Thursday, January 19, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Mourning Wood & The 3 Day Millionaires) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

(Updated at 8:17 PM) Another weekend of concerts is nigh, so let's tackle that on this Thursday afternoon! Nothing in Sault Michigan on the hard rock side that we've heard about, but there's a nice amount in Sault Ontario, so let's kick things off with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Mourning Wood will hit the stage for the first time this year with shows at The Esquire Club TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, we only heard about the shows via drummer Glen Thomas' personal Facebook page earlier this week, and the band has yet to acknowledge them publically. Fresh off of an extended week-long run at Reggie's Place by their new country rock side project The Jukebox Junkies (Glen & Terry alongside Lucky 13's Robin Lee), this will mark Mourning Wood's return to The Esquire Club after three months away from the Second Line West venue, though with guitarist Steven Flint on vacation, Robin will fill in on guitar, with our source for that info again being Glen's personal Facebook page.

Members have been busy in recent weeks with side projects (including Nameus/Soundcheck), but it's good to see that Mourning Wood proper are still alive and kicking, despite the lack of public notice for these gigs, not to mention Steven's absence, but don't miss out TOMORROW and/or SATURDAY! As usual for Mourning Wood dates in the area, expect 10:00 PM-ish start times, no announced cover charges, and 19+ age limits. For more details, visit the above links, and here they are live last year!

Next up, fellow local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will play their first show of 2017 when they return to The Rockstar Bar THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies again for the short notice, the show was only announced earlier this week via the official Facebook event page. A one nighter due to (or resulting in) tomorrow's show by classic rock veterans Obsession, this will mark The Millionaires' first show since rocking the same venue for their New Year's Eve party. This talented quartet should be in fine form to kick off the new year, so don't miss this union of Havadder, Cleveland Steamer, Sneaky Pete, and Wishbone alumni on SATURDAY! As usual for their frequent Rockstar Bar gigs, look for a 10:30 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 19+ age limit. See the above links for more details, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires' current lineup last fall!

Moving to previously announced concerts, prolific local singer/guitarist Tym Morrison returns to Gliss Steak & Seafood for three more solo acoustic shows in his long-term run there TOMORROW and SATURDAY! One week removed from a two-date weekend at Gliss (he got the night off on Thursday the 12th, apologies for missing that), Tym will again not be playing tonight for a second straight week, as per his personal Facebook page. Still, he should be ready and primed for another weekend of acoustic hard rock covers at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, so don't miss out on these next two matinees! As usual for Tym's lengthy arrangement at Gliss, expect 6:00 PM start times each night, no announced cover charges, and no age limits, but remember that this is a sit-down restaurant, not a typical nightclub or bar. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Tym live!

Finally for this weekend's known concert previews is the first big multi-band hard rock/punk show of 2017, as Live705 are hosting their second ever concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at The Canadian Nightclub! Now entitled "The January Jam", this show will unite 5 local bands and 1 local-featured out of town act for a night of varied original talent, much in the same vein as Live705's debut show in November, but who all is playing? In listed order on the Facebook event page (a performance order isn't public yet), bands will include local post-punk quartet Gnaeus, alternative hard rock trio The Din, Live705's flagship alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback, new acoustic/indie trio The Autumn Roots, and new punk/metal trio Stegadeth, while former local punk/alternative bassist Nathan Bouliane will bring his Ottawa electronic project Sleepwellcity home for the first time on Saturday as well. Strong lineup, including four punk or hard rock acts, so don't bypass this one!

Note that the show was moved from The Oddfellows Hall last month, presumably following A Dire Setback's well received set at The Canadian's YouTube party, while an earlier posting on A.D.S.' Facebook page noting that they were playing "pending the condition" of singer Larry Babic has had no public follow-through, so unless something new is said, don't worry. Tickets are $8 in advance at Case's Music, The Rad Zone, or through band members, while admission will jump to $10 at the door. This is a 19+ event, and doors open at 8:00 PM. For more details on what should be a great night of local music action, check the above links, and here's Gnaeus live last year!

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This Month's Poll On Your Favourite New Bands Of 2016!!

After a few months' hiatus due to declining vote totals, our monthly polls are back! Well, for at least a few months, as I promised to bring them back for our "favourite _____ of the year" polls, as has been an annual tradition around here, so we'll kick off the (temporary?) return of our polls with this question: What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2016? Last year saw a sizable number of new additions to our full coverage, even if many are still going without an online page or website, and it's always interesting to see which new band comes out with the most year-end support! With that said, to be included as a choice, the band had to both debut publically AND play their first show in the 2016 calendar year. This excludes bands like Exploring Detritus (the former Kaepora Gaebora launched in 2015), Stoned Ape Evolution (who played live as early as 2014), and Kraken Mara (who have yet to play live at all), but you can vote for "Other"!!

And as usual, I ask that readers and performers not stuff the vote or launch public campaigns to drive up the tallies in favour of any specific band, as I don't intend for these polls to be popularity contests, and I hope to see something or a representative sample reflected in the totals. Now, here are your final 12 choices in the poll (plus "Other"!)

A Dire Setback: Launching alongside their own promotion agency Live705 last fall, punk quartet A Dire Setback immediately made a big impression with their self-promoted Oddfellows Hall concert in November, which they've followed with more big sets since, the next coming this Saturday! With A Fall From Innocence and State of Misery alumni within, are your A.D.S your favourite new band?

The Band Camp Rejects: A surprise debuting band at The Rednecks Saloon's relaunch party in the spring, this online page-less quartet succeeded Under The Influence to become a fan favourite sight at Toystock, Ride For ARCH, and even a solo concert or two later in the year. Featuring alumni of Mourning Wood, Havadder, and The Issues, have The Band Camp Rejects outshone other 2016 newcomers?

Bizotic: The latest to debut on stage among this month's choices, this creative quartet brought a trumpet & keytar to the fray when they opened for The OM Sound at The New American Pub on December 30th. Bizotic's experimental but heavy sound is brought to life by alumni of No Arrow, Gates of Winter, and Sounds From The Green Room, but is one show enough to put them over here?

Electric Church: This modern tribute to classic rock (Jimi Hendrix in particular) first entered our radar when they opened for The Pixo Control at last year's Sky's The Limit mental health fundraiser, and later returned to the public stage at Live705's inaugural concert. Though Electric Church are also sans a known online page, they have made positive waves since debuting, but are you among them?

Gianni Gagoots: Another very creative new band, Gianni Gagoots debuted at The New American Pub last summer when their instrumental punk and funk rock jams opened for Cocaine Moustache, and they've since followed up with more creative, conga-infused concerts that always promise something new! Featuring Redefined, Rising Tide, and Sailor's Tongue alumni, will the Gagoots win your vote?

Heavy Head: This sporadically seen quartet are definitely something of a local supergroup, with Suicide Kings, Haggith, and Winkstinger alumni uniting to play hard and pop rock covers and originals at a handful of notable concerts in early-mid 2016. Despite a mixed reception to their VM Radio Battle of the Bands set, they have loads of potential, but were they your #1 new band?

The Karstens: One of last year's more promising new heavier bands in the Sault Michigan area, online page-less quartet The Karstens were notably seen at last year's Bay Mills Bands Together fundraiser and Downtown Days, plus a well received Back Bay Grill set in between. Their Buckethead-influenced covers and unique approach are served well, but would you vote for them?

Nameus/Soundcheck: Listed under two names due to their January name change to Soundcheck, this Mourning Wood side project reunited Carbon Black's Travis Sharpe and Terry Eaton last fall in a new classic/hard rock cover act that notably pays tribute to the 1980s. No online pages or media yet from this band (or the similar new side-act The Jukebox Junkies), but did they impress you the most?

Project 906: Arguably the most visible of last year's freshman hard rock crop in Sault Michigan, Ten Kings successors Project 906 have delivered a blend of hard rock and blues to fans across the E.U.P. since debuting last March, playing many rarely covered venues in the process. Their chemistry and talents are very clear, but were they your favourite new local hard rock band of the year?

Stegadeth: Belated successors to local punk/metal favourites T-Rex Manning (and Pools of Booze), this power trio debuted at last fall's Live705 local show, and have since became a promising sight in the local scene with their hard hitting covers and one original! Also featuring Jack Spades and Stereo North alumni, fans have taken to Stegadeth in recent months, but are you among them in this poll?

The 3 Day Millionaires: Debuting in early 2016 as a Havadder side project, The 3 Day Millionaires have since carved out a nice spot for themselves in the cover bands circuit locally with their classic & hard rock renditions reliably getting a solid reception! With Turner Up, Lucky 13, Boxcar Junction, and Sneaky Pete alumni, you know the talent's there, but do The Millionaires have your vote?

Twistory: Last year's new entry in the two man metal band sweepstakes, Twistory united former Pillory bandmates Josh Amendola and Robert Sartini into a hard hitting minimalist death metal outfit, notably playing at last year's two Metal Massacre house parties before opening for Foam in June. Twistory haven't been seen since, and don't have an online page, but did you enjoy them the most?

Other: Did we miss a band you'd rather vote for? Perhaps your favourite new band of 2016 was a non-metal or hard rock band? Was there a debuting band that we forgot entirely? Would you count the former Kaepora Gaebora despite their public launch coming in 2015? If, for whatever readon, your preferred choice isn't listed above, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until February 18th (as usual) to cast your ballots, and hopefully the return of our polls can get higher results after our polls' hiatus, which the vote total drop indicated was very much needed. The poll widget is in the top left of the SMS main page, so vote A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for more news and concert previews soon! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rudyard Musicians Festival Videos, Plus More From Sault Ontario!!

Before we kick things off, I wanted to acknowledge that the Sault Music News Letter Facebook page (a blues/classic rock-leaning concert calendar source) advertised a Havadder concert on December 26th at The Rockstar Bar. Neither the band nor venue ever plugged such a show, and I doubt it occurred, but if we somehow missed it, our apologies! Now, this is our 5th post in the last 7 where most content comes from the Sault Michigan area, with videos from a recent concert leading off, but we also have some new clips from this side to round things out! Now, here's what you need to know!

Remember how Rudyard, Michigan hosted a Musicians Festival at the Rudyard Township Park in August? Well, videos from the first annual event went online via their Facebook page last fall, and we only just came across them! Uploaded by an uncredited attendee, the videos (15 total, plus 2 repeated videos) confirm that the visibly well-attended festival was held indoors in a barn-styled building on the park grounds, and the performers even had a smoke machine to work with, which is a nice touch! This show was one of many recent multi-band E.U.P. events that had a lineup full of bands with minimal to zero online pages or media, but most were filmed for the channel, including the likes of Bob & Robert Malaski, Denny Verrett, Jimmy Williams, Hayley Malaska, and Traverse City's Neighbourhood Dogs, though the other videos are uncredited and often hard to discern given the portrait orientation and distance in some. That said, almost all of these videos are of country music covers, with the exception of The Neighbourhood Dogs (experimental), Hayley Malaska (pop), and the two videos below!

One video is our first public video glance at masked local metal band Stoned Ape Evolution, whose video sees them covering Megadeth's "Sweating Bullets". Musically, they sound good, especially on guitar, but the spoken word-heavy vocals don't give me enough of a gauge as to the singer's ability, though he does almost death growl at times. Perhaps the portrait orientation and smoke help continue the mystery about their identity and full sound, and it'll be interesting to see what Stoned Ape Evolution have in store for 2017, as they have promise! Give their video a look below!

The other heavier video from the Rudyard Musicians Festival page is of local hard/blues rock cover quartet Project 906 covering The Black Crowes' "Hard to Handle". Sadly on the same orientation from a further distance, the guys still sound good, and Billy Bernier sounds really good on vocals for this track! There seemed to be some timing issues late though. Check out Project 906's video below, see more of the festival's talented acts above, and click here for details on next month's initial meeting on this year's installment! And yes, the Rudyard Musicians Festival is now in our Sault Michigan festival links!

Also, here's some new Facebook videos from a pair of Sault Ontario bands, starting with a new clip from local hard rockers Skeyes of Seven! Posted to their Facebook page last week, this is of the guys covering "From Can To Can't", a Corey Taylor-sung track from the "Real to Reel" soundtrack of Dave Grohl's documentary Sound City. The video is filmed on a handicam held by frontman Cory Murchison during the performance, which isn't in full, but the band promised a commenting fan that it would be posted in full in the future in some form. Similarly to the band's quiet reveal of new guitarist Kyle Sweet last fall (who wasn't publically confirmed as a new member for months), this video features a drummer in studio that isn't identified by name. I don't know if he's a new band member or not, as guitarist Ron Baxter told me they were still looking for one after this video went online, but if we get any clarification, we'll let you know!

It's great to see a new video of Skeyes of Seven with a live drummer (permanent or not) for the first time since 2014, and with the songs from their yet-released debut EP now available to stream, hopefully a return to the stage will be close at hand too! The guys sound good on the cover too, tight and heavy, though it's a shame the video doesn't run beyond 90 seconds. Give it a look below, and see more from Skeyes of Seven at the above links, and stay tuned for updates!

Finally, local thrash/death metal trio Pillory reemerged for the first time in 2 months with three new videos on their Facebook page over the past day or so! Each is of Pillory playing an original song from a recent jam session, including this video where the camera slowly tilts it's position upward mid-song (bassist Jordan Leach fixes it), and this video which focuses on drummer Bret Shuttleworth in action, but it's sadly uploaded sideways. I know the introduction (Jordan drinking Coca Cola Life) needs the portrait orientation, but nothing else does, why not fix the angle? Embedded below is Pillory playing their song "The Passing", though like the first video, the camera angle goes awry again, this time by completely falling onto the floor late, though there's only 35 seconds left in the video anyway. Pillory sound nice and brutal in these videos, even if the camera positions aren't always ideal, so check out their newest death metal onslaughts above & below!

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril & Scarkazm), A New Band, And Friday The 13th New Music On Werehold Records (Part 11!!)

Three of our last five posts had at least half Sault Michigan content, and we're doubling down with a fully American post on this Friday the 13th! Hopefully the date's not a bad omen. Below, you'll find the newest content from a local metal label, and some video discoveries of a newer local band, but first, here's some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for mid-2017!

Following up on their first gigs of 2017 TONIGHT & TOMORROW in St. Ignace, comment replies on this photo of veteran Traverse City classic metal trio Peril have confirmed some new gigs from both them and their sister metal band Scarkazm for later this year! Typically, I don't condense separate new show announcements into one paragraph, but given Peril & Scarkazm's shared band members and the fact that only one weekend from each was confirmed (in the same post, no less), a combined feature in this instance was appropriate. First, Scarkazm will hit the E.U.P. for the first time this year with rare stops at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on Friday, May 21st & Saturday, May 22nd, so keep those in mind for some hard hitting metal action! Meanwhile, Peril will play at the Soo Kewadin for the first times this year on Friday, June 16th & Saturday, June 17th.

If you can't make Peril's St. Ignace shows this weekend or in March, here are your presumable next chances, so circle mid-June on your calendars! Both Scarkazm & Peril's May/June weekends have 9:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no announced cover charges, as usual. It's great to see both of Jeff & Adam's bands powering into 2017 with some more gigs for Yooper fans, so check the above links for full details on these and other currently announced dates in our area!

Next up, you may be familiar from our coverage of some recent multi-band events in the Sault Michigan area that bands without an online presence have been a fairly common sight, so unless you see them live, find a fan video, or find personal account references, they'll be something of a mystery. One such band was The Karstens, who played the Bay Mills Bands Together fundraiser concert in Brimley last May, and other than my assumption that they were a family band (given the name), I had nothing on them. However, a fan named Bubby Finn got a hold of me online over the last few days, noting positive word of mouth and concert appearances through August of last year for The Karstens, and asked if I had any extra info on them. Between the two of us, we tracked down videos on two YouTube channels of them, and some personal Facebook postings, so here's what I've got. As it turns out, The Karstens are very much a fit for our coverage, and they'd be in our links if they had an online page!

Visibly a quartet (though occasionally seen as a three-piece), I can't confirm the band's full lineup or instrument roles, but one personal Facebook posting suggested that two band members were named Paul LeBlanc and Raymond Kavo. Neither are familiar from our past coverage of the E.U.P., but the band looks relatively young. YouTube users Wabaanimkii and racosun have uploaded 3 and 2 videos respectively from both a jam session and concerts in Brimley and Sault Ste. Marie between April & August 2016, so how do they sound? Musically, I'd call them experimental or alternative metal, and if you like Buckethead, you'll definitely want to take notice, as they cover The Deli Creeps' "Bend Up", "Shadows", and (as embedded below) "Can I Have A Ride" in three videos, plus Buckethead's "The Way To Heaven". That video segues into a cover of Flipper's "Sacrifice", which is covered in full at this link too. Huge kudos to The Karstens for playing some stuff you don't typically see covered in the area, especially in Sault Michigan!

In case you missed The Karstens at Bay Mills Bands Together, their Back Bay Grill & Games show, or Downtown Days in August (apologies for missing the latter two for coverage here), then look for well played if avant garde covers, with the singer/drummer's distinctive deep voice and strong guitar among The Karstens' highlights! They could be a little more animated on stage, but assuming they're still active (I've read nothing new referencing them since August), they have a bright future! Check out much more from The Karstens above & below, and hopefully more turns up! Thanks again to Bubby Finn for his help in getting the above information!

Finally for today, it is Friday the 13th, which means that local independent metal label Werehold Records is back for their eighth Friday the 13th new music posting event! However, this year's only features two new songs for a second straight 13th, and in this case, both songs come from the same band, Werehold's flagship metal project Life's Eclipse. Both dated to the late 1990s, presumably for their initial inception and original recording dates, the songs are entitled "Perihelion" (no relation to the long-gestating Gates of Winter album), and as embedded below, "Pathway". The former is a little drum heavy and scratchy in sound, but "Pathway" is a ripping, fast-paced number that groove metal fans will appreciate, and if there are ever plans to complete these songs with vocals, that will be a highlight! It's just a shame that the Friday the 13th new music events are continuing their steady decline in number that followed their nine song event in June 2014, including skipping November 2015 entirely.

Werehold Records has been a reliable sight for original metal action in the E.U.P., if not live concert acts, and I hope that Jason and company can beef up activity and content in the near future, especially with another Friday the 13th coming up in October! It will be the Halloween season, so there's no better month to go big. Check out "Pathway" below, and see more from Werehold Records above!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Stiffler's Mom & Project 906) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

Before we begin this post, I wanted to note that a new band featuring Mourning Wood's Terry Eaton & Glen Thomas and Lucky 13's Robin Lee are playing at Reggie's Place downtown this weekend under the name The Jukebox Junkies. Now, while Mourning Wood have played this country-leaning venue before (remember their week-long run there?), I can't confirm if The Jukebox Junkies fall into the same vein or if they're a full country band, but keep in mind that all three have been in full country bands previously. Now, let's talk about this weekend's verifiable hard rock concert previews, starting with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Sault Michigan blues/hard rock cover quartet Project 906 will make their Kewadin Casino concert debut when they rock The Rapids Lounge at the Soo's Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the shows via their Facebook event page on Tuesday, and the venue's entertainment page isn't updated yet regarding shows at their lounges. This weekend's shows will mark Project 906's first of 2017, and first in over a month, following their Bay Mills Casino gig in early December, and it's great to see Billy, Joe, Dustin, and Will continuing to spread their wings to some newer venues! Hopefully their hard rocking covers will find a solid audience at The Rapids Lounge TOMORROW & SATURDAY! There's no announced cover charges, a 21+ age limit, and a 9:00 PM start time. See above for more details, and here's Project 906 live last year!

Next up, Sault Ontario party hard rock trio Stiffler's Mom are advertised to rock The Rockstar Bar THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies again for the short notice, this was only announced via the venue's Facebook event page on Monday, though note that the band itself hasn't publically acknowledged the show as of this writing. Stiffler's Mom are filling in for singer/drummer Greg Simpson's country cover band Bone Yard due to "unforeseen circumstances" on SATURDAY, so hopefully all's well in their camp, and Stiffler's Mom should be in fine form for their first announced concert of 2017! For reference, this is a one nighter due to tomorrow's previously announced concert from Vancouver's Harpdog Brown & The Travelin' Blues Band, so keep that in mind if you love the blues or missed them at Reggie's West today. SATURDAY'S Stiffler's Mom concert has a likely 10:30 PM start time, no cover charge, and a 19+ age limit. See above for more info, and here's Stiffler's Mom live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, local hard rock solo artist Tym Morrison will continue his long-term weekly concert arrangement at Gliss Steak & Seafood with three more solo acoustic shows TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY! Playing his 4th-6th shows of 2017 this weekend, Tym's vocal & guitar skills should be on fine display again at The Quality Inn's house restaurant over these next three evenings, so if you're up for an evening of unplugged hard rock classics, you know exactly where to be this weekend, and if his concert calendar is to be believed, weekly through 2020! As usual for the Caveman Morrison frontman's lengthy Gliss run, expect 6:00 PM start times this weekend, no announced cover charge, and no age limits, but remember where these are being held. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live a few years back!

Finally for this weekend's currently known hard rock shows in the area, we'll head south to St. Ignace, Michigan, where Traverse City classic metal trio Peril will play their first shows of 2017 by rocking The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! The first of just two concert weekends from Peril through March (both at The Northern Pines Lounge), this weekend's shows should provide some solid metal favourites from Scarkazm's sister band, so definitely keep Jeff, Adam, and Brooks in mind for tomorrow and/or Saturday night! They nor Scarkazm will be back until the spring, after all. As usual for their E.U.P. trips, expect these shows to take place at 9:00 PM, you must be 21 or older to attend, and there's no announced cover charges. Check the above links for more details, and here's Peril live in concert a few years ago!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates shortly! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A New Local Metal Project & Album, Skeyes Of Seven Updates, And More!!

Before we dive into another weekend's concert previews, here's a new news post on this snowy Wednesday, so what's in store for today? Well, we have some assorted notes regarding three local acts' active statuses, lots of recent updates from a prominent hard rock band, and first, here's a surprise new band and album to take note of!

We have a new local metal solo project to add to our links, and they are Abhorrent Forest, the newest endeavour from ex-Despised Eyes/Death Rise guitarist Will Tholberg! Going by the stage name "Old Man Wyrn" or simply "Wyrn" for this project, Abhorrent Forest launched their Facebook page in October, but only commenced with major public postings this month. Musically, Abhorrent Forest are an instrumental black metal act, and in a surprise reveal just on Monday, their debut album "The End of Life" is already on sale via their Bandcamp page! You can download it free there, but it is available for purchase too via Bandcamp's "name your price" model. It's not every day that you see a new black metal album release in this area, let alone one this abrupt, but kudos to Will for putting this out! Without giving too much away, it's a huge departure from his past public band work, and should appeal to fans of underground minimalist black metal.

As this is a brand new album release available for paid sale, "The End of Life" is very possible for a CD review on the SMS this month, so keep that in mind, and you can also stream the whole album below via Old Man Wyrn's new YouTube channel, so check out Abhorrent Forest above & below!

Next up, here's the latest from local hard rock band Skeyes of Seven, who have been busy as of late, so what's new from their camp? First off, the band has finally confirmed the quiet reveal from last fall of a new second guitarist, that being Kyle Sweet, who you may recognize from performing with frontman Cory Murchison during his solo set at March 2014's Medifest fundraiser, and previously with The Sault Ste. Marie Pipe Band. This gives Skeyes of Seven two guitarists for the first time since Alain Fletcher moved to bass in 2014, and Kyle was a good fit in last year's initial cover video with him! The band still has a drummer vacancy though, and be sure to message them above or guitarist Ron Baxter at this link if you're interested in trying out! As for Skeyes of Seven's long-awaited debut EP "Stare at the Sky', we are still awaiting a full paid release, but the whole EP is now online to stream via Skeyes of Seven's YouTube channel, so what should you know?

Confirming a 6 song run-time, "Stare at the Sky" will feature their songs "See The Truth", "Pretend", "Enough", "Fallen Faith", "Cognitive Dissonance", and as embedded below, "Crawling Back Into Reality" (yes, they did delete two of their older studio tracks and re-post them.) No word on if the night sky motif on most videos will be the album cover, or on when that will see it's paid release, but the instrumental "Crawling Back Into Reality" notably differs by having a slideshow of shots from the band's run so far. It includes pictures dating back to their first show, even including ex-members Mike Mannarino & Jonny Amendola in some shots, and closing with outtakes from their introductory video with recent drummer John Mignacca (who drums on the EP.) My biggest problem with this video is that they include never-before-seen clips of Skeyes of Seven jamming and in studio, only to dub them over with the studio track, even ones with Cory visibly singing, despite the song having no vocals.

I wouldn't want the song broken up, but I'm sure fans would want to see these clips on their own, so hopefully they make their way online at some point! Still, it's great to see things finally nearing completion and release for Skeyes of Seven's debut EP, especially given how sporadically they've played live since debuting in 2012, so check out the songs on "Stare At The Sky" above & below, and stay tuned for updates!

Finally, here's some shorter assorted news items from the last while, all via our latest scan of our active band links, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • We have moved local punk supergroup Killer to our inactive band links, as they have not made a public posting of any kind since January 6th of last year. A non-seasonal sister band to Toystock 2015 performers The Rude-Offs, Killer themselves have never played live, despite a strong lineup comprised of Destroilet, Treble Charger, and Stiffler's Mom alumni. For what it's worth, The Rude-Offs dropped out of last year's Toystock, but their lack of activity also coincided with much of Destroilet's year-long stage hiatus, so take those however you want. Hopefully we see Greg, Greig, John, Christian, Adam, and Matt back in some form!
  • In a post on his solo project's Facebook page in May of last year, Din frontman Mike Haggith noted that with The Din "making some pretty big waves" in recent months, his next solo album (the "Neighbourhood Watch" re-recording) isn't currently a priority, despite him teasing that album that same February. At least Mike acknowledged why his solo project hasn't been active lately, but hopefully he can complete "Neighbourhood Watch Revisited" at some point, and of course, follow The Din for his high energy current original band work! We'll leave his solo project in our active links until May, unless there's new activity beforehand.
  • We have also moved Mourning Wood drummer Glen Thomas' hard rock studio project The Mourning Glory (named before he joined the former) to our inactive band links, as he hasn't posted anything public on that project since his New Year's forecast post on his message board one year ago today. The Mourning Glory had promise, but don't miss Glen and Tony Kajnar in their current active projects The Peace Vibe and Flat Stanley!

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Bankshot

It's time for our first Defunct Local Band Profile of 2017! Our monthly look at one or two inactive local metal, hard rock, or punk bands is back for another year of randomly selected goodness from the scene's past, and we're starting the year with a bang, especially for you fans of late 1990s punk rock in the Soo! Here's what you should know on this month's chosen band!

Genre: Punk

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario


Ron Pelletier (Ten Brick Limit), vocals
Christian Pasiak (Sleepy & The Noise), guitar
Lucas Schmiedendorf (Bin Hawdon & The Taliband), guitar
Neil Vallee, bass
Clint Wilson (Late Shift, Northwest), drums

Audio/Video: Bankshot released one CD, 1999's "Angst For The Memories", which is long since out of print, but is easy to find online via YouTube and download sites (the former has at least three separate postings of the full album, one linked below.) Given Bankshot's relatively brief lifespan and inactivity for the past 16+ years, live videos are not readily available nowadays, but given their prominence at the time, hopefully something turns up at some point!

Info/Analysis: Active from 1998-2000, Bankshot were formed by alumni of bands like Ten Brick Limit and Morning Wood (no relation), and quickly became a fixture of the regional punk scene in the late 1990s, debuting as openers for Our Lady Peace, and later opening for bands like Treble Charger, Strung Out, and Choke at well received shows. Bankshot also found wider attention performing on the CBC talk show Jonovision, and by a YTV Achievement Award nomination, though they broke up in the late 2000s due to members' out-of-town work commitments. Now hailed by many punk fans as a rare gem, "Angst For The Memories" showcases Bankshot's melodic skate punk sound with enthusiasm and suitable attitude, with Ron's singing a nice match for Christian and Luc's solid guitar riffs, and it's easy to see why Bankshot were a fan favourite band in their day! Though a teased 10 year reunion never visibly happened, hopefully we see Bankshot back down the road!
I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! As for next month in this series, our random selection will take us back to Sault Michigan, but as this band doesn't have enough surviving information, we are filling things out with a Sault Ontario band in a similar state. With that said, look for our profiles of Eckerman, Michigan hard rock quintet Moss (featuring Werehold Records artists) and Sault Ontario solo guitarist Neno Jovanovic (a.k.a. Metallurgy) on or around February 10th! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates in the coming days! Thanks everyone!