Sunday, March 18, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 16, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned And Rob Speers & Jesse Cook), And Weekend Concert Previews!!

It's time for our St. Patrick's Day weekend concert previews! I know many of you are awaiting coverage of both Shit Liver's new album and A Dire Setback's recent debut CD-related announcements, but with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to touch on, I've gotta hold them until our next news post. Don't worry, they are coming! On the hard rock side of the spectrum, there's not a decent amount of shows to partake in with green beer in hand, so here's what you should know for this weekend! (Updated at 6:01 PM)

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to The Sportsman's Lounge at Dondee Lanes for concerts TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the shows via it's Facebook event page last night, with the venue's Facebook page previously doing the same yesterday morning. These will be Banned's first shows at the Dondee in over three months, and their first anywhere since rocking Hessel last month, so if you're overdue for another night or two of Alex, Don, and Wayne's hard rocking favourites, you know where to be TONIGHT and/or TOMORROW! Note that a comment on their Facebook page heavily implies that they'll be performing at the first annual Michihistrigan Rendezvous event in Gould City over the Father's Day weekend in June, but remember that the Lower Peninsula is outside of our coverage range.

As usual for Banned's stops at The Dondee, TONIGHT & TOMORROW's shows are 8:00 PM affairs with 21+ age limits and no announced cover charge, and make sure to bring your green clothes and Irish spirit for presumed holiday festivities! Visit the above links for more details, and here's Banned live!

Next up, Elements bandmates and Jack Spades alumni Rob Speers and Jesse Cook will bring their acoustic hard rock show to The Rockstar Bar in Sault Ontario as part of their St. Patrick's Day festivities TOMORROW NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice, Rob did plug it at the end of Jack Spades' set at the Archelon show this past Saturday, but it was only announced online via it's official Facebook event page yesterday. Three weeks removed from their last show of this nature, this will be Rob & Jesse's first Rockstar Bar stop in a month, but this time, the luck of the Irish will be upon TOMORROW'S concert, given the holiday trappings! As such, expect green beer (of course), some form of prize giveaways, and even lreprechauns themselves? Of course, in terms of the music, expect more unplugged cover favourites from Rob & Jesse, plus guest performers, and the venue did hype up that you can "bring your guitar and join in the fun!"

No cover charge was announced for this 11:00 PM, 19+ event TOMORROW NIGHT, but given the seasonal trappings, have cash on hand just in case. Visit the above links for more details, and here's "The Kariokeheads" live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, fans can also check out prolific local hard rock solo artist Tym Morrison as he returns to Gliss Steak & Seafood for two more matinee headlining gigs TONIGHT & TOMORROW! Keeping up with his busy schedule of shows there, and fresh off of his minimally advertised Mark's Breafast Plus shows earlier this week (including one yesterday, apologies for missing it here), Tym's latest stops at The Quality Inn's house restaurant should provide more of the same acoustic hard rock classic action, so don't miss out on these next two supper-time gigs! Note that the Sault Music Newsletter Facebook page advertises Tym as playing at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill tonight, but neither he nor the venue have otherwise confirmed that. If either does, we'll edit this post!  As usual for Tym's Gliss stops, expect 6:00 PM start times, and no announced cover charges or age limits, but mind the locale. See above for more details, and here's Tym live!

This post originally ended with a preview of a New American Pub show THIS SUNDAY NIGHT to have been headlined by Louisiana punk trio Layden & The Lion, but it as confirmed this evening that they had to cancel their tour for unspecified "personal reasons". Our source is co-promoter/performer Jackson Reed via a share of the now-updated Facebook event page. Hopefully all's well in Layden and company's camp, it would have been nice to see them in town! Unusually, their exit means that the entire original lineup has dropped out of this show, as planned openers Telephone & Address and Greg Callaghan has previously dropped out for unannounced reasons too, leaving their spots to be filled by Treble Charger guitarist Bill Priddle, folk/pop artist Shae Tull, and the aforementioned Jackson Reed (who is also Telephone & Address' new drummer.) The show will go on though on Sunday night, and while it no longer contains no punk acts, consider a trip to The New A at 8:00 PM for the indie and folk rock on display! The $5 cover charge and 19+ age limit remain intact from earlier incarnations of this show.

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Archelon/Doors & Fours Concert Video Showcase!!

Today's post is entirely devoted to videos from the Archelon-headlined Rockstar Bar concert from this past Saturday night, as debuting/opening local power rock quintet Re:Born's Facebook page has uploaded videos from each band's set! I believe these were shot (at least in part) by guitarist Blair Burch's son Cory, who I recall filming during the show. Better quality than my videos overall, and he got closer to the bands, which is helpful! Remember, I don't like getting closer to the bands if no one's really on the floor, as I don't want to be "that guy" blocking everyone's view. Re:Born's video of Archelon is of the headlining Sudbury groove/death metal quintet playing their song "Path to Darkness", which captures their brutal onslaught nicely, if with slightly staticy audio, and it's nice to see a vibrant fan response up front! Give it a look below!

Next up, Re:Born's channel also posted this video Hamilton punk/grunge trio Doors & Fours playing their song 'Take Your Life Away" on Saturday night, which is coincidentally the song I filmed for our review of this concert. That said, this is a higher quality version of this song, and comparatively a more reserved track than Doors & Fours chaotic, all-business set tended to contain! Give it a look below as well!

Moving to the locals, we also have a new video of Jack Spades playing their original song "Motorwolf", and in a surprise occurence that I forgot to mention in our review, the opening yell of the song's title was done by frontman J.D. Pearce rather than another past or present band member, as they're more typically known for. Energetic and suitably high impact rendition from this fan favourite punk/metal quintet, so check out their new lineup in action below!

And finally, Re:Born themselves were filmed twice for their channel, including their renditions of "Reckoning Day" & "Breaking the Law" by Megadeth and Judas Priest respectively, and asembedded below, their covers of AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie" & predecessors Project 421's "Running Away". Very solid debut for this new band, and Robert Nevitt has the pipes despite a lack of band experience until now, so hopefully they keep on an upward trajectory in 2018! Check our Re-Born's first official live videos above and below, and stay tuned for more from them!

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Id Iota & Tym Morrison), Oh!No Concert Festival Updates, And More!!

Here's another new news post to check out on this Tuesday afternoon, so what's on tap? Some shorter assorted stories from recent days, a video remembering and hyping up past and future installments of a concert festival, and LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the spring, but we'll start with one on SHORT NOTICE and a related apology!

Former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return to Mark's Breakfast Plus for a special matinee concert TONIGHT, after previously playing there yesterday! Profuse apologies for the short notice (and for missing last night's concert), Tym only announced them via his personal Facebook page yesterday at supper time, with a Facebook event page that listed the shows as being on February 12th and 13th being taken down after the fact. These will "mark" Tym's first shows at the Market Mall restaurant since the end of February, and if you're up for some skilled (if late notice) acoustic hard rock classics, be at Marks TONIGHT! While we're in the business, Tym will also bring his acoustic solo act to The Tech on Saturday, April 7th for an afternoon set during the first annual Twin City Tattoo Convention, which will definitely be a unique showcase for his material! Tym will be playing before acoustic country duo The Bearded Lounge and blues veterans The Swamp Cats that day.

TONIGHT'S (and yesterday's) Mark's shows are 6:00 PM matinees with no announced cover charges or age limits, but mind the locale, while the Twin City Tattoo Convention may or may not have age limits and cover charges, so check the above links for full details therein. Time-wise, he's on at 12:30 PM, with The Stray Cats at 3:00 PM and The Bearded Lounge headlining at 6:00 PM. Whether you want some imminent supper-time music or want to rock out amongst local inked brethren, Tym's staying busy! Don't miss out, here's Tym live, and apologies again for missing last night's Mark's gig! We'd have plugged it here had it received advance notice!

Next up, here's a couple of new shows regarding local alternative hard/indie rock quartet Id Iota, who will make their long awaited return to the local stage for the first time since May at three upcoming shows this spring! To start, the guys will join drone rock trio Pointless for a joint concert at LopLops Lounge on Friday, March 30th, in what will be the Soo debut of Id Iota's still-unrevealed new bassist, as well as an early live appearance for Pointless with Id Iota's own Dustin Goodall on bass in place of the relocated Jordan Leach. Nice to see both bands back on stage, and this should be an interesting style contrast at LopLops at month's end! If you can't be at that show, both bands will also join forces at the same venue on Saturday, May 19th when they open for Sudbury garage rock trio The Almighty Rhombus, whose contemporary and lively sound is well suited to the venue, and they should attract an audience along with the locals in May as well!

For the former, a $5 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time are in effect, and while online advertising for the latter has not commenced, I imagine all three will translate to that show except for maybe a higher cover. Id Iota have been busy in studio since last year working on their first full length album, and have teased that we may see it this year finally, but look for originals from it and some surprise covers at these two shows, and remember, Pointless are fronted by Bill Priddle of Treble Charger fame! Visit the March 30th gig's Facebook event page and above for more details, and stay tuned for more from Id Iota!

Next up, here's a retrospective video from/teaser for the Oh!No Music Festival in nearby Leeburn, Ontario, courtesy of co-promoter/AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent's YouTube channel yesterday! The 2 minute clip features high quality footage from the Robbie's Church-held festival from Six, Two, Oh., as set to "The Sweat of a Hero" by Sudbury punk trio Lightmares (who were on last year's bill), though to my knowledge, the full footage from the cameras used here, let alone with original audio, isn't publically viewable yet. In this video, you'll see performance footage of every single band or solo act that played last year (even DJ Seith), and it's well edited, letting us see everything without giving much away! The video's end implies that the Oh!No Festival will return to Leeburn on Friday, September 8th, and while I don't think the logo at the end is anything more than a new Oh!No logo, there are more questions. Who's playing this year? Will it be at the church again? Will the ground rules change? Keep tabs for more details, and look back on last year below!

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

  • In a post on their Facebook page yesterday, The Canadian Nightclub indicated that they were looking for bands to play at the venue and upstairs at The Upper Deck Lounge (adding "WE PAY! YOU PLAY!"), as well as a mention that they are "looking at hosting a battle of the bands in the near future" with "great prizes". It'd be great to see a new battle there, not to mention more bands playing regularly at this fan favourite venue, so see above to inquire on how to play at The Canadian in either setting!
  • Local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades and sister punk trio Stegadeth will both be heading out to Meyersburg for this year's Spiderfest on Saturday, July 14th! Both bands will be playing on night 2 of the annual punk/extreme metal festival, where they'll open for such past local performers as The Ripcordz, Random Killing, and The Union Thugs. Jack Spades have spoken very highly of the Spiderfest experience in the past, and here's hoping both bands deliver a knockout blow again this summer!
  • Former That's Chester drummer Ric Datson (now of Bone Yard & Mojo fame) is featured in the cover story of the new issue of The Soo Profile Magazine, featuring interview remarks from him and an outline of his musical, professional, and charitable endeavours. Very entertaining interview that paints a quality picture of Ric in varying facets, and it's well worth a read at the above links and/or at participating local merchants!

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Who Made Who), A New EP Release, And Much More!!

Here's a new news post for your Tuesday morning delectation, so what's on the docket today? A band moved to our inactive links, a new concert video, and a new album release, but we'll lead off with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month, so here's what you should know!

Toronto-based AC/DC tribute band Who Made Who will return to Sault Ste. Marie for another headlining concert on Friday, April 6th at The Rockstar Bar! Though not yet advertised online that I have found, this poster at the venue proper confirms the show, which takes place the same day as Shit Liver's release tour stop downstairs at The Algonquin Pub, so keep that in mind as well for the 6th. Fans will recall seeing Who Made Who's faithful sounding and looking tribute to AC/DC at The Rockstar Bar last April, and numerous times prior in the early 2010s, so their brand of high voltage rock & roll has definitely found an audience in the Soo, and here's hoping their return next month provides more of the same! This 19+ concert will likely have a 9:00 PM start time, and while admission fees have not yet been announced publically, note that last year's Who Made Who show had $10 tickets that you could buy at The Algonquin Hotel's front desk. Both floors of The Algonquin will be rocking on the 6th, so see above for more details on this concert!

Next up, we have a surprise new album release to note on here, as local instrumental black metal solo project Abhorrent Forest have posted their third EP online, in their first public act since releasing their second ("Ethereal") last fall! Entitled "To See Eternity", this was posted to the project's Bandcamp page yesterday, and marks a return to Old Man Wyrn's black metal roots after "Ethereal" dove head first into ambient compositions. This EP is currently on sale on Bandcamp for $10, but you can stream all four tracks for free there as well. It's great to see Abhorrent Forest active and recording, even if we only seem to hear from them when they release a new album on us! That said, when can you expect a review of "To See Eternity" on the SMS? Not this month, as this is the last month of our 6 month anti-bias buffer since reviewing "Ethereal", and with Shit Liver's new album pencilled in for next month, I'm targeting May for it. Assuming nothing screwy happens, look for it then, and stream all of Abhorrent Forest's studio material above!

Also today, here's the first of the public videos that have turned up from Saturday night's Archelon concert at The Rockstar Bar, as drummer Keith Zwicker posted this video of the Sudbury groove metal quintet playing their song "Cut & Run" to his personal YouTube channel yesterday! Ostensibly filmed by someone on Archelon's crew, this video has a great close angle from the far corner of the stage, and while the audio's a little muffled, their brutal aggression is captured well enough! Check it out below, and stay tuned for more from Archelon and the other bands in an upcoming post!

Finally, we have an addition to note to our inactive band links, that being local death metal duo Brutally Fatal. While there have been no firm announcements regarding their status, they haven't posted a new public update since releasing their free "Blood of the Devil" "album" last February, though for what it's worth, label Blood Shed Productions have been very quiet in the past year as well. Active off and on since 2012, Brutally Fatal was an early flagship band for the Blood Shed label from co-founder Austin McCrae, who put out a few album-formatted releases of an often provocative nature, while also performing at scattered concerts in the mid-2010s as both a solo act and later alongside C.T.W.'s Tyler Gibson on drums. These notably included the final Swampstravaganza in 2015, and a number of Blood Shed-affiliated Oddfellows and house party events. Note that this is not the same band as The Revolution, which Austin launched in 2014 as a second version of Brutally Fatal during the original's brief punk turn as Re-Born (no relation.)

Whether you spelled "Brutaly" with one L or two, Brutally Fatal were a fittingly brutal band at their height, and while the minimalistic extreme sound wasn't for everyone, they did showcase growth and originality during their run! I don't know if Brutally Fatal are lying dormant while Blood Shed continues their quiet period or if they're effectively done, but hopefully we hear more from Austin and Tyler musically soon in this or other projects! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site as the week continues! Thanks everyone!

Archelon/Doors & Fours Concert Review!!

After a delay due to personal commitments, here's our review of Saturday night's Archelon/Doors & Fours concert at The Rockstar Bar! Nice to finally get back out to a show after a little too long, but unfortunately, the crowd was only about medium capacity. The fans that did make it out were vocal and invested, however, and by the end of the night, the floor was getting reasonably packed, which was nice to see! Now, onto the bands!

Opening this show were the debuting Re:Born, the new power rock quintet from Project 421, Eclipse, and Din alumni, so how'd they sound for their first public outing? So far, so good, in my opinion! Playing a set familiar to 421 diehards with originals like "No One Rides For Free" & "Into The Darkness" joining Iron Maiden and Diamond Head renditions, this new band also broke out a few new covers not done by the old band, including some AC/DC and Scorpions classics. Of course, Blair Burch and Frank McGillivray's pre-existing chemistry was on full display, Fred Dunn's bass work fit in well, and Brandan Glew's acclimiating nicely to this heavier sound (though the bass drum could be a little loud.) The great unknown here was with singer Robert Nevitt, who was making his debut in any band on Saturday, and while he needs to engage wit the crowd a little more and loosen up a bit, his voice is solid! I can see him handling hair metal covers with ease, and while I don't expect they're going that route, Re:Born are off to a solid start!

Despite being an out of town group, Hamilton grunge/punk trio Doors & Fours played next in their local concert debut (also a makeup date of sorts after dropping out of a show here last fall), and they made up for lost time with an entertaining and heavy set! Intense is one way to describe it, with the guys staying very focused and in the groove, uttering not one word to the crowd between songs, not even to announce a title. This does create a disconnect with the fans, but at the same time, Doors & Fours definitely held fans' early attention with songs like their new single "So Hard", and with their chaotic, always-in-motion stage presence, they were hard to keep eyes off of! Frontman Adam Peach could morph from a hardcore scream to a grunge throwback style with relative ease, and Rene Thivierge and Cody McAleney were well matched rhythmically for their set! It'd be nice to see Doors & Fours give and take more with the crowd, but hopefully this isn't the only time we see them on a local concert bill!

Co-headlining on Saturday were local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades in their first public concert of 2018, and just their second show with their current lineup, and fans were treated to another entertaining, high impact set from this favourite group! Their set was mostly business as usual, with originals like "Fear Corps" and "Breakneck Speed" dotted with covers of acts like Turbonegro and The Ripcordz, but there was one new song unveiled on this night, a more upbeat punk number called "Sewer City Radio" which seemed to go over well! That song aside, there were no true "surprises", but Jack Spades delivered a quality set, with J.D. Pearce's voice on point no matter where in the venue he was (even on a chair for a stretch!) Tiffany Stocco and Johnny Belanger are fully back in the groove after coming back late last year, Daniel Horton shone on lead guitar, and Rob Speers' bass skills fit in just fine also! Here's to more planet-jacking from Jack Spades in this new year!

And finally, your headliners were Sudbury groove metal quintet Archelon in their first local concert appearance since October 2014! Compared to that Halloween themed, covers-heavy set, this fast-rising group has matured but kept a positive, face melting spirit that encouraged the most fans onto the floor of the evening, which was welcome to see at last! Playing numerous selections from their "Bound By Bloodlines" like "LifeDebt" along with non-album tracks like "Path of Darkness", the guys brutalized the Rockstar Bar stage (I'm honestly surprised this wasn't downstairs!), with their sound touching on elements of death, groove, and thrash with aplomb, and Bobby Cobras' vocals were well suited all around! Brady McCoy made good use of his beautiful Dean Razorback once again, and he was a good match with Patrick Mallette in this department too! Archelon have grown a lot since we last saw them, and hopefully they get a much better turnout when they come back!

Overall, this was a very solid concert from all four bands, and hopefully J.D. has much more in the works as the year rolls along! ou can check out our photos from Saturday night at this link or via our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's Re:Born covering Megadeth's "Reckoning Day", Doors & Fours playing "Take Your Life Away", Jack Spades playing "Sewer City Radio", and Archelon playing "Light Side" (and yes, I know that other videos from this show have been posted publically by other attendees, we will touch on them this week in upcoming posts!)

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