Thursday, April 29, 2021

A New Local Metal Project, Videos From the Eastern U.P., And More!!

Let's get one last news post on the SMS before the month of April is over, so what's on tap today? Mostly Sault Michigan updates, including a couple of videos and some shorter recent updates, but let's lead off on this side of the border with a new metal project to take note of!

We have a new local metal act to add to our active Sault Ontario band links, and they are Molten Imp, the new project led by former AlgomA singer/guitarist Boyd Rendell! I know Boyd's involved based on Facebook conversations, but this project is otherwise fairly cryptic in it's public presentation. Their Bandcamp page description calls them an "industrial metal project from one of the Molten Bros.", and it lists four possible pseudonyms above it: SGs, H5, KaOssilator, and DAW (Darby A. Wigwaus?) Molten Imp has seemingly been in the works since last year, and they have two songs posted to Bandcamp so far, those being parts 1 & 2 of a song called "Winter XX/XXI". However, both are industrial-tinged noise tracks that don't have much in the way of "traditional" metal instrumentation. Honestly, these aren't my thing, but at least it's not ambient shoegaze music, which I've never liked.

Apparently, heavier metal tracks are forthcoming for Molten Imp, and with Boyd's past resume, he can definitely crush in the metalsphere, so stay tuned for more from Molten Imp when it rolls in, and stream or buy both "Winter XX/XXI" tracks at the above links!

Next up, here's some new videos from Sault Michigan-area artists, starting with a new video from local blues/hard rock quartet Project 906's Facebook page last week! This is of a new original song that they're working on entitled "One Glance", but it's strictly a vocal/guitar performance, and only Joe is visible on camera. One commenter compared this song to The Grateful Dead, which I can hear a bit of, and it suits a nice laid back sound well, but of course, I'd gravitate to something a little heavier. Visually, the mirrored image and Joe's head being mostly cut off aren't ideal, but give Project 906's new song a look below, and stay tuned for more from their camp!

Also, here's a new solo performance video from Heavy Lies The Crown guitarist Ted Olson's YouTube channel last week, which is curiously titled "Disgusting", complete with a disclaimer not to watch if you have a weak stomach, as it may cause seizures. Don't worry, that is all hyperbole and self deprecation, the video has no flashing lights, it's just heavily filtered in green and almost out of phase with itself. Apparently planned for a collaboration (vocals to be added), the performance proper is brutal and technical, and Ted makes solid use of his 8 string guitar! Give "Disgusting" 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 or event name:
  • I have removed Sault Ontario-based Kiss tribute band Creatures Of The Night from our inactive band links due to the deletion of it's Facebook group, which was it's only surviving online page, though a handful of videos still exist on YouTube. Featuring Free Beer and Sindicate alumni, this band was comprised of then-Sir James Dunn students during the 2007-2008 school year, and were active in the Dunnplugged series at the time. Hopefully Andrew, Mike, Nick, Keith, and Ryan are doing well nowadays!
  • In the first of likely multiple concert festival cancellations for this summer, the annual Musicians Festival in Rudyard, Michigan in August was called off again due to the ongoing pandemic, as per the festival's Facebook page last week. The event, which typically features at least one hard rock band, is a fundraiser for local school district music programs, and was held annually from 2016-2019. Fingers crossed that the Musicians Fest can return in 2022!
  • Last week, local hard rock band Tarnished shared a video to their Facebook page from a special acoustic performance that Alex & Josh gave at a wedding proposal, where they performed a personalized love song written by the groom-to-be. That was very nice of them to take part in such a special moment, and congratulations to the happy couple! Due to the extremely personal nature of this video, I won't embed it here, but Tarnished's page linked above will fill you in if you're so inclined.
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site next month! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Treble Charger - "Detox" Album Review!!

It's now time for our 142nd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and with no new albums on the immediate horizon, let's dip into the archives to complete our look at inactive local/Toronto indie/punk quartet Treble Charger's original discography, courtesy of their fifth album "Detox"! Released on August 20th, 2002 through ViK Recordings and BMG Canada (and in February 2003 in the US via Virgin Records), "Detox" was produced by Matt Hyde (who also produced 2000's "Wide Awake Bored") and it was recorded at Phase One and Signal to Noise in Toronto, and Metalworks Studios in Mississauga. Treble Charger are represented here by the same lineup as on "Wide Awake Bored", including current singer/guitarists Greig Nori & Bill Priddle, and the since departed Rosie Martin & Trevor McGregor on bass and drums respectively. Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley and No Warning singer Ben Cook also provide backing vocals on the opening track.

While selling less than it's predecessor, this album continued it's pop punk-centric path, and it would go Gold in Canada, receive a 2003 Juno Award nomination for Rock Album Of The Year, and get a lot of airplay on MuchMusic, especially for the opening track. Note that CD copies of "Detox" featured enhanced content when put into a computer's CD drive, which amounted to a splash screen to send you to a "secret site" on ViK Recordings' website. All of the content posted there was likely taken down in 2004 when ViK merged with Sony and/or Treble Charger went on hiatus (click here for my run-through of what we know about the enhanced content.) Also, note that the American pressings of "Detox" featured an altered track listing that changed the order of songs, omitted the last two tracks, and replaced them with "Brand New Low" and "Business" from "Wide Awake Bored".

Digital sale/streaming copies and this review reflect the Canadian release. Speaking of which, "Detox" is available on all major streaming services, and can be bought for $9.49 in mp3 format on Amazon, and physical copies still turn up at local music stores. Song names below are linked to their official YouTube copies. With 11 songs running for about 38 minutes in length, let's begin this long-awaited review! "Detox" begins with the album's first single "Hundred Million", which remains one of Treble Charger's best known singles, having topped the MuchMusic Countdown for a week in October 2002, won two MuchMusic Video Awards in 2003, and appeared on the NHL 2003 and Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild video game soundtracks, not to mention it's popular music video featuring Avril Lavigne & members of Sum 41, Gob, and The Swollen Members.

Lyrically about going against someone in a position of power who doesn't speak for the population at large, "Hundred Million" is an up-tempo and often aggressive punk track that is arguably the heaviest and fastest single they've ever released. For me, that actually takes away from their melodic qualities, so I don't prefer it to (for example) "American Psycho".  When Greig has room to actually sing, the song benefits, and he and Bill mesh well on the heavy riffs. Definitely a fun and in-your-face opener, but I think it's straying from the proven "Wide Awake Bored" narrative. Second is "What You Want", which seems to be about disagreements in a relationship, but resilience to maintain the high ground. This song clicks better for me as a pure skate punk song that I can easily picture in a video game, and it has a very catchy chorus and bouncy riff to go along with it!

Trevor's drumming is really solid, Greig sings with purpose, and overall, the song flat out just works for genre fans, aside from maybe getting a little repetitive in the home stretch, and I do prefer it to the opener! Next on the CD is "Can't Wake Up", which is tied for shortest song on the album with tracks #6 & #10. Lyrically alluding to personal experiences with mental health and depression, the song proper contrasts from that with another up-tempo punk rock structure, and like on "What You Want", everything comes together nicely with fun guitar work, well suited bass from Rosie, and effective vocals that match the song, and it even includes a short guitar solo, which is always nice to hear in pop punk! The ending is a little drawn out, but for my genre tastes, the album is slowly improving as it goes along, which is very promising at this early stage!

Fourth on "Detox" is "The First Time", which is another song about a strained relationship, this time directed at someone who is controlling and dishonest. This is the first song on offer with Bill on lead vocals, and like the songs he sang on "Wide Awake Bored", this is more of a Foo Fighters-esque power pop number without a major punk influence. Fun and upbeat song despite the lyrical themes, and Bill's vocals suit this style of music well, with the drums keeping the rhythm up, but my musical tastes do run towards the prior two tracks. Next is the CD's third and final single "Ideal Waste Of Time", which again dips into the failing relationship well, here about a partner toying with someone and not being respectful of them. A punk number with Greig singing, the swing-esque tempo gives this song a relatively unique bounce, but it's an odd meld between the genre and lyrics.

I can see this song getting stuck as an earworm, but despite solid musicianship (especially on guitar), it's not the most entertainingly cohesive song here, and may have benefited from being simpler musically. We hit the album's mid-point with "Hole In Your Head", which is about trying to help someone through personal trauma, only they don't really seem to want to get better. Bill's back on lead vocals here, and as such, this song is back in power pop territory, but this is an improvement on "The First Time", partially helped by it's speedy pacing contrasting really well with the controlled, soft vocals that play really well into the lyrical themes. Aside from the bridge, the song's always in forward motion, and it allows for Rosie and Trevor to get some good time to shine! Solid track overall that doesn't overstay it's welcome, and one of Bill's stronger vocal efforts in Treble Charger's punk era!

Song #7 is "Don't Believe It All", which was the album's second single, and also had it's own music video parodying Japanese kaiju movies. This one is about not trusting someone who betrayed and lied to you, and it's the softest song with Greig on vocals yet, though it's definitely not a ballad. I've always found the chorus to be very catchy, though the verses are kind of sleepy and don't stick in your head the same. Once those pare past, the parts start to equal the sum, and I appreciate the brief guitar solo! Not a bad song, despite a slow beginning, and honestly, I come back to this one more than "Hundred Million". Next is "Over My Head", which is about trying to identify the source of one's bad day and mood, and is not to be confused with the Sum 41 song from that same year that Greig produced. Rather, this has spare, almost campfire-style verses before ramping up the punk content in the choruses.

Uniquely featuring Greig and Bill on vocals (Bill sings during the bridge before the guitar solo), I really like this song too, and it effectively flips the switch in tone and tempo without sacrificing the message, and Trevor's drumming on the heavier parts is well paced! Definitely a sleeper pick at this stage, but I do prefer Sum 41's "Over My Head". Ninth is "Tired Of It Anyway", yet another song about relationship discord, here reflecting not believing someone's words given past experience. This fits into the same mold as early songs like "What You Want" as a straightforward pop punk number (Greig's last on lead vocals) and while nothing shocking structurally, it gets the job done, including some of Rosie's best bass work yet, but I'm not 100% on board with the chorus' repetitive structure. Fun song overall though! The penultimate song here is "The Downward Dance", a metaphorical song about paying to do the title act.

This is another Bill-sung Foo Fightersy number that makes good use of it's wall of sound without getting too heavy, and it has a strong rhythm section and upbeat melody that work to it's advantage! It's a short song, but it doesn't overstay it's welcome, and it's a nice change of pace, but again, I do lean towards the punk songs. "Detox" closes with it's longest track, the 7+ minutes long "Drive", which seems to be about taking a drive to clear your head from ongoing personal issues, with driving analogies to explain conflicted feelings. The first half is standard fare for a late-era Treble Charger song with Bill on vocals, if somewhat punkier than usual for him, but the second half is an extended slow instrumental jam. This may represent driving, but I don't really feel that it adds to the song proper, and ends the CD on a meandering note. However, the first half is a strong rocker while it lasts with solid guitar work!

So, what are my final thoughts for Treble Charger's last album (to date)? Overall, I definitely like this album, as will fans who hopped on the bandwagon with "Wide Awake Bored", but I'm not sure that I'd rank it higher in enjoyment. I'm not sure whether it's about equal or slightly lesser, but it's definitely in the ballpark. Like on the preceding album, there were seven punk-leaning songs with Greig on vocals and four power pop songs with Bill singing, and while those genre aspects were definitely emphasized with less experimentation, this felt like "Wide Awake Bored 2" in some respects, rather than it's own animal. That's not necessarily bad, just an observation. Songs like "What You Want", "Can't Wake Up", and "Over My Head" struck me as better and catchier songs overall than the actual singles that came from this CD, and I mostly liked Bill's songs a fair amount, and it's a shame that none that he sang from these albums ever got a single release.

The musicianship was solid, and Rosie and Trevor had a bunch of moments to shine, which is definitely welcomed! Aside from a lack of growth and a too-great emphasis on lyrics about relationship issues, "Detox" is a fun punk album on it's own merits, but if you've followed Treble Charger's career, you know that punk wasn't really Bill's thing and it was a factor in his departure from the band in 2003. If Greig & Bill do release their planned sixth album down the line, I have no idea how much of a factor punk will be on it, but this phase of the band gave them their biggest commercial success, and it made me a fan of theirs, so I'll always appreciate "Wide Awake Bored" & "Detox" for what they brought to the table. Buy or stream "Detox" at the above links, and I hope you guys liked this month's CD review!

That said, what will we be reviewing on the site in May 2021? I don't yet know, but if nothing new from metal, hard rock, or punk acts comes out, we'll dip into the archives. In any event, due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer period, it won't be anything from Swampgut or The Bear Hunters. Stay tuned for our next "Where Are The New Albums?" post this weekend for possible hints, and for a new news post of some kind by month's end! Thanks everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2021

YouTube Channel Profile Series: metalmaster666's Channel

It's now time for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, continuing our monthly spotlight features on YouTube channels (all randomly selected from our YouTube subscriptions) in order to look at them and their public content for current readers to encourage views and subscriptions! This month, we randomly drew a channel with some interesting content for both metal fans of the era and former Eagles, so here's what you should know!


metalmaster6666 (

Owner: Former Sindicate/Creatures of the Night guitarist Nick Rhodes

Channel Timeline: Launched on October 3rd, 2006; Videos posted from March 23rd, 2007 until September 18th, 2013

Channel Summary: A personal use channel, Nick originally posted videos here of Dunnplugged-related covers that he was involved in during his enrollment at Sir James Dunn Collegiate & Vocational School in 2007 & 2008. After graduation, he posted two more solo covers of Neil Young and Rodney Carrington songs in 2013.
Why You Should Watch: This channel will be of primary interest to fans and alumni of the long-running Dunnplugged program at Sir James Dunn, and given that the school proper would close after 2011, late-period footage like
this is extra notable, let alone of metal performances! The later covers won't appeal to metalheads (despite Nick's longer hair at this point), but they do show his musical skills were still being honed! Be advised that the Rodney Carrington song is lyrically not safe for work. As well, note that Nick has not visibly used his channel since then.

 Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:
Iron Maiden-Phantom of the Opera(Cover): Nick's most popular video is his first, a March 2007 jam session cover of Iron Maiden's "Phantom Of The Opera" by what appears to be an early version of Sindicate (compare to this video of Sindicate covering "The Trooper" at Bellevue Park that summer). If so, their lineup here would include singer James Green, Nick and Jared Lambert on guitar, and Keith Gagnon (with a box on his head) on drums. There's no bassist present, but Keith's future Free Beer bandmate Ryan Gray would later join Sindicate, and the lineup was full on this actual Dunnplugged version of "Phantom Of The Opera" uploaded 8 days later, though the overall video quality is worse. The dark lighting & lack of a bassist here aren't ideal, and James(?) does struggle with some higher notes, but this isn't a bad rendition, and the audio quality is surprisingly decent for a 2007 upload!

Randy Rhoads- Dee (cover) Dunnplugged: Filmed at the main Dunnplugged stage in May 2008 with a much better camera and setup than the previous year, this video features Nick covering Randy Rhoads' acoustic instrumental "Dee" from Ozzy Osbourne's debut solo album "Blizzard Of Ozz". Very nicely done version, though it did seem to go a little fast, and Nick got some deserved applause at the end!

Patience-Guns and Roses (cover): Nick's final Dunnplugged video before leaving the Dunn saw him and former Sindicate bandmate Jared Lambert (with a 12 string guitar) covering Guns N' Roses' "Patience", with Jared on vocals. Despite a lot of background chatter from students, this cover is well performed overall, but Jared definitely isn't attempting to meet Axl's range in the home stretch. 


I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! This series will return on or around May 26th when we look at another randomly selected channel, namely that of YouTube user 62ndChamberMedia, featuring lots of local metal band footage from the mid-2010s. Look for that then, and for this month's CD review on the site next! Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Woods Of Ypres Concert Audio, New Videos, And Much More!!

We're back with a new news post on this Friday afternoon, and it includes some new videos from some familiar faces, a few shorter updates, and leading off, a surprise archive concert audio recording from dearly missed local band. Here's what you should know!

A new audio recording has surfaced online from defunct local black/doom metal band Woods Of Ypres' 2010 tour! Quietly uploaded in July by YouTube user Christopher B, the 38 minute recording features Woods of Ypres' entire set at The Avalon Nightclub in Santa Clara, California on June 30th, 2010, which was their first ever show in the state, and was part of the band's last independent tour cycle before their false breakup, frontman David Gold's teaching stint in Kuwait, and their signing with Earache Records. If you're curious to see video from this show, YouTube user Ishadowseek posted a couple of videos from it at the time, but the quality on them is mixed. In order, you can hear David, Joel, Shane, and Evan play "The Shams Of Optimism", "Crossing The 45th Parallel", "A Meeting Place & Time", "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)", "Halves & Quarters", "The Sun Was In My Eyes (Part One)", and "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground".

The set was shorter than normal due to a noise curfew, but you get your fill of doom-era Woods of Ypres while it lasts, though I was surprised that "Against The Seasons" got more representation than the then-new "Woods IV". The audio quality isn't pristine, but it holds up well despite being over a decade old, and it's really cool to hear some archival audio of theirs! Yes, the Soo comes up near the end. Give the whole set a listen below!

Next up, here's one more new playthrough video from local progressive metal duo Kraken Mara's YouTube channel! Despite updating the description of their 2017 playthrough video of their song "Stratus" to reflect their 2021 EP plans, that video (the one outside St. Mary's Paper) was taken down and replaced with a brand new playthrough video that was uploaded earlier today! The song is identical, but the video now features Brendan and Jake playing "Stratus" in various locations inside The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. Effectively done with nice visuals inside the museum and with the bushplanes, though I honestly wouldn't have had them sitting down in every shot, especially as these weren't at their studio. It's a shame to lose the original playthrough clip, but hopefully this is another positive sign towards Kraken Mara's album plans, so give it a watch below!

(Just as a correction from last time: Their song "Moon's Haunted" is not the same as "Miscreant", it was just moved off of their debut EP for a planned future release. Thanks to Brendan for the clarification!)

Also today, here's a new original song from Rising Tide/Inner City Surfers frontman Dustin Jones, courtesy of his label Tidal Records' YouTube channel on Saturday! Entitled "Ain't Dead Yet", this was acoustically recorded at Mission Control Studios, and it features on-screen lyrics as the song goes along, which do reference spirit and resilence during the new lockdown. Despite it's unplugged trappings, it definitely has a punk energy and pacing that would not be out of place in his bands, though I don't know if it will be appropriated as such. Fun song, so 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 or website name:
  • As part of the annual Bandcamp Day on May 7th (where the music store website waives all processing fees for one day so that artists get 100% of proceeds from sales), a number of local musicians are banding together to donate their Bandcamp Day earnings to the Sault Area Hospital COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The Facebook event page lists local musicians who have signed on, including punk acts A Dire Setback and Slumshine, with more to be added. Wonderful and timely cause, kudos to Nicole and M.D. for the idea, and try and buy local through Bandcamp on May 7th to help out!
  • This is a foregone conclusion at this point, but I have removed the rescheduled Buckcherry concert at Soo Blaster on May 11th from our concert listings due to extension of the current Ontario lockdown, which will now end on May 20th (subject to change). The Facebook event page has not been updated to reflect a cancellation or new postponement, but again, we'll still be locked down then. We'll keep you guys posted if this show is rescheduled again!
  • Dealing Without/ex-Redundant bassist James White is looking to start a new local band that would cover acts like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, Sublime, and "whatever you can throw at me". As per his post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group on Wednesday, he wants "to start actually playing bass again", and to play songs he likes that aren't in Dealing Without's setlist. Given the lockdown, now may not be an ideal time to jam with new musicians, but if you're interested in working with James in a new project, message him at this link or above to get more details!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and features on the site by next week! Thanks everyone!

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, ... 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!