be playing their first public set of 2018 on SATURDAY, with more to come that day (and in this post!), while the other confirmed performers will include Sault Ontario indie/pop duo All Us Others in a rare cross border appearance by a non-Touch of Class band, Rudyard Musicians Festival regular Rob Malaski "and friends", and a mystery band named Midnight Logic that I can't find anything on.

"...And More!" are also teased to perform, though no word on if this indicates surprise or guest performers, or if they were just accepting band registrations after the poster went online. A fan vote will determine the winner of this event, while there will be a favourite musician vote with 10% off of drinks for fans interested in voting for that award. This competition takes place on SATURDAY at an early start time of 5:00 PM, this is an ALL AGES event, and there are no announced cover charges. This sounds like a fun event for fans to check out regional talent at a sort-of-new venue, but who will win? Find out THIS SATURDAY, and stay tuned for fallout from it!

Next up, Project 906 aren't done for that day, as they will return to The Strongs Tavern in nearby Strongs for their second show of the year THIS SATURDAY NIGHT during that venue's second anniversary festivities! Apologies again for the short notice, this show was actually announced on their Facebook page two weeks ago, but it slipped us by at the time. Four months removed from their last show out in Strongs, this will be a solid way to help celebrate the tavern's anniversary, so head slightly west if you want to see the full Project 906 experience on SATURDAY after the musician's competition! In one more new show announcement, fans can check out Project 906 at the International 500 Snowmobile Race's beer tent on Thursday, February 1st (one week from today!), marking the first time that they've played an official show at the I-500, with Banned having been the most recent heavier band with that honor. Hopefully they warm things up sufficiently next week!

Also, these will be their first advertised shows since quietly announcing the departure of drummer Will Storey, with a drummer named Tommy (last name not publicized yet) now listed on the band's Facebook page. Hopefully nothing bad happened with Will, he's a solid performer, but how will Tommy sound with Project 906? Check them out THIS SATURDAY or next week to find out! The Strongs show is at 10:00 PM with no announced cover charge and a 21+ age limit, while the beer tent I-500 set is at 8:30 PM, and click here for relevant admission details if you intend to see more than the band. Click here and the above links for more info, and here's Project 906 live!

Moving to shows with complete advance notice, Sault Michigan fans can also see Marquette hard rock cover quartet Spun for the first times this year when they return to The Satisfied Frog for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! A month and change removed from their last shows out east, these are Spun's only currently announced shows at The Frog among their scheduled dates through March, so just in case it's a while for the Nudge. successors to return, don't miss their hard rocking cover selections tomorrow and/or Saturday! As usual for Spun's shows in the Soo, expect a 21+ age limit this weekend, there are no announced cover charges, and 9:00 PM start times are in effect for both nights. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and for a preview, here's Spun live!

Finally for today's preview post, we'll head back to Sault Ontario for a busy weekend from local hard rock solo singer/guitarist Tym Morrison, who'll continue his weekly arrangement at Gliss Steak & Seafood with matinee shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY, while he'll also play his second of his bi-monthly gigs at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill at a more typical timeslot on SATURDAY NIGHT! Fans of Tym's hard rocking covers should have another great spread of musical action this weekend, whether you're up for his evenings at Gliss or an east end trip on Saturday night, so keep all three in mind! It's also worth noting that Tym is the host of The Canadian Nightclub's newly launched run of open mic nights on Wednesdays, having debuted there in this capacity last night, with weekly open mic nights scheduled through the end of March. Just for the record, we do not consider open mic nights to be concerts for our purposes, as they're more informal by nature, and as a result, they are impossible to confirm a performer lineup for in advance.

Also, while Tym is hosting and will assuredly play when there are no acts ready, there's no guarantee of length or amount of songs for his hosting segments, but if you like the unpredictability or are a prospective performer yourself, be at The Canadian on Wednesdays through March (at least!) As for his standard shows, the Gliss gigs are 6:00 PM matinees with no announced age limit (but mind the locale), the Roadhouse show is a 19+ affair at 10:00 PM, and none have announced cover charges. Visit the official Facebook pages linked here & here for more details, and here's Tym live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our 3 Day Millionaires preview and more on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 22, 2018

New Video Performances, Plus More Assorted Stories!!

After a quiet weekend for updates to the site, we are back on this Monday morning with a new news post, so what will you find today? Some assorted shorter stories from the past few days, and a handful of new videos, including a solo project's new song, new jam session clips, and leading off, here's the newest video from local/Windsor/Thompson, Manitoba solo musician Mike Haggith's Facebook page! Another solo performance of a new original song, this one is called "The Nature of the Times", and it's an alt-rock number with Mike singing at a soft, higher register than we tend to see from him. Leisurely paced but well performed, this should be welcomed for fans of Mike's more reserved solo music of the past, so give it a look below, and hopefully we see much more from Mike's solo project in the near future!

Next up, here's another new song from Sault Michigan metal solo project The 1,000,000,000's Who Died, courtesy of label Werehold Records' YouTube channel! Uploaded on Friday, the song is entitled "Horrible Laughter", and features project leader Jason Mills playing on his 9 string guitar. It's not a terribly long song, but it's a brutal and technical instrumental that serves as a good early showcase, and the rhythm section pounds along well in compliment! Give the newest 1,000,000,000's Who Died song a listen below, and hear more from them above!

Also today, here's a couple of new jam session covers from Sault Ontario hard rock quintet Halfway Loaded (the full lineup, no less!) Uploaded this weekend in their first videos since the fall, these covers are of The Stone Temple Pilots "Plush" and, as embedded below, Seven Mary Three's "Cumbersome". Though Dylan is basically obscured from view in each video, these are solid clips that showcase Halfway Loaded's solid talent base, and Justin Grayson's vocals fit each's sound very well! The audio's a little muffled, but not bad at all, and it'll be interesting to finally see Halfway Loaded on a public concert stage! Give these videos a look above & below!

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

  • In our inactive band links, defunct local power pop/hard rock trio Caroline Divine are now listed under their Twitter page due to the quiet deletion of their Facebook page (I wish bands wouldn't do that.) Active primarily in 2015, Caroline Divine fell inactive in 2016 for purposes other than backing up Jesse Merineau in his full band concerts, with 2/3rds of the band still playing with him, so hopefully the guys continue to see success there! For what it's worth, their Twitter page links to their blank Bandcamp page, implying that they would have posted their unfinished debut EP there.
  • I have restored inactive local music promotion/photography company For The Music Inside back to our "Other Local Metal Links", as despite their Facebook page's deletion, they still have an active Twitter page with local concert coverage from 2014, plus later activity in Southern Ontario through 2016. Good to see F.T.M.I. live on, somewhat, so check them out above!
  • We have removed defunct local hard rock quartet Punch from our inactive band links due to the deletion of their Facebook (and only online) page, though I have no idea if it was deleted for the same reasons as the Facebook page of successor band Eclipse, who later took on Punch originals. A union of Haggith & Suicide Kings bandmates from late 2013 to early 2014, Punch were a promising band with a stacked lineup, and while I hate seeing another Facebook band page deleted, they admittedly weren't around for all that long. Don't miss Daniel and Steven with Jack Spades & Soundcheck respectively!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 19, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soundcheck), Weekend Concert Previews, And Much More!!

Today's post is half devoted to this weekend's hard rock concert previews (on a fairly quiet weekend overall), including a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, but we're filling things out with lots of assorted recent news and notes! Here's what you should know on this Friday morning!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will return to The Rockstar Bar for one night only TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was actually announced last Wednesday via it's official Facebook event page, but we couldn't slide it into a post before it got too soon to cover twice. Two months removed from their last stop at this venue, this will be Soundcheck's first public concert appearance of the new year, so if you've missed the Mourning Wood successors as of late, head to The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT to get your fill! Much like in November, this is a one-nighter, due to or resulting in classic rock veterans RPM's concert there on Saturday night (good to see them back out there as well!) As usual for Soundcheck's Rockstar Bar stops, TONIGHT'S show has a 19+ age limit and no announced cover charge, and while the event page lists an oddly early start time of 8:00 PM, I wouldn't head there until 10:00 PM or so. See above for more details, and hopefully some public videos of theirs turn up soon!

Next up, here's this weekend's only other announced hard rock concerts in the Sault area, as former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's ongoing weekly concert arrangement at Gliss Steak & Seafood marches into another weekend with shows TONIGHT & TOMORROW! Now in week 3 of his bi-annual contraction to twice-a-week bookings, Tym should have another solid couple of nights in store for fans of his unplugged covers, so head to The Quality Inn's house restaurant for more entertaining music action over these next two evenings! While Tym isn't playing at Gliss on Thursdays until July, it's worth noting that he has recently begun playing "online concerts" via his channel, where he basically plays his usual acoustic show for an online audience from his home, scheduled for each Thursday at 7:00 PM through the end of June. These aren't concerts in a traditional sense, but it's a nice way to check out Tym's covers with no commitments!

As for tonight and tomorrow's Gliss shows, expect no announced cover charge or age limit for these 6:00 PM matinees, but remember that this is a sit-down formal restaurant (and if that scares you off, his "concerts" are free as well!) Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live!

Finally for today, here's six assorted shorter news items from the last week or so, and as usual for these short form stories, these are in alphabetical order by artist, festival, or company name:

  • In their first public update since announcing their return from hiatus in August, local hard rock cover quartet Griphook shared a concert poster for a metal show in Orlando, Florida next Saturday that they're advertised as opening. The Facebook event page lists Griphook & even includes their exact logo, and the band likewise shared it to their Facebook page. I'm inclined to believe that there's a separate newer Florida band with the same name and no Facebook page, and the Soo's Griphook shared the event jokingly once they were tagged as performing, but in the off chance they booked a Florida show, good luck in Orlando next week!?
  • Eight months after announcing the long running marijuana culture/concert festival's demise, Hempfest owner Robert Neron has sold rights to the event to a man named George Bachir, though I can't confirm his background, nor is it public yet what he plans to do with Hempfest. No word on if it'll stay in Moonbeam, come back to Ophir, or move elsewhere, but hopefully he can bring Hempfest back to a successful level this year!
  • Local concert promotion/live sound company Live705 announced on their Facebook page on Tuesday that they haven't promoted shows lately because of their recent focus on benefit concerts, and new aims to service the community more than their band A Dire Setback. To that end, they encouraged fans from out of town (especially band contacts) to check out other local companies that support musicians, citing Tidal Records and Mission Control Studios as a start to help "close the gap" between the Soo and the rest of Canada. Hopefully Live705 don't entirely stop putting on shows, but good on them to promote local businesses!
  • Local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver announced on their Facebook page yesterday that they are planning to tour Canada in the spring with "a new release" and new merchandise, and are asking fans where they should play during this tour run. One would assume that a Sault Ste. Marie stop is a given, but if you want Shit Liver to play a specific locale out of town, comment at the links above, and stay tuned for more on their new release, perhaps their announced sophomore album "Hitting the Fan"?
  • The obituary for late Sault Michigan guitarist & Steve's Music Center owner Steve Pevarnic was belatedly posted in The Sault Evening News on October 21st. You can read it at this link, and it notes that he died just 13 days shy of his 60th birthday, partially due to congestive heart failure, and is survived by his brother, aunts, and extended family. A celebration of life was held at The Savoy Bar on October 15th, with proceeds going to the Chippewa County Animal Shelter. The obituary goes into nice detail on his life and musical career, so give it a look above, and apologies for adding to the delay in this making the site!
  • Earlier this week, in their first public postings since 2016, inactive local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage apologized for their recent dormancy and hinted that they'd be back in some form in the future. I'd give more exact wording, but their Facebook page was quietly taken down since, so either plans changed and they'll remain inactive, or their it is being fully relaunched. In any event, their Facebook page wasn't listed in our band links (we used Reverbnation), but hopefully this isn't the absolute end of the line for Sykotyk Rampage!

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

This Month's Poll On Your Favourite New Bands Of 2017!!

Before we get into this weekend's concert previews, our monthly polls are back! Well, for a few months, anyway. With 2017 in the rear view mirror, it's time to bring back our "favourite _____ of 2017" polls, so we're kicking off this year-end poll cycle with this question: What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2017? Compared to the 2016 rookie crop, last year hasn't been as busy for new SMS-fitting bands, with this poll's total dropping from 12 bands to 7, but there are still some talented new sights this year that will hopefully remain prominent this year! To make this poll, bands must have both publically launched and played a public live concert in 2017, so this would discount acts like Abhorrent Forest and Halfway Loaded, but "Other" is available if you want to vote that way, or for a band that we forgot, or isn't metal, hard rock, or punk-based. A Dire Setback won this poll for 2016, but who will join them for 2017? Here are your choices!

Handsome Sandwich: This union of Bear Hunters drummer Johnny Belanger, Winkstinger guitarist Jesse Cook, and Redundant bassist James White debuted with their "no genre" sound in February at LopLops, and have since attained a decent following at shows like the Gutter Demons concert last spring, among other events. With a sound that alt-rock and punk fans are sure to like, did Handsome Sandwich attract your attention more than other new local bands last year?

The HTs/You First & The Passive Aggressives: A late addition to the 2017 rookie class, The HTs are the new local punk supergroup from former Bankshot bandmates Lucas Schmiedendorf & Clint Wilson, alongside Andre LeBlanc & Ryan Disano. Though they lack an online page, and only played twice publically last year (a renamed tribute set on Halloween weekend & at the Guy Thiffault Memorial Concert), did their punk covers win you over?

The Kariokeheads: Originally advertised as a pared down acoustic show from members of The Elements, it was soon established that the intentionally misspelled Kariokeheads were a new project from frontman Rob Speers and the aforementioned Jesse Cook. Playing twice in late 2017 at Room 21, this band encouraged fans to sing live karaoke during their acoustic sets, and received a positive reception from fans above Low & Slow, but would you rank them #1 here?

Mike McCleary: A veteran guitarist who returned to the music scene with his new solo project last summer, Mike McCleary got off to a big start with the release of his (now deleted?) "In Ruins" album and a set at Sault College's reunion events in August, with a steady stream of original songs and select covers also making their way online last year towards his 2018 albums "Hourglass" & "Weight of the Truth". Did Mike earn your vote?

The Noochin' Lanterns: An unmasked, pajama-clad side project from "songwriters" of The Apocalypse Afterparty, this unique power pop/hard rock outfit debuted at Live705's Easter Bash last year, and later rocked The Speakeasy and at a number of minimally advertised "pop-up" concerts in the summer. Though not steadily active to the public throughout the year, The Noochin' Lanterns made some waves in 2017, but would you choose them?

The Soo Fighters: Another side project, this tribute to The Foo Fighters (of course) were formed from the instrumental members of pop rock cover veterans Cherry Crush and 3 Day Millionaires guitarist Jeremey Salatuk. We only saw The Soo Fighters on Halloween weekend at The Rockstar Bar, with future prospects unclear for non-seasonal events, but they recieved a positive response from Foos fans last fall, and would you rank them above last year's other debuts?

Vol.: Two years after their departure from The Pixo Control, Steve Edwards & Matthew Thibert returned to the scene this summer with their new indie/hard rock band Vol. (pronounced "volume"), alongside Aldous alumni Shane Storozuk and Mikaela Murtonen. Notably opening for bands like Zaum, Darsombra, and Dirtfight, as well as beginning plans for an album, Vol. have gotten off to a busy start to their local run, but were they your favourite new band of 2017?

Other: Did we miss a band that you'd rather vote for? Perhaps your favourite new band of last year was one who hasn't played live yet, like Abhorrent Forest? Maybe you had a non-metal, hard rock, or punk band in mind over these choices? Or maybe we forgot a band that debuted and played live in 2017 that should have been included all along? If, for whatever reason, we forgot a preferred choice, "Other" is for you!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until February 18th to make your voices heard, and it'll be interesting to see who wins out here in this smaller but still very talented rookie class. That's all for now, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Local Solo Album Releases, Shit Liver Updates, And More!!

Things have been somewhat quiet as of late, but we are back with a new news post on this Tuesday morning, featuring a few short new videos from each side of the border, and to kick things off, two new albums from regional hard rock musicians, so here's what you should know!

The newest album from Dafter, Michigan solo hard rock musician Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton was released as scheduled this past Wednesday! Entitled "Escape of the Desert Rat", this is his eleventh to be themed as a score for use in other media, though Ken visualizes it as a video game score, even giving it a plot outline on his website. If left up to him, the story is about a United States military colonel who leads an elite strike force team, but has to escape capture by Sudanese rebels, but potential licensees could theoretically adapt it as they wished. "Escape of the Desert Rat" is available for $9.99 on his Bandcamp page, and while it is his first new album release of 2018, remember that we will not be reviewing it this month. Instead, we'll be looking at SweetKenny's August score album "The Dogs Are Watching", as it's material is slightly heavier, so look for that review soon!

Also, while his scores remain his current focus, one new traditional original is now on his YouTube channel, so what should you know on it? Entitled "Bikini", it's a rock instrumental with a 1960s British Invasion vibe that fans of his older material should enjoy! However, I have chosen not to embed it here due to it's featured video (borrowed clips from a rap music video and of bikini models suggestively washing a car), as some of the content may be considered inappropriate or objectifying. Give it a listen if you want though!

Next up, here's another new solo hard rock album to take note of from a local musician, that being Sault Ontario's own Mike McCleary, who put out his surprise EP "Hourglass" on January 8th! This is not a renaming of the previously announced "Weight of the Truth", that's coming in the near future, but Mike noted on his Facebook page that he chose to release "Hourglass" first due to "the timeliness of its message." In particular, this five song EP addresses topics like assimilation, gender inequality, racism, and poverty, and how they are handled in reality. All five songs have previously been shared in varying forms on Mike's Soundcloud page, and if you're missing a favourite, watch for follow-up releases. It should be noted that Mike did release a debut album called "In Ruins" to online streaming services last June (before we discovered him for site coverage), but it has since been pulled from iTunes, Spotify, and Deezer, and was never acknowledged on Facebook, so he may intend to rework that album and/or it's songs.

"Hourglass" is available on Bandcamp for $4.95 and is also on iTunes and Spotify, so consider streaming or buying it through those sites to hear Mike's newest (first official?) release! As for when to expect a review of it... next month is very possible, though if teasers regarding "The Weight of the Truth" prove to see it's release in the coming weeks, we could pick that instead. "In Ruins" wouldn't jump ahead in line as it's not a "new" album anymore, and who knows if it's being tinkered with. In any event, February is very possible for our first ever Mike McCleary album review, so stay tuned for updates!

Also today, here's the latest from local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver, so what's new from their camp? Well, they will hit the road with a Southern Ontario tour run with Owen Sound sludgecore band Cruel Bloom early next month, which join a previously announced Windsor show in two weeks where they'll help open that city's thrash band Plague's CD release concert. No word on a local concert return yet, but it's great to see the guys keeping busy! Shit Liver have also been seen in a few news Facebook page videos from late last year, including this 2 second video from New Year's Eve featuring Matt Baic drumming while standing up. Ultra brief, but he's definitely in the zone for those 2 seconds! The other video is a proper live clip from their Hamilton concert at Doors in November where they opened for past local headliners Uncle Ray, as shared from attendee Zixuan Chen's page. While it's also brief (37 seconds), at least we get some solid quality footage from a high camera angle, so give it a look below!

Finally for today, here's some brief new videos from Sault Michigan independent label Werehold Records' YouTube channel, though these aren't your standard postings. Instead, these feature label head/Life's Eclipse guitarist Jason Mills testing five microphones across two videos by playing the same heavy guitar riff. You can see the second part (featuring a pair of MXL microphones) at this link, but embedded below is the longer video comparing three. I think the MXL 990 on the second video has the clearest sound, but the SM57 has a scratchier tone that might work better for a punk song. Compare for yourself above and below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on The Sault Metal Scene as the week rolls along! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The End Of Eclipse, New Mike Haggith Songs, A Local Punk Video From 1987, And More!!

On this Saturday afternoon, we have lots of stories to touch on, including some assorted recent updates, a 30 year old video from a big local punk concert, and a revived solo project's new material, but first, here's a note on a removal from our active band links!

We regrettably have to remove local hard rock quartet Eclipse from our band links due to the deletion of their Facebook (and only online) page at some point in the past few months, which seems to signal their second and final breakup. A reason for their apparent demise hasn't been announced, but rumours of internal issues have came up more than once last year, so read into those if you want. This does mirror the recent deletion of frontman Curtis McKenzie's solo Facebook page, though I don't know if the two were deleted for the same reason. As you may recall, the Haggith successors initially reunited early last year after their tumultuous original split in November 2016, with the guys notably opening for bands like The Hazytones, The Raygun Cowboys, and Speaker in 2017, among other events, with their tribute turn as "SSM of a Down" at The Algonquin Pub on Halloween weekend appearing to be their last public appearance.

Eclipse were a talented band with good chemistry and a fun selection of originals and covers, and their disbandment (and page deletion, sigh) is disappointing even if you factor in certain rumours. Hopefully we see Eclipse back down the road (or their originals/prior bands' songs carry over to a new project), best of luck to Curtis, Daniel, Fred, and Chris in the future, and don't miss Daniel in Jack Spades!

Next up, here's the first new original songs from former Din frontman/Haggith drummer Mike Haggith's solo project since the release of "The Warinside" in 2015! As you may know, Mike moved to Thompson, Manitoba for work last fall, and announced that he was resuming his solo project shortly beforehand, so we're starting to see some new material from him in this new year. Both of these songs were uploaded as solo performance videos to his Facebook page, and they are titled "Come On Home" and (as embedded below) "An Act of Strength". Both are acoustic solo performances in this current form, but Mike has indicated that a proper album entitled "Bridges" (source here) will come out later this year, presumably with a full band structure. The former song is more of a downbeat soft ballad, and while the latter has backing instrumentation and a drum track, it also has serious subject matter about a friend who survived domestic abuse.

It's great to see Mike finally getting his solo career back into first gear with some solid first demos, and remember, he has dozens of official studio albums, so this is old hat for him! Most of the Windsor-era ones aren't on his official pages anymore, but he still has a good deal of solo albums online to listen to, including some songs later played by his local bands. No word on if he'll resume work on "Neighbourhood Watch Revisited" in Thompson too, but check out Mike's new songs above and below, and visit his Bandcamp page to hear his Sault Ste. Marie-era solo output!

Also today, here's a surprising YouTube find: footage taken during Toronto hardcore punk band Hype's local concert appearance way back in 1987! This was uploaded to their promotional company Reuben Kincade Productions' YouTube channel late last month, and features the band arriving in the Soo for their show, setting up for it, and leaving for Winnipeg (you can see more of the trip there at this link.) Unfortunately, no concert video footage survives from this channel, but you can see that from other stops if you check out the other six videos of the tour. I wasn't born until May 1989, so I definitely can't comment on the scene as it was then, but you see lots of familiar sights on Gore Street surrounding this concert, including Rad Zone predecessor Radical Records (Paul Muncaster himself was key for getting Hype here), and there is a funny moment when Hype run into some kids going to a birthday party.

This video is a nice time capsule of downtown Sault Ste. Marie, but the audio quality is it's achilles heel, often sounding like the camera is attached to a propellor. You can't complain too much, as this is over 30 years old and no one could have forecasted putting this on the internet back then, but overall, kudos for putting this online! Hype themselves were an explosive and fun band, as you can see through other videos on the channel, and they were apparently the first hardcore punk band from Toronto to release a full length album, so it was cool to see them here on their second tour! Give this a look below, and see more from Hype at the above links!

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:

  • The opening band for the Big Wreck concert at The Machine Shop on February 13th was quietly announced last month, as Winnipeg alternative rock trio Attica Riots will join them on their "In Loving Memory Of..." 20th anniversary tour! Playing more of an upbeat power pop/indie sound in support of their new CD "Sunshine & Hysteria", they'll add an interesting contrast next month, so give them a listen as well, and get your tickets A.S.A.P.!
  • A musicians' competition is being held at Bird's Eye Outfitters at 107 East Portage Avenue in Sault Michigan on Saturday, January 27th, with gift cards awaiting the winners! There is a $10 registration fee, but solo artists and full bands are welcome, drums & a PA system are supplied, and while the term "battle of the bands" isn't being thrown around, this sounds like a fun way to showcase some local talent, so click here for more details! Also, if an outdoor equipment store strikes you as a peculiar venue for this, keep in mind that Bird's Eye Outfitters used to be Golanka's Bar, a.k.a. The Bird!
  • In advance of their live concert return TONIGHT at the Joni Radford benefit, Sault Ontario punk quartet Redundant announced on their Facebook page that they are recording their long awaited debut album at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones starting next month! This seems to imply that their 2012-2014 recording sessions are now completely discarded, but if they wanted to include Yannick, they'd have to rework things anyway.  Exciting news all around, Dustin is be a great choice to get this album sounding as good as possible, so stay tuned for updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site next week! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The 3 Day Millionaires) & This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

The second concert weekend of the year is nearing, so here's our weekend concert previews for you hard rock and punk fans! Barring any late notice announcements, here's what you should know for the next few days, starting with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, half on SHORT NOTICE!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will play their first concerts of 2018 TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT at Reggie's West, with newly announced returns to The Rockstar Bar on January 26th & 27th also now on their calendar! Apologies for the short notice on the Reggievelt gigs, those were only announced via their Facebook event page on Monday. After the cancellation of their planned Top Hat one-off show last week, this weekend's trip to the former Roosevelt Hotel will be a more familiar site for many fans as this veteran fan favourite group kick off the year in stle, having not played there since August. Meanwhile, the Rockstar Bar shows in two weeks are part of a batch of new concert announcements at that venue from their Facebook group (one more hard rock show is coming soon), and will be their first bookings at The Algonquin's upstairs venue in about three months.

It's great to see Steve, Jeremey, Bill, and Scott back at it finally in the new year, so don't miss them TOMORROW, SATURDAY, or in two weeks at either venue! All four dates have 19+ age limits, 9:30 PM-ish start times, and no cover charge. Visit the above links and this link for more details, and here are The Millionaires live at the latter venue!

Next up, we'll move to entirely previously announced concerts with the next weekend of acoustic matinee concerts from former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison, who will keep up his ongoing run of Gliss Steak & Seafood shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Now in the fourth calendar year of his weekly run at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, this will be the second week of shows since he began his biannual retraction from thrice weekly gigs to twice a week, so don't worry, you didn't miss a Thursday nighter today! Tym's unplugged hard rock covers have been a reliable source of live entertainment for years now at Gliss, so keep these next two in mind for our evening plans this weekend! Both shows have 6:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and no age limits, but remember that this is a formal sit-down restaurant. Visit the Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live in concert a few years back!

Also this weekend, we'll take a detour to The Northern Pines Lounge at the Kewadin Shores Casino  in St. Ignace, Michigan TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, where Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm will make their first E.U.P. appearances of 2018! Playing their third and fourth shows anywhere of this young year, these will be Scarkazm's first stops in St. Ignace in just under a month, and they should be another good opportunity to see Peril's sister band in our neck of the woods, so don't miss this fan favourite outfit this weekend either! As usual for their Kewadin stops (hopefully there's more coming), expect 9:00 PM start times for these dates, you must be 21 or older to attend, and there are no announced cover charges. Visit the official Facebook event pages (linked here & here) for more details on these shows, and for a preview, here's Scarkazm live last year!

Finally for today, we'll head back to Sault Ontario for the long awaited Joni Radford benefit concert at The Canadian Nightclub THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! As you may know, Joni is a local woman battling breast cancer for a second time, so this event is to help with medical expenses for her and her family during this difficult time. To that end, this benefit will feature numerous prize and raffle draws, plus a silent auction, toonie toss, pizza, and Northern Axperts' ax throwing cage, so be sure to visit the official Facebook event page for full non-musical details on Saturday! The musical lineup will include three local punk bands, including the long awaited return of the newly expanded  Redundant after a year+ stage hiatus (with debuting second guitarist Yannick Casavant in tow), and the second live concert appearances of punk trios A Dire Setback and Stegadeth's current lineups, so if you missed Chris' debut on vocals for the former or Johnny's debut on drums for the latter, here's your next chance!

Doors open at 7:00 PM for this 19+ benefit concert, and while tickets are $25, remember the charitable nature of this show, Joni and her family will appreciate all of the support! You can get tickets by phone from those listed on the Facebook event page, as well as at The Upper Deck Bar & Grill above the venue, and delivery is available for those who need it. I don't know Joni well, but she's a fighter with a good spirit, and hopefully she can beat this thing once again, so definitely consider coming to The Canadian for the cause on Saturday night! See above for more details, and here's Redundant (minus Yannick) live at The Canadian a few years ago!

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Crimson Crusade

It's now time for our first Defunct Local Band Profile of 2018, as we're continuing our monthly spotlights of 1 or 2 local metal, hard rock, or punk bands that, while no longer active, still deserve a revisit for current readers! This month's 100% random selection takes us to a prominent young metal band active locally from 2010-2013, so here's what you should know!
Crimson Crusade

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie/Hilton Beach/Thessalon, Ontario (credited as "North Shore Area Algoma" on Facebook)

Members: (Members not in their last full lineup in italics.)

Devon Lucier (The Dirty Few), vocals/guitar
Robert Sartini (Pillory, The Peach Thieves, The Issues), guitar
Riley Marshall, bass
Robert Crossley (Inhuman Methods), drums

Curtis Moir (Inhuman Methods), vocals
Brent Beaulieu, guitar
Brock Pinder, guitar

Audio/Video: Crimson Crusade independently released their only EP "Upon The Eve Of War" on June 3rd, 2013, as recorded with producer Dave Pihlaja that winter, and while it is no longer in print, you can stream it in full at this link via frontman Devon Lucier's YouTube channel (though their actual YouTube channel only has one early demo track.) A handful of late-period live concert videos can be found on YouTube as well, primarily from our YouTube channel, but here's a full set of theirs from one of their final gigs that October, during Six, Two, Oh.'s Big Loonie Bus Show in Echo Bay!

Info/Analysis: One of a cluster of young extreme metal bands to come out of Central Algoma Secondary School and their CASS Cafe events in the early 2010s, Crimson Crusade launched in the spring of 2010 and spent their first couple of years as a sporadically seen act in varying Algoma District settings, debuting at a Hilton Beach event that summer, and eventually playing their first Soo show at The Bellevue Park Bandshell in August 2011. After months of practice and some big lineup shifts, Crimson Crusade fully relaunched in November 2012 at that month's Locals Attack event at The Canadian, shifting from mostly covers to an original-heavy setlist, inspired greatly by the band Death. Notable local appearances in 2013 included that summer's Skeletonwitch, Warsenal, and Ahna concerts, though a brief breakup that summer stunted their post-EP momentum. The band played their final show at The Oddfellows Hall on Devil's Night, and announced in 2014 that they were "on a hiatus."

Though only briefly a prominent sight on Sault Ontario stages, Crimson Crusade got a lot done in a short time, and developed a brutal sound unlike any of their local contemporaries! They owed a lot to Death, but Devon could definitely channel Chuck Schuldiner with ease on vocals, he and Robert Sartini were a devastating two-pronged guitar attack, and Devon and Robert Crossley were also very effective during their run! While their 2010-2011 material and early lineups were works in progress, fans who followed along saw their evolution, and their EP helped validate their prior work. Hopefully we see the guys back at it in some form in the future!
I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! Next month in this series, our random selection will give us a more recent band than usual for us to spotlight, but one that deserves a spotlight nonetheless, they being classic metal rockers Project 421! Look for that on or around February 10th, and stay tuned for this weekend's concert previews next! Thanks everyone!