Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Mike Haggith's Complete 2 Hour Interview on Sev's Cellar From Last Year!!

Back in January, I briefly noted in this post that Mike "Sev Micron" Severin interviewed local/Thompson, Manitoba alt-hard rock musician Mike Haggith on The Borderline Radio last year for his radio show Sev's Cellar, but I opted not to give it a full write-up at that time because only the second half was posted for on-demand streaming as of that post's publication. At some point since then, the first half was finally uploaded onto the internet radio station's website, and you can now hear the full 2 hour+ interview at this link! Just be sure to listen to the second (lower) file first, as that is the opening half. This interview was originally conducted last year in advance of the release of Mike's most recent studio album "If Ever Comes The Day", whose songs premiered in The Borderline's rotation before the album's on-sale date. Conducted by phone, this was apparently the first Sev's Cellar episode after the pandemic began, and they do discuss it's impact on Mike's day job early.

Musically, the first half begins with Mike talking about his original discovery of music, the pandemic's effect on his day job, the origins of The Din's modern three-piece incarnation (the end of both The Revolution and Leaked come up), and The Din's breakup & farewell shows (featuring a clip of them playing "75" from the "Suburban Sendoff" gig/live album), before discussing the origin of his new album's closer "2145", which is played in full. Next, Mike talks about his hometown of Windsor, his early influences in music, his experiences as a pilot, what Mike was listening to at the time, his favourite song, his appreciation of local music, his cats, his favourite concerts that he ever saw and played at (Gianni Gagoots get some nice belated props here), the ideal celebrity he'd like to have a beer with, Mike's yet-to-be-realized dream band for his cancelled CD release party at LopLops, ...

...how Mike recorded "If Ever Comes The Day", his hope to record more live albums, and the origin of "This Page Intentionally Left Blank" from "If Ever Comes The Day", which was the intro to "Back Away Slowly", which was played in full to end part 1 of the interview. As for the second half, the interview includes Mike discussing his early on-stage memories in Windsor (complete with audio from one of his first high school gigs), along with some of Sev's trademark personal/humorous questions that you'll have heard in his other episodes, with the album's title track and "The Best You Never Had" both interspersed in this segment of the interview. Next, Mike elaborates on the inspiration of the latter song, and gives more details of the background from the new album's concept, preceding his song "Communique" being played in full. Follow-up discussion includes the moods and feelings of his songs, ...

...his songwriting inspirations, the rescheduled November date for his CD release concert (obviously since cancelled), his then-thoughts about where he wants to be in life, and the origin of The Din's "A Drive Through The Peninsula", before he and Sev discuss some local trivia and wrap things up, closing with Mike's song "Take Back The Moon". Of course, other songs from Mike's solo and Din work are played as background music during the actual interview, plus some unrelated tracks related to the topic of discussion. These can get loud at points (especially when Sev played Bob Seger in part 1), but that is par for the course for Sev's Cellar episodes. This interview is very long, but nice and informative about Mike's music and personality, and it's definitely worth listening for fans! Extra notes within include extra insight into The Din's breakup in 2017 and a surprise film credit of Sev's from the 1990s, though Mike's pre-Din local bands are largely sidelined.

Aside from teasers and his Shaw Spotlight host gigs in Thompson, Mike's been fairly quiet since the fall (his fans-only Facebook group aside), but hopefully 2021 proves to be busier for him, and this interview covers most of his pre-#LockdownLive activity well and with good humour! Give it a listen at this link or above, and be sure to check out The Borderline for lots of quality local music and hosted programs! Yes, there is more from The Borderline coming on the SMS in the near future, but that's all for today, and look for a new post of some kind on the site by Friday! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Kraken Mara's New Playthrough Upload, More New Videos, And Assorted Updates!!

News is predictably slow due to the current lockdown, but I have cobbled together enough content for a post on this Saturday morning, including some assorted shorter news and notes, and some new videos from some familiar faces. Here's what you should know!

As promised, local progressive metal duo Kraken Mara's newest playthrough video for their upcoming EP "Press Start" went public on their YouTube channel yesterday morning at 10:00 AM! Again, they went the "uploaded in advance for a scheduled premiere date" route. This video is for their song "The Woodward", and after sitting out their last two playthrough videos, guitarist Brendan Christie is back on camera for this one, playing alongside Jake here, albeit with the brothers-in-law filmed separately. Once again, I'll hold comment pending our review of the EP. As for it's remaining track ("Stratus"), that had a playthrough video shot in 2017 that was filmed outside of the former St. Mary's Paper building, and it's description has been edited to reflect the 2021 EP plans. "Stratus" does not appear to have been re-recorded, so I would not be expecting a new playthrough video for it.

Also, just to clear up any earlier discrepancies, their previously announced song "Moon's Haunted" appears to have renamed "Miscreant" for unannounced reasons. Now that all five songs are on YouTube and their website to stream, how soon will "Press Start" go on sale? Kraken Mara's website says that it is "now available for purchase", but that looks like a placeholder, as the band has not officially announced anything about a release. We'll let you know when more comes out, but check out Brendan & Jake playing through "The Woodward" below for some more metal action!



Next up, here's the newest videos from former No Arrow drummer/Faithless Sin guitarist Joe Falco's YouTube channel! After a three month hiatus, Joe returned last month to post eight new videos, all but one being acoustic covers. These include Pink Floyd's "Echoes", The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band's "Blue On Black", Alice In Chains' "Don't Follow", Oasis' "Stand By Me", Poison's "Every Rose Has It's Thorn", The Jeff Healey Band's "Angel Eyes", and as embedded below, Poison's "Something To Believe In". I went with that song because Joe also posted a short blooper reel video from his attempts at filming that particular cover, so give that a look if you want a laugh! Despite his self deprecating tone in the description, this rendition is solid, and as all of these covers are unplugged, his voice isn't as drowned out as on his earlier covers! You definitely hear more of his range in these.

Joe also posted an hour-long video on Tuesday of him working on his Aria Pro II STG-004 Series Stratocaster, if you're itching to see him fix and play an electric guitar. These videos are all worth checking out to see some well performed acoustic rock covers and more, so give Joe's newest uploads a look above and below, and stay tuned for more when we hear it!


 
Also today, here's a new original song collaboration from Inner City Surfers/ex-Role Models bandmates Brad "Example" Lacell & Dave Bahun! Posted to Brad's YouTube channel on Monday, this is entitled "The Nightmare's Real", and it's a gritty yet folksy number that fits more in line with Brad's modern solo work, complete with his raspy vocals (is it wrong to get a bit of an Everlast vibe from this?) Not a traditional punk number, but well done, and you can hear it for yourself below!
 

 
Finally for today, here's three shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist, event, or company name:
 
  • The second annual (and final?) Coronafest live-streamed concert takes place tonight at 6:30 PM, with all relevant links and information to be found on the Facebook event page. While Coronafest is not originating locally, Saultites Kyla Becker & Jacob Baillie will play the second set, while ex-Sykotyk Rampage bassist Brian Cattapan is a co-organizer of the event, and he will perform at 9:00 PM with his current Sudbury-based band The Rhythm Section. Check it out if you need some Saturday night entertainment!
  • I have removed former local concert promotion agency Dismembertainment from our "Other Local Metal Links" section due to the deletion of it's Facebook (and only known surviving) page at some point in the past year. The banner under which ex-Time of Ruin guitarist Rich Moreland promoted local metal concerts in 2011 & 2012, and for a time afterwards in his current Alberta homebase, Rich has since switched primarily to work in concert photography, at least until the pandemic. Hopefully he's doing well out west!
  • Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Tarnished took a surprising trip downstate to play at the Hotel Royal Oak outside of Detroit this past Saturday! It was only announced on four days notice, oddly, but click here for details about the show. Hopefully the road trip was a blast, especially as social distance-limited concerts can still take place in Michigan! Also, note that on the Facebook event page linked above, their bassist and drummer were credited as Donny Wayne and Josh Tyler, omitting their last names.

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New Videos From No Arrow, Kraken Mara, And Tym Morrison!!

Naturally, news has slowed as we proceed through the third lockdown in Ontario, but we have some new videos to talk about today, including a pair of new original song uploads, and leading off, some archive videos from over a decade ago from a popular local band! Here's what you should know!

After three years without a single new video, former No Arrow/SBD frontman Dann Pichette returned to uploading with a vengeance on his YouTube channel, posting 42 new videos there from February 8th-13th! Between these and drummer Joe Falco's archive concert video postings last year, it's a good time to be a No Arrow fan! Only eight of these videos are proper No Arrow performances from jam sessions or concerts, and none are dated, but as far as I know, these are all new to YouTube. The jam session videos include them playing "Genocyde Revealing Pt. 1" with Harley Syrette on bass, and four videos from a jam with his replacement Brad Griffith (ex-Bizotic), includng two chunks of "Genocyde Revealing" (here and here) and "Colderside Of The Sun" similarly split in two videos (here & here). The three concert videos are all from an undated Brad-era set at the former GLOW nightclub at 119 Gore Street (I am fairly sure the venue was still called GLOW at the time.)

These three videos include performances of their originals "One On The Line", "Genocyde Revealing Pt. 2", and as embedded below, "Sikkha" from a stationary camera angle. It's great to see new videos of No Arrow in concert, especially with Brad on bass! The quality on all of these new videos isn't amazing, but given that these all date to the mid-late 2000s, I wouldn't nitpick too much. No Arrow's aggressive grunge/alternative attack is definitely missed, but you can relive the good old days above and below!

Dann's other 34 new videos are not of full band performances, and mostly feature Dann hanging out with friends and bandmates, often in the bedroom location that hosted his old webseries The Chett -n- Eshk Show. If you enjoyed that series, it looks like we have a lot of deleted scenes, if not in name! Only one is visibly of a musical performance, where Dann and Harley loosely cover The Beatles "Don't Pass Me By" on vocals and acoustic guitar, and it's a fun and loose rendition! There's a lot to cover for fans and friends of No Arrow, and with few videos having a description, I highly recommend checking out Dann's channel to see what was posted above and below!

We'll finish today with some new videos, including the third official playthrough video for local progressive metal duo Kraken Mara's upcoming EP "Press Start", which premiered on their YouTube channel on Friday! Yes, this was posted in advance to publically premiere on that day once again. Like with their "MinMaj" playthrough, this solely features guitarist Jake Valois, this time playing their song "Miscreant". I'll again hold comment pending the EP's increasingly likely release, but prog/djent fans will want to check Kraken Mara's new video below, and watch for their next scheduled playthrough video, premiering this Friday at 10:00 AM!


Finally, here's a surprising new track from prolific local hard rock solo musician Tym Morrison's YouTube channel yesterday! This is a comedy metal song that basically expands the children's classic "Wheels On The Bus" into some slightly biographical and amusing directions, complete with a well edited video featuring related footage to go with the lyrics. The song proper will interest fans of Tym's original metal work, and everything's well done, though the vocals sound a little too processed at some points. Give it a watch below, and hopefully we'll see Tym back on stage next month!

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

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Defunct Local Band Profile: Time Of Ruin

It's now time for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile, where we again look at a randomly selected band from our inactive local band links, in order to spotlight them and their run for current readers! I had originally projected doing two bands this month due to minimal surviving information, but I underestimated band #1, so our originally planned second group (defunct punk duo Programmed To Fail) will lead off next month's installment of this series. As for this month's band, they didn't last long but delivered the metal goods for fans while they lasted, so here's what you should know on them!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Time of Ruin

Genre: Thrash Metal
 
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members: (Members not in their last known lineup in italics. The exact lineup progression may have inaccuracies. Let me know if you can make any corrections!)

Jason Bourcier (Fitswitch, Winkstinger, No Arrow), vocals
Mike DiPasquale (Faithless Sin), guitar
Sara Biedermann (The Apocalypse Afterparty), guitar
Ryan Disano (Winkstinger, Caveman Morrison, The HTs), bass
Mark Parent (Faithless Sin), drums

Lee Slater (Fitswitch), guitar
Rich Moreland, guitar 
Curtis Beauchamp (Sense Of Truth, Fitswich), bass   

Audio/Video: Only one Time of Ruin video is known to survive publically today, namely this drum solo by Mark Parent at their live concert debut at the former Foggy Notions on October 23rd, filmed by attendee/future guitarist Rich Moreland and posted on their Facebook group. It's dark, but the solo sounds good! However, I cannot embed it here due to the group's privacy settings. Sonically, Time of Ruin share the most in common with their predecessors Faithless Sin, who were active from 2005-2007, and also featured Jason, Mike, and Mark in their lineups. Click here to see Faithless Sin in a 54 minute jam session from 2006, featuring a very similar range of songs that Time of Ruin would have covered.

Info/Analysis: Self-described as "Sault Ste. Marie's heaviest metal band", Time of Ruin would make their debut at Foggy Notions in October 2007, and they would play a handful of further gigs at Foggy's, including opening for The Labour Of... in November, until the venue's original closure in March. A battle of the bands appearance was teased in April 2008, as well as scattered songwriting sessions and lineup changes. Time of Ruin were last advertised at an all-local metal concert at The Grand Theater on August 14th, 2008, but they dropped out and were surprisingly replaced by the returning Gates of Winter, with Time of Ruin quietly dissolving by year's end. It's hard to comment on Time of Ruin from both lack of videos and my age (I wasn't quite 19 yet during their Foggy's run), but they had a strong lineup, and despite their relatively short life, they did accomplish more as a live act than Faithless Sin! Hopefully everyone's still musically active in some form!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! As promised, we'll lead off a double profile on or around June 10th with the aforementioned Sault Ontario punk band Programmed To Fail, but to round things out, we're heading back to Sault Michigan for a second band with minimal information, as the second randomly selected band will be 2019-2021 classic/hard rock trio Mackinaw Trail. Look for these next month, and for more news and notes on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 9, 2021

New Videos From Fort Creek & Re:Born, Plus More News & Notes!!

I hope all of our Ontario-based readers are adjusting as well to the current lockdown as they can! After focusing solely on Sault Michigan last time out, we're (mostly) in Canada today, courtesy of lots of new videos from two prominent covers-leaning bands, plus a few assorted news updates to round things out with. Here's what you should know!
 
Before Ontario was locked down again, local Southern hard rock quintet Fort Creek played one social distance-enforced concert weekend at Reggie's West two weeks ago, and they live-streamed a bunch of songs from the Saturday, March 27th gig on their Facebook page! These are across five videos, all capturing at least two songs, and unfortunately, most were uploaded sideways. Two were thankfully at a normal angle, including the first video, which features Fort Creek covering Theory Of A Deadman's "Lowlife" and Tonic's "Open Up Your Eyes". The three sideways videos begin with this 12 minute video of them covering Radiohead's "Creep", The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band's "Blue On Black", and Luke Combs' "Can I Get An Outlaw" Next was an 8 minute video of Fort Creek tackling Shaman's Harvest's "Dangerous" (complete with fake emergency alert intro) & Monster Truck's "Don't Tell Me How To Live". 

The fifth and final video was the longest, running for almost 20 minutes, and it features renditions of Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down", Guns N' Roses' "It's So Easy", Seether's "Tonight", and Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" (by way of Nonpoint, perhaps?) Embedded below is the fourth video, and longest of the two that aren't sideways, which features covers of Luke Combs's "Beer Never Broke My Heart" and a southern rock version of Motley Crue's "Live Wire". During Justin's introductions of the band in the fifth video, he acknowledged that bassist Robin "Bones" Lee was playing despite a broken shoulder, so now you know what his teased health issue was. Fort Creek posted this black & white video last week where Bones updated fans on his recovery, thanked everyone who saw them at the Reggievelt, and assured fans that he'll be ready to go when they can play live again.
 
Informative video with some humorous touches, including a very surprising contest for band merchandise! Nice to see so much new video content from Fort Creek when they could still make it, complete with a lot of surprising modern rock covers, and despite three of the five live-streams being sideways, the audio quality holds up! These also give a look into how Reggie's West dealt with social distancing (the lack of fans up front is not accidental), but it is a shame that Shane was stuck behind that cursed pole on the stage. Give Fort Creek's new videos a watch above & below!



Next up, here's some newly uploaded videos on local power rock quartet Re:Born's Facebook page last month! On March 7th, the band shared a brand new rehearsal video (with the caption "There's a pulse......."), of them also covering Motley Crue's "Live Wire", and while only 18 seconds long, it was a promising sign of life! You know it's a new video because of guitarist Blair Burch's much shorter haircut. The video only shows Blair and Brandan in frame, but the audio quality is solid, and it is nice knowing that Re:Born were playing again.... until the new lockdown, of course, but hopefully they can jam again next month! Embedded below is a newly posted concert video from Re:Born's first show with Elly McWatters on vocals, namely their headlining gig at Soo Blaster on March 12th, 2019 to warm up before opening for The Killer Dwarfs there, and the video features them covering Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It"!

Filmed on a stationary (if slightly crooked) angle, this is a strong rendition of this 1980s metal classic, and assembled fans on the floor definitely enjoyed it! Re:Born had a good first year with this lineup, but alas, the pandemic put the brakes on their momentum, so fingers crossed they can get back on stage safely when things lighten up, hopefully later this year. Give Re:Born's new videos a look above and 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 event or company name:
 
  • The live-streamed virtual concert festival Coronafest will return for a second installment on Saturday, April 17th as per the Facebook event page! Co-organized by former Sykotyk Rampage bassist Brian Cattapan (now based out of Sudbury), last year's event featured Brian and local hard rock singer Cory Murchison among it's diverse and mostly non-local lineup, though the current roster has no recognizable local hard rock/punk names. If things change in that regard, we'll let you know, but see above for more details!
  • The Harp Bar & Grill (formerly Madison's Pub) at 701 Pine Street has reportedly closed it's doors permanently due to the third lockdown, and celebrated it's last call on Good Friday, as per their Facebook page. The Harp hosted a number of acoustic concerts from their 2013 Irish rebranding until the pandemic began, but it may be better known to readers from Madison's higher profile run of electric concerts in the 2000s. I won't get into their divisive response to the pandemic on social media here, but it is sad to lose a venue outright like this, and we do wish best of luck to Harp & Pizza King staff and regular patrons in the future!
  • Kewadin Casino in Sault Michigan have announced that tickets purchased for all 2020 concerts postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic will be refunded, if not done so already. According to their Facebook page, Kewadin box office representatives will be contacting people with outstanding tickets and will be sending out checks for refund purposes. These dates do include the Black Label Society and Candlebox shows that were called off last spring. Here's hoping for concerts to resume there as normal down the line!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile on the site next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tarnished), Plus More Updates & Videos From Sault Michigan!!

As we settle into another lockdown on the Ontario side of the border, let's focus solely on Sault Michigan and the Eastern U.P. for today's post! Mostly, this relates to one band in particular (who have a surprise LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for the summer), but we do have some solo videos to cap things off with. Here's what you should know!

Local hard rock band Tarnished will return to the Hulbert House Bed & Breakfast in Hulbert Township on Saturday, August 14th when they open for Grand Rapids country band Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys! Odd genre mix, but it would appeal to a wider audience. The band has yet to confirm this date, but the venue's Facebook page announced the show last week. Time will tell how pandemic restrictions impair this event, but Hulbert House postponed it from a planned April 14th date to work out further details. Note that while Tarnished's previous appearances at Hulbert House were indoors (more on them in a bit), the venue's Facebook page has been teasing that Tarnished will be playing outside of the B&B at dates to be announced this summer, so will this be outdoors too? Details on time, admission fees, and potential age limits are to be announced, so stay tuned to the SMS when we hear more!

While we're on the subject, Tarnished have been busy of late, including releasing their new single "SDR&R" (short for "Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll") on Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, and Spotify on March 29th! Assuming it won't be on an album (at least imminently), I will give my thoughts on it here, and it's an effective 1980s metal throwback with a modern hard rock bite and strong guitar work, but ending the song with a solo did feel like a slight anticlimax. Fans should enjoy it, so give it a listen! The black & white photo at the top right is from a new shoot Tarnished did with Jay London Photography, but new bassist Donald Alexander is not included for unannounced reasons. Hopefully he was just unavailable that day! Lastly, remember their Nathan-free live-streamed performance on Friday, March 19th? Well, here's some more details on where that took place!

As it turns out, the March 19th video was filmed at the aforementioned Hulbert House Bed & Breakfast, so they must have returned less than a week later, despite neither the band nor venue advertising the return engagement on their respective Facebook pages. Assuming this wasn't a private event, I do apologize for not covering it on the SMS, but again, neither Tarnished nor Hulbert House plugged it in advance. An implied Alex/Josh acoustic set may also have taken place at Hulbert House, based on photos the venue shared on March 18th (again, apologies if we did miss something, but it wasn't announced beforehand.) One more concert video was shot during the March 19th set, as uploaded on Hulbert House's Facebook page two days later, where Alex, Donald, and Josh covered Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water".

Capturing the full song (if short a guitarist), Tarnished handle this classic hard rock standby with ease, though Alex does put some extra oomph into the vocals at times. Again, the lighting seems overkill when the indoor stage setup there looks so plain (hence why I didn't assume the prior video from this set was from a scheduled concert at first), but if the gang at Hulbert House see an opportunity to host live music during a low time, and can do it safely, why not give it a shot? Check out Tarnished's other new video below, and stay tuned for updates when they roll in!

Finally, have you been wondering what St. Ignace progressive metal band Heavy Lies The Crown have been up to lately? We're nearing a month since their last update relating to actual band activity (allegedly, they are waiting for mastering to wrap up on their upcoming CD), but two members have been working on some solo endeavours in the past month! Singer Brandon West has been supplying vocals for a couple of far-flung musicians' original projects that have been shared on H.L.T.C.'s Facebook page (both via YouTube postings and Brandon's TikTok page), but will these provide any sonic hints towards the band's upcoming album? They're brutal enough to match, for what it's worth! Meanwhile, guitarist Ted Olson quietly resumed his dormant solo project over the winter, and has posted a handful of original composition playthrough videos to his new YouTube channel (largely filmed by Brandon), with an outdoor video for his own track "Odin" posted yesterday.

Embedded below is Ted's solo song "Just Chill", uploaded almost a month ago. Excellent progressive metal guitar work from Ted, who is an underrated player locally, though whether you consider his solo to be as "insane" as advertised is up to your preferences. Hopefully Ted's YouTube videos will help tide everyone over while we wait for Heavy Lies The Crown's album, so give his videos a look above and below, and Ted is back in our active Sault Michigan band links! Here's hoping he has some more content in the works!

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

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Where Are The New Albums? April 2021 Update

It's now time for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post as we continue our monthly features on upcoming and at least partially recorded albums from Sault Ontario metal, hard rock, or punk musicians, in order to see where they publically stand before their hoped release. Not too much has changed for this series since last month, with no new albums added, but two entries have updates, as noted with their titles in italics. So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chase James Wigmore's new albums

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: Ever the prolific artist and songwriter, local folk punk/extreme metal musician Chase Wigmore posted on his eponymous Facebook page on August 31st to announce two more distinct acoustic albums and the long-gestating completion of his 33 part rock opera "A Story About A Kid Named Todd". On January 17th, he revealed that a new full-length acoustic album was ready to be recorded (likely last month's free acoustic black metal album "Ruins Of Life"), while also promoting the impending release of his long-gestating new Awokest album "Beyonder", which was posted for free on YouTube three days later.

Current Release Status: Your guess is as good as mine, but remember that Chase is very prolific and varied in his musical interests, and not every album of his has seen a formal paid release, either by finishing it's lifespan as a demo, or by being released online for free. Stay tuned for updates from his camp when they roll in!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide's fourth album

Rumoured Songs: "Lost & Found", "All Broke Down", "No Control"

Background: Revived local Celtic punk veterans Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide began recording sessions by October 2018 at Dustin's own Mission Control Studios, as per their Facebook page. In January 2019, the band confirmed that they were indeed recording a fourth studio album (and first since 2012), which will presumably be released through Tidal Records, and will also be their first album with second guitarist Liam Seymour & drummer Chris Johns. While "All Broke Down" was initially cited as the first single in December 2018 (source here), the first two released singles were "Lost & Found" in March 2019 & "No Control" in December 2020. Credits on the above songs' music videos note that Kyle Whittaker at Strange Pumpkin Studios in St. Catharine's is mixing the album, as he has done for multiple Tidal/Mission Control releases. Dustin did post a new original song named "For Now" on YouTube" in January, but it's not clear whether it is intended to be for The Tide or not.

Current Release Status: When The Tide shared a teaser clip for "Lost & Found", they mentioned that the album was "coming soon", which doesn't tell us much. With recording sessions well along the way, and two music videos now public, it's likely that Dustin and company aren't early in the process, but we'll let you know when more comes out on the album!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kraken Mara - "Press Start"

Rumoured Songs: "The Woodward", "Vibe Check", "Stratus", "Moon's Haunted", "MinMaj" "Chimera", "Ishka", "Grand Machinations", "Dark Passenger"

Background: The progressive metal project from Late & Loud guitarist Brendan Christie & his brother-in-law Jake Valois, Kraken Mara immediately commenced work on their debut EP upon their April 2016 launch. In sporadic updates on Facebook, Reverbnation, and their website, the band posted & reworked original demos with Reese Wolf working as sound engineer for the tracks, and they even planned for music videos of each song. After October 2017, Kraken Mara went on hiatus partially due to Brendan's overseas work commitments, and after a brief return in late 2019, they came back fully in February 2021 with new videos on their Instagram page, playthrough videos for "Vibe Check" & "MinMaj" hitting their YouTube channel last month, and streaming copies of five songs newly posted on their website. With their return, they have named the previously self-titled EP "Press Start" (after briefly being called "Vibe Check"), and confirmed that the Kelowna, B.C.-based Cliff Aubut will provide drums as a session musician.

Current Release Status: Assuming that the five streaming songs on their website will be the only five songs on "Press Start" (nothing was firmly said in that regard), then the EP is very likely done the recording sessions, and it does sound like Kraken Mara are nearing a paid release of some kind! That said, the pandemic is still very much a concern, and who knows what format the EP's release will take, though as a studio-only project with no live concerts or full-time bassist & drummer, they wouldn't necessarily be hamstrung by not being able to play a release show in the near term. Stay tuned for more on Kraken Mara's new EP when it rolls in!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Haggith - Bridges

Rumoured Songs: "From The 55th Parallel", "Over Indecision", "The Nature of The Times","An Act of Strength","The Catalyst", "Dangerous Town", "Come On Home", "Blue Highway", "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost", "Bridges"

Background: After moving to Thompson, Manitoba in November 2017, prolific local/Windsor hard/alternative rock musician Mike Haggith relaunched his dormant solo project, and soon commenced work on a new CD named "Bridges", which finished recording sessions in early 2019. His Facebook page has documented songwriting sessions, acoustic videos of new original songs, plus solo concerts in Thompson largely featuring new tracks. Despite the unveiling of the cover artwork, three singles, and even a music video for "The Nature of The Times", Mike indefinitely postponed the release of "Bridges" in late 2019 due to mixing delays, personal life concerns, and the quick development of a new album named "If Ever Comes The Day", which was released in June. Note that Mike has released a new studio single named "To Be With You" that has exclusively been aired on The Borderline Radio, but he has not confirmed whether that will be part of a new album of it's own.

Current Release Status: Mike has largely kept his next music plans close to the vest aside from some promising teasers, though he did perform "Come On Home" in Thompson's virtual Winterfest concert last month, and said there that "Bridges" will be released this year. Though this album has been surprisingly delayed since before the pandemic, Mike's typical candor & honesty bodes well if anything sudden occurs. Keep tabs for updates, and watch #LockdownLive IV to hear the whole album unplugged and hear his side of the album's progress and delays as of April 2020!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Uncanny Valley's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "The Uncanny Valley", "Glowin'", "Middle Man", “This Love is Psychedelic”, "Stuck In Rotation", “Sweet Like Sugar”

Background: The new classic hard rock band from 2019 Soo's Got Talent winner Adrian Sullivan, fans will have seen original material of theirs right from the start, as The Uncanny Valley debuted their own songs in their first live concert at The Canadian on New Year's Eve 2019. Live concert & jam session videos have followed on their Facebook page featuring their own material as well. After posting a teaser audio clip of "Sweet Like Sugar" in September, they posted the full studio version of "Middle Man" in October, finally confirming there that they are working on their first album, though no other details have followed suit.

Current Release Status: No clue, which isn't helped by The Uncanny Valley's age and relatively unfamiliar profile for many readers, not to mention the complications of the pandemic, and the apparent departure of bassist Adam Fahrer in recent months. That said, they are a talented group who seem to be taking the right steps for the future, and hopefully more updates on their debut album follow when ready!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! This series will return on or around May 2nd, while our next monthly feature post will likely be this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles next week. That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site in the days ahead! Thanks everyone, and Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soundcheck), Ontario's Third COVID-19 Lockdown, And More!!

A new month is upon us, and it's already starting out to be newsworthy in a somewhat melancholy way, so that's leading things off, but there will be a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT and a new video to check out later on. Now, here's what you should know in the news!
 
As many of you will probably be aware by now, Ontario Premier Doug Ford will put the province into another mass lockdown phase starting Saturday at midnight due to rapidly rising COVID-19 cases. This is slated to run through the end of the month, and an extension into May or possible tightened restrictions would be on the table if case counts don't visibly improve. Click here or visit your preferred local/provincial news outlets for more details on these new measures. This won't be a complete lockdown on the level of the ones we went through from March-June of last year and in December-February, as schools are not slated to close, and non-essential retailers can remain open with a 25% capacity limit. However, this will wipe out indoor dining & nightclub service once again, consequently also calling off what little concerts in the Soo that were booked at traditional venues from April 3rd-30th.

The only scheduled hard rock concert in Sault Ontario that was publically announced in that timeframe was a planned matinee this Sunday at Reggie's Place from Tym Morrison, a show that would have been previewed on short notice in this post had the Premier not pulled the emergency brake. The Facebook event page for that concert has not been updated to reflect it's cancellation, but regardless, yesterday's announcement will have confirmed it's status. Of course, a third lockdown is not ideal for the local music scene, especially given that the Algoma District is still not doing as badly as Southern Ontario for cases, though numbers have slowly been adding up in this region (229 confirmed cases and 4 deaths as of this writing, source here.) Yes, vaccines are starting to roll out, but clearly not fast enough to stem the tide of this third wave, so hopefully these new measures will help.

Unless you were lucky enough to get a vaccine already, please take every recommended measure to keep yourself and others safe. Wear a face mask, be vigilant, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home where possible. Hopefully this lockdown isn't lengthened or tightened, so that we can get back to somewhat more normal proceedings, especially with more vaccines eventually making their way here. We will get through this!
 
With that said, we do have a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT before the lockdown goes into effect, as local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will rock Reggie's West for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced this gig via their Facebook event page yesterday (it's unclear whether this is a last minute booking due to the lockdown or if this was already planned, just not publically promoted before now.) This will be Soundcheck's first concert since their run of three in four days at the same venue during St. Patrick's Day week, and their last until May(?), so if you want to see Terry, Cameron, Paul, and Glen's brand of classic and hard rock covers on Good Friday, be at The Reggievelt TOMORROW! A 7:30 PM start time is in effect for this 19+ show with no age limit. See above for more details, and here's Soundcheck live!

Finally for today, remember how local folk punk/extreme metal musician Chase Wigmore teased on his Facebook page last month that he is "almost finished with something that is on an entirely different level of magnitude than my normal work"? Well, the fruits of that labour were uploaded to his YouTube channel yesterday, namely a half hour piano composition named "The Symphonic Organism"! If considered an "album", there are no track listings given. Chase is a more accomplished guitarist, but his piano playing is lively and proficient, and it's great to see him expand his horizons like this! Give "The Symphonic Organism" a listen below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's "Where Are The New Albums? post next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

New Guitar Playthrough Videos, A Vocal Cover, And More Recent Updates!!

For our presumed final post of March 2021, we're looking at some recent video uploads, two being playthrough performances towards upcoming album releases, and one being a solo cover, while some assorted news items round things out. We'll start with St. Ignace, Michigan progressive metal quintet Heavy Lies The Crown, who uploaded a new guitar playthrough video for their new original song "Choke" on their YouTube channel two weeks ago! Apologies for the delay, it just fell through the cracks. Filmed and edited by vocalist Brandon West, the black & white clip features guitarist Ted Olson playing along to the song, giving us out best glimpse yet of "Choke", if not completely in it's final studio form. I'll hold comment on the song pending the final album release (no word yet on when that will be), but extreme metal fans will want to hear the "Choke" playthrough for themselves below, and watch out for the 8 ball!


Next up, let's head north to Sault Ontario for another guitar playthrough video from a local band working on a studio album, this time courtesy of progressive metal duo Kraken Mara's YouTube channel! Like for their "Vibe Check" playthrough video, this was published well in advance to "premiere" on YouTube yesterday, but unlike then, this solely features guitarist Jake Valois across multiple camera angles (some in motion). The song featured here is "MinMaj" (short for "minor major", I assume?), and if you want some more technical prog metal, you'll want to give this a look below, but stay tuned for more on their upcoming "Press Start" EP when it rolls in!


Also, here's another new solo cover from ex-Sense of Truth/Skeyes of Seven frontman Cory Murchison's YouTube channel on Sunday, though unlike his usual recent uploads, this is just a vocal cover along with the original track, karaoke style, with no guitar. Here, Cory is covering Audioslave's "Like A Stone", though with an odd video filter that ghosts his movements. Nicely sung rendition overall, if a little "rocked up", so to speak, compared to the original, but give Cory's new cover a watch for yourself below!


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

  • If you've noticed that local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback have recently been playing live-streamed concert jams on Twitch and are wondering why we don't cover them on the SMS, it's because none have been saved to watch on demand, and they appear to be streamed only the once for live viewers. If they do happen to store any to watch after the fact, we will absolutely discuss them here, but in terms of the live airing... I'm lucky to hear about them while they're in progress, let alone early!
  • Prolific local folk punk/extreme metal musician Chase Wigmore announced on his Facebook page on March 19th that he is "almost finished with something that is on an entirely different level of magnitude than my normal work". Does this reference his long-gestating and long-running "A Kid Named Todd" rock opera, or something else entirely? Stay tuned for updates!
  • New local hard rock band Dealing Without have added ex-Redundant/Elements bassist James White and former Re:Born singer Robert Nevitt (guitarist Rick Atkins' old Big Mistake bandmate) to their lineup, as per their Facebook page earlier this month. Now, existing singer Jordan Rains does not appear to have left the band, so how will Dealing Without juggle two singers in a genre that normally doesn't require them? We'll keep you posted, but Rob & James should be solid additions!

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

Saturday, March 27, 2021

YouTube Channel Profile Series: themarkylion & Buzz Ineau's Channels

It's now time for our last monthly feature post of the first quarter of 2021, namely this month's YouTube Channel Profile! This series looks at 1-3 YouTube channels (two this month) that were randomly selected from our YouTube subscriptions of channels with at least half of their content devoted to local metal, hard rock, and punk musicians/concerts.As the first channel we randomly drew only had one actual locally based project in it's two uploads, I picked one with two distinct video kinds to fill things out, but both have familiar faces to many fans from their local work that you can check out through their channels! Here's what you should know!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

themarkylion's Channel (http://youtube.com/themarkylion)

Owner: Prolific local punk musician Mark Rand (a.k.a. Marky Lion), who previously performed as a guitarist and bassist with local bands like Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Bondar, DDPBB, Detroit, Fuller, hackthemodem, and Lion Ride (among many others), as well as a few bands in his current Southern Ontario homebase, most notably his current hardcore punk trio Cross Dog.

Channel Timeline: Launched on February 9th, 2008; Only videos posted in December 2009 & September 2010

Channel Summary: A personal use channel that hasn't been visibly updated in over a decade, Mark only posted two videos here from two different projects, and despite utilizing his Lion Ride moniker in his username, that band isn't one of them. One is a slideshow for his song "Question" from his 2010-2011 Southern Ontario-originated solo project (credited here to M.R.B., as in "Mark Rand Band"), which fans of his music should definitely enjoy! Featured here is Mark's upload of his local hardcore punk supergroup Detroit's minute-long 2009 original "Darth Vader" from their "Brace For Impact" EP, also featuring then-Lion Ride bandmates Brent Ellis & Mikey Hawdon on vocals and drums, plus fellow Saultite guitarist Curtis Faux. Blistering and explosive track for genre fans while it lasts, but you'll have to seek the rest of the EP out elsewhere on YouTube.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buzz Ineau (http://youtube.com/channel/UCRvcsVp2Fh0PSzemTFTsYjA)

Owner: Local alternative & hard rock singer/guitarist Erik "Buzz" Boissineau, best known locally for fronting bands like Barfly, Changing Lanes, Garden of Bedlam, and The Guitar Gangsters, as well as Toronto's Midnight Traffic.

Channel Timeline: Launched on May 2nd, 2020; Videos posted from July of last year through earlier this month

Channel Summary: Launched during the pandemic when he couldn't play live, Buzz has dedicated his channel to acoustic covers, presently including two solo performances from this month and two featuring his Guitar Gangsters bandmate Tiffany Stocco on second guitar from last summer.
 
Why You Should Watch: If you want to see current musical work from Buzz (and Tiffany), even in unplugged at-home form, this is the best spot to do so, and Buzz even got some MCTV airtime from these covers, so they're finding an audience! This is a rare case in this series where the
channel we randomly picked is still very much in active use, so look for more videos here soon!

 Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:
 
Nine Inch Nails (cover) “Hurt”: The most viewed video on Buzz's channel is of he and Tiffany covering Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" this past August, joining their preceding cover of The White Buffalo & The Forest Rangers’ “Come Join the Murder” (as seen on Sons of Anarchy). Buzz & Tiff handle "Hurt" well in this format, and Buzz does use his vocal range more than Trent did!


John Lennon (cover) “Imagine”: When Buzz resumed posting on his YouTube channel earlier this month, he did so via two solo acoustic covers of more emotional classics. His newest rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" has gotten more attention, but we just talked about it on the site 11 days ago, so let's shine a light on his less-viewed cover of "Imagine" by one of my mom's favourite musicians, John Lennon. Solidly effective cover that makes great use of Buzz's vocal range, despite it's sharply high camera angle, so fans of his dormant band work will want to see what he's up to here!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! This series will return on or around April 26th when we look at a single randomly selected channel, namely YouTube user metalmaster666's channel, featuring a handful of mid-2000s hard rock performances at Dunnplugged-related events! Watch for that then, and for a new news post of some kind in the coming days! Thanks everyone!