Friday, October 24, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soo Zombie Walk) & Haggith Updates!!

Barring some more late notice show announcements, we'll close this weekend's hard rock & punk concert previews today with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT concerning a well anticipated annual event's band lineup for this year! At the end of the post though, we also have some added updates from one of the bands at said event, so read on below to get caught up for the weekend!

The band lineup for this year's sixth annual Soo Zombie Walk TOMORROW has finally been officially announced, so now we can detail this year's musical entertainment! Apologies for the short notice, organizers only just detailed the bands this weekend on the walk's website, and we held our announcement of them for this weekend's previews. Like last year, the Zombie Walk (which will see many Saultites dressed as the undead and roaming downtown for brains) will return to The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, and once again, bands will be rocking out pre-battle at the museum as part of the expanded event schedule at it's current location. If you liked last year's zombie walk bands, you'll enjoy this year's lineup, as every act (save for James Watterworth) is returning to entertain the zombies, with local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith returning for their third straight zombie walk set, and first public concert appearance of the fall!

With this talented band's upcoming CD "Apocalypse II" nearing release, look for more zombie-themed originals from that and it's predecessor in their set! Also, local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage will join them for their fourth straight zombie walk set, and their first local concert appearance in 5 months! The Beckers and company should entertain with their crash rock sounds, and they have plenty of new material to source from for their set, so don't miss their first set of the fall tomorrow! Northwest guitarist Greg Callaghan (again credited as Greg Calhoun) will also return from last year for a solo opening set, and while it remains to be seen if his set will be "evil" like in some past appearances, he should have some entertaining covers in store to kick things off! According to a conversation with Sykotyk Rampage's Dirk Becker, they and Haggith have switched places from the announced timeslots, so Haggith are apparently headlining at around 4:00 PM, with Sykotyk Rampage on at 3:00 PM & Greg Callaghan on at 2:00 PM.

For the rest of the schedule (which includes brain eating contests, food, vendors, face panting, photos, and games) from the 2:00 PM opening until 5:00 PM, click here, while the walk itself will take place from 5:00-6:00 PM on Pim, Queen, Brock, and Bay Streets, starting and ending at the Bushplane Museum (click here for the full map.) Admission will be $2 plus a non-perishable food donation, while kids 12 and under just have to bring a food donation to enter. For more details, visit the above links! It should also be noted that no official Zombie Walk pages for this year make mention of an afterparty, so it's looking like this will be the first year since the inaugural walk in 2009 where there wasn't an afterparty, which admittedly took a back seat to the new expanded afternoon lineup after the event moved from The Grand Theater last year. The Zombie Walk is always a fun addition to the Halloween calendar, and I just hope organizers have worked out the kinks from last year after all of the changes (particularly the confusion regarding when the walk itself actually began.)

As last year's walk moved to the Halloween weekend, it conflicted with the Ripcordz concert that night, so I only went to the one event, but as it's back on the weekend before J.D.'s party this year, I can definitely return for the zombie walk tomorrow! It will be great to join the walking dead once again, and to take in some artists I haven't seen in a while too, so I hope to see you fellow zombies there, and for a preview, here's Haggith live last month!



Closing today's post, we'll touch on some more news from the aforementioned Haggith, including news on their upcoming CDs "XIV" and "Apocalypse II"! At this point, it's looking like the latter concept sequel album will be out first, as the band revealed on their Facebook page last week that it will be released this coming Tuesday (October 28th) for $5, and copies can be pre-ordered via their online store. Additional streaming media and sale availability is to be announced, but I'm a bit surprised that they aren't rushing the release for tomorrow given their Zombie Walk involvement and the CD's zombie themes (maybe there's a surprise in store?) The release date for "XIV" (whose name refers to it's release this year, thanks Curt!) is to be determined, but the store above referenced an October 14th date that has since came & went, though whether or not drummer Mike Haggith's recent personal break was a factor isn't stated. Given it's impending release, is "Apocalypse II" next for a CD review on the site?

I'd have to say it's not going to be reviewed next, mostly because it's a sequel to a prior concept album, so it'd be a disservice to the story to cover them out of order. That said, the original "Apocalypse" from 2012 isn't new and doesn't have precedence in our queue for that reason, so Northwest's new EP is still most likely for November. However, if the non-concept "XIV" comes out next month, then that's likely next, but I'll keep you guys posted in any case! We'll leave you guys with this short 12 second cell phone video from Haggith's Facebook page on Saturday of singer Curtis McKenzie singing his track from one of the band's upcoming originals. Sounds good, but stay tuned for more updates as the weeks progress!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow, and of course, we'll see you guys at the Zombie Walk tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The First Of This Weekend's Hard Rock/Punk Concert Previews!!

Let's kick off this weekend's hard rock & punk concert previews today (we'll touch on the Zombie Walk TOMORROW), but first, just a note regarding a band listed as playing at The Rapids Lounge this weekend on Kewadin Casino's entertainment page, that being defunct local hard rock band RamWagon. It's been established that RamWagon disbanded earlier this year, and newer bands featuring members of theirs (like Highway 63) have not indicated that they're playing in the Soo this weekend, so unless we hear otherwise, that was probably an accidental listing. Now, here's this weekend's heavier non-zombie walk concert previews! (Updated at 3:16 PM)

A stacked night of punk rock mayhem goes down TONIGHT when Vancouver punk quartet The Rebel Spell make their long awaited return to the Soo for a headlining set at The Moose Lodge! Last seen via two separate appearances here in March 2011, this will be (at least) this politically charged and very entertaining band's fifth appearance in the Soo, and with new songs from their newest CD "Last Run" to unleash, fans new and old alike should be in for a good time with The Rebel Spell! Local support will include hardcore punk sextet Destroilet (though without new co-vocalist Brent Ellis, as per his personal Facebook page), local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades, and local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control (in their first appearance at a "Johnny Pints Presents..." concert), and all are fitting choices to open, all in their own Moose Lodge debuts! Promoted by Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce (who opened for The Rebel Spell with Fitswitch in 2006), this ALL AGES concert kicks off tomorrow at 6:00 PM, and admission is $10 at the door with no announced advance tickets.

Also, as the first of J.D.'s Halloween season concert slate, there will be a best costume contest tomorrow as well, with the winner getting a Jack Spades merchandise pack and a pass to one of his upcoming concerts, so keep that in mind too if you have your costume ready! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This is a great way to kick off the Halloween concert season for punk fans in the area, especially if you're in the east end, under 19, or have missed The Rebel Spell in the last 3+ years, so don't miss tonight's show, and here's The Rebel Spell live in 2012!



Also this weekend, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return once again to The Harp Bar & Grill with his 47th consecutive weekend of acoustic hard rock entertainment there TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Just over a month away from a full year at the former Madison's Pub with no weekends off, Tym's entertaining and prolific unplugged cover sets continue to be a reliable source of entertainment on weekends, and I'm sure things will keep up nicely for tomorrow's hosted jam night and Saturday's full solo concert! Admission for both nights should be free, you must be 19 to attend, and there's a likely 10:00 PM start time both nights. For more details, visit the above links! Tym should have a solid weekend in store for fans as he continues his successful arrangement with The Harp, so keep his shows this weekend in mind, and here he is at the former Bossy's!



Moving to Sault Michigan and surrounding areas to close this post, we'll head to St. Ignace, where Charlevoix metal trio Peril will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at their Kewadin Casino for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! This will be Jeff, Adam, and Brooks' second Eastern U.P. concert weekend in three weeks (following Soo Kewadin stops on October 10th & 11th) and their first St. Ignace shows in almost three months, so while Peril haven't been away from our area long, fans of their classic metal covers should be out in full force once again this weekend, especially those not from Sault Michigan proper! As usual for Kewadin Casino bar events, a 9:00 PM start time is likely, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. For more details, check the above links! Peril should deliver another fun & heavy night of covers for their fans, so be sure to keep their shows this weekend in mind, and here they are covering Ozzy Osbourne!



Finally for today's previews, Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E will make rare appearances outside of the regional Kewadin Casino branches when they rock the Dondee Lanes in the Soo TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Fresh off of last weekend's debut with their new lineup (now featuring bassist Mitch Goetz and drummer Tony Hubbard), we don't hear of too many regular Dondee concerts from bands that fit on the SMS anymore, but 415E should deliver their own fun entertainment via their Van Halen-inspired originals and covers this weekend, and if you like the Dondee, we have a Halloween weekend show to announce there in the next while as well, so watch out for that too! As for this weekend, 415E are on at special earlier times of 8:00 PM both nights, though admission prices aren't announced, and you must be 21 to attend. For more details, visit the above links, and here's 415E covering The Stone Temple Pilots!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Soo Zombie Walk concert announcement & preview TOMORROW, and more! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

YouTube Channel Profile Series: SuckMyKiss535, formersome1, And LoveTheDeathbat's Channels

Hey guys, I apologize for the lack of updates over the last few days. I was in Detroit for the weekend, and even then, news was slow, but we will definitely have some big updates in the coming days, including an extended preview of Saturday's Soo Zombie Walk band lineup during our weekend previews (click here for the lineup before then!) To ensure we don't go three days without a post on the site, here's this month's YouTube Channel Profiles a day early! As usual, this is our monthly feature look at 1-3 YouTube channels with at least 50% of their videos being relevant to SMS-covered shows and bands, and due to the size of the first selected channel, we filled things out to three smaller channels this month! Read on below for what you need to know on this month's randomly selected channels, one of which is seasonally fitting!
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SuckMyKiss535's channel (http://www.youtube.com/suckmykiss535)

Owner: YouTube user SuckMyKiss535 (full identity unclear, but the owner is likely German, based on the language of his postings)

Channel Timeline: Launched on December 19th, 2009; Videos posted from October 2010 until February 2012

Channel Summary: Aside from a 2010 posting of Slipknot's "Vermilion Pt. 2" as an apparent tribute to his girlfriend, SuckMyKiss35's only upload is of defunct local blackened/doom metal favourites Woods of Ypres' song "Travelling Alone" from their posthumous final album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", as posted around the time of it's European release. The included image is of the band's 2009 lineup (all but late frontman David Gold left the band before 2011's "W5" sessions), but this is still a solid doom metal track with dark overtones and well thought out lyrics! Still, fans will find this and more on larger YouTube channels, and this channel hasn't visibly been updated since this song was posted.


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formersome1's channel (http://www.youtube.com/formersome1)

Owner: YouTube user formersome1 (identity unclear, but a Twitter user of the same name is also credited as "Lins H")

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 15th, 2007; Videos posted on October 31st & November 1st of 2011

Channel Summary: This channel solely consists of three videos from local punk trio Redundant's set at local concert promoter J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween party on October 29th, 2011, which would mark the annual event's last installment at the original Coch's Corner on Bay Street before the event & venue both moved to new locations. Joining Frightlight and the one-off 1990s alternative tribute The 151s for a night of Halloween action, Redundant donned their best Green Day costumes for fitting covers of Green Day's "When I Come Around" & "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?" to go along with that! Embedded below though from formersome1's channel are their renditions of Weezer's "El Scorcho" (with "No Scrubs" interlude) and The Vaselines' "Molly Lips", and in all cases, the videos are well shot from very close to the stage, though the visuals are slightly blurry, and drummer Rick White is almost completely in the dark. Redundant and punk fans should like these though, and don't miss J.D.'s 2014 Halloween party next Friday!


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LoveTheDeathbat's channel (http://www.youtube.com/lovethedeathbat)

Owner: Former T.E.N. bassist Nick Ritchie

Channel Timeline: Launched on July 2nd, 2013; Videos posted from that day until January 2014

Channel Summary: Despite his band experience, Nick's YouTube channel is mostly based on a mid-2013 jam session by friends of his, specifically Blood Shed Productions founders & Brutaly Fatal members Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson (Nick's old T.E.N. bandmate) and Austin McCrae. The videos (shot at Blood Shed headquarters) include loose covers of Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime", Nirvana's "About A Girl", and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid", two videos of instrumental jamming (here & here), and the longer original jam clip embedded below. If you're not high on the Blood Shed's grind-heavy artists, you might like these videos more just for the softer music & clean vocals on display, and the informal jam nature gives some neat insights, but Austin's reserved vocals can be a bit monotonous on some of the above videos. Good range overall, but note that Nick's only video since these postings was a Grand Theft Auto 5 clip.


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I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, I've randomly selected three more YouTube channels, as the first one that we chose only had one video, and the second only had one that fit the site, hence a second straight triple-channel month. That said, we'll be looking at the channels of YouTube user syrfer72 (featuring a Kiss video from their Essar Center show), Chronic Demonic bassist Ryan Gratton (featuring audio recordings of his old band Faithless Sin), and YouTube user turnerup100 (featuring a video of their one-time sister band Havadder), so watch out for these on or around Novemer 22nd! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

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

Let's take care of the results of last month's poll and this month's newest poll on the site today, as it is the 18th of another month! As you may remember, we posed this question to you guys for a fourth straight year last month: Which of these defunct or recently inactive bands would you most want to see hit the stage again? We got a solid 30 votes that produced an interesting spread of results, so thanks to everyone for voting, and now, here are your final results!

Other (4 votes, 13.125%)
Late & Loud (3 votes, 10%)
Gates of Winter (3 votes, 10%)
Lion Ride (3 votes, 10%)
As It Stands (2 votes, 7%)
Crimson Crusade (2 votes, 7%)
Giwakwa (2 votes, 7%)
Nixxon Dixxon (2 votes, 7%)
T-Rex Manning (2 votes, 7%)
The Billy Bastards (1 vote, 3.125%)
Bring The Fallen (1 vote, 3.125%)
Caveman Morrison (1 vote, 3.125%)
The Fury (1 vote, 3.125%)
Half A Man (1 vote, 3.125%)
RedD Monkey (1 vote, 3.125%)
Treble Charger (1 vote, 3.125%)
For All That Is Lost (0 votes)
Free Beer (0 votes)
Garden of Bedlam (0 votes)
The Inner City Surfers (0 votes)
Nebraska Arms (0 votes)
Sailor's Tongue (0 votes)
The Scary Uncles (0 votes)
State of Misery (0 votes)
The Valentine's Day Massacre (0 votes)
Winkstinger (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, I am glad that a wide array of bands got votes, and very evenly spread (all things considered), but I'm most shocked that The Inner City Surfers and the recently-dormant Garden of Bedlam didn't get a single vote. Their reputations speak for themselves, but it's all in who votes! Similarly, I was a little surprised that only one person voted for Treble Charger, but admittedly, their national success may remove them from the same sort of "local" attention. Overall, I'm happy to see 15 different bands in the poll get some love, though with "Other" narrowly winning, it's clear that some readers had a preferred inactive band that wasn't listed. I can't speak for them, but maybe they were aiming for older bands like Fitswitch or Fistmagnet, or perhaps ones of a different genre completely? If you disregard "Other", the three highest scoring bands were Gates of Winter, Late & Loud, and Lion Ride with 3 votes and 10% of the total each. All are great and missed local bands, but who "won" between them?

As is the case when ties in similar polls occur, the newest band will take said tiebreaker, as they had less time to garner the same number of votes, so we'll narrowly award Late & Loud a second straight "win" in this annual poll! They're the most recent of the three bands by both formation and their last show's date, and though their one-off reunion this summer was called their "last show ever", I know Loudmouths are hoping that will prove false once Brendan comes home. Hopefully we see them, Gates of Winter, and Lion Ride back down the road!

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, I wanted to touch on a specific part of the year where concerts seem to explode in prominence and number (at least, on the metal and punk side of things), so we're posing this question to you guys this month: What's your opinion on the large amount of metal, hard rock, and punk shows during the Halloween season each year? As long as I've been running the SMS, late October (and, where weekends line up, early November) has been arguably the busiest and most active part of the fall season for local concerts, with costumes, themed events, and shows both seasonal and general alike to take in, Between October 23rd and November 2nd, we have concerts headlined by Gob, The Rebel Spell, The Brains, Archelon, Frightlight, Havadder, and Tym Morrison to take in, plus the Zombie Walk bands to be announced, Peril, 415E, and Banned in Sault Michigan, and perhaps more to be announced on shorter notice, so fans have no shortage of live hard rock and punk to hit in "Punkrocktober"!

With that said, do you like, dislike, or have another opinion of the Halloween season's influx of concerts each year? I've picked six different choices that will hopefully cover all ranges of opinions on this topic, as even if there seems to be wide acceptance and anticipation for these shows, expecting a uniform opinion wouldn't be realistic. Now, here are your choices!

I love it, Halloween's a great season!: Do you just outright love Halloween and the trappings that come with it? Were you a devoted trick or treater (or maybe a parent of one?) that still watches the TV specials, hands out the candy, and dresses up in your best costume? Are Halloween season concerts absolute musts for the season? If Halloween is high on your list for the year, vote here!

It depends on the bands/themes: Of course, everyone has their own opinions on bands or the types of events that they like to attend, regardless of year. For example, fans of Gob aren't necessarily going to be fans of Archelon, and might not be expected to see both bands live this year. Maybe you just don't like going to the events that go too far into Halloween themes, or not far enough. In either case, vote here if your Halloween show participation varies!

Can't they line up with a paid holiday, like Thanksgiving?: As great as Halloween is, it's not generally considered a paid holiday by many employers, nor do students get time off for it if it falls on a weekday. Maybe you tend to not be able to attend Halloween parties and shows because of your work schedule, and wish that a paid fall holiday (such as Thanksgiving or Labour Day) was instead the destination weekend for concerts. If you'd prefer another holiday to get the same focus, here you go!

I don't pay attention to the time of year for concerts: Simply put, do you go to concerts because of the bands playing, not for the timeframe that they occur in? Do you rock out with the band, and see the Halloween accouterments optional or just a cherry on top? If you don't factor the time of year into your concert planning, this is the choice for you!

I prefer other seasonal events to metal/punk concerts: It'd be ignorant to say that there weren't other seasonal events going on in the Twin Saults that didn't involve bands. If you know where to look, there will be dance parties and club nights, house parties, and maybe a haunted house or corn maze to take in as well, not to mention just watching specials or scary movies at home. If concerts aren't high on your list for the Halloween season, give this option a vote!

I don't like or celebrate Halloween: Yes, there are people in the area who don't like Halloween for any number of reasons. Some don't like the commercial nature or it's deviance from it's original intent, some just aren't fans of the horror/spooky motifs & themes, or having to hand out candy, while others yet may have religious beliefs that call for them to not celebrate or acknowledge the season. If Halloween is not among your holidays for personal or religious concerns, we have you covered!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until November 18th to make your voices heard, so vote A.S.A.P., as I'm curious to see if most readers do really love Halloween, or if we just have a very vocal minority that makes the season so much fun (myself, I love Halloween, and plan to be at a few concerts for the occasion!) That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and so forth in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rad Zone Anniversary Bash Fallout, Destroilet's Newest Member, And More!!

Here's our first all-news, no-previews/profiles post on the site in almost a week! Along with some assorted recent updates and new song uploads, we're leading off with the first fallout from this past weekend's concert that celebrated a great store's big anniversary, so here's what you should know!

We'll kick things off today with some long awaited fallout from Saturday night's Ripcordz-headlined Rad Zone anniversary party at The Rockstar Bar, including a new article and photo album from SooToday's Donna Hopper! Entitled "Some punk for Monk", the article (which went up on Wednesday) features a recap of the night's entertainment (though with no mention of DJ Seith's opening set, oddly enough), but mostly focuses on Rad Zone owner Paul "Monk" Muncaster, which reflects on his 30 years owning The Rad Zone and it's predecessors. The article does feature comments from Paul himself, including confirmation that he wants to retire from running the shop in around 10 years, saying that he wants to "sit & enjoy life with a fishing rod", and that he knows someone will pick up where he left off then. That will be a sad day when it comes, but make the most of his music and vinyl knowledge where you can, as he's been doing awesome work in this town for decades for the music & skate scenes (and beyond!)

Yes, Local2 video cameras were rolling too for a Tuned episode, but as of this writing, it's not online yet. We'll keep you posted when it's up! As for Donna's photos, which are all in black and white, she got 23 shots on Saturday, including 10 of The Ripcordz, 6 of Jack Spades, 4 of Destroilet (though none of DJ Seith), while Paul is the focus of three, one featuring the Rad Zone's birthday cake. Great shots as usual, so be sure to check them out above!

Next up, here's the big Destroilet lineup news that was publically revealed at the Ripcordz concert this past Saturday, as the band has added veteran local musician Brenton Ellis (a.k.a. Diamond Brent Panther) to their lineup as a co-lead singer, who will share vocal duties with Mike Hull going forward. Brent is well known locally as a singer and/or bassist from bands like Lion Ride, Detroit, and Tha Bombed Squad, and for out of town bands like The Labour Of..., The Sexual Vigilantes, and most recently Maximum RNR, who Brent parted ways with last month prior to moving back to the Soo. It's not clear yet whether Brent will sing alongside Mike during shows or will trade off for certain songs/verses, but he will debut with the band at the Rebel Spell concert at The Moose Lodge on Thursday. This is an intriguing surprise for the now six-piece Destroilet, and I just hope it's not considered a demotion on Mike's part. It's great to have Brent back in the area, and we'll have to see how things sound next week, so keep an eye out!

Also today, here's the first completed song from Haggith drummer Mike Haggith's next announced studio solo album "The Warinside"! Entitled "September", this was posted on his solo YouTube channel yesterday, and it's an instrumental track that's "of particular significance" to him, but is not similar to the rest of the album, which will be heavier, though with something for everyone (source here.) Recorded at Galactic Records in Windsor, Mike's hoping to have this album complete by early next year. I'll hold comment for now as a review of this album is likely, but give this short interlude a listen!



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

  • Though technically not a metal or hard rock note, Staind frontman Aaron Lewis will return to our area on November 22nd for a solo country concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino. Fans may remember Staind's well received headlining gig here in April 2009, and while this tour is definitely focused on solo songs like "Country Boy", he is known to cover Staind songs in this setting too. For more details, click here!
  • New local punk/grunge duo The Red & Black posted two new songs onto their Bandcamp page on Tuesday, along with a higher quality version of "The Army Song". The new tracks are "Put Up or Shut Up" and a yet-untitled song, and while the former is reminiscent of frontman Chris Shoust's Telephone & Address work, the latter is an experimental drum/piano piece that Spider Fingerz fans should like! Check everything out above!
  • This is admittedly late, as the show took place yesterday, but local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver were added on short notice to yesterday's Northern Horde concert in Toronto alongside fellow local bands AlgomA, Bad Back, The Apocalypse Afterparty, and Crucify The Whore, plus non-locals Fox (replacing Ghost Daze.) Sounds like a very solid concert, hopefully everyone made a huge splash! Our source is the Facebook event page.

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Nudge & 415E) And This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

For the first time since Saturday, we're covering news and previews in a post on the SMS, partly due to a recent news slowdown, but we do have a full news post coming this weekend! Today's post is devoted to previews of this weekend's hard rock concert previews in the area, mostly in Sault Michigan, though we have some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for THIS WEEKEND and next too! Also, if you saw a recent Rockstar Bar Facebook group posting referencing a Stiffler's Mom gig this Saturday, that appears to have been premature or incorrect, as it's since been removed from said post. If anything changes again, we'll let you know, but let's begin our previews, and check out our review of AlgomA's new CD in the post below this one!

Ishpeming/Marquette hard rock cover favourites Nudge have announced two more local concert weekends for 2014, as they'll be back at The Satisfied Frog in Sault Michigan TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, before returning there on Friday, December 12th & Saturday, December 13th! Apologies for the short notice for this weekend's shows, the band just confirmed them via this weekend's Facebook event page. The gigs this weekend are either new additions or are replacing shows at a further location (they weren't listed when we covered Nudge's Soo dates last month), but December's are absolutely new, and will almost certainly mark their last local dates of 2014. Tomorrow's show will also mark Nudge's first local appearance with new drummer Jeremy Weiger, who replaced the again-departed Eric Schlumpf last month, though some fans may see him accompany frontman Danzo McCracken at his solo acoustic set at The Frog tonight as well. Nudge seem to rotate drummers as frequently as Spinal Tap, but hopefully Jeremy sticks!

Both this weekend's and December's concerts have 21+ age limits, no announced cover charges, and 10:00 PM start times, so check the above links for more details, don't miss Nudge back at The Satisfied Frog TOMORROW & SATURDAY, and here's Nudge covering Godsmack a few years ago!



Also in new concerts, Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E will make their Dondee Lanes debut NEXT WEEKEND (October 24th & 25th), which follow their previously announced gigs at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Next weekend's shows (possibly their first ever at a non-Kewadin venue) were announced on their Facebook page two weeks ago. It'll be cool to see the guys at a different venue for a change, so if you like the Dondee, don't miss next weekend's shows! Before then however, 415E will make their first concert appearances in 2½ months this weekend when they debut their new quartet lineup, with Mitch Goetz and Tony Hubbard replacing Jack Slater & Devin Anderson respectively on bass and drums, ending a long stretch where founding members Dave Menard & Chris Hubbard played shows as a duo. Great to see a full lineup again, and fans of Dave, Chris, and Tony's old band Splitshot will be glad to see them back together again!

Both this weekend's Rapids Lounge gigs and next weekend's at the Dondee have 21+ age limits, no announced cover charges, and likely 9:00 PM start times. For more details, visit the above links, don't miss a chance to see the new look 415E lineup in action this month (including TOMORROW & SATURDAY), and here's 415E live last year!



Moving to shows that were 100% previously announced, Cheboygan hard rock trio Driven will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino for headlining gigs there TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Last seen in the U.P. at a private gig in August (and publically in June), this will sadly be Driven's last concert weekend at any location with singer/bassist Tony Rhome, who's retiring from the band in order to settle down, spend more time with family, and pursue new interests, as per a heartfelt message that he posted on the band's Facebook page two weeks ago. Driven fans are bound to be disappointed by this news, but our best wishes go out to Tony, and hopefully fans send him off with a bang this weekend! For what it's worth, Driven have not announced if they will continue without him yet, but they haven't visibly announced later gigs for this year either. This weekend's shows have 9:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no announced cover charges, so don't miss Driven's last local gigs with Tony THIS WEEKEND, and here's the guys covering Metallica!



Lastly, we'll head north to Sault Ontario, where Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will kick off his 46th straight week of concerts at The Harp Bar & Grill on Pine Street with solo acoustic gigs TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Unlike the last few weekends in his ongoing arrangement with the former Madison's Pub, Tym is outwardly promoting the Saturday half of this weekend's sets there via the Facebook event page, so keep both tomorrow's hosted jam night and Saturday's pure solo acoustic show in mind! As usual, you can take in Tym's entertaining covers either night at around 10:00 PM, there's no announced cover charges, and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, check the above links! It's good to see Tym's successful run at The Harp moving steadily along, so don't miss it on the Ontario side, and here he is covering Journey!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this weekend, plus our next poll on Saturday! Thanks everyone!

AlgomA - "Reclaimed By The Forest" Review!!

Now's as good a time as any for this month's CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, our 64th total, as we're looking at local doom/sludge metal trio AlgomA's debut album "Reclaimed By The Forest"! Released last week (October 8th) through the Malaysian independent label Deadbeat Media, this CD was self-recorded & produced at "Das Bunker" in nearby Garden River in April & May of this year, and was mixed and mastered by veteran local musician Mark Rand in Peterborough this summer. "Reclaimed By The Forest" features AlgomA's founding & current lineup, with Kevin Campbell on lead vocals & bass, Boyd Rendell (under his Darby Wigwaas stage name) on guitar & co-lead vocals on two songs, and Jamie "JV" Vincent on drums. Physical copies are available for purchase locally at The Rad Zone and through direct contact with band members for $10, while you can order CDs for a dollar extra via their BigCartel page. You can also get mp3 copies at their Bandcamp page for $8, and a wider North American distribution is planned for the future also.

Featuring 6 songs (which together run almost 42 minutes), each song below is linked to it's individual Bandcamp link, starting with the first track, "Bedsores"! Almost 10 minutes in length in it's own right, the song begins with a sample from the movie "Requiem For A Dream" before kicking into sludgy gear with crushing instrumentation that builds into a full heaviness that's intentionally slow paced, almost running 4 minutes before we hear the first vocals from the band itself after a brief softer bridge. Lyrically, the song is about an elderly woman in a nursing home with no living family or reason to live, points that Kevin emphasizes with clear hate and aggression vocally, with his singing reminding me of Nate Olp from Demiricous, albeit much slower. After the first verse, we also get some Black Sabbath-ish riffing and a slightly faster progression, which roughly maintains until the end.

I'm accustomed to and enjoy the deliberate brutality on display here, and the mid-late stretch is great, but non-fans of the genre may find this song to be too repetitive and drawn out for their liking. The next song is "Fell Down A Well", again beginning with a sample, this time from an interview with Charles Manson. A much shorter song, this still has the sludgy goodness of "Bedsores", but seems to have more of an early impact with it's stop/start riffing, impactful drums, and intense yelling from Kevin in the first person about falling down a well (naturally) and his mental process after said fall. It's not as lyrically strong as it's preceding track, but the music is more varied and faster paced, with Darby's guitar riffs crushing in all forms, and he even joins in for some backing vocals late! Another very solid song that will please existing fans of AlgomA's doomy noise rock!

Third on this CD is the title track "Reclaimed By The Forest", another song from the first person, this time about an injured man facing mortality lying alone in the forest. Some could see this as a more vidid depiction of another local doom metal song about similar themes, Woods of Ypres' "Keeper of the Ledger", but this is it's own animal entirely. Again opening with a sample (from the movie "Gummo"), this song continues with the slow doom intensity of it's preceding tracks, almost taking on a very slow swing in the riffing, while Kevin's vocals actually sound slightly less coherent than on the preceding tracks, though given the situation that the song is presenting, the victim might be delirious and desperate for help. Even being one of the shorter songs on this album, this is actually more repetitive than one might expect, but the crushing slow metal is as constant and in-your-face as ever, and it'll definitely melt faces, if slowly!

Song #4 is "Tertiary Syphillis", which is the first on the album to lack a spoken word sample at it's beginning. Also from the first person, the lyrics concern a man's diagnosis and medical downfall after contracting the title disease. Slowly building with feedback for the first minute before Jamie's drumming helps bring in the full music, this is the first of two songs on the album to feature Darby on co-lead vocals, unleashing his high pitched screams that remind me of Alan Wells from Winkstinger at times (again, if much slower), and fans of BeeFMouTH will appreciate his singing here! This song features him and Kevin trading vocals (with the latter handling choruses, a rare occurence for this album), and while said choruses give this song a more conventional structure, this song has many differences from it's preceding tracks without sacrificing any of their integrity or established sound, and it's well worth checking out on it's own merits!

The penultimate and shortest song on "Reclaimed By The Forest" is next, entitled "Go On, Git!", which is also the first that lyrically isn't about a human waiting for or nearing death (instead, an unwanted dog who no one seems to care for.) Opening again with a sample (from the movie "The 'Burbs"), this is the fastest paced song on this album, and shares a lot in common with groove metal from it's guitar riffs, while still retaining the noise rock essence. Is it wrong to think of Down when hearing this at points? Kevin's lead vocals adapt well at a slightly faster speed, and it's a very solid track that will be likely most appealing to listeners who aren't major fans of sludge and doom metal, and may serve as an effective bridge into their more frequent songs!

This CD closes with "Extinct Volcanoes", which closes the album with it's longest song yet, running for over 11 minutes. The only song here that's not about first person anguish and despair, it's instead an indictment of lazy and inactive young people of today, who are compared to the extinct volcanoes of the title. Starting with a strange sample of layered people saying similar phrases that I honestly can't place, the song takes it's time setting the mood before launching into a slow and depressive cadence that has more of a minimalist quality than it's predecessors. The second & final song on the CD with Darby & Kevin sharing lead vocals, the sludgy call & response fits the song's subject matter more, with Jamie keeping up nicely on drums, but be warned, if you didn't like some of the drawn out stretches of "Bedsores", similar pacing recurs here. The song seems to end around 8:30 in, but the guys unleash into a faster paced and harder hitting section before closing the song & CD in their usual sludgy fashion, capping a solid debut!

So, what are my thoughts on AlgomA's debut album? Overall, it's a crushing first effort that captures their doom & sludge metal sound to great effect, and the guys are definitely in their element! Minimalistic, noisy, lyrically deperessive, and sometimes repetitious, but these are hallmarks of this style in many respects, and AlgomA deftly handle it all in a manner that lends itself quite nicely to live moshpits! Kevin Campbell's aggressive vocals (and, when heard, Darby Wigwaas' higher screams) suit the material nicely, and both deliver slow and well-paced guitar & bass riffs throughout, while Jamie Vincent's drumming was strong and without fail! While I am accustomed to and enjoy AlgomA's sound, I'll concede that it's not for everyone, and even I would have liked to have seen a guitar solo or some added experimentation, but once you've acquired this taste, you should love "Reclaimed By The Forest" and highlights like "Fell Down A Well", "Tertiary Syphillis", and the more casually accessible "Go On, Git!", so be sure to pick it up A.S.A.P. via the above links if you're up for some brutal sludge metal!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review! So, what's coming next month? I'm not entirely sure yet, but it will definitely be a new album of some type. Many might be expecting The Bear Hunters' new album "Eternal Hibernation" to come next, as it will come out at their CD release concert at a venue to be confirmed on November 29th, but given that the month ends that same weekend, there might not be time to fit it in. If it doesn't make sense for next month (especially given the possibility of no new local metal or punk albums in December), things will likely fall to local indie/punk quintet Northwest's recent digital EP, which came out last month, and was admittedly held from our last two reviews on here partly because it isn't on CD yet (at least, not that I've heard.) As of right now, I'm leaning towards Northwest for next month and then The Bear Hunters to end 2014, but things can change, so stay tuned in any event for our next CD review next month!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this weekend's concert previews and more later today! Thanks everyone!