Friday, March 30, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Steves), New Album Releases, And New Videos!!

In what I project to be our final post of March 2018, we have lots of stories to touch on for this Good Friday, including some new videos, two long awaited album releases, and leading off, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Regina punk/power pop quartet The Steves will make their local concert debut when they headline at LopLops Lounge on Wednesday, May 2nd! Possessing a slightly lo-fi sound that bridges the gap between punk rock and indie/alternative styles, The Steves should be a fine fit at LopLops in just over a month's time, so don't bypass this one if you can hit a midweek concert like this! Local openers will include alt-punk trio A Dire Setback in their first announced concert of 2018, and just their second since their lineup contracted & Chris Nielsen took over on lead vocals. This show comes following A Dire Setback's commencement of debut album recording sessions, so how much will be revealed regarding that or it's sessions on May 2nd? Be at LopLops to find out, but it's great to see them back on stage! Indie/hard rock outfit Vol. will open in their own announced debut show of 2018, so if you were sad to her that they dropped out of next week's Shit Liver show, then here's your next chance to see this talented band in action!

Presented by Six, Two, Oh. in a rare LopLops booking, this show has a 9:00 PM start time, a $5 cover charge, and a 19+ age limit. This should be a fun show for punk and indie rock fans alike, so visit the official Facebook event page for details as they roll in!

Next up, we have two album releases to note on here, as former Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent has finally given his recent solo music a formal album release treatment! On March 20th and this past Sunday, Mike respectively packaged his prior and new original songs as albums for sale on a "name your price" model via his Bandcamp page, so now you can hear and listen to these as all of a piece rather than loose free song uploads! The former album is called "Ultimate Chaos", compiling songs he recorded in 2016 & 2017 for what were once intended as EPs called "Six, Six, Six" & "We Are Nothing", while the latter is called "Apocalypse" (pictured), which had it's last four new tracks posted in the past month, namely "Unit 731", "MK-Ultra" (no relation to the Sault Michigan band that later became NoXcape), "Annihilation", and "Infanticide". It's great to finally see Mike actually release his two solo albums, but can we expect to see reviews of them on the SMS?

Not next month, as I have Shit Liver's new album review coming to coincide with their show next week, but after that, we could see one as early as May! Between "Ultimate Chaos" (I'd go chronologically), The Din's "Suburban Sendoff", Abhorrent Forest's "To See Eternity", and newer SweetKenny releases, we're covered for new album reviews through the summer, even if nothing else comes out. In the meantime, stream or buy Mike's albums at the above links, and stay tuned for our review of "Ultimate Chaos" in mid-2018!

We'll close today with new videos, starting with defunct local alternative hard rock trio The Din, who shared this never-before-seen video onto their Facebook page from their headlining LopLops concert on January 27th of last year! This is of Mike, Tammy, and Brandan covering The Gin Blossoms' "Hey Jealousy", which also recieved a studio cover from their "cover of the month" series in 2016. Filmed on a stationary camera, it's a high quality video of this lively rendition, and while the sound's a little muffled, it's nice to see this year+ old video at last! Give it a look below!

Finally for today, here's a new video from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's Facebook group, as posted by keyboardist Craig Harrison on Tuesday, and it features him performing a dramatic organ-esque selection from recent songwriting sessions. There's not much to reveal beyond the performance, but it's well done and would add a dark overtone to a completed song, so give it a look below also!

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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Banned) & Easter Weekend Concert Previews!!

Despite approaching the holiday weekend, there's a fair slate of hard rock concert action to take in before the Easter Bunny arrives! With shows on both sides of the border, including SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS and some new band confirmations on two of these events, here's what you need to know on this Thursday morning!

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, these shows were only announced via their official Facebook event page on Monday, with Kewadin's entertainment page not listing these dates at press time. Two weeks removed from their most recent Soo gigs at the Dondee,  this will be Alex, Wayne, and Don's first weekend of hard rocking cover action at The Rapids Lounge of 2018. This fan favourite band should have another solid weekend of tunes in store for their Sault fans, so don't miss out TOMORROW and/or SATURDAY! As usual for Banned's Kewadin bookings, expect 21+ age limits, no announced cover charges, and 9:00 PM start times this weekend, so check the above links for more details, and here's Banned live a few years back!

Next up, Sault Ontario indie/hard rock quartet Id Iota will end their nearly year-long hiatus from the local stage when they headline at LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT! Though Espanola fans got to see the Free Beer successors live in February, this will be Id Iota's first Sault Ste. Marie date since May of last year, and will also mark their first local show since beginning recording sessions for their upcoming full length album, and since replacing Dan Linklater with an (oddly still unrevealed) new bassist. How will Id Iota sound and perform to kick off this new year? Be at LopLops tomorrow to find out! Local drone/noise rock trio Pointless (now featuring Id Iota's Dustin Goodall on bass in lieu of the relocated Jordan Leach) will hit the stage as well with their own unique original array, while a late surprise third band was confirmed on the Facebook event page on Monday, namely local/St. Catharine's folk rock trio Tea With Lincoln, who fans may remember from a number of high profile appearances in the early 2010s.

I believe it's been a few years since Tea With Lincoln played a local show, so be sure to welcome them back north tomorrow with their skilled folk originals! This 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge and a 9:00 PM start time. It's great to see a show full of familiar faces to help send out the month, and Id Iota should give a heavier edge to the proceedings, so check out more details at the above links, and here's Id Iota live!

Also today, fans can see ex-Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison three times to end the month of March, as he'll rock Gliss Steak & Seafood with matinee shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY, as well as returning to The Roadhouse Bar & Grill for a traditional nighttime show TOMORROW NIGHT! Tym's prolific and often heavy selection of covers always provides a good time for fans, and whether you're into a supper-time matinee at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, or a late night event in the east end, you have three options! It should be noted that Tym played at Mark's Breakfast Plus earlier this week in concerts only advertised on his personal Facebook page. Given the nature of the venue, I doubt these were private bookings, so I profusely apologize for missing them on here, we'd have covered them here had we known about them publically! Tym is still scheduled twice weekly at Gliss through at least the end of June, while tomorrow's Roadhouse show is the final one advertised on their Facebook event page.

If his bi-monthly schedule there continues into April, we'll know very soon (April 6th & 27th would be the next dates there if nothing changes), but we await firm public confirmation. All three shows do not have a cover charge, and while the Gliss matinees are at 6:00 PM with no stated age limit, tomorrow night's Roadhouse show is at 10:00 PM with a 19+ age limit. Click here and visit the above links for more details, and here's Tym live!

Finally for this weekend's currently announced hard rock concert previews, the second Musicians Competition at The Superior Cafe in Sault Michigan goes down THIS SATURDAY, and we now know more performers on the lineup! We already knew via the bands' own postings that local hard rock quartet Project 906 and alt-rock quintet (and defending champions) Midnight Logic would be in the field, but the venue revealed in this poster yesterday that Sault Ontario indie pop duo All Us Others will also return, while the fourth advertised band is The Ordinares, a debuting folk rock trio featuring 3/4ths of classic rock cover band Stuck in Reverse, though Bob & Troy played as The Tavern Stool Townies in January. They actually state their genre as "folk/punk", but their posted songs so far owe more to the former genre, though stay tuned in case they show off their punk side more! Other acts (solo and bands alike) are teased, possibly as they're still open to performer additions, but note that January's event had 9 competing acts.

A fan vote will determine the winning acts on Saturday, with money from band admissions going to the top three groups. This ALL AGES battle of the bands will have a 5:00 PM start time on Saturday, and while there are no announced admission fees for attendees at The Bird's successor venue, band registrations were $10, and fans who vote will get 10% off of drink purchased on Saturday. This should be a fun event for fans of original music in the E.U.P., but can Midnight Logic defend their crown, or will a new band take top honors? Be at The Superior Cafe on Saturday to find out, and stay tuned for more news and notes this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Seether, Don't Look Back, And The Sky's The Limit!!)

Finally, we have some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to tackle on this Wednesday morning, and there's some big ones to touch on from the last few days, so here's what you should know for these three concerts!

In the first of two new hard rock show announcements for The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, classic rock diehards will want to note the local debut of Arizona-based Boston tribute band Don't Look Back, as they'll hit the Soo Kewadin on Saturday, April 7th! Of course, local fans saw the real hard/progressive rock legends here in 2008, but this looks like the next best thing for fans of their classic hits like "More Than A Feeling", "Smokin'", and "Foreplay/Long Time", with Don't Look Back self-describing themselves as "an incredible re-creation" of Boston as they were in the 1970s. From what I've seen, they have the sound and the look down pretty well, so definitely keep Don't Look Back in mind for the Boston experience next weekend! Tickets are a very affordable $12.50, and there are plenty of seats available for this tribute show, so head to this link, the in person box office, or 1-800-KEWADIN to get hooked up. Don't look back on Don't Look Back, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, the third annual Sky's The Limit mental health fundraiser/awareness concert will take place on Thursday, May 10th at The W.W. Baldwin Auditorium at The Tech in Sault Ontario! Though curiously not advertised online yet, physical posters are floating around (I photographed this one at a Food Basics bulletin board), and there, it's confirmed that local blues/hard rock trio Electric Church will perform as this year's pre-determined headliners! After playing the first two installments via the performer auditions, now they'll be the featured attraction in their first announced show of 2018, so keep them in mind for later this spring! Christian rapper Tristan "Bold Noize" Goslow will also return for his own third year as an announced performer, so keep an eye out for his rhymes as well in May! As was the case in 2016 & last year, the night's remaining performers will be chosen following a private audition at The Tech on Thursday, April 19th at 6:00 PM, so for more details on the audition in person or via e-mail (if you live outside of town), visit this link for the official contact phone number and e-mail address!

Presented by Algoma Family Services as part of Children's Mental Health Week once again, The Sky's The Limit III has a 7:00 PM start time, it is ALL AGES, and tickets are $5 for individual attendees or $20 for families, so keep that in mind if you have a party of five+. I'm surprised that the online press isn't as big yet for this year, but this event has always been held for a great cause, and hopefully there's another solid turnout for the music and the mental health awareness alike in May! Visit the above links for more details!

At last, here's the big one, as South African hard rock/post-grunge trio Seether will return to the Sault Ste. Marie area for a headlining concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on Saturday, August 11th! A extremely familiar band to Rock 101 listeners thanks to hit singles like "Broken", "Fake It", and "Betray & Degrade" (among many others), this will be Seether's first local appearance in over a decade, following January 2008's Three Days Grace concert in Sault Ontario. It's awesome to have Seether back in our neck of the woods at last, and they've only gotten bigger since the last time, so look for more hard rocking fan favourites at this already highly anticipated concert this summer! Knoxville, Tennessee hard rock quintet 10 Years will also join Seether for this concert, in their own first Sault Michigan appearance since opening for Sevendust here in October 2010. Though still best known for their chart topping song "Wasteland", they've recently had success with their single "Novacaine", and it'll be great to have them back in the Soo in a few months' time as well!

A third band is to be announced, no idea on if they'll be local or another touring act. Presented by Allstar Promotions in their second Dreammaker's Theater show of 2018, this stop on Seether's Poison the Parish World Tour will take place at 7:00 PM on August 11th, while this is an ALL AGES event, and tickets go on sale THIS FRIDAY at 10:00 AM at this link, at the in person box office, and/or at 1-800-KEWADIN. The cost is $46, which is high as Allstar events go, but keep in mind how big Seether in particular are, and expectations are that this show will sell out quick, so get your tickets A.S.A.P.! No word yet though on potential VIP ticket prices or a possible meet & greet session. This should be a huge concert for the summer season, and it's been a long time coming for both Seether and 10 Years to return to the Soo, so check the above links for more details in advance of Friday's on-sale date! Also, a trailer video for this show was posted to the promoters' Facebook page on Monday, so what should you know on it?

Clearly dragging out the reveals for dramatic effect, the trailer features clips from Seether's music videos for "Remedy" & "Rise Above This", as well as both of 10 Years' biggest hits, along with imagery of the poster, and a radio dial rapidly shifting about. Effective promotion, so give it a look below, and remember, tickets go on sale FRIDAY MORNING!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews on the site next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Telephone & Address - "Monster" Review!!

Now's a good time for our 105th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're taking a look at local garage/lo-fi punk project Telephone & Address' fifth official CD "Monster"! Released via Harmisntus Productions on February 3rd after previously being announced back in March 2015, this is the first new Telephone & Address album in over a year, and resembles that release ("Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been...") in musical style. Telephone & Address are once again represented here by singer/guitarist Christopher Shoust on all instruments, and while Jackson Reed had joined on drums before the "Monster" release, the album was recorded well before his arrival. This album may have had some production input from AlgomA's Jamie Vincent too, based on Facebook postings in 2015, but he is not visibly credited in online copies. "Monster" can be bought for $10 or streamed for free on their Bandcamp page, and while physical copies would likely cost $15, Telephone & Address have not not yet confirmed a CD release.

Featuring 13 songs running for about 44 minutes in length, let's begin this review with the first song, "Line"! Definitely in the spirit of Telephone & Address' lo-fi roots, this song has a simple guitar riff paired with well suited drumming, the song fits with the band's established sound for non-acoustic releases! Chris' vocals take on an impassioned if nasally vibe, which fits the song but can be somewhat muddled in the mix here. My biggest issue with the song was the persistent hissing noise in the background, which sounds like someone left a faucet going in another room, but the song works well for Telephone & Address loyalists! Second is "White Noise", which musically sounds like a late 1960s classic rock song in structure, which isn't a bad thing! Despite the title, this song doesn't have deliberate white noise (at least in the foreground), and it has a lively vibe that puts Chris' distinctive vocals to good use! Though very lo-fi in recording style, it's a good contrast, and it's a fun song at this early stage of "Monster"!

The next track is "Can't You See This Is The End", which runs for an album-low 2 minutes on the dot. The opening 30 seconds is just a slow and isolated guitar performance, but when the song proper finally kicks into gear, it takes a 180 degree turn into a speed punk blitz devoid of any drums. Despite the jarring shift in tone, I like where the song's going, and it's arguably one of Telephone & Address' heaviest recorded songs, but it feels very unfinished. Drums and more varied lyrics would go a long way here, but when it's on, it's on! Next is "I Can Bleed", which was notably the only song posted online before the album's release. Drums are back here, and in a loud, catchingly rhythmic fashion, which is nice to hear! The song proper is mid-tempo but suitably dramatic with strong deliberate singing, and a steady riff that matches up well with everything! So far, this song would work the best in a non-lo-fi setting, if that makes sense, and despite an abrupt ending, it works well!

"Rejection" is next, which has another dramatic rhythm from it's guitar and bass work, but here, it's almost more evil sounding, and that's not a bad thing! If anything, Chris' vocals on the chorus sound forced when trying to match the song's emotions, and the song itself seems to get stuck in autopilot after a while without really breaking from the existing riffs and structure. I like where this song was going, and it's well performed, but it could use more variance and shifts to it's structure. Then we have "In The Gut", which is a faster paced punk number that seems to overdo the cymbals, but will definitely please fans of Telephone & Address' more punk-based tracks! This track has a fun vibe, isn't overlong, and the vocals are a good fit melodically, so this is another solid inclusion as we near the midpoint!

Seventh is the longest track on "Monster", the near seven minute long "Bang, Bang, Bang". The song begins in full gear with a mid-paced, heavy but not punishing rhythm with more muted singing, steady drumming, and more of a clear recording quality than on some of it's sister tracks! That said, the song is basically one short track that winds to a close, then suddenly restarts after brief silence, only to repeat that cycle two more times. The four chunks have some differences, but it strikes me as padding to basically repeat one 1:40 track four times and call it one song (though it is solidly performed!) Next is "Why Did You Fuck Up & Die?" (they titled it, not me!), which begins with pounding drums and melodic guitar work, which contrast fairly well with the angry lyrics and recitations of the song's title. The lo-fi recording helps set the mood particularly well here, and while the song does get a little repetitive by the end, it's an effective and to the point track!

Song #9 is "You Need", which feels like Chris had an acoustic number upgraded to electric status, thanks to it's casual, vocal-driven sound and airy yet gritty melodies. Similarly to "Bang, Bang, Bang", this song likes doing the "mini song, silent break, repeat" structure, but with a much shorter run-time, this only happens twice, which flows better and feels less like it's being padded out. It's a good song, but there are prior tracks I like more for the themes and instrumentation. Next up is "I'm Gone", which opens with seemingly programmed drums, simple yet distorted guitar, and unpolished singing that sounds almost like it's being sung in a trance come the choruses' lyric repetition. I can't deny this song's catchy qualities, and it almost has a grunge essence to boot, so this isn't a bad track at this late stage either!

Then we have "Outside", which is another of this album's more punk-influenced songs. The cymbals are slightly overdone again, but the guitar work is well suited to the structure, the vocals are a great fit in this form factor, and the length is perfect without the song getting too repetitive! Nothing too shocking to report, just a quality punk song from Telephone & Address that gets the job done without any undue risks! The album's penultimate song is "Spacious", which is also the only instrumental on "Monster". Thankfully, this isn't quite a reversion to the highly experimental "Rust Orchid" album, as it still has an outsider punk theme. If anything, it's a little more spacey, with some more psychedelic guitar riffing, which pairs well with the rhythm section, and while the lack of vocals is somewhat noticeable, the song has enough variance and melody to get by without it. I do prefer Telephone & Address with vocals, but for what this is, it's not badly performed at all!

The album closes with it's title track, "Monster", which has a bit of a Renderware quality to it, if that's fair to say. The song maintaining a steady rhythm and approach that is catchy, but always seems like the verses are drifting off as they're sung, almost like Chris is losing interest (though I'm sure that's not the case.) The accidental malaise aside, this is a well performed song, but it's abrupt ending and lack of varied emotions doesn't quite end the album on a high note.

So, what are my final thoughts on Telephone & Address' long awaited new album? Overall, it's a strong album that builds upon what Chris Shoust did on "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been...", with stronger instrumentation, less repetitive lyrics, and a better value for your dollar! As I've noted before, the lo-fi recording style and Chris' often nasally vocals won't be for everyone, but there is fun to be had here, with tracks like "I Can Bleed", "In The Gut", and "Outside" showing his fuller musical abilities well! There's enough of a genre spread here to please many fans, but the album still has some repetition and abrupt song endings to keep in mind, and "Bang, Bang, Bang" still feels like the same song repeated four times. The recording quality works for the genres on display and is recorded as such, so don't let that stop you from listening. I'm curious to hear what Chris has in store, especially with Jackson now in the fold, but give "Monster" a listen at the above links, and/or buy it today!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review! Next month, as part of our continued 2018 stretch of new album reviews, we will be looking at local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver's second original album "Hitting The Fan", in honour of it's release a couple of weeks ago and it's local release tour stop at The Algonquin Pub next month, so look for it in April, and stay tuned for more news and previews on here soon! Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 26, 2018

YouTube Channel Profile Series: The Danger Cats

After a quiet weekend on the site (stay tuned for big news on the concert front shortly!), we're back with this month's YouTube Channel Profile, our monthly spotlight of a YouTube channel whose content is at least half devoted to local metal, hard rock, or punk musicians and/or concerts! As always, this month's channel was randomly selected, and the channel in question has lots of entertaining videos from a notable local band's run in the early-mid 2010s, so here's what you need to know!
The Danger Cats (

Owner: A member of defunct local hard rock/punk quartet The Danger Cats (possibly singer/guitarist Kate "Kougar" Drew, but I'm not 100% positive)

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 4th, 2014; Videos posted from that day through August of that year

Channel Summary: The official YouTube channel for The Danger Cats, it features 12 videos from their local concert appearances, primarily at The Rockstar Bar, Esquire Club, and Docks Riverfront Grill (now the HD Sports Grill) in 2014. The only non-concert clip there is a Shaw TV interview.

Why You Should Watch: Fans of this all-female power quartet would be well served to check out this channel, which is loaded with videos from the height of their year and a half together! However, note that 2013 concerts featuring original singer Summer "Snow-Leopard" Stevens are not featured on this channel, nor are their final shows from 2015, with updates not continuing following their breakup that year.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

The Danger Cats Shaw Interview: Back in July 2014, The Danger Cats (minus drummer "Calico" Katie Maskell) were featured in a Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie interview with then-correspondent and prolific former local rock bassist Jonna (Nathan) Bouliane, intended for his "Boardwalk Sessions" series with other local musicians. Jonna isn't seen on camera for the actual interview, with title cards showing questions on how the girls met, how they came up with their name, why Kate formed the group, their musical background, how the local music scene was, their plans for that year, and where you could find them online. Though teased songwriting for an album didn't meet that end, you do get to see Kate and guitarist Paula "Panther" D'Agostino perform two acoustic originals in this interview clip, which is informative and arguably conducted at the right time during their run!

Cherry Bomb, Big Balls By the Danger Cats: Though a part of the original rock scene in Sault Ontario at this time, The Danger Cats played a few well received solo weekends at The Esquire Club as well, with a July 2014 show there being the source of three videos on the channel, including one cover of Blondie's "Call Me", and one containing both The Runaways' "I Love Playing With Fire" and The Scorpions' "The Zoo". Featured here is The Danger Cats covering both The Runaways' "Cherry Bomb" & AC/DC's "Big Balls", which both feature bassist Jamie "Jaguar" Van-Schooneveld on lead vocals. Though the lighting is hit and miss, the covers are lively and well performed all around, and their confidence was definitely building! Two more Esquire Club videos from a show the following month were their channel's last uploads.

I Love Myself Today and Metal Queen Cover by The Danger Cats w/ Marisa!: The Danger Cats were good friends with the members of local power metal quartet Late & Loud, so it was a no brainer for them to open for that band's one-off farewell show at The Rockstar Bar on August 1st, 2014. Two videos of theirs were posted from that night, including one with their original "Give Me" & The Scorpions' "The Zoo" (both with guest guitar work by Late & Loud's Jonathan Tiberi), but featured here is the channel's most popular video, of the girls covering Bif Naked's "I Love Myself Today" & Lee Aaron's "Metal Queen" alongside current Red & The Muscle singer Marisa Valois. This was a nice surprise for gathered fans, especially given Marisa's own vocal talents, and hopefully she and Brendan got a nice send-off before their move to Britain from this well received show! Despite fans in camera range, The Danger Cats were on point here!
I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Next month in this series, our random selection has given us multiple channels due to the first one only having one video, and the second being in the same boat. It's a triple header in April, as we're looking at the YouTube channels of C Auffrey (featuring a Hedley video; remember, random selection), the late Guy Thiffault (featuring a Hangdowns song), and excellentand (featuring a Treble Charger video.) Look for all of those then, and stay tuned for more news and this month's CD review soon! Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 23, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Michale Graves), New Videos, And Much More!!

Before everyone settles in for the Greyhounds' first playoff game, here's a new news post for your Friday reading needs! Along with some assorted recent news and notes, we have some videos from each side of the border, and to kick things off, a huge LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, so without any further adieu, here's what you need to know!

Former Misfits frontman Michale Graves will make his local concert debut on Friday, September 21st at The Canadian Nightclub!  Fans of the horror punk legends will recognize Michale as their post-reunion frontman in the mid-late 1990s, and as the voice as such classic songs like "Dig Up Her Bones", "Helena", and "Scream", it'll be great to see Michale perform songs like those and his newer solo material in person this fall! The tour proper is fully infused with horror punk entertainment, including "horror death/rock & roll" group Argyle Goolsby & The Roving Midnight (featuring the former frontman of Blitzkid) and Vancouver solo artist Nim Vind. The former have a solid darker take on this genre range, while Nim Vind have a Volbeat-meets-The Misfits quality that's intriguing, if that makes any sense! Local opening acts will include local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades, who are a beyond-fitting choice given how often frontman J.D. Pearce has covered Graves-era Misfits with his old bands!

One more local opener is to be announced. Promoted by J.D. Pearce, this ALL AGES (and licensed) concert has $25 tickets that are now on sale at this link, and while in-person and in-store availability has not been confirmed yet, keep in mind that "limited quantities" of tickets are available. Also, note the availability of $40 VIP tickets, including a meet & greet session! This should be a huge concert to help kick off the fall with, so if you're at all a fan of 1990s-era Misfits and/or horror punk, do not miss this show! Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's another new video from local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback as they continue work on their debut studio album! Posted to their YouTube channel on Wednesday, this behind the scenes video features Chris, Matt, and Nick discussing tempos and working in their jam room, as partially set over a song by the band Overlake. This is more of an off the cuff, "whatever happens" video, but you get to see A Dire Setback hard at work, and there is some levity from their banter! Give it a look below, and back them on Patreon for even more updates!

Also today, here's a new video from Eckerman, Michigan metal band Moss, in their first new public update in over three years! Last seen on the February 2015 Werehold Records Friday the 13th new music event, this band has finally resurfaced with a new song called "The Drive", as posted to the Werehold YouTube channel on Wednesday. An instrumental hard rock number, this doesn't have the technicality of some of Moss' labelmates, but it has a solid riff and an accessible sound, and it'd be interesting to hear vocals added! Give it a listen below, and Moss are back in our active band 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:

  • Project 906 guitarist Joe Jenkins is looking to join or launch a new band in the Sault Michigan area, interestingly as a bassist this time around. Joe has years of live & recording experience, can sing backing vocals if needed, is versatile for different genres, and has his own gear. This doesn't seem to mean anything negative for Project 906, who are still active with Joe on guitar, but if you're interested in enlisting Joe on bass, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Monday!
  • The Northern Vibe Festival will return to Ophir, Ontario (on the former Hempfest grounds) for it's fourth installment over the August 25th weekend! $75 early bird tickets are now on sale at their website, but full details and lineups have not been announced yet. Though never a metal or punk hotbed, the Northern Vibe Fest has played host to bands like The Billy Bastards and Gianni Gagoots in the past, and hopefully we'll see a few SMS-covered bands on the 2018 bill, so stay tuned for updates as they come in!
  • After a few days of cryptic teasers, Rotaryfest's Facebook page announced that Calgary classic rock/country trio The Stampeders (of "Sweet City Woman" & "Carry Me" fame) will be this year's announced headlining band on Stage 1 of our annual summer festival on Saturday, July 21st! While we have seen a handful of general cover bands from out of town since, The Stampeders will be the first non-tribute headliners on the main Clergue Park stage since The Road Hammers in 2009. This should be a solid attraction for fans of Canadian classic rock, so check the above links for early details on this year's Rotaryfest!

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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Project 906 & The 3 Day Millionaires), Plus This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

Another weekend is upon us, so here's this weekend's concert previews, including some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, largely on SHORT NOTICE! Just before we begin, I have two clarifications. One, despite the Sault Music Newsletter page's new advertising, Cherry Crush are playing at The Esquire Club this weekend, not Stiffler's Mom (who have been on a break since last fall.) And two, I am well aware of a major punk show taking place at The Canadian in September that will make you scream, but we're covering it in our next post to give it proper headlining emphasis. Don't worry, it's coming! Now, let's begin with those new concerts!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Days Millionaires will return to The Rockstar Bar for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, these shows were only announced via their Facebook event page yesterday. Almost a month removed from their last advertised shows, this veteran quartet will be hitting the Rockstar Bar stage for the first time in 5 months, so if you've missed them there or can't get to their Reggievelt gigs, these concerts should be right up your alley for more fan favourite classics! As usual for The Millionaires' stops at this venue, there are 10:30 PM start times in effect TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, you must be 19 years of age or older to attend, and there is no announced cover charge. Visit the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's The 3 Day Millionaires live!

Next up, we'll head to Sault Michigan for a show with more advance notice, as local hard/blues rock quartet Project 906 will compete in The Superior Cafe's second musicians competition on Saturday, March 31st! An official performer lineup hasn't been announced (yet?), but Project 906 announced their involvement on their Facebook page on Monday. No word on if this battle of the bands-styled event will be taking place bi-monthly (the first one was on January 27th), or if this is just the second attempt at one from the Bird's Eye Outfitters-contained cafe, but this should be another fun night of live music from an array of local talent once again! This time, money from registered bands awaits the top groups, which will be fan voted, so if you want in, sign up at The Superior Cafe A.S.A.P.! This will be Project 906's venue debut, though Billy & Joe played an acoustic set at the January competition. They will be up against January's winners, alt-rock quartet Midnight Logic, but I can't confirm any other acts at press time.

For what it's worth, the acoustic act from Stuck In Reverse's Bob Helsten and Troy Earls (that played in January) are named The Tavern Stool Townies, but I don't know if they're competing next week. This ALL AGES event has no announced cover charge and a 5:00 PM start time, with Project 906 apparently playing at 8:00 PM. It's great to see that this event is back for a second go-around, so hopefully there's a great turnout for fans and bands! Visit the official Facebook event page for more details!

Heading back to both Sault Ontario and this weekend's concert previews, fans will bear witness to the return of local/Toronto Celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide as they open for indie rock standout Jesse Merineau TONIGHT at The Speak Easy at Algoma University! Though The Tide ended their over a year & a half-long hiatus on St. Patrick's Day in Sudbury, this will be Dustin & the Jaaskelainens' first show in their hometown since July 2016, so if you've missed their Celtic tinged punk originals, be at The Speak Easy tonight! Personal Facebook postings indicate that Lake Effect drummer Chris Johns will be behind the kit for this show, a guest role has filled in the past with The Tide. Of course, Jesse Merineau and his solo band (including Electric Church and Caroline Divine alumni) will be playing this rare headlining concert riding the momentum of his new "That Night" music video, and fans of his well written, lovely originals should be right at home at Algoma University tonight!

Co-hosted by Algoma University Radio with sound via Crank Sound Distribution, this special Thursday night concert is ALL AGES, doors open at 8:00 PM, and $10 tickets are available at The Speak Easy, The Rad Zone, Case's Music, and the Thomas Walls School of Music, plus through Jesse himself (even via e-transfer if that's an option.) This sounds like a big concert to help continue Jesse's rise to his teased solo album and welcome back The Tide to local soil, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Dustin & company (including Chris) live!

Finally for this weekend's currently announced hard rock concert previews, we're unusually closing with the ever-prolific Tym Morrison, whose long-term weekly concert arrangement at Gliss Steak & Seafood continues for two more matinee shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY! After a busy previous week, Tym appears to only be playing at The Quality Inn's on-site restaurant this weekend, so fans of his unplugged hard and classic rock favourites know where to be for his prolific setlist this weekend! Remember, he will be playing at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill next Friday, if you're hoping to see him at a later or more eastern setting. As usual for Tym's Gliss concerts, expect these two shows to have 6:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and no age limits, but remember that this is a sit-down restaurant. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site soon, including something about a "famous monster"! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Another Local Metal/Punk Video Showcase!!

Today's SMS post is an all-video one, including footage from two prominent artists in a solo setting, and the latest from a Sault Michigan act, but let's start with the latest from local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback's debut album sessions! On Saturday, the guys announced on their Facebook page that they have finished recording the album's ghost/click tracks, and will be practicing to get tempos right before recording final copies. Though Bill Priddle is producing, the guys were working with his Pointless bandmate Dustin Goodall over at Unsalted Audio on this stage of the album process, and posted this video to their YouTube channel yesterday featuring frontman Chris Nielsen tracking a song with Dustin at the controls. The tight shots don't show a lot (perhaps intentionally), but things sound like they're shaping up well! Give this video a look below, and learn more above, and more still if you become a backer of A Dire Setback on Patreon for $1+ a month!

Next up, here's some new videos from local solo hard rock artist Mike McCleary's Facebook page, and apologies for the delay in these making the site! One video is a cryptic 50 second video featuring white noise, clips of his music, and footage of a fire, later saying "Coming Soon" in the top right. Embedded below though is a music video for his song "Lost", the opening track from his newly re-released album "In Ruins", which features lots of varied imagery and stock footage, from television static and monochrome stairways to a woman trying to untangle an enormous knot. I believe the cryptic teaser clip was referencing the "Lost" video more than the album, as both videos end with the same burning fire, for what it's worth. Mike does a good job putting together his music videos, they're well edited too, but I wonder if we'll get one with him performing at some point? Give Mike McCleary's new videos a look above & below!

Also today, here's the latest video from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's Facebook page, as shared from keyboardist Craig Harrison's personal Facebook page on Saturday! The video features guitarist Steve Giles (I think) playing an ethereal sounding musical section with an effects application on an iPad, as he has been known to do in select Theatre of Night songs in the past. The close up angle and lack of vocals add to the mood, and while it's not a complete song, this would add a nice background ambiance, so give it a look below!

Finally, here's a new jam session video from Redundant/Elements bassist James White's YouTube channel featuring him and three unidentified musicians (only one of which being visible on camera) playing an instrumental song. I don't know if this is just a recorded jam among friends, or if this is a new/revived band project, but the song has a harder essence to it, and a very solid guitar solo! If only the camera wasn't on a vertical angle. Give James and company a look below, and if this ends up being a SMS-fitting band, we'll let you know about them!

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

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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

Today's post is all about last month's and this month's polls on the SMS as we continue our "favourite _____ of 2017" poll run! Last month's poll is now closed, as we posed this question to you guys: "What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk album released in 2017?" Only 13 votes, though this was a jump in vote totals from the previous month, so thanks to everyone who case a vote! Now, here are the final results!

The Din - Suburban Dream (5 votes, 38.5%)
AlgomA & Shit Liver - Trading Faces (5 votes, 38.5%)
Other (3 votes,  23%)
Abhorrent Forest - "The End of Life" or "Ethereal" (0 votes)
AlgomA & Hooded Menace's split vinyl single (0 votes)
The Apocalypse Afterparty - Bufflesnort (0 votes)
Mike McCleary - In Ruins (0 votes)
Any of SweetKenny's 2017 score albums (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, given the vote totals, I'm not terribly surprised that digital-only albums and ones from solo acts received no votes, with the soft release of "Bufflesnort" and "In Ruins" being taken down for heavy revisions also not helping their cases here. I'm most surprised by the lack of votes for the AlgomA/Hooded Menace split, but with a longer, entirely local split with it's own release tour also coming out later that year, it's clear which one was a reader favourite. I can't speak for the 3 "Other" voters (perhaps some Pixo Control fans voted for Mike Mikus' solo debut?), but first place was a tie between last year's AlgomA/Shit Liver split cassette tape and The Din's final studio album, which both got high profile release concerts last fall and positive fan responses! As both got 5 votes, my tiebreaker in cases like this is which album was released more recently, as it had less time to get the same fan support, so the "winner" is "Suburban Dream", but that and "Trading Faces" were both solid releases to end 2017 with! Thanks to everyone who voted!

As for this month's poll, I'm once again posing this question to you guys: What was the biggest local metal, hard rock, or punk news story of 2017? For positive and negative reasons, 2017 was a very eventful year for our coverage (aside from one day in July...), and there was no trouble cobbling together 25 choices (plus "Other") for you all to pick from this month! From concerts to album releases, to band breakups, and everything in between, I hope that I covered the biggest stories from our covered genres last year! To make the poll, stories and news items must have primarily occurred in the 2017 calendar year, so don't look for the Big Wreck show or Re:Born's debut here (wait until our 2018 poll!) Of course, if I forgot something major, "Other" is an available choice, as I admit that I had a tough time debating some choices over others. There's lots of options below to pick from, so here's some info on all 25 news stories in this poll from last year!

AlgomA release splits with Shit Liver & Hooded Menace: No strangers to the concept of a split album thanks to their 2016 release with Chronobot, local doom metal trio AlgomA put out two splits in 2017, including a vinyl single with Finland's Hooded Menace in January, and their all-covers cassette tape split with fellow locals Shit Liver in September. Both releases got positive notices from fans, but where these your top story of last year?

Alter Bridge and In Flames hit Sault Michigan in May: One of the biggest hard rock shows of last year saw Orlando hard rock notables Alter Bridge and Swedish alt-metal veterans In Flames join forces for a well received concert at The Dreammaker's Theatre at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino. A lot of videos made their way online from this one, and both bands delivered with their old and new songs alike, but would you pick it in this poll?

Bankshot reunite for Guy Thiffault Memorial Concert: The second annual memorial show for late Hangdowns frontman Guy Thiffault brought numerous bands to The Canadian Nightclub in December, all seemingly returning after a break or a lineup change, but the most notable was the one-off reunion of late 1990s skate punk band Bankshot after a 17 year breakup! Featuring 3 members of their classic lineup, would you agree to select it here?

Bret Michaels rocks Kewadin Casino once again: Already well regarded by Hair Scare loyalists locally from his six prior headlining shows in the Twin Saults, Poison frontman Bret Michaels made it a lucky 7 in November when he headlined at The Dreammaker's Theater once again. As usual, attending fans had nothin' but a good time with his solo and Poison hits alike, and there's surely demand for Bret to roll back through, but would you vote for it?

CKY and The Wild rock The Canadian Nightclub in June: One of the biggest nightclub shows of 2017 in Sault Ontario saw the local concert debuts of Pennsylvania alt-metal trio CKY and Kelowna hard rock quartet The Wild, whose set lived up to their name! Also featuring Jack Spades' then-new lineup and A Dire Setback, this packed show gave fans quality looks at CKY's current sound and The Wild livin' hard & free, but was it the #1 moment of last year to you?

Diamond Head perform at The Rockstar Bar in September: After helping kick of the summer with CKY, promoter J.D. Pearce helped send it out by bringing British NWOBHM legends Diamond Head to Sault Ontario for another highly anticipated local concert bolstered with hits like "Am I Evil"! Also featuring Jack Spades and one of the final live sets by Project 421, The Rockstar Bar sure was rocking on this Saturday night, but does it have your vote?

The Din dissolves following final CD release concert: With frontman Mike Haggith moving to Manitoba late last year, his local alt-hard rock trio The Din announced their breakup following their farewell concert at LopLops Lounge in October, which doubled as their release show for their second and final studio album "Suburban Dream", with a belated live album also recorded that night. This sure was a bittersweet night, but was it also the most notable?

Dokken & Firehouse play at The Essar Centre: After a couple years away from local concert promotion, Sault Michigan's Superior Entertainment returned to that area in September with the regional returns of hair metal legends Dokken and Firehouse, though curiously across the border at Sault Ontario's Essar Centre rather than The Dreammaker's Theatre. Despite comparatively low attendance, the bands delivered for assembled rockers, but were you among them?

Gnaeus suddenly disbands in March: In one of the biggest SMS-covered band breakups of 2017, local post-punk/garage rock quartet Gnaeus surprisingly announced their demise last spring, despite publically storyboarding a music video the previous month. This talented quartet came out of nowhere in 2014 to become one of the most prominent local bands of the mid-2010s, including 2 battle wins and their "Meditations" CD, but did their end win here?

Grooves Music reopens as Crooked Music: A long-time staple of Sault Michigan business and music equipment changed hands and names last spring when Gary Hatch sold Grooves Music to solo musician/ex-Half Stupid frontman Zac Crook, who changed the music equipment store's name to Crooked Music and promptly refurbished the business, including bolstering their stock with a large selection of records. Things sound good at Crooked Music, but would you vote for it?

Handsome Sandwich debuts: In a lean year for metal, punk, and hard rock band debuts, Handsome Sandwich were one of the few to make a notable impact on concert stages with any regularity. Featuring Bear Hunters, Elements, and Winkstinger alumni, this punk/alternative trio became a fan favourite sight on local stages last year with their varied array of covers. We haven't heard much from them yet in 2018, but was their launch your biggest story last year?

HMV closes and is replaced by Sunrise Records: After a decade-long run as The Station Mall's resident record store, HMV began liquidation sales early last year as part of the entire chain's closure, shutting it's doors for good at the end of March. However, the location didn't stay vacant for long, with Sunrise Records coming to the Soo in it's place as part of their newfound national expansion. It's great to have a new music store, but would this change be your choice?

Jack Spades return with lineup overhauls: After a 9 month hiatus, local metal/punk quintet Jack Spades returned to the stage at the CKY concert in June, but it was the public start of major lineup changes in their ranks, with all but J.D. being replaced in time for that show (including new guitarist Daniel Horton), and by year's end, Rob Speers would join on bass, and they'd welcome back Tiffany Stocco and Johnny Belanger for good measure. Was this your top story in 2017?

Lita Ford & Great White's outdoor concert in St. Ignace: As part of Kewadin Casino's summer concert series at their St. Ignace branch, a rare outdoor concert took place there in June, where hard rock legends Lita Ford and (Jack Russell's) Great White took the stage for fans on the waterfront! Despite the drop-out of April Wine, this concert was well received and seems to have helped encourage more St. Ignace bookings, but does it earn your vote?

NLFB Meltdown battle takes place at LopLops Lounge: The only battle of the bands-styled event to take place in Sault Ontario last year was a local branch of the annual NLFB Meltdown competition at LopLops in April, with six acts competing to earn a slot on the Northern Lights Festival Boreal festival lineup last summer. Solo artist M.D. Dunn pulled off the surprising win over bands like The Din and Id Iota at this well recieved event, but was it your #1 choice?

Oh!No Music Festival debuts in Leeburn in September: Promoters Six, Two, Oh! revived plans to host a large-scale concert festival when they held the first annual Oh!No Music Festival at "Robbie's Church" in nearby Leeburn, Ontario last fall, which was a big hit with attendees and campers! Bands like Lightmares, Beaver Slap, Artificial Dissemination, the reunited Winkstinger, and many more took to the stage, and with year #2 announced, would you vote for year #1?

Pop Evil returns to The Dreammakers Theater: The first major headlining hard rock concert in the area of 2017 saw Muskegon rock standouts Pop Evil return to Sault Michigan on February 25th to wake the lions at Kewadin Casino once again! Featuring openers Badflower and Kaleido, this concert was another hit for the increasingly popular band and their array of rock radio hit singles, and fans surely are hoping for a return engagement, but is this your preferred option?

Project 421 breaks up in October: Another major band breakup in 2017 was the demise of llassic metal quartet Project 421 after a four year run (shortly before sister band Eclipse's quiet second and final breakup.) 421's end was more surprising, especially given their high profile resurgence in mid-2017, but they accomplished a lot in the mid-2010s and made lots of new fans that will hopefully follow to their successors Re:Born. Is this your top pick?

The Quiet Riot & Rock the Border Fest cancellations: In early 2017, Sudbury promoters CSA International announced plans to bring metal pioneers Quiet Riot to The Machine Shop in March, and then the Josh Todd-headlined Rock the Border Fest at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion in June. However, both were cancelled for differing reasons, with restless fans and online discussion a big point of discussion in the latter case. Did these sagas win your vote here?

Skeyes of Seven return after 2 year stage hiatus: Despite a talented pedigree with Sense of Truth, As It Stands, and Half Past alumni, local hard rock quintet Skeyes of Seven's live concert appearances have been sporadic at best, with their opening set at September's Project 421 show at The Canadian being their first since 2015. Fans welcomed them back with open arms, and while their debut EP and next show are still up in the air, was Skeyes of Sevens return your top story?

The Tea Party headline free ONTour concert in July: As part of the Ontario Government's ONTour concert series in honour of the province's 150th birthday, Toronto hard rock trio The Tea Party came back to Sault Ste. Marie for the first time in almost 20 years with a free concert at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion to a rousing response! Also featuring Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, Andrew Hyatt, and McLean, this was a nice surprise over the summer, but do you agree?

Theatre of Night launch their Christmas tour in December: After years spent as a 2-3 man studio project with occasional female vocal input from overseas, Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night announced a Christmas tour for the holidays, including shows at the renovated Soo Theater and in Pickford, plus dates in Jackson and Midlothian, Illinois. Their metalized Christmas carols gave a boost to the holidays, but were they your favourite item out of all others here?

Theory of a Deadman end year with Kewadin show: Ending 2017 with a bang, Allstar Promotions brought Burnaby, B.C. hard rockers Theory (of a Deadman) back to Sault Michigan for a sold out new concert, with fans eager to hear old and new originals alike, including their new hit "Rx (Medicate)"! Also featuring a return east from Munising hard rock quartet Infathom as openers, was Theory's December 30th show here your top story last year?

Treble Charger return for LopLops headlining concert: Despite promotion being oddly under the radar for a while, local/Toronto punk/indie quartet Treble Charger played a sold out "sneak peak" concert at LopLops Lounge last summer to end a 2 year public hiatus, with a Kingston festival date also following. Also featuring A Dire Setback as openers, it was great to see Greig, Bill, and company back, but would you agree?

Vol. debuts: Last year's other major hard rock band debut in Sault Ontario, Vol. (pronounced "volume") merged Pixo Control and Aldous alumni into a high energy indie/hard rock outfit that became a frequent sight at shows in mid-late 2017, including a trip to Leeburn for the Oh!No Fest, and preliminary plans for a debut album were also announced. We haven't heard much from Vol. yet this year, but was their debut your #1 story?

Other: Did we miss your favourite story of 2017? Perhaps a band debut, concert, album release, or general news event that we didn't address was your pick as last year's biggest story on the metal, hard rock, or punk spectrum? If we missed your preferred choice, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until April 18th to cast your votes, and it'll be interesting to see what comes out on top over the month ahead! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

New Albums From Shit Liver & Mike McCleary, Plus A Dire Setback's Album Plans!

We're back with a new news post for your Friday morning reading, and we're almost entirely focused on new albums today, including 2 (well, 3-ish) new albums on sale this week, plus one more now underway, so here's what you should know on those and related topics!

Local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver released their second full length album "Hitting the Fan" as scheduled on Tuesday! Yes, this fan favourite metal group have finally unveiled their sophomore studio effort via their Bandcamp page, and you can now buy it there for $5, while vinyl record copies of the album are also now on sale via mail order! They have 550 hand numbered discs in red vinyl stock, with a poster and lyric sheet in the package, and they are taking orders before they hit the road. "Hitting the Fan" on vinyl costs $20 + shipping, so e-mail if you must have a copy of the album before (or if you can't attend) their tour! The album proper includes 10 songs, namely "Evacuation", "Makes Me Sick", "Just Take It", "It Won't Change", "Liverated", "Cirrhosis", "Matt Got Beat Up By Cops", "Livin' In Shit", "Wait", and the title track, which just about covers their remaining original material that hadn't made it to their debut CD!

Also, belated apologies for erroneously indicating that "Unabomber" was their own song, it was originally by the band Macabre. You can also buy "Hitting the Fan" on vinyl at The Algonquin Pub on Friday, April 6th during their local tour stop, but there has been a lineup change, as local indie/hard rock quartet Id Iota have quietly replaced Vol. on the bill for unannounced reasons, though note that Vol. never publically acknowledged this event. Hopefully all's well in Vol.'s camp, and Id Iota's addition maintains the widely varying genre spread for this concert, so see above for more details on it! Speaking of which, Shit Liver also announced the entire run of tour dates in support of "Hitting the Fan" on their Facebook page yesterday, which confirm that they will kick off the tour right here on April 6th, before heading out west to British Columbia, then across country to the Maritimes, before finishing up in Quebec and Peterborough in mid-May, with only Newfoundland and P.E.I. not covered among the 10 provinces.

Note that if a Soo encore was to be scheduled, it'd have to take place on April 26th between their planned Thunder Bay and Timmins dates, but that is strictly a hypothetical scenario on my part. It's surprising that they don't have a St. Catharine's date on the tour (granted, they tend to play there more often enough), but it's great to see everything shaping up well for "Hitting the Fan" and their upcoming cross-country trek! See above for more details, and look for our CD review next month!

Next up, here's another new album release of sorts, namely local hard rock solo artist Mike McCleary's revamped debut album "In Ruins"! Originally released in June 2017 to streaming services before being taken down for revisions (including re-recordings, new cover art, and track removals), this self-produced and recorded album now features the songs "Lost", "Naive", "Childish Leaders", "Aylan", "Disavowed", "Introspection", and "Bad Hand". Of these songs, only "Naive", "Disavowed", & "Aylan" were on the original version of "In Ruins", unless Mike renamed certain tracks, with the other songs (including all acoustic variants) being removed or shifted over to his prior full length album "Weight of the Truth." Despite being his original first album, Mike noted on his Facebook page that he considers "In Ruins" to be a sequel to his January EP "Hourglass", and as such, has released the two albums in a special combined release called "Weight of the World" also!

That release also contains one bonus track not on either prior album, an instrumental named "Bismarck" that Mike teases is a preview of styles to expect on his next album after these. "In Ruins" is now on sale on Bandcamp for $5, with "Weight of the World" going for $8 (which is cheaper than buying it's source albums separately), and you can stream both there as well! That all said, don't expect a review of either album until August at the earliest due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer, but "Weight of the World" is my preference for it's amount and exclusive track. Mike's working at a fast pace on his new material, so check out his talented array of music above!

Finally, I can't put this off any longer: Local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback have begun pre-production for their debut album, and YOU can help make it a reality! The guys have launched a Patreon page to help crowd-fund the album, but unlike Kickstarter, the aim isn't necessarily for one goal, but to support ongoing creative work, with exclusive perks and content for paying regularly each month (Theatre of Night attempted a page there back in 2015.) A.D.S. indicated on Patreon that Treble Charger guitarist Bill Priddle is producing the album, and all proceeds from Patreon will go toward mixing and mastering their debut, with individual song releases expected when ready, plus they implied that help will be needed when picking album artwork and making music videos. If you donate even $1 a month, you'll get exclusive content on Patreon, but giving up to $30 could get you first crack at tickets, autographed merchandise, exclusive offers, name credit in the liner notes, and more.

A Dire Setback have begun work on click tracks and setting tempos for their originals, and while "exclusive video access" for Patreon backers is teased, they did post one public video to their new YouTube channel on Thursday, which features Chris, Matt, and Nick playing "Catastrophe" in studio (and in black & white.) Raw and unpolished, but the guys are on their way and very serious about getting this album complete! It's surprising that they're moving so fast despite playing live just once with this lineup so far, but hopefully this crowdfunding campaign takes off where prior local music ones didn't! See above and below for more on their album plans!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's poll results and our new poll on the site next! Thanks everyone!