Thursday, October 29, 2020

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Fort Creek), New Videos, And More!!

As you may have gathered by the lack of proper news posts yet this week, things remain slow for local metal, hard rock, and punk activity, which is very atypical for Halloween week (especially with Halloween on a Saturday this year.) Of course, this is not a normal year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial and state restrictions on nightclubs, and social distancing & closing time restrictions on the few places that are hosting live concerts. As such, we only have one pair of newly announced shows from the same band to cover here for SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (and for clarification, J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween Party at the Algonquin Hotel is not taking place.) I'm hopeful that 2021 will bring some more normalcy, but hopefully everyone can make the most of a screwy year and have some spooky fun in a way that keeps everyone safe this weekend, and if you bring the kids trick-or-treating, use common sense. Now, here are those new shows and a couple of new videos!

Local southern hard rock quintet Fort Creek will return to Reggie's Place on Queen Street East for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, with the latter being the venue's Halloween party! Apologies for the short notice, these shows were only announced on the band's Facebook page on Saturday.  These will be Fort Creek's first dates since rocking Reggie's West two weeks ago, but fans at the re-opened downtown Reggie's will have waited four weeks for their brand of southern-tinged hard rock covers. TOMORROW'S show is business as usual (well, given the circumstances), but SATURDAY'S will indeed have a Halloween costume contest, with attending fans picking the best male and female costumes, plus the scariest costume. Keep all of that in mind on SATURDAY, but be advised that venue rules do not allow Halloween masks that cover the whole face (obviously, COVID face masks are still required.) As such, you may want to get creative if you are entering!

8:00 PM start times, 19+ age limits, and no announced cover charges are in effect for TOMORROW & SATURDAY's concerts, and despite the holiday weekend festivities, capacity limits are still in effect at Reggie's, and don't forget your face mask. Hopefully this weekend's shows are hits for Fort Creek, so see above for more details, and here they are live! Also, note that SooToday's entertainment page lists a band named "40 Creek" as playing a Johnny Cash tribute set on Saturday afternoon at The Moose Lodge. If this is a typo, Fort Creek haven't publicized it (we'll let you know if they do), but Forty Creek is a brand of domestic whiskey.


Next up, we'll close with a couple of new videos, including a new song from local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison's YouTube channel! His first upload there since his last Motley Market live-stream on September 5th, and his first original song upload since the summer, this is for his song "Together In The End", a ballad about a couple forgiving each other for the sins of their past. Pretty song with a bit of Tym's usual guitar tricks before the bridge, but it can be a little repetitive in structure as it goes. Check this one out below!

Finally, here's a new audio cover from new local acoustic hard rock band The Isolation Sessions' Facebook page on Monday! Now featuring what appears to be their full quartet lineup (complete with Chris on a cajon or equivalent hand drum), this is a cover of Seether's "Plastic Man", and they even set the audio track to a slideshow of relevant images with lyrics. Nice and laid back rendition, but it would be nice to see a video with the full group. This works in the interim, so check it out below!


That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes when enough material for a post rolls in, and if all else fails, our next "Where Are The New Albums?" post could be bumped up to Sunday. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

YouTube Channel Profile Series: black cloud, Frank Thomas, and Dave Prendergast

Here is our last monthly feature post of October 2020, namely this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! This ongoing feature looks at up to 3 YouTube channels whose content is at least half devoted to local metal, hard rock, and punk acts, all of which are randomly selected from our active YouTube subscriptions. This month, we drew 3 channels, as the first only had 3 audio demos, which means I only pull one to feature in the post, so I added two more channels who only had one SMS-relevant video. Still, there's some interesting stuff to see, so here's what you should know!

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black cloud (http://youtube.com/channel/UC9DYv-NpD7poW1R839JBdcA)
 

Owner: Black Cloud project leader Peytan Andreola


Channel Timeline: Launched on November 5th, 2019; All videos uploaded on July 26th, 2020


Channel Summary: The official YouTube channel for local death/trance metal solo project Black Cloud, it used to feature more content than what is currently present (including their full debut album "Abstract Sounds"), but a swath of video deletions preceded the upload of their remaining three audio demos (a self-titled song, "Bloodbaiting", and as embedded below, "Ghost Stomp"). Black Cloud's minimalist brutality is still a work in progress, but there is promise on these demos, and hopefully Peytan keeps at it into the new year!

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Owner: YouTube user and area resident Frank Thomas

Channel Timeline: Launched on August 10th, 2012; All videos uploaded on July 26th, 2020

Channel Summary: While still actively used for personal needs, Frank's only video is from California punk legends The Offspring's headlining set at GFL Memorial Gardens on November 19th, 2019, where he filmed their three opening songs (
"Americana", "All I Want", and "Come Out & Play"). Despite a vertical camera angle, this relatively central video captures lively and faithful performances from The Offspring (albeit with Dexter's deeper modern voice), and this is definitely worth a watch for fans who saw or missed this show last year! There are a lot more videos on YouTube from this show courtesy of other attendees.

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Dave Prendergast (http://youtube.com/channel/UClVaIeCdzMZVVdmvnoSYL7g) 

Owner: Former Nebraska Arms, Gilmour, and Small Town Rivals guitarist Dave Prendergast

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 4th, 2009; Videos posted that day and on September 17th, 2010

Channel Summary: Aside from a 10 second video of him jousting at camp a'la American Gladiators, Dave's only video here is of his late 2000s indie punk quartet Nebraska Arms playing their original song "Clockwork" at the original Coch's Corner location on Boxing Day in 2008. The band was represented here by Dave alongside the late Guy Thiffault (The Hangdowns) on vocals & bass, Wayne Watkins (Northwest) on guitar, and Adam Sauve (Renderware) on drums. The scratchy audio is a hindrance, as can be the tight camera angle, but this was a solid performance by this talented new group, and luckily, there are more videos of theirs floating around elsewhere!

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I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! This series will return on or around November 27th when we look at YouTube user jonasgasperas' channel, featuring 10 videos of Jonas' old metal band Winkstinger from their original heyday! That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Treble Charger - "Wide Awake Bored" CD Review!!

It's now time for our 136th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, but with nothing new on sale and little to tie in with re: live concerts, we're dipping into the archives once again for a look at inactive local/Toronto indie/punk veterans Treble Charger's fourth album "Wide Awake Bored"! Released on July 25th, 2000 by ViK Recordings & BMG Music Canada (and on April 24th, 2001 in the United States with alternate cover art by Nettwerk Records), this album was recorded at Grandmaster Recorders, Kings Sound & Pictures, and Sound City Studios in the metro Los Angeles area, and was produced by Matt Hyde. Treble Charger are represented here by singer/guitarists Greig Nori & Bill Priddle, bassist Rosie Martin, and in his studio debut, drummer Trevor McGregor (who joined after the recording sessions for 1997's "Maybe It's Me", but appeared in it's liner notes & music videos.)

As well, veteran session drummer Don Heffington provides additional percussion on three songs (including the opener), while Wallflowers/future Foo Fighters keyboardist Rami Jaffee guests on the other two songs featuring Don. "Wide Awake Bored" remains Treble Charger's most successful album, going platinum in Canada and sourcing four songs on EA Sports' soundtracks for the games NHL 2002 & Triple Play 2002. The band also received two nominations at the 2001 Juno Awards (one for Best Rock Album), and performed live at the ceremony. You may find copies of "Wide Awake Bored" in record stores, but it can easily be streamed on services like Apple Music & Spotify. Song names below are linked to YouTube copies, but consider buying the album to support the guys' work!

Featuring 11 songs running for about 40 minutes in length, let's begin this month's CD review with it's opening song, "Brand New Low"! The second single from the CD (despite it's MMVA-nominated music video taking place after the events of the next song), this one seems to be about questioning your past actions in the context of a failed relationship. The isolated intro and slightly distorted vocals from Greig build into a strong full band verse and an exceedingly catchy chorus with nicely layered vocals. The heavier punk-leaning portions of the song are where this one shines, and I like the guitar melodies, though the chorus repetition is a little much late, and Don's added percussion flew under the radar somewhat. A solid opener to the album, and it's easy to see why this is one of Treble Charger's signature punk-era songs! Next up is the album's first and the band's best known single, "American Psycho", whose music video preceded the album opener chronologically.

A #4 hit on the Canadian rock radio charts, a 2001 Juno nominee for Best Single, and an inclusion on Big Shiny Tunes 5, this song is basically about becoming famous at any cost, and is not visibly about the book & movie of the same name. Immediately significant as their most pop-punk song yet in this late stage of their original run, the upbeat guitar riffs, Greig's melodic and somewhat rapid vocals, and solid drumming from Trevor pair well here, and the somewhat bitter lyrics are a good contrast! Nothing too shockingly ambitious, and the bass could have been louder, but this is a strong pop punk song that is fully realized, and it deserved it's original success! Third on the CD is "Business", also the album's final single, and whose music video completed that story arc with their jailbreak. Lyrically about wanting clarity about a relationship on the rocks, this is the most up-tempo and upbeat song yet, and I like the skate-punk vibe with the structure, but the isolated guitar noodling spots don't add anything to the track.

By now, Treble Charger had a good ear for melodic sing-along verses, and Greig puts that to great use here, but the soft bridge was a buzz kill, and this was another song that didn't really let Rosie's bass work come out in full. Still, this is a fun song while it lasts, though it's deep cuts from here on out, given that the 3 singles are front-loaded on the album. Next is "Cheat Away", which seems to be about a final send-off for a love interest who doesn't want to let go. The first song on the album with Bill on lead vocals, this song has a very Foo Fightersy vibe that would have fit well on "Maybe It's Me". More of a reserved power pop song with little of the preceding punk energy, this is still a nice composition that serves as a good showcase for Rosie, and it runs for just the right amount of time. Fifth on the CD is "Funny", featuring guest appearances from both Don Heffington and Rami Jaffee.

The longest song on "Wide Awake Bored", the title is actually ironic, again referring to a strained relationship and how a key admission is "not funny anymore". Here, the lyrics do match the musical ambiance, which is slower, darker, and more mature. Not a bad composition, and I was surprised to hear a bit of a guitar solo! Greig's vocal tone isn't a perfect match for the intended mood, but the song has the right atmosphere and puts everyone to good use on their instruments. Definitely a sleeper pick, and a nice change of pace! That's followed by "Favourite Worst Enemy", yet another song about a broken relationship, this time about missing someone despite their clear disagreements. We're back in upbeat pop punk territory here, albeit in a much lighter and breezier form factor, though the bridge is a little more aggressive. The song is good, and it has solid drumming from Trevor throughout, but it runs for about a minute too long, and it doesn't have the passion or the slight punk edge of earlier standout tracks.

Song #7 is "More's The Pity", which seems to be about admitting personal fault and acknowledging having multiple personalities in conflict. Bill returns to lead vocals here, and once again, this song feels very reminiscent of The Foo Fighters. I like how the track builds into the choruses with a nice extension of his vocal range, and the mini-guitar solo was welcomed! While not a super-aggressive song, it's catchy enough and has a nice melody to it, and the drum track compliments everything well! Next is "I Don't Know", with lyrics alluding to confusion & uncertainty about one's place in life. Another Bill-sung track, this is more of a throwback musically to Treble Charger's first two CDs, thanks to it's reserved indie rock nature. This song is pleasant and well constructed by all involved, Bill's singing is very fitting, and it's nice to see that they hadn't totally abandoned their mid '90s roots. At the same time, it's a huge outlier in tone, and alas, it may have been buried late in the album for that reason

After that, we get "Wear Me Down", which has themes about anger and revenge, albeit in a one-sided conversation. If you prefer Treble Charger's Greig-sung pop punk side, you'll be right at home with this tight and direct number, which benefits from another fun sing-along chorus, plus solid guitar riffs and a fitting contrast between the music and lyrics. Fun song and a late album higlight for genre fans that stands up with the opening three singles, if not in length! The penultimate song is "Another Dollar", also the CD's shortest song, and this one has more lyrics about a strained relationship, albeit with more metaphors. More of a mid-tempo punk song with a tone more fitting the lyrics (though not to the extent of "Funny"), I like the structure and themes, and it's a nice bass showcase with good vocal melodies, aside from the high pitched "Why do we even bother?" at the end. Compared to the more upbeat and longer punk songs, this isn't as strong overall, but it's certainly not a bad track on the CD.

"Wide Awake Bored" closes with "Just What They Told Me", which features the album's last contributions from Rami & Don, and last of four lead vocal performances by Bill. Lyrically about questioning your place in life and what is expected in public, this is the fourth & final song with Bill on lead vocals, and it actually reminds me a bit of Oasis, which I wasn't expecting! More of a sorrowful song with a nice keyboard line at the midpoint, it is a bit of a downbeat note to end the CD with, but it's well composed with a real maturity, and would be right at home on their first two albums. So, what are my final thoughts on Treble Charger's fourth CD? Overall, this is my favourite of their studio albums to date, and while going down the pop punk path likely wasn't Bill's vision, it rightfully gave them their biggest successes. While "Maybe It's Me" bridged the two sounds, punk fans of the turn of the era had a lot to like here!

More often than not, the seven Greig-sung tracks delivered a fun, upbeat brand of pop punk that utilized strong guitar melodies, with the singles and "Wear Me Down" fully realizing that, but the dark ambiance and themes of "Funny" were also very well done. Of the four songs with Bill on vocals, I gravitated to "Cheat Away" & "More's The Pity", but I concede that early fans will likely disagree. Rosie's bass playing was solid when audible, and Trevor left a good first impression on drums, but aside from Rami's keyboard work on the closer, I don't find the guest spots added a whole lot. There's still enough genre variance to please multiple tastes, but here, outliers are even more apparent, and I believe the disparity is even greater (if not absent) on their follow-up "Detox". However, with strong production, fun pop punk originals, and a very talented core, "Wide Awake Bored" was their peak effort yet, at least to this reviewer, and it still holds up! Buy or stream it above, and I hope you liked this review!

As for next month's CD review.... I have no idea what's next. Next week's "Where Are The New Albums?" post may offer ideas, but with album releases and live concerts severely impacted by the pandemic, I couldn't begin to make a prediction. In any event, our next review will not be of a Treble Charger, Inner City Surfers, or Chase Wigmore album due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer period. Stay tuned in any event, and for this month's YouTube Channel Profile next! Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Another Inactive Band, New Videos, And More Assorted Updates!!

We're back with a new post on this rainy Friday, and it includes some shorter stories from the last little while, new videos from this month, and leading off, details on an apparently inactive band. Here's what you should know!

I have moved local gore/punkgrind duo Rotopsy to our inactive band links. The band has not made a public update since sharing a song for an unrelated project on their Facebook page one year ago today, before their page was besieged by irrelevant hacked posts throughout the first quarter of 2020. An enduring staple of guitarist Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson's independent record label Blood Shed Productions and their run of mid-2010s concert bookings, Rotopsy debuted under the Spitneck name in 2012, and quickly settled into a prolific groove with many demo CD recordings, often with a decidedly un-PC bent. Arguably the best known of the mid-2010s grouping of local two-man bands, readers may recall Tyler, vocalist Dylan Taylor, and their drum machine opening for bands like Bookakee, IDNS, and Reanimator, as well as playing at events like Swampstravaganza IV, Das Bunkerfest, and numerous house parties, and even touring a bit in the summer of 2015.

Rotopsy updates slowed to a crawl after 2016, but they did sporadically work on new studio material, and they hosted a New A concert in February of last year. Like their sister band Crucify The Whore, their minimalist nature, often indecipherable vocals, and controversial imagery made Rotopsy an acquired taste for many, but their live concerts had a bouncy yet heavy appeal, and Tyler & Dylan were clearly having fun doing what they wanted, even without shoes! Hopefully we see Rotopsy back at it down the road!

Next up, here's some new videos, starting with local classic hard rock quartet The Uncanny Valley's first full-length studio-recorded song "Middle Man", as per their new YouTube channel two weeks ago! Apologies for the delay, I've had a lot going on personally this month. The video description publically confirms that the guys are in fact working on a studio album, which is somewhat surprising given their age and minimal live appearances to date, but the talent's there, and fans of their retro-influenced sound will take to "Middle Man"! Give it a listen below, and stay tuned for updates on The Uncanny Valley's debut CD when they roll in!

Also, here's a new vocal cover of Guns N' Roses' "Patience" (more specifically, Chris Cornell's posthumous cover) by ex-Sense of Truth frontman Cory Murchison! Uploaded to his YouTube channel yesterday, this is a well done rendition that has a little extra grit to it, but keep in mind that this is a cover of a cover, and I'd be curious to see how Cory would tackle the original song. Give it a watch below!

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

  • Local alternative/hard rock solo artist Mike Haggith's song "The Best You Never Had" was spotlighted in The Permanent Train Press' "Under The Radar" feature last month on new independent song releases that the site recommends readers check out. Contributor Natalie Dee complimented the song's lyrics, themes, and 1980s-inspired power pop sound, and it's a nice plug for new listeners! Give a it a look at this link!
  • Local hard rock musician Mike McCleary quietly resurfaced in February with re-releases of his old original songs "Date Night With Darkness" & "What You've Done To Me" on his Bandcamp page! Both are for sale on a "name your price" model, and include additional information about their mental health-inspired composition. The latter definitely sounds pumped up a bit compared to it's copy from it's eponymous album, and it's great to see that Mike was back in action earlier in the year!
  • In a presumed follow-up to his Musicians Wanted Facebook group posting from January, Mustang Sally guitarist Mikhal Muto is looking for a bassist between 14 & 20 years old to join his new punk band, now named Vanity. Songs the group plays include covers of bands from Green Day & NOFX to Rage Against The Machine and The Foo Fighters, among others. Vanity already have a bass cab and head provided, and candidates must be available to jam once a week. Message Mikhal at this link or above for more information!

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

New Videos From The Last Week Or So!!

After taking a few personal days off from the SMS (read our post from Sunday for more information), let's try to get back into a normal-ish schedule for posts on the site, or as normal as the ongoing pandemic will allow. Today's post is devoted to recent video uploads, including new solo performance videos, a live concert clip, and leading off, a lengthy look at a prominent metal band's Canadian tour from four years back!

Local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver have resurfaced with their long-belated second concert tour documentary! Entitled "Totally Fucked: The Lost Shit Liver Tour Tapes", this 38 minute video was uploaded to their YouTube channel on Friday, and it documents the happenings of their (and sister bluegrass band Dirtfight's) Number Two Tour that took place from April-June 2016 across all of the non-Atlantic provinces. Given the success of their 2015 tour documentary "A Long & Grinding Road", I'm surprised that the guys never compiled this footage in a similarly timely fashion, but perhaps the pandemic and lockdowns finally afforded them the chance (though the intro and this Facebook trailer imply that "the tapes were lost"). While this was a longer tour, the resulting documentary shorter than 2015's was, but there is still a lot to see! At the beginning, you will see Shit Liver setting up their trailer for the road, drying their new shirts, and clips from their tour kick-off party (with quite an irreverent pinata), and their Sudbury concert.

After some more on-the-road footage (including the return of screaming across bridges), Saultites will want to check out the 5:08 mark to see brief clips from their Oddfellows Hall stop on April 30th when they opened for Calgary hardcore punk band The Motherfuckers (read our review here.) You will get to see performance footage of the reunited Winkstinger and the headliners, plus some post-show content with a dalmatian, and a cameo from Jack Spades drummer Johnny Belanger. After gassing up, the tour heads west, and without spoiling anything, you'll see footage of the guys driving, enjoying the sights on the road, camping, eating, skateboarding, making use of a green-screen of sorts, playing games, setting off fireworks, witnessing a police shutdown in Saskatoon, and experiencing nature, with lots of clips of bands performing at the tour dates along the way. Shit Liver and company head back east for the final 13 minutes, with a lot more of the same content en route, plus vehicle repair issues, ...

...a lot of sandwiches, passing through home in St. Catharine's, and their tour finale in Quebec, before ending with an acoustic song summing up the tour. This is an entertaining look at Shit Liver's second D.I.Y. national tour, and there's certainly a lot of amusing shenanigans to take in, but be warned that actual clips of them performing are minimal (who do you think shot most of the videos?) The YouTube description says that "it is yet to be decided if Shit Liver will ever tour again" (they last played live in May of last year), but hopefully we'll see the guys back in some form or another post-pandemic! Give their new documentary a watch below!

Next up, here's a new video of local southern hard rock quintet Fort Creek's concert at Reggie's West this past Saturday! Live-streamed on their Facebook page, this is another rendition of the guys covering Blackberry Smoke's "Like I Am", which was previously seen being covered by Fort Creek in this fan-shot video from the original Reggie's. Musically, this version of "Like I Am" is sound, but the video was shot from the bar, which understandably restricts the view of the stage. At least the Reggievelt was as packed as current regulations allow, and give things a look below!

 
We'll close today with new videos from former No Arrow drummer Joe Falco's YouTube channel from the past week! One is a tribute video to the late great Eddie Van Halen where Joe shredded a number of Van Halen tunes from memory, and while he admitted to making errors, it was a nice gesture to honour such an influential musician. The other two videos are lengthy, including one where Joe shows his restoration job on a 2000 Ibanez RG350DX guitar, complete with a solid jam session and his commentary and thoughts on the guitar. Embedded below is the newest of these uploads, which just features Joe jamming on the aforementioned Ibanex RG350DX, which serves as fun playthrough for his birthday while also testing some of his patches. Strong and loose performances overall, and it's clear that Joe enjoyed restoring and playing this guitar, so these videos give it a solid platform. Give everything a watch above and below!

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

Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Personal Note

Hello everyone, just a heads up that my mother Mary passed away early this morning after a 5 year battle with ovarian cancer. If you're family or a friend on Facebook, you may already know more of the details, and I appreciate any and all condolences already made and yet to come. Though her musical tastes largely lied elsewhere, my mom was infinitely supportive of what I have been doing with The Sault Metal Scene over the past 13+ years, and her help in getting me to concerts when I didn't have a vehicle handy was a huge boon for our early concert reviews. I fondly remember her joking suggestions that I add a "Mom's Corner" feature on the SMS where she could review music she liked for a change. While not a musician herself, she had notable connections over the years, from working with and befriending members of The Danger Cats while managing Kelly's Hair Care, to her friendships with the Becker brothers of Sykotyk Rampage and Soundcheck drummer Glen Thomas.

Regarding the short-term future of The Sault Metal Scene... honestly, given the slow-down in news and updates from the metal/punk scene during the pandemic, there might not be much of a change. Lately, I feel like I've only been posting once every three days (my usual minimum guarantee) because there's been little to write about. In a sense, I am a slave to routine, but for obvious reasons, things could be delayed further for the time being as we sort out her affairs. I do have topics ready for a new post that, under normal circumstances, would have hit the site in a post tomorrow, but I don't know what tomorrow holds now. I will try to have something on the site by Wednesday, but in advance, I thank you for your patience, and keep my mom in your thoughts. R.I.P. Mom, I love and miss you.



Friday, October 16, 2020

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Fort Creek), Plus New & Old Video Finds!!

News remains slow as of late, but we are back on this Friday morning with some new video uploads from this year (albeit mostly archive footage), but leading off, here are some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

Local southern hard rock cover quintet Fort Creek will make their first ever appearances at Reggie's West on Korah Road for concerts TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, these dates were only announced on the band's Facebook page on Wednesday. These shows come two weeks after Fort Creek rocked the original downtown Reggie's, and will mark their first ever formal concerts at a different location (albeit still under the Reggie's name). With their fan favourite hard and southern rock covers and their quickly growing fan base (with merchandise in tow), hopefully Fort Creek have a great weekend at the former Roosevelt Hotel TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT, despite the late notice! Going along with current pandemic restrictions on nightclubs, these shows are both 8:00 PM-midnight affairs with 19+ age limits and no announced cover charges, but mind all social distancing restrictions. Visit the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's a couple of new videos from Fort Creek's last bookings, as per their Facebook page!

As quietly uploaded on October 5th, these videos include covers of Montrose's "Rock Candy", and as embedded below, Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight". Filmed from similar vertical camera angles (though the latter is squarer), these covers are solidly done, and I like the more rock-based yet still moody take on "In The Air Tonight", but the muffled audio and blue lighting won't be for all tastes. Give these a watch above and below, and don't miss Fort Creek live TONIGHT & TOMORROW!



Next up, here's details on the rest of former No Arrow drummer Joe Falco's archive local concert uploads on his YouTube channel! We'll start with a true deep cut from over 20 years ago, namely over 2 hours and 40 minutes of footage of local death/thrash metal quintet Death Occasion! Filmed across four concerts (plus behind the scenes clips) between August 1999 & August 2000, the band was represented here by singer Todd Stevens, guitarists Rob Coleman (Machines Dream) and Curtis Faux (Detroit, Maximum RNR, et al.), future Winkstinger/HTs bassist Ryan Disano, and former Proposition 86 drummer David Gold, who we all better know from his later run as the leader of Woods of Ypres. I'm not the right person to assess Death Occasion on the basis of this video, as I was too young to see their nightclub gigs (10-11 years old), and the exceedingly muffled audio quality is not a help at all. That said, I did catch a BeeFMouTH poster at one point, and the August 11th, 2000 show was at The Canadian.

There are definitely familiar songs being covered by Death Occasion in this long video, but the audio quality is levels beyond subpar, so it'd be fruitless to link to them here (the joys of VHS camcorders, alas). That said, it's great to see this footage resurface, especially given how rare local band footage of any genre can be from the 1990s, and Woods of Ypres fans in particular may appreciate this early look at David behind the kit. Kudos to Joe for getting all of this footage back in the day, and give it a watch below!

Also, here are three of Joe's videos that were filmed at a 2009 concert that he played at the aforementioned Reggie's Place with his then-classic rock band Flashback that he was a guitarist and (I believe) a keyboardist in. Joe didn't go into great detail on this band in the descriptions, but prolific local drummer T.J. Case was behind the kit at the time, and his late father Mike Case was filling in on guitar for this show. That said, the tight side-stage camera angle and dark lighting don't tell us much about the band's bassist or possible other band members. I cannot confirm if this Flashback shared any links with the mid-2010s cover band of the same name (seen here) or the local rock band who spelled their name Phlashback and released an album of original music in 2006. In any event, Joe's videos feature this Flashback covering Hootie & The Blowfish's "Let Her Cry" with Joe on vocals...

...and two songs with T.J. on vocals, namely Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" and, as embedded below, part of AC/DC's "TNT", which is a change of pace from his more familiar vocal rendition of "Highway To Hell" with other local bands (also, note that the "TNT" video is solely focused on T.J.) I wasn't overly familiar with the late 2000s Flashback, but these covers are well handled by more than capable musicians, so give them a watch also!

Finally for today, here's a new behind-the-scenes video from local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback's "Kicking & Screaming" music video shoot last year! Uploaded to their YouTube channel on Saturday, this is basically a fly-on-the-wall clip from the same location of this band photo, most notably capturing a scene where frontman Chris Nielsen dramatically throws a chair, and let's just say he needed more than one take. It's very interesting to see the video shoot in progress like this, so give it a watch below!

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

An Inactive Band Note, New Videos, And Much More!!

I hope all of our Canadian readers had a great Thanksgiving! We're back with a new news post on this Tuesday morning, including some shorter assorted stories, new videos from both sides of the border, and leading off, here's a notable band who have crossed our one year's inactivity threshold!

I have reluctantly moved local doom/sludge metal trio AlgomA to our inactive band links due to a year's inactivity. The band has not issued a public update since changing the business hours on their Facebook page on October 6th of last year, and while the effects of the ongoing pandemic are acknowledged, they have not played a live concert since opening for Dopethrone at The New A in May of last year (itself their only concert since 2017.) Launching in 2012 before debuting on stage at 180 Projects the following March, AlgomA united BeeFMoutH and Fuller alumni into a crushing package, giving the Sault area a much slower and doomier brand of metal that immediately set them apart, as heard on their 2014 EP "Reclaimed By The Forest" and their later splits with Chronobot, Hooded Menace, and the Soo's own Shit Liver. Local fans will recognize them from opening for bands like The Archaics, Beaver Slap, Biipiigwan, Fuck The Facts, and The Golers, often playing at shows under their own promotional banners.
 
As well, AlgomA found a far-flung audience of fans elsewhere in Canada and internationally via concerts in Southern Ontario, Sudbury, Quebec, and even in Europe, with their albums all getting solid press attention in metal news & review websites, partially owing to their label deal with Deadbeat Media. I definitely enjoyed AlgomA's slow and hard hitting brand of original metal, with lots of dark intensity packed into their generally long songs, and it was very encouraging to see local talent get so much exposure and fan support abroad at their peak. Hopefully this isn't the last we'll hear from AlgomA, but best of luck to Kevin, Boyd, and Jamie in the future!

Next up, here's the latest from Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Tarnished, who recently got a third spotlight on 9&10 News' lifestyle newsmagazine program The Four! As you may have seen on channel 10 (Spectrum) or 10.1 (over the air) this past Friday, the guys were seen playing their original "Metalyn" for their third (and final?) appearance on The Four's week-ending Friday Sessions series of music performances by Northern Michigan artists. This was filmed in the same August sessions that gave us prior CBS-aired takes on "Cocaine Riot" & "Shortcut", but neither of those has a mandolin! High quality performances and well shot videos as you would expect, so give Tarnished's third go-around on TV a look at the above links! I cannot embed 9&10 News videos here. In the meantime, Tarnished are filming their first ever music video (also for "Metalyn") with Jay London Photography, as per their Facebook page, which should be interesting to see the final product of! Stay tuned for updates from their camp as they roll in!

Also today, here's some new solo performance videos from prolific local folk punk/extreme metal solo musician Chase Wigmore's Facebook page! While uploaded on September 27th & October 1st, these were allegedly recorded at an earlier point, and serve as "COVID jams" while he can't play normal live concerts. The first video is embedded below, but the second (and much longer) video can be watched at this link. The 36 minutes of content in these videos are along the lines of his intense folk punk work, with rapid guitar work and his usual passion and irreverence, so fans of this side of Chase's music career will absolutely want to watch both videos above & below! 


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

 

  • New local hard rock band The Isolation Sessions quietly added guitarist Todd Kidd to their lineup on their Facebook page last month, officially making them a quartet. As a result, Arthur Lacasse has moved from guitar to bass, much like he did with their predecessors Half Past. While Todd is unfamiliar locally, he was previously active in the Windsor-area metal bands 8ight Past Nine, King Misfit, and Against All Wisemen, and if you check out his work there, you'll see that he definitely has the chops! Stay tuned for more from The Isolation Sessions when it rolls in!
  • Bear Hunters/Skull After Betrayl alum Mike Vincent has again posted searches for band members on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group this month. One post on October 1st was for a vocalist (and perhaps second guitarist) for the pop punk band he has alluded to working on in the past, while the other from last Tuesday was looking for country/southern rock musicians he's interested in jamming with. Message Mike at this link or above for more info!
  • I opted not to cover local acoustic hard rock musician Tym Morrison's presumed Motley Market show this past Saturday, as it was not promoted in advance by him or the venue on social media. Tym's prior Motley Market booking on Saturday the 3rd was cancelled outright, and he has not signalled that his weekly run there will resume, at least not publically, so I have removed October gigs there from our calendar for now. Hopefully nothing bad happened, but we'll let you know when he plays live next!

 

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

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Poison Girl & Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe

It's now time for this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles, continuing our monthly spotlight of randomly selected bands who are no longer active, but deserve a look back for modern readers! This month's bands include a promising tribute band from recent years and a talented solo project with an album to their name, so here's what you should know on both!

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Poison Girl

Genre: Gothic Rock/Metal

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members:

Tiffany Stocco (Jack Spades), vocals/guitar
Bill "Orthae" Bennett (Stereo North), bass
Johnny Belanger (The Bear Hunters), drums
Brian Holmes (Gates of Winter), keyboard

Info/Analysis: All three members of local punk trio Stegadeth (plus keyboardist Brian Holmes) paid homage to Finnish goth rockers HIM as part of night #1 of J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween party concerts at The Rockstar Bar on October 27th, 2018. Here, they shared the stage with Tiffany & Johnny's other debuting tribute band, the Distillers-honouring Coral Fang. Surprisingly, both bands would continue forward after Halloween, even with Facebook pages, but Poison Girl only played one further concert at the same venue in May 2019, alongside the debuting Stoned To Deaf covering Rage Against The Machine. Public updates on Poison Girl did not follow, later complicated by Tiffany's move out of town last fall, though her other bands are still labeled as active on the SMS. Unfortunately, no public media has surfaced from Poison Girl's gigs, and while a HIM tribute may have been more appreciated locally a decade earlier, the talent was definitely there!
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Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe

Genre: Technical/Progressive/Death Metal

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie/London, Ontario

Members:

Matthew Parr (Czech Hotel, Our Place Or Yours), all instruments

Info/Analysis: Launched out of his London hometown circa 2010, Matt brought his solo project Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe with him when he moved to Sault Ste. Marie from around 2012, with new audio recordings posted frequently on the H.M.M. Soundcloud page and (more sparingly) on their YouTube channel. After briefly searching for a local band in late 2013, Matt released a Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe EP on Bandcamp that December, before moving back to London in 2014 and commencing work in bands there. New song uploads continued through February 2015, before the project fell inactive, but Matt did post some outside non-metal audio recordings on Soundcloud until early 2017. I enjoyed H.M.M.'s djent-laden technicality and musicianship on songs like "Whatever" & "Summit", and Matt was a musician who never got his deserved due while living here, but I would have liked to have heard longer songs with more solos. Here's Matt covering Horse The Band's "Arrive"!


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I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles! Our next randomly selected band to be spotlighted will be a big one, namely local/Toronto indie punk veterans Treble Charger! Note that their online presence since their 2013 reunion has minimal, and if they resume public activity before November 10th, I will pick a different band. That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news on the site next week! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

New Archive Video Uploads Of No Arrow & Faithless Sin!!

Just a heads up, this post is the first on the SMS that I've had to make using Blogger's new editor interface which was rolled out earlier this year. I am not an immediate fan of it, and I have already had to check online help forums to answer questions about where certain things are, so if anything looks amiss, that's why. Hopefully things are sorted out soon!

Today's post is devoted to archive videos from prolific local rock musician Joe Falco's YouTube channel, which we alluded to in a post on the site three weeks ago, as Joe was in the late stages of a massive upload streak of videos from his run in live bands in the mid-late 2000s. Let's start with the biggest of his past groups, namely 2005-2011 grunge/alternative rock trio No Arrow (née Murder Playground), who are the subject of 25 of his videos in the last few months! These include a now-band official upload of all 12 songs from their unreleased studio album "Souls For Sale" and a few videos that were previously uploaded on frontman Dann Pichette's YouTube channel. Joe's uploads, brand new or otherwise, include three videos from a weekend at The Canadian Nightclub in April 2007, two from a Sault Area Wrestling event at The Elks Lodge that fall, two from The Speak Easy at Algoma University, three from Madison's Pub (now The Harp Bar & Grill), a rehearsal jam of "One On The Line", and a Fitswitch parody under their original name.

Embedded below is 62 minutes of an early No Arrow set at Madison's Pub in November 2006, though it doesn't capture the entire performance due to tape limitations. Featuring Dann and Joe alongside original bassist Jason Bourcier (more on him in a bit), this concert took place on Jason's birthday, and it features 17 songs, though only 5 are originals at this stage. In order, you can see the guys play Local H's "All Right, Oh Yeah", Helmet's "Unsung", The Melvins' "Revolve", their original "Bleed Your Hate", Nirvana's "Stain", The Beastie Boys' "Sabotage", their unreleased album's title track "Souls For Sale", Local H's "Cool Magnet", their own "Genocyde Revealing", The Melvins' "Youth of America", part of Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick" with a guest guitarist, their original "Delayed Reaction", Local H's "Bound For The Floor", Motorhead's "Ace of Spades", their own "One On The Line", and two final Local H songs (part of "Everyone Alive" and "All The Kids Are Right".)

It's awesome seeing a lengthy No Arrow video like this, albeit 14 years later, and while the VHS camcorder quality isn't ideal (smartphones weren't ubiquitous yet), the raw intensity is on full display!  Of course, any fans of Local H will want to give this a special look, especially as you don't hear them covered often nowadays. Give this video a watch below, and check out much more from No Arrow's mid-late 2000s heyday at the above links!

Speaking of bands that Jason and Joe were in together, let's now look at another old band that Joe has uploaded content from, namely their old 2005-2007 thrash metal band Faithless Sin! Here featuring Jason on vocals (a'la Operation: Killdozer) and Joe on guitar, this band also features guitarist Frank LaTassa (Quite Frankly), bassist Ryan Gratton (Chronic Demonic) and drummer Mark Parent in their lone video, but Mike DiPasquale preceded Frank in the band, and Gates of Winter alum Jonathan Harvey drummed in their brief 2010 reunion. Faithless Sin never got far off the ground, and have no known public concerts to their name, but some members did more collectively in their successor band Time of Ruin from 2007-2008. Joe has uploaded four videos representing Faithless Sin, including two crude audio copies of originals ("Chaos Reigns" & "River Flows Cold"), plus a better quality recording of two Slayer covers. Embedded below is Faithless Sin's only surviving video!

Also filmed via that VHS camcorder, this is very much a jam session recording, and Joe is very forthcoming in the video description if a song was a jam or rough, plus what he wishes the video would have captured from their setlist at the time. In order, the guys can be seen playing Slayer's "War Ensemble" as a soundcheck, Megadeth's "She-Wolf", In Flames' "Behind Space 99", Sepultura's "Refuse/Refist", their combined version of Slayer's "Die By The Sword" & "Black Magic", a jam of Pantera's "Fucking Hostile" from a different camera angle, another loose jam of Metallica's "My Friend of Misery" with Joe on vocals, two separate run-throughs of their original "Chaos Reigns" (a first-time jam and a proper performance), and finally, Metallica's "Blackened". Camera aside, this raw and brutal rehearsal captures a promising band that I'd have liked to have seen go further locally! Our view of Faithless Sin is only optimal on the Pantera cover though.

On songs that Joe doesn't give a disclaimer for, everyone sounds tight and dialed in, and Jay's groove-influenced growl adds the extra bark (that's a good comparison), and given that Frank had just joined the band, he fit right in on certain songs! Give Faithless Sin's archive videos a watch above and below, and stay tuned for more from Joe's channel in the coming days!

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

Monday, October 5, 2020

New Live Concert Videos And Solo Project Song Uploads!!

Before we begin this post, just a belated acknowledgement that Tym Morrison's Motley Market show on Saturday was cancelled, as per it's Facebook event page. A reason for the cancellation wasn't announced, but hopefully nothing bad happened! Unless otherwise stated, I'll leave Tym's presumed Saturday gigs for the remainder of the month in our listings for now. As for this post, here's some new some new songs and material from two local extreme metal solo artists, plus some new live concert videos from two bands braving the pandemic to play live in recent weeks!

We have a long new video from local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck's concert at Reggie's West on September 26 to share here! This was live-streamed on guitarist/vocalist Terry Eaton's personal Facebook page during their final set that night, and it was shared to the band's Facebook page the following day. Of course, you may have seen Soundcheck at the original downtown Reggie's on Friday with guest bassist Rob Gilmar (ex-RPM, Twin City Rollers, WFO, et al.), but their Reggievelt show last month was with regular bassist Paul Belair as normal. In order, the 49 minute video begins with Terry making light of the early closure of the bar due to provincial restrictions, followed by covers of Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me", Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son", John Mellencamp's "Hurts So Good", Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning", The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Fishin' In The Dark", Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle", ...

...John Mellencamp's "Wild Night", The Eagles' "Take It Easy", ZZ Top's "Tush", Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell", Sublime's "Santeria", and AC/DC's "Highway To Hell". Terry sings lead vocals on "You Wreck Me", "Beds Are Burning", "Wild Night", "Tush", and "Highway To Hell", while singer/acoustic guitarist Cameron Oliver handles the rest. Despite the mirrored camera and some muffled vocals, Soundcheck performs well on these covers, and it's nice to see Cameron's distinctive singing voice applied to this diverse array! Give the whole video a watch below, and hopefully we hear more from them soon!



Next up, prolific local extreme metal/folk punk musician Chase Wigmore released one of his many upcoming new albums on Thursday, albeit as a free upload on his YouTube channel! Entitled "The Majestic Seagulls of Satan's Army", this was originally promoted on his side project Awokest's Facebook page in July, complete with album artwork that wasn't carried over to the final product, but it's now credited under his real name. Chase described this album as "guitar based", which is accurate (any vocals are heavily processed or used for background effects), and it will appeal to fans of his metal output, if more experimental and less blackened. Despite being instrumental, the seagull/war theme permeates through the amusing song titles, and musically, Chase has lots of room to show his musical skill! No word on when "Beyonder" or his other teased albums will come out (for free or otherwise), but give this new batch of songs a listen below, and yes, we'll touch on his new Facebook performance videos later this week!



Also today, here's some new videos from local southern/hard rock quintet Fort Creek's concert at Reggie's Place on Saturday night, courtesy of their Facebook page! One is just a brief 12 second clip of the fans in attendance, which will let curious readers see the interior of the re-opened Queen Street East venue and how Reggie's are adapting to current social distancing measures. No music to be had there, but attendee Sammy Maitland did film this clip of Fort Creek covering Blackberry Smoke's "Like I Am" for her personal Facebook page, which the band publically shared last night. The distant vertical angle and very blue lighting don't help, but this modern southern rock deep cut is well handled by the guys, and Sammy does zoom the camera in a bit late. Give these videos a look above and below, and stay tuned for more from Fort Creek when it rolls in!



Finally, here's a new song from local goregrind solo project Crucify The Whore, as posted on their label Blood Shed Productions' YouTube channel late last month! Entitled "Unsuccessful In The Mix", this is the YouTube premiere of a song from their May album release "P.C. Sells... But I Ain't Buyin'", and it runs for an abnormally long 6 minutes. This is more of an experimental track that only gets substantially heavy in the home stretch, and it's largely an instrumental, so keep that in mind whether you like their usual pig squeal vocals or if they're not your thing. Not a bad demonstration of Tyler's musical range, so give it a listen below!



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