Tuesday, May 3, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Cocaine Moustache), New Videos, And More Assorted Updates!!

Before we dive into our first news post of the month, I'd like to apologize for a missed concert, as local hard rock quartet Late Shift apparently returned to the stage on April 2nd at The Grand Gardens as the musical entertainment during the annual dinner from the Algoma Autism Foundation. This was a public event, but given Late Shift's lack of an online page, and the event's unfamiliarity for our coverage, it was off of our radar. Profuse apologies, we'd have plugged it had we known, but hopefully it was a huge hit in advance of next month's Ride For Autism! Now, we have some assorted news, new videos, and first, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, so here's what you need to know!

Six, Two, Oh.'s fifth installment of punk rock bingo will go down on Tuesday, July 12th at The New American Pub, and it will be a concert event with Vancouver hard/blues rock quintet Cocaine Moustache headlining in their local concert debut! Delivering a passionate blend of heavy soul that calls to mind bands like Clutch, Cocaine Moustache should deliver a strong set in July, and definitely check them out in advance of this summer show! Local support will come from the debuting Gianni Gagoots, an interestingly named new band who don't have an online page at present, but the Facebook event page says that they are "hard and heavy." Personal conversations with promoters confirm that their lineup includes veteran local punk drummer Frank McCormick and Late Shift guitarist Matt Sibilo, but we await full public details on Gianni Gagoots, so stay tuned for when we hear anything else! As for the bingo aspect, expect more irreverent prizes from art & clothing to books & music to win if you are the first with a line on your cards on July 12th!

Though not explicitly stated there, caller Brent Ellis (a.k.a. Buck Norris) is a confirmed attendee on the event page, and I imagine he'll call the bingo once again. Once again, this punk rock bingo installment with have FREE admission (but expect bingo cards to have a fee), this is a 19+ event, and a 9:00 PM start time is advertised. Unless there's a bingo event to be announced in the interim, we have two months to prepare for this one, and there's strong headliners and debuting openers to take in, so see above for details!

Next up, here's the third episode of Blood Shed Productions' "BreakinSh!tWithBloodShed" webseries, as uploaded to the Blood Shed Weekly YouTube channel on Thursday! This time, it's of Blood Shed artists destroying wooden boards and an end table, as once again set to songs by the label's metal acts (especially 3 minutes in.) Complete with slow motion replays, comedic voices, and even the first injury afflicted during this series (it's nothing gruesome, don't worry), this will satisfy Blood Shed fans who crave the destruction of inanimate objects, so give it a look below!

Also today, here's a new video from local alternative hard rock quartet Id Iota's Facebook page! Their first posting there since their LopLops shows last month, this is a sequel to their "slow mo" video of drummer Blair St. John from last month's Southern Ontario tour run, this time of Blair drumming in slow motion (though the brief clip ends with the footage in real time.) It's interesting to hear how his drum work sounds slowed down, so give it a look!

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

  • Santo Premoli of the Italian metal website Unpure reviewed local doom trio AlgomA's split EP with Saskatchewan's Chronobot, and you can check it out at this link (though you'll need a translator if you don't know Italian.) He scored the split with an 8/10, praising AlgomA's "Wall of sound" and both bands' sludge variants, so give the review a look if you want, but have a translator handy!
  • Local alternative hard rock trio The Din are indeed opening for The Pixo Control at the Sky's the Limit mental health fundraiser concert at The Tech THIS THURSDAY NIGHT, as per the band's Facebook page yesterday! Though organizers still haven't confirmed the full opening lineup, The Din had publically indicated that they'd be willing to play the event, but couldn't make the original audition date, so it's great to see that things worked out! Stay tuned for more on this special event in our weekend concert previews!
  • Local indie/acoustic solo artist Jacob "Shit Creek Survivor" Quarrell have been added as opening act for the Project 421/Eclipse concert at The Rockstar Bar on Friday, May 13th, as per Project 421 frontman Blair Burch on the Facebook event page on Sunday. Though obviously not a clear genre match, Jacob (like that night's metal bands) is affiliated with and records at PaperClip Productions, so he fits that way, and hopefully he entertains next weekend!

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

Monday, May 2, 2016

Where Are The New Albums? (May 2016 Update)

With a new month upon us, let's dive right into this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post, as we once again look at upcoming Sault Ontario metal, hard rock, and/or punk CDs that are publically announced and (at least) partially recorded, in order for fans to get the current scoop as to what stage they're in and when we might see them! This month, we've removed one alum (Id Iota's newly released EP "Maudlin Fair"), but added one new confirmation and updated four entries, and they're noted with their title in italics as usual. So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!
AlgomA's untitled split CD with Hooded Menace

Rumoured Songs (A): "Failed Stunt Fatality", "Canis Rabidus"

Rumoured Songs (H): Unknown

Background: In recent months, local doom metal trio AlgomA have announced on their Facebook page that they are planning to release a split EP with Finnish death/doom metal quartet Hooded Menace later this year, to be released by Doomentia Records with art by Paolo Girardi, though updates haven't followed on it. For reference, these plans followed the announcement and release of their split vinyl EP with Saskatchewan doom metallers Chronobot, which successfully came out last month, but it remains to be seen if this will be formatted similarly. In any event, AlgomA's tracks were/are being recorded locally at Six, Two, Oh.

Current Release Status: No idea, but seeing as the Chronobot split was successfully released, the Hooded Menace one has precedent to come out without fail also! That said, the Hooded Menace split has taken a back seat publically while the Chronobot split saw it's release, so things may be a ways off yet, but stay tuned as more comes in from either side!
The Apocalypse Afterparty - Bufflesnort

Rumoured Songs: "The Crowd" (The Fury cover), "Rebel Scum" (The Fury cover), "Sweet F*ck"

Background: Before ever playing a public concert, new local rap/metal band The Apocalypse Afterparty announced on their Facebook page in August 2014 that they had begun working on their 3 song debut EP with producer Jamie Vincent (AlgomA), though they also alluded to recording the remaining songs with different producers. The song that they recorded with Jamie is "The Crowd", which you can hear in full at this link, though recent postings have hinted at recording said EP this year for a release and recording sessions at Tidal Records' own Mission Control Studios, albeit with a new lineup in tow. Though pubic updates have been sporadic as of late, the band announced in December that the title would be "Bufflesnort", and it'd be a 3 song release.

Current Release Status: As per the band's Facebook page in December, "Bufflesnort" is "nearing end-of-production", and they expect to be back on stage in the spring, with planned releases on mp3, USB sticks, and vinyl (no CDs?) This was all preceded by "songwriter" Steve Mozarowski's departure from the band and related lineup changes, but how that will impact things is unclear. It should be noted that The Apocalypse Afterparty's version of "The Crowd" is featured on last year's Blood Shed Productions 11-way split album, but at last word, the EP itself is still in the works. Hopefully more comes out soon on it!
The Bear Hunters - The Dead Testament
Rumoured Songs: "The Void", "The Omen", "Neckbreaker", "I Fear No God", "Servitude", "Transcend Judgement", "For Glory", "The Wrath Of Angmar", "The Dying Den", "The Dead Testament", "Deception" (bonus rerecording), "The Forest of Forests" (bonus track)

Background: In tentative planning since 2014 under this title, local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters have been playing songs intended for their second full length CD for a few years now, but only fully began recording sessions for "The Dead Testament" on October 2nd. Following a brief fundraising campaign and the gradual unveiling of song titles, the band have been working with producer Dustin Jones at Mission Control Studios, and have shared sporadic updates on their Instagram page. Like on last year's "Eternal Hibernation", rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney is likely to record parts for the album despite living in Southern Ontario, but it's not yet clear on how bonus tracks will be handled.

Current Release Status: The band hasn't given any firm timetables for when to expect "The Dead Testament" in stores, but as of this writing, the band has finished drum and rhythm guitar recording, with bass sessions ongoing as of March 21st. The band is aiming for a more professional sound and release for their sophomore effort, but the band noted on their Facebook page that if things stay this productive, a release in the late summer may be possible. Keep an eye out for updates!
Caroline Divine's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "Caroline Divine", "Looking For A Fight"

Background: After prior teases of recording sessions and the search for a spot to record, personal Facebook pages from members of newer local glam/power pop trio Caroline Divine have confirmed that they are indeed working on their debut album. The guys have largely been away from concerts presumably due to studio work, but greater details on the track listing, release formats, and so forth have yet to be made. Visit their Facebook page for more!

Current Release Status: No idea yet, especially as the band hasn't shown their cards yet concerning album progress, but follow the band to see when/if they announce anything!
The Din - Give In To The Din

Rumoured Songs: "In Search Of The Perfect Moment", "Out Of My League", "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device", "Analog Palace", "Of Cars & Criminals", "Hex", "Spin Cycle", "A Drive Through The Peninsula", "Cowardly Hearts Beneath The Stars", "Leamington, Ontario", "75",

Background: The former Mike Haggith & The Din are no strangers to recording studio material, with earlier acid/jam era lineups recording a few free "albums" for digital distribution circa 2014, but the band only began working on a formal paid & pressed studio CD in 2016, after transitioning to a more structured alternative/hard rock sound last year. Following the surprise paid release of their live CD "The Din Does Laundry" last month, The Din have commenced work on their debut studio album "Give In To The Din", with cover artwork, the first song ("In Search of the Perfect Moment"), and teaser videos available to check out online, though further information is sure to follow. Despite frontman Mike Haggith's extensive past with PaperClip Productions, "Give In To The Din" is being recorded at the upstart Pretoria Hill Productions with producer Daniel Schmidt.

Current Release Status: It's too early to guess, but Mike's band work (solo, Haggith, or otherwise) has reliably produced albums with clear schedules and release dates, so hopefully this album is no different! Stay tuned for updates on it!
The Elements' debut EP 

Rumoured Songs: "Liar"

Background: Arguably better known for their funk, ska, and hard rock covers, local quartet The Elements have been adding original material to their sets since last year, and have since publically confirmed earlier teases that they are working on a debut EP. Frontman Rob Speers has confirmed in personal conversations that they have been working in studio on the release, which will have at least 5 tracks, and I believe it's being self-recorded, but further public updates are minimal at best. It's also not known if they'll employ any guest performers, such as Josh Norling or DJ Seith, who added well-received saxophone and turntable elements to some recent concerts.

Current Release Status: At this stage, I have no idea, but Rob sounded like things were going well in studio, so we'll have to see what comes out next on The Elements' first EP!
Gates of Winter - Perihelion

Rumoured Songs: "The Stars Call My True Name", "Edin Na Zu", "Dimensions", "Time Warp", "Wormhole Mechanics", "Prometheus"

Background: Despite a hiatus from live concerts lasting over 7 years, Gates of Winter never broke up, and are slowly working on their follow-up to 2008's "Lux Aeterna". The first glimpse of the new album was unveiled in February 2010, when frontman/producer Lee Maines uploaded a snippet of their new song "The Stars Call My True Name" onto his YouTube channel, and he followed that up with more demo & rehearsal clips sporadically over the last couple of years, though all were later taken down. The band launched a new Facebook page in August 2010 to keep fans updated on the sessions, including the unveiling of a new song title, "Time Warp", and while Sault native Jon Morrison was announced as the album's drummer that fall, the album will feature programmed drums. In November 2011, bassist Steve Furgiuele confirmed in a YouTube video that the album, now titled "Perihelion", was planned for release in December 2012, with some older re-recordings likely for the summer, but Lee has since confirmed that the album would be delayed further, be retracted to EP length, and possibly be renamed. Other new songs, tentatively called "Wormhole Mechanics" & "Prometheus", was previewed in this video & this video that were uploaded in 2013 & last April respectively. Whether ex-keyboardist Brian Holmes will be included on the EP is currently unknown.

Current Release Status: Personal commitments and the like have slowed things down incredibly, but in the band's most recent preview video (featuring audio samples), Gates of Winter hinted that work was winding down on "Perihelion", including noting that "the silence ends soon". Good art takes time, and knowing Gates of Winter's talent and attention to detail, they won't want to release this until everything's perfect. I'll admit that I know a bit more on "Perihelion" than what I've posted here, but I'll wait until more public word comes out. Keep an eye out for updates!
Gnaeus - Meditations

Rumoured Songs: "An Exercise In Self-Awareness", "Lovers", "Fire", "When You're Gone", "Circles", "The Edge", "The Sound", "Mountains", "Crave", "Calling Out", "Hail Mary"

Background: Amidst various teases of recording sessions, local post-punk/garage rock quartet Gnaeus have confirmed in recent concerts that they are in fact recording their debut CD "Meditations" (renamed from "Loomings" in early 2016) at Tidal Records' own Mission Control Studios, possibly stemming from their "Best Song" win at March 2015's VM Radio Battle of the Bands. Though online materials remain quiet otherwise for progress on the album, the planned album cover and online sales location of the EP under it's original name can be found at this link, though it's unclear if the cover will change along with the name. Though drummer Brendan Garlick moved out of town earlier this year and was replaced by Alex Proulx, bassist Matt Fronzi confirmed with me in a personal conversation that Brendan did record drum tracks for the release beforehand.

Current Release Status: The most recent indication on Gnaeus' Facebook page mention that they hoped the EP would be out for Christmas, which has obviously came and went, but the band did note that and tracking was winding down as of October 20th. Gnaeus have been reasonably quiet online regarding album progress, with the band even taking a hiatus earlier this year to prep for the release, but postings sound positive otherwise, so hopefully things stay on track!
Long Shot's debut EP

Rumoured Songs: "Long Goodbye", "El Camino", "Double Take"

Background: After prior teases of writing original material, local hard rock quartet Long Shot revealed on their Facebook page on January 11th that they were almost done mastering their debut EP. Public updates hadn't preceded the announcement, but Long Shot had posted live demos of three original songs onto their Reverbnation page last fall, and have played these originals and more live since.

Current Release Status: Other than the reveal of EP sessions almost being finished, I have no idea when this might come out, and with the band's members not being familiar sights from prior bands, we have nothing to compare it to. We also haven't seen Long Shot on stage yet this year, but the guys have shown skill and maturity since their debut, and fingers crossed things come along so we can see a release!
Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch Revisited

Rumoured Songs: "To Whom This May Concern", "Room 822", "The Ballad of K2/K3", "The Day The Lights Went Out", "Limb Coast", "Leon the Janitor", "Far Too Long"

Background: After previously hinting at a re-recorded version of his 45th solo album "Neighbourhood Watch" in late 2015, local solo musician Mike Haggith officially began releasing new versions of songs from the original 2012 CD onto his YouTube channel last month, those being of "Limb Coast" & "Room 822". His first full release of new recordings since last summer's "The Warinside", "Neighbourhood Watch Revisited" is being recorded at PaperClip Productions, with Mike being joined on at least some songs by Din bandmate Brandan Glew on drums and ex-Din/Haggith bandmate Curtis McKenzie on guitar.

Current Release Status: I have no idea, but Mike is usually an efficient artist when it comes to recording and releasing solo material, and if there's a delay, he'll be honest about it, so it could be soon! However, if there are any plans for it to come out on the 4th anniversary of the original's release, "Neighbourhood Watch", keep watch for it in October. In any event, stay tuned for updates!
Redundant's debut CD

Rumoured Songs: "Miles Apart", "That December", "What You'll Do"

Background: Over two and a half years after their last documented studio sessions in the spring of 2012, local punk trio Redundant revealed on their Facebook page in November 2014 that they were finally working on finishing their debut CD, and will look to hold a CD release party for it upon it's completion. Details are otherwise minimal, including on if the guys will just package their older studio work for the release, or include new recordings, perhaps at bassist James White's studio White Wreckords. We'll keep you posted if we hear more!

Current Release Status: Though we don't know much on the new/revived album plans, Redundant did sound serious about completing their CD. That said, Redundant have only played once or twice in 2015 and haven't made any public statements regarding the album since 2014. The band did resume public activity in March 2016, announcing that they were writing new songs and working on "new studio shit", but it's not clear how earlier album sessions would play in. If we hear any updates, we'll be sure to let you know!
Skeyes of Seven's debut EP

Rumoured Songs: "Enough", "See The Truth", "Fallen Faith", "Destination Unknown", "No One Cares", "Pretend", "Cognitive Dissonance"

Background: Already no strangers to the studio after recording their songs "Fallen Faith" and "Enough" as single in each of the last two years, local modern hard rock quartet Skeyes of Seven hit the studio to record their debut EP last year, though only publically confirmed that an EP was in the works in January on their Facebook page. Sessions are ongoing locally at Deluca Sound Productions, who have shared videos of band members tracking material for the EP, but four confirmed songs were strongly teased last month via some cryptic Facebook photo postings. At this stage, it's not entirely clear on whether the band will include any other singles, but ex-drummer John Mignacca did record tracks for the release before moving to Sudbury last year.

Current Release Status: No idea yet, but as of January 17th, Skeyes of Seven had only one more song to record before sending the tracks to be mixed & mastered. Hopefully this can see a release at some point, as Skeyes of Seven have arguably been more active in studio than in concert since their 2012 formation, so follow along to see where things go for their debut EP!
Telephone & Address - "Monster" and "The Early Tapes"

Rumoured Songs (M): "Unknown"

Rumoured Songs (E): "The Plumbers"

Background: Telephone & Address mainman Chris Shoust announced on their Facebook page last January that he's working on releasing "The Early Tapes", a compilation of songs from the first 4 Telephone & Address albums (2011's self titled album, and 2012's "Live", "No. 3", and "Broken Head"), all of which being released before their recent full integration into the local scene. Since then however, he quietly revealed on Facebook that a separate new album named "Monster" is done, with an advanced copy leaked to him by AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent, which likely hints that Jamie helped produce it. No other details have been revealed yet, but some songs may be on their Soundcloud page, and when both are released, they're likely to turn up on Telephone & Address' Bandcamp page and on Interpunk, which Chris has also used to distribute physical copies.

Current Release Status: Chris indicated on the project's Facebook page that "Monster" would be pressed last fall, which has came & went, and it's not clear if a release is coming soon or not. As for "The Early Tapes", Chris revealed in March 2015 that it "will be delayed for some time", though he didn't elaborate on why specifically. It's also worth noting that Chris briefly announced collaborating with Boxes of Boom's Sam Decter as a drummer with Telephone & Address and under a new project name (Are You Now? or Have You Ever?), but references to Chris & Sam's work have quietly been removed from Facebook, and it's not known if this means anything for the "Monster" release. We'll keep you posted!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! This series will return on or around June 2nd, so look for that then, and for our latest Defunct Local Band Profile one week from tomorrow! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes soon! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Motherfuckers Concert Review!!

To kick off the month of May in style, here's our review of last night's Motherfuckers-headlined all ages concert at The Oddfellows Hall! There was a medium attendance at best, peaking for the headliners, but it was a lively crowd that saw a number of moshpits and dancing, particularly during Shit Liver's set! Opening last night's show was local goregrind duo Rotopsy (replacing Kaepora Gaebora) in their first Oddfellows Hall concert in a year or so, and they laid down some entertaining originals for early fans! With originals like "Swamp Donkey", "Grinded Live In Your Faces", and "The Funky Track", Dylan Taylor and Tyler Gibson lived up to their prior musical reputations, and it's nice to see Dylan vary his vocals a bit more, but my big takeaway from their set was a lack of energy. Maybe it's their recent stage hiatus, or just playing early, but the guys weren't as animated or bouncy as usual. Still, Rotopsy were what the doctor ordered for grind lovers!

Next up last night were reunited local extreme metal quartet Winkstinger in their first public concert appearance in almost three years, and their debut with new singer Keith Gagnon and bassist Andrew MacDonald, so how'd the new Winkstinger sound? There's work to do, but it's great to see them back! Best known otherwise as Free Beer's drummer, Keith has a screaming voice that is in the same spectrum as Alan Wells had, but with more of a punk edge, and he fits well here, but definitely relied too much on lyric sheets and bending down to read them mid-song. Andrew's a welcome sight back on bass, as Scary Uncles fans will attest to, but he mostly spent the set looking to the side and not moving around a lot. Playing a mixture of familiar originals from their first run and covers (a'la their 2012 shows) like Pantera & Anthrax(!), the guys generally delivered a fun set, and Jesse & Jonas still have excellent chemistry, so hopefully Winkstinger keep at it!

The middle set went to local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver in their first local concert appearance of the year, and they laid down a brutal set in their homecoming stop during their current Canadian tour! If you've seen Shit Liver before, then you won't be terribly surprised at what lied within their set, which saw them play many older and newer originals like "It's Not My Problem", their own self-titled song, and "Matt Got Beat Up By Cops", and with Josh, Mike, and Matt's triple threat of guttural vocals and intensity (plus guest vocals by Johnny Belanger), how can you go wrong? Attracting the busiest moshing of the night, Shit Liver largely let their music do the talking, complete with some samples for introductions (like an Emergency Alert System warning), and the guys kept their energy high along with their intense material, so hopefully we see more from Shit Liver soon, and don't miss their folk side project Dirtfight's local stops this weekend either!

Co-headlining last night was local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades in their second Oddfellows Hall concert of the spring,  and they were up to their usual tricks with a fun set of original favourites, plus some late-set covers! Playing eight originals (like "They Live", "Motorwolf", and "Negative Headspace") plus Turbonegro and Ripcordz renditions, everyone played to their usual forms, with Jesse Cook showing no ill effects from his dual sets that night, J.D. Pearce exploring the stage effectively with solid vocals, and Justin Lam's bass work was as strong as ever! Things did seem a little rushed during Jack Spades' set (possibly thanks to delays from earlier in the day), but it's always fun seeing Jack Spades in action, and fans definitely seemed to enjoy their continued jacking of the planet!

Finally, your headliners last night were Calgary hardcore punk quartet The Motherfuckers in their local debut, and they delivered an explosive set to close the night, with a strong crowd taking in the intensity! Playing songs like "Relentless", "I Wanna Be A Cop", and "Old No. 7" during their set, the guys lived up to their reputation, with the heavily tattooed Dan Izzo highly animated and in-your-face during their set, and Matty Pissoff's guitar riffs & melodies kept the intensity rolling throughout! The vocals could be a little hard to hear at times, but the band seemed happy to rock out in the Soo for the first time, and with lots of road and studio experience under their belts, you know that The Motherfuckers lived up to the hype! Hopefully they come back through our area in the future!

Overall, this was an entertaining concert for metal and punk fans alike, and kudos to J.D. Pearce for putting on another great show, and successfully migrating it from The Algonquin Pub during their ongoing renovations! You can check out our photos at this link or at our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's Rotopsy playing "Lesbian Luxuries of a Lobotomy Factory", videos of Winkstinger and Shit Liver playing original material (let us know if you can help title them!), Jack Spades playing "Fear Corps", and The Motherfuckers playing "We Need More Beer" and "Once A Pig, Always A Pig"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates soon, and this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

AlgomA/Chronobot Split Vinyl EP Review!!

To end the month at the SMS, here's our 82nd monthly CD review, as we're taking a look at local doom metal trio AlgomA's split vinyl EP with Saskatchewan stoner doom quintet Chronobot! Released through AlgomA's label Deadbeat Media on April 1st of this year, and with artwork again by Adam Geyer, this is the second official studio release and first split from AlgomA, while this is Chronobot's third release and second split. AlgomA's half of the split was recorded locally over the past year at Six, Two, Oh. and mixed & mastered by Pixo Control bassist Dustin Goodall, while Chronobot's half was recorded at The Sweat Shoppe in Saskatoon, with producer and mixer Mike Lefebvre. AlgomA are again represented by singer/bassist Kevin Campbell, guitarist/vocalist Boyd Rendell, and drummer Jamie Vincent), while Chronobot's lineup featured singer/guitarist Dafe Landry, guitarist/bassist Quinton Anderson, drummer Cody Futerko, and keyboardist Darius Simonot.

Note that Chronobot currently feature a bassist named Scott in their public lineup, but he did not play on the split. Physical copies of this split (on clear blue vinyl!) are available locally at The Rad Zone, AlgomA concerts, and through band members for $20, and while this release is not available on CD (for now?), digital download copies are available on AlgomA's Bandcamp page (and Chronobot's) for $6, with song names below linked from there. The songs can be streamed free there too, but consider supporting the bands by buying it! Featuring 25 minutes of music, let's begin with AlgomA's half!

Side A of the split contains AlgomA's two songs, starting with "Phthisis", which is sung from the point of view of a man dying of pulmonary tuberculosis. Starting with reverbed guitar feedback and backing sound effects, this soon unleashes into a fast (for AlgomA) doom metal number that is arguably their most bass-heavy studio track yet, with Kevin laying in ferociously, but his vocals aren't as loud and clear as they had been on their debut EP (maybe it's intentional to represent having the title affliction?) I like the guitar effects, and it is fittingly crushing and doomy before it's abrupt ending, so fans should have no problem moshing to this one live! AlgomA's second & final offering is "Electric Fence", which packs a lot into it's eight minute runtime! Lyrically about an inmate trying to escape prison (a rare instance of the main character surviving an AlgomA song), this song has an ominous opening that sounds like a march to death row before the full band's doom onslaught kicks in!

Featuring Boyd on lead vocals, his high pitched screams are welcomed on this brutal song, with methodical drumming from Jamie and a down-trodden but undeniably heavy riff throughout, including some effective feedback breaks in between verses. The song goes on a little long (partly thanks to the extended instrumental opening), but this is a strong compliment to "Phthisis" that delivers a brutal wallop of doom metal, and all three guys are up to the challenge as usual, so fans will be right at home!

Chronobot take over side B of the split with three songs of their own, which run 3-5 minutes in length. Entitled "Red Nails", "Jerry Can", and "Sons of Sabbath", the latter's title is particularly profound, with a clear Black Sabbath influence propagating their songs, albeit with a spacey, keyboard-infused bent. "Red Nails" exhibits that mixture to a T, albeit with harsher guttural vocals, while "Jerry Can" is shorter, and goes fuller into their stoner side with some nice effects and a solid pounding riff, though the lyrics are somewhat repetitive when utilized. "Son of Sabbath" also pays tribute to the metal forefathers in it's sound, and if it was an instrumental, it might be hard to tell that it was actually Chronobot! Musically, these guys have a strong sound that combines old school doom metal with aggressive modern vocals, with Dafe & Quinton's guitar riffs always adding something to the material, and Darius' keyboard work adds that spaced-out flourish, with a clear chemistry from all four guys to boot!

So, what are my final thoughts on AlgomA and Chronobot's split EP? It's a very entertaining release for doom metal fans, with the two bands (well acquainted since their 2014 local show together) complimenting each other with their own heavy takes on the genre, with AlgomA's bleak devastation and Chronobot's retro stoner influence giving a little something for any metalhead! The decision to release the split as a vinyl record only (for physical copies) is a risk compared to what local bands typically put out, and given that many fans don't have record players, but it helps this EP stand out among everything else, and with that cover art, how could you not want a copy? With that said, this split isn't overly long, with only 5 tracks between the two bands, but both bands have other releases if you want more of either or both. AlgomA and Chronobot are both very skilled and entertaining entrants in the Canadian doom metal scene, and this split is well worth picking up for genre fans, especially with the vinyl revival!

Consider buying a copy A.S.A.P., and hopefully Chronobot come back to the Soo in due course! I hope you guys liked this month's album review, and as for next month, we'll likely be looking at local alternative hard rock quartet Id Iota's debut EP "Maudlin Fair", which was successfully released earlier this month during their Ontario tour, so look for that next month, and stay tuned for more news and updates shortly! Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 29, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Blessed, Grave Party, And Mourning Wood), And More Weekend Concert Previews!!

Today's post will see the last of our weekend concert previews, barring any late notice confirmations, but first, we have some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (including SHORT NOTICE ones), so here's what you need to know!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Mourning Wood will return to The Esquire Club for a pair of headlining concerts TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only just announced these shows yesterday via their Facebook event page. Last seen at The Rednecks Saloon two weeks, ago, this will be the first concert weekend for this veteran fan favourite band at The Esquire Club since early February, so keep these shows in mind if you've missed this union of Hollow, Suicide Kings, Rainhorses, and Flat Stanley alumni at the Second Line West venue lately! As usual for Mourning Wood's local concerts, there are 9:30 PM start times in effect, no announced cover charges, and 19+ age limits. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Mourning Wood live earlier this year!

Next up, here's a pair of newly announced shows with lots of advance notice, both at The New American Pub, starting with the local concert debut of Vancouver post punk quartet Blessed on Saturday, May 21st! Fans of Northwest or Gnaeus should dig this band, whose indie-tinged punk originals have taken them to a strong following in recent years, and with a new EP in tow, don't miss out when they hit The New A next month! Local openers will include Brash Gash, a newer local band who you may recognize from a set at the Fishbowl Festival at The Gore Street Cafe. Honest Job's Drew Armstrong is in their lineup, and you may remember them as the band with the elaborate fish mask, but we don't have any other details on their lineup or sound as of this writing. We'll let you know when/if anything is announced! The opening act will be local acoustic punk/grunge solo project Telephone & Address, and Chris should have some strong unplugged originals in store in three weeks' time!

A presentation of Six, Two, Oh. (whose next punk rock bingo installment will be covered in our next news post), this 19+ show has a $5 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time. This should be a fun time for indie and punk fans, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for more from Six, Two, Oh. soon!

Also, one of the two recently teased Blood Shed Productions-promoted metal shows has officially had it's venue confirmed, as Winnipeg punk trio Grave Party will make their local concert debut on Monday, June 20th at The New American Pub! This skate punk trio have a lot of fun songs that should attract a good audience at The New A next month with originals from their newest EP "For Dummies", so be sure to give them a listen to see what Grave Party have to offer! Though they are the nominal headliners, Coyote Speedfreaks mainman Chase Wigmore is listed to play after them in a solo set, marking his long awaited return to the stage, and it'll be good to see him back in June! Blood Shed co-founder Tyler Gibson's two local grind/death duos (Rotopsy & Brutally Fatal) lead the opening lineup, with the latter playing their first announced concert of the year in the process, while rap sets from Mikey Thomas and (jointly) Phat Boii and Miracle Man will precede them.

The show will be opened by Jacob "Shit Creek Survivor" Quarrell with a set of folk/indie rock numbers, so come early for his set too! A $4 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ concert (a rarity for a Blood Shed-presented concert event, which are usually all ages), and a 9:00 PM start time is in effect at The New A on June 20th. This should be a fun concert for fans of Blood Shed's goregrind, rap, and alternative acts, with Grave Party delivering some solid skate punk as well, so visit the official Facebook event page for full details!

Finally, here's our last announced concert preview for this weekend, as Calgary hardcore punk quartet The Motherfuckers will make their local concert debut TOMORROW NIGHT with a headlining set at The Oddfellows Hall! This veteran outfit should lay waste to the stage with their fast paces, attitude fueled punk attack during this stop on their Classless Society Tour, so don't miss out tomorrow! The Motherfuckers are on at 10:00 PM, while local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades will return to the stage as co-headliners at 9:30 PM (just a half hour?), as they continue to jack the planet! Local/St. Catharines' grindcore trio Shit Liver will come back home for their first local concert appearance of 2016 when they rock The Oddfellows Hall for the first time in about two years, as they continue the early stretch of their Number Two Tour, so be sure to welcome the guys home in time for their 8:30 PM set! Reunited local extreme metal quartet Winkstinger will play their first show in almost three years tomorrow night with a set at 7:45 PM, which will also see the debuts of new singer Keith Gagnon and new bassist Andrew MacDonald, so don't be late so you can welcome Winkstinger back!

The planned late openers were to be new local death metal quintet Kaepora Gaebora, but they were quietly removed from the Facebook event page on Wednesday for unannounced reasons. Hopefully nothing bad happened, as they sound very promising! They've been replaced by the aforementioned Rotopsy in their first Oddfellows set in over a year, so be ready for their goregrind attack tomorrow! Moved from The Algonquin Pub due to ongoing renovations there, this now-ALL AGES event starts at 7:00 PM, and it has a $10 cover charge. This should be a great show, so check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's The Motherfuckers live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our review of AlgomA & Chronobot's vinyl split EP next! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Nudge & The 3 Day Millionaires) And The First Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

With the last concert weekend of the month approaching, let's tackle most of our hard rock concert previews today! For reference, we will touch on Saturday night's Motherfuckers-headlined Oddfellows Hall concert in our next news post (with a note regarding a lineup change, and yes, any more late notice announcements), and remember that Saturday's Gnaeus/K.I.C.K. show at The Rockstar Bar was indefinitely postponed due to "unforeseen circumstances." Now, let's kick off this preview post with some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Marquette, Michigan hard rock cover quartet Nudge will return to The Satisfied Frog in Sault Michigan for headlining concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the shows via their official Facebook event page on Tuesday. Coming unusually soon after their most recent local gigs (just four weeks ago at The Frog), Danzo and company should be on form with their entertaining modern hard rock renditions, so don't miss out on their latest local gigs TOMORROW & SATURDAY! For reference, the event page doesn't list the Wednedsday & Thursday Danzo's acoustic sets that usually precede the full Nudge shows, no word on if they've been permanently dropped or not. There's no announced cover charge for this weekend, you must be 21 or older to attend, and 10:00 PM start times are advertised. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Nudge live in Negaunee!

Also new this weekend, Sault Ontario classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will return to the stage TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT when they rock The Rednecks Saloon! Again, apologies for the short notice, they too only announced the shows via their official Facebook event page on Tuesday. Fresh off of their Park Grille debut two weeks ago, this will be this newer local cover band's second weekend at the former Nicolet Tavern, following a successful debut there last month. This union of Havadder, Turner Up, Lucky 13, and Boxcar Junction alumni have been entertaining fans reliably in the past few months, and hopefully they deliver strong sets this weekend at Rednecks! There's no announced cover charges either for their shows, each will start at 10:30 PM, and you must be 19 or older to enter. For more details, visit the above links, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires live earlier this year!

Moving to previously announced concerts, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will continue with his weekly concert arrangement at Gliss Steak & Seafood with two more acoustic matinee concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! With more acoustic gigs likely to be confirmed for May in his ongoing Gliss run soon, don't worry about the lack of later Tym shows in our concert listings, but definitely consider a trip down to The Quality Inn's house restaurant this weekend to take in his skilled and prolific range of covers, with a good selection of hard rock favourites sure to be among his sets! As usual for Tym's Gliss dates, these have 6:00 PM start times, no announced age limits, and no cover charges, but remember that this is a sit-down restaurant. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Tym live!

Finally for today's preview post, Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E will return to the stage TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino! Marking their first announced concerts since their St. Ignace stops in February, it's great to see this increasingly sporadically seen band on stage again, and with Nixxon Dixxon, Splitshot, and Highest of Fives alumni in their ranks, you know that their Van Halen-inspired hard rock selections will find a solid audience this weekend! For reference, 415E are not currently advertised for any upcoming concerts in our area after this weekend, though Kewadin's entertainment page does advertised them as playing in Manistique in June. As usual for their Kewadin gigs, there's no announced cover charges, these are 21+ events, and these shows will start at around 9:00 PM. For more details, visit the above links, and here's 415E live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more previews and this month's CD review next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Videos, Plus Lots Of Assorted Recent News & Updates!!

Today's post largely clears out a bunch of shorter and assorted recent news items, and we'll kick things off with some new videos, starting with a new webseries by Blood Shed Productions, entitled "BreakingSh!tWithBloodShed"! The title implies what you think it implies, with label performers and staff (namely, Blood Shed founders/Brutally Fatal bandmates Tyler Gibson & Austin McCrae, plus rapper Jean-Paul "Phat Boii" Archambault) breaking assorted objects on camera. Two episodes of the series are now on the Blood Shed Weekly YouTube channel, and they include the second episode where a pool table is broken, and the one embedded below where the guys break five chairs. If you're wondering what these have to do with music (aside from who's breaking everything), then you'll want to know that both videos feature new Brutally Fatal songs from their forthcoming CD "Blood of the Devil" as backing music, so fans of the goregrind intensity will like that! The videos themselves are escapist fun, and presumably good stress relief, so check them out above & below!

Next up, here's a new solo acoustic cover from RedStone Riot/ex-Elipzis bassist Ryan Harrison's YouTube channel from Saturday, this time a rendition of Prince's "Purple Rain", in tribute to the music legend following his death last week. Fittingly played "in the key of purple" (and even tinted that colour), it's a strong cover that Prince fans should like, and Ryan's voice is in top emotional form here! Give it a look below!

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

  • Local doom metal trio AlgomA's split vinyl EP with Saskatchewan's Chronobot received a new review from Kai Ellerman of the German metal website XXL-Rock in recent weeks, though it is in German, so you'll need a translator to read it if you don't know that language. Receiving a rating of "L" (keeping with their motif of scoring by clothing sizes, basically meaning a 4/6), Kai favorably recommended the split to fans of Eyehategod and Neurosis, and said that AlgomA's half is "somewhat messy, but has charm." Give the full review a look at this link (but have a translator ready), and stay tuned for our review of the split very soon!
  • This is more of a housekeeping note, but we had pencilled in a formal write-up today to roll in 2012-2013 local rock band Lazer Queen to our inactive band links finally, as they honestly should have been in our full coverage long ago given their membership & sound, but I discovered yesterday that their Facebook (and only online) page has been deleted. Featuring 3/4ths of Late & Loud alongside The Danger Cats' Kate Drew & Pillory's Bret Shuttleworth, Lazer Queen were a talented band that sadly didn't last too long, but be sure to follow members' more recent work!
  • The closure of local news/video website Local2 and it's subsequent merger with sister website SooToday was finalized on Monday via this press release, which notes that existing Local2 links will now redirect you to SooToday, and that it's video programming (including Tuned) will largely continue under the SooToday banner, with archive videos also available there. It's a little sad to lose the former SooNews & LTV News after a lengthy run, but this makes sense as SooToday continues it's growth, and we have removed Local2 from our "Other Local Metal Links" as a result!
  • Local grunge/alternative band The Pixo Control's headlining set on May 5th at the Sky's the Limit mental health fundraiser concert at The Tech will be an acoustic set sans drummer Keeghan Rosso, according to the band's Facebook page last night. A reason for the change wasn't announced, but hopefully it's just as simple as Keeghan not being available that night. This should still be a fun set for fans of Michael's unplugged sets, so keep it in mind for next Thursday, and stay tuned for more on the openers!
  • The planned Summer Bash! concert at The Rockstar Bar THIS FRIDAY has been indefinitely postponed, as per Gnaeus frontman Aaron Alessandri on the official Facebook event page on Monday.  He cited "unforeseen circumstances" and the ongoing renovations at the venue for the postponement, which seems to imply that there's more going on at The Algonquin Hotel than just the downstairs bar (however, note that Kamloops folk band The Decoys are playing there on Saturday, so the "unforeseen circumstances" may be more to blame.) Hopefully Gnaeus, K.I.C.K., and DJ Fuels get a new date soon for the Summer Bash!
  • Lake Superior State University's campus radio station WLSO (90.1 FM) announced the results of their recent naming contest for their forthcoming online station on their Facebook page on Monday, with the (oddly unidentified) winner's suggestion being The 46th Parallel, referencing the latitude circle that Sault Michigan lies on. It should be noted that the post mentioned that "our station name" will change to that next semester, implying that the FM station will also get the new name, but an extension past the new internet station hasn't been otherwise confirmed. We'll let you know if this is elaborated on at all!

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