Thunder Issue 17

Thunder Issue 17
Created By Kristine Wales.

The following are my opinion only and covered under the Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms, Section 2.

After a hiatus of almost 8 months, it feels good to be writing this zine again.
Alot happened in those 8 months, both for myself; and in the province’s musical landscape.
Bands broke up, they held shows; and much to my delight released music.
This is going to be an all album review edition, from some of my favorite bands that no longer exist; some that are old favorites; and some that I just recently got into.
Hope you enjoy.

REVIEW OF RACKULA’S OVES OF STEEL.

Track 1: G20

Beginning with a thumping, thudding bass; this is a heavy song in more ways in one.
It’s about oppression, but it’s also raising to meet that oppression.
This is political Punk at it’s best.
P.S There is a bit with a loudspeaker and that’s just kick-ass.

Track 2: H.P Sauce.

With gravy train riders in mind, this track has great pacing and makes me want to dance. (No one wants to see that.)
But that’s what makes it a good one, that lighter tone that still maintains it’s heavy presence in the background.

Track 3: Insecurities.

Back to the bass heavy side of things, this song talks about hating insecurities, and how they are voices in our heads.
It’s an every-person kind of message, which I think is great.

Track 4: Silly Girl.

This track is by far my favorite. Rackula shines through as a cohesive unit, and the lyrics speak of a very
relevant yet little discussed issue. (One person not quite loving the other as much in a relationship.)

You can download for free at: http://rackula.bandcamp.com/album/oves-of-steel. It was Rackula last album.

REVIEW OF DISMANTLE’S ASSORTED TRACKS

*Note this is not album on Bandcamp. Dismantle released their cassette tape tracks individually on Bandcamp.

Track 1: Passive Resistance/ Smash Yr T.V

A combo track, this is Punk in a nutshell. (To me.) Fast vocals? Check. Fast song (s)? Check. Making a statement in each
song? Check.
Passive Resistance message is clear. ‘Know what you’re fighting for.’ ‘Smash Yr T.V’ is Smash your television.

Track 2: No Prisons, No Borders

Opening nice and heavy, this song’s message is it’s title. It’s a solid track, making a nice wall of sound in your head.

Track 3: Action P.I.G.S

This track is, I assume, about police brutality. (Some parts go too fast for me to understand.) But if you listen to the track, it becomes obvious. Its swift, hard-hitting, and comes with a side of truth. That’s the Dismantle way.

Track 4: Don’t Forget (DISTAPE Bonus Track.)

This song is 51 seconds of equal spookiness, (to me), and common sense. It says to not forget your mothers words when you’re older. (Except a lullaby-like melody and this extraordinary voice do it. I think it’s spooky, but I think it’s awesome.)

Track 5: God/dog

This track opens slow and steady, and only builds. I think the topic matter is something everyone can get something different from. To me, I think the band was trying to say that God is a man-made idea.

Track 6: Plastic Islands.

Back to the fast paced, this song speaks of plastic islands and how the subject of the song would rather be in a plastic hurst. This song made me think about vacation resorts where they only show you the good side of things.

Track 7: Humanity’s End. (The Manatee Song.)

This song takes you for a roller coaster ride. From ferociously fast, to heavily slow breaks; it’s message is if we don’t
stand together, we’re doomed.

You can download for free at http://dismantle.bandcamp.com/ The band put these tracks up after they broke up.

REVIEW OF DISGUSTI’S DEMO 2013

Track 1: Disgusti

This has to be the bands anthem, (in my opinion). As they start the song fast and heavy, then chant ‘disgust!’ for the
chorus.
I think it’s pretty cool. More bands need anthems to announce themselves.

Track 2: No Great Mischief.

Starting the track off with some feed-back, it builds to a heavier, faster song that I admit I can’t understand the lyrics. Just the sound is awesome though.

Track 3: Nothing Ever At All.

Much like the first song, this track starts off quick and has anthemic, fist-pumping lyrics. (Its title are much of it’s lyrics.)
It’s only 32 seconds in length, but the band still got in alot for the track.

You can download for free at http://disgusti.bandcamp.com/ I don’t know if the band is still active or not.

REVIEW OF BURN VICTIM’S SELF TITLED TAPE

Track 1: False Entitlement.

This is my favorite Burn Victim song. It’s basically a feminist track, saying that just because you find a woman
attractive, you can’t treat her like an object. The song is completed by the perfect mixture of 80’s hard-core and metal.

Track 2: xXTuffGuyXx.

This track; which starts off slow and builds beautifully, is about macho-ism. There was such a Black Flag resemblance on
this song it’s unbelievable.

Track 3: Existential Crisis.

This song is pretty raw. The subject describes having an existential crisis, and it’s not for the faint of ears.
The accompanying music is perfect raising at the appropriate moments, and lowering when needed.

Track 4: I Can’t Be Friends With You Because I’m Not An Elitist Prick.

Touching on an important subject, (division and judgement within the Punk community), Burn Victim are spot on lyrically and musically.

You can download for free at http://burnvictummmmm.bandcamp.com/album/s-t-tape They’re a new band.

REVIEW OF MERCER AND THE CRANES’S LIVE AT THE ROCKPILE.

Track 1: Fisherman.

This song is very light and jaunty. So much so I could imagine at a fair or seaside. As the title would suggest, it tells
of a fisherman. But it also asks ‘When do the brilliant get their time?’ (I’m paraphrasing.)

Track 2: Crazy. (Gnarls Barkley cover)

We’ve all heard Crazy before. But never like this. The tempo is down considerably, it’s trance-like, and it’s almost
heart-breaking. (In a good way.)

Track 3: Seven Seas.

I could see this track working as an anthem.
It’s got grand music, lyrics that speak of not backing down, and it all works well together.

Track 4: You Oughta Know. (Alanis Morrisette Cover.)

You Oughta Know is a furious song, and this version retains the anger well.
It’s a more indie version, but that only adds to the greatness.

Track 5: Cold Nights.

A very intimate track, this is a slow track that wants you want to dance with and cuddle with your significant other
at the same time.

Track 6: Insignificant.

Another stirring Alt-Rocker, this song speaks of mistakes and moving on. It’s a little more down than Seven Seas, but it is still incredible.

You can download for free at http://mercerandthecranes.bandcamp.com/ They’re another up and coming band.

REVIEW OF ADELLEDA’S DISTRESS

Track 1: Innocence.

Opening with chugging instruments, this track speaks of defending what’s important and not letting people take those important things away.

Track 2: Taking Shots (With Todd Bertuzzi).

A solid Punk moshing song, the lyrics talk about living life wisely; but at the same time having fun. I have to say,
it’s my favorite song on the album. (I like a balanced approach.)

Track 3: 5 Months In England.

Taken from the E.P ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda’, 5 Months In England covers the breakdown of a relationship. I confess, I prefer the E.P version, but this version has it’s merits. The lyrics are clearer and the instruments are sharper.

Track 4: Distress.

Another Punk mosher, this song is all about change and making it happen. (‘It’s time to make a change in my philosophy/ Won’t happen overnight.’)

Track 5: Roller Coasters.

A track about trust, Roller Coasters is literally just that. The instrumentation changes so much from fast to slow it’s insane.

Track 6: Something In The Water.

Opening fast and staying strong, this song is about a relationship that is not exactly the way the subject wants.

Track 7: Numbers.

The 3rd song you could easily mosh to on the album, Numbers examines different ways that numbers affect us. Time wasted, people that are deceased, etc.

Track 8: So Long.

A very political track, the lyrics in this song discuss war and guns.
The music backing it is powerful, with all instruments going all out.

You can download for free at http://adelledapunk.bandcamp.com/releases

REVIEW OF FRANKIE AND JIMMY’S LP APPETIZER 2013

Track 1: Maggie Campbell Blues. (Tommy Johnson cover.)

A cover of a Tommy Johnson song, this version is reimagined by combining Punk with Blues. (Frankie and Jimmy’s specialty.)
The lyrics talk of two women. One who is Maggie Campbell, one who is not. And the love the subject feels for each.

Track 2: Smokestack Lightning. (Howling Wolf cover.)

Another cover, Frankie and Jimmy’s version is quite unique with harmonica, tambourine, and Punk Rock vocals. The lyrics
appear to tell of lightning, but it also tells of a love story.

Track 3: Midnight Special. (Lead Belly cover.)

The final song on the album, Midnight Special is about a special light that shines down and how the subject wants it to
shine on him. It’s a cheery track, with a lighter instrumentation.

REVIEW OF GATLING’S PASSIVECLIMACTIC (Scheduled for released July 2013. Check on http://gatlingonline.bandcamp.
com for more information.)

Track 1: Vulcan.

Opening strong, this track is heavy, hard-hitting; but also anthemic. (‘Honestly you’re strong enough to turn all these negatives/ into something you can use’)
It’s new, but it’s also classic Gatling.

Track 2: Mercenary Tao!

This song is pure Metal. The instrumentation is sharp and precise, and the vocals are loud; but not overpowering.
The track is multi-faceted, covering alot of lyrical bases.

Track 3: Eleven Days To Zero.

This is a stand-out track. And for it’s lyrical content. Why? Because it’s got that hint of post-apocalyptic doom that I like.
That doesn’t mean the music is any less of a contender though. It’s makes you think of that vast, gray wasteland with joy.

Track 4: Vertigo. (Demo Version.)

Anybody who listens to Gatling knows they can throw out the Metal. But on this version of Vertigo, you are thrown back and forth between a full band; a soft acoustic guitar; and this superb breakdown that is a Jazz Ska hybrid. There are no lyrics, just this snapshot of music.

This issue I would like to thank all my family, all my friends, and all my readers. Thank you.

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The 2012 Thunder Music Awards.

I think by now, most people who know me know two things:

1: I have a zine called Thunder.

2: Every year, I compile a list of what I personally think is the best in Ontario’s Punk and Alternative Rock. Whoever wins gets my unwavering support and some kind of candy in a golden wrapper to mark the occasion. (If I had the money for actual trophies, the zine probably wouldn’t exist.)

This was a, pardon my language, a fu*king fantastic year for music in Ontario. Metal, Punk, and much more filled the clubs, streets, and headphones. Whether you were taking in a free show this summer at one of many festivals, or taking in a show in the colder weather, you were sure to be in awe. (I know I was.)

Now, a few things. I’ve added some new categories for this year; I allowed for more ties, and I vow to hand out the momentos. (So bug me if you don’t get your gold-encased chocolate.)

Best Album (Punk) Tie:

Adelleda ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda’

Born Wrong/ Klein96 Split 10″

Best Album (Non-Punk) Tie:

Gatling ‘Beforemath’

The Barettas ‘The Night Is Young’

Best Album Not From This Decade:

UXB ‘Tick Tock Boom’

Best Bassist (Female): Lindsay Campbell Beaudoin. (Rackula.)

 

Best Bassist (Male): John “Uprise” Kedini.   (The Pre-Nods.)

 

Best Guitarist (Female):Candice Skullian.    (Skullians.)

 

Best Guitarist (Male): Brandon Kummer.     (Web Society.)

 

Best Drummer (Female): Justine Cowie.                                                                                                                                                                                        (The Boys.)

 

Best Drummer (Male): Alex Sallas.                                                                                                                                                                                                (Gatling.)

 

Best Vocalist (Female): Samantha Rutherford.                                                                                                                                                                            (The Boys.)

Best Vocalist (Male): Glen Faulman.                                                                                                                                                                                                (The Steeltown Spoilers.)

Best Musician Who Plays An Instrument Uncommon To Their Genre:

Female: Alisun (no last available) Band: The Saints Are Coming. Instrument: Violin.

Male: Jim Fitzgerald. Band: The Pre-Nods. Instrument: Harmonica.

Best ‘Intense’ Performer: Nathan Ivanco. Band: NOT.

Best Duo: Frankie And Jimmy.

Best Band (All Members Under 25): NOT.

Best Band (That Sounds Like Another Decade): Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band (Mixed Gender): Skatalyst.

Best Band (All Members Over 25): The Steeltown Spoilers.

Best Band (Female-Led): Rackula.

Best Band (Male-Led): The Safety Collective.

Best Band (From Outside Of Hamilton): Armed And Hammered.

Best New Band: The Sketchbooks.

Best Band (Cover Band): The Krumones.

Best Band. (This Year. Period.): Web Society.

Best Song (Tie):

‘Champion’ Adelleda

‘Threat From The Deep’  Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band Name: Nothing Helper.

Best Album Name (Tie):

‘Lets Taco Boat Life’ NOT

‘Summertime Blues’ Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

Best Solo Project (Tie):

Steve Hanson In Transit

Nathaniel Blizzard

Best Reunion:

Razor Eater.

Best Record Label (Tie):

Schizophrenic Records

Rebel Time Records

Best Event: Rebel Fest.

Best Way To Spend A Weekend: At a show.

Best Store (Punk Rock): Crash Landing.

Best Store (Non-Punk Rock): The Button Pushers.

Best Place For Rare Music (Tie):

Hammer City Records

Cheapies

Best Venue (Indoors): Crash Landing basement (R.I.P!)

Best Venue (Outdoors): Gage Park.

Best Festival (Tie):

It’s Your Festival (New Music Expo)

Burlington Sound Of Music

Best Venue Outside The City: The Horseshoe Tavern.

Best Idea: Zines Becoming Widespread Again.

 

Even though they did not win, I would like to thank the following bands/ artists. I’ve been listening to them all year, and I think they’re fantastic. I encourage everyone to check them out!

Stick and Bone

Nanochrist

Weekend Riot Club

T.V Freaks

Thunderdykes

Trampled By Turtles

The Cola Heads

The Stragglers

Paul Federici

Theatre Crisp

The Waterbodies

The Snips

Sondra Du Ville

Snakecharmer

Poison Spur

Gag Order

Bourbon DK

The Safety Collective

Slender Loris

Swords Of Texas

Sailboats Are White

Paper Lions

Senile Feline

Social Club No. 27

Ophelia Syndrome

Mean Tangerine

The Lucky Ones

Gabrielle Papillion

Emma Hill And Her Gentlemen Callers

Greasemarks

Devils Hotrod

Charlotte Cornfield

The Balconies

The Rebel Arms

Alert The Medic

Aetherborn

413s

Hold A Grudge

Nine Eleven

The Dinner Belles

Brixton Robbers (R.I.P!)

Jesse LeBourdais

Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

Darcy Hepner Jazz Band

Problem Children

Hockey Teeth

Sexbeast

What’s Coming Up In Ontario.

*Note: All prices are in Canadian funds.

 

I was thinking recently about two things.

1: We don’t have much of the year left.

2: I haven’t written recently about upcoming shows.

So I decided to gather up a bunch of dates that I knew about and put them up. I’ve seen a lot of the local bands before, so when I say a show by them would be worth seeing, take a woman at her word.

 

In the Legendary category, the Misfits play Toronto. Tonight. The venue is the Opera House, and if you feel like trying to get in, go for it! I have the start time at 6:30pm, and there are quite a few opening bands. (I only know tickets are available at Rotate This. I don’t have any information on prices.)

 

On October 26th, Witch Mountain, Swords Of Texas, Quiet Lakes, and Castle play the Doors Pub. Tickets are $10 in advance, (you can get them at Hammer City Records or Dr Disc) or $15 at the door. The show starts at 10pm.

 

Also on October 26th, there is Hallowpunk at the 460 in Toronto. Bourbon DK, The Skullians, The Rebel Arms and more play the event. It’s a 19+ show and admission is $5.

 

October 27th is this year’s Zombie Walk date!  There’s the walk, a public wedding, and more; so please check out hamiltonzombiewalk.com to plan your day! Also, please remember food for the food drive. There’s admission for some activities. (But it’s mostly under $20.)

 

Sunday Slamfest 16 happens on October 28th at This Ain’t Hollywood. It’s $6 to get in, bands go on at 3pm, and it’s All-Ages. This will be a bittersweet show, as this is Web Society’s last before they take a hiatus. They play alongside Social Divorce, The Noble Savages, and Slender Loris.

 

To celebrate Halloween, the folks at the Bovine Sex Club are throwing a Punk show. Costumes are welcome, it’s 19+, doors open at 9pm, and it’s FREE! Who’s playing? The Skullians, Black Cat Attack, and a few more.

 

Another awesome, completely FREE show takes place the same night. (Why does that always happen?)  Frankie and Jimmy, Lab Rats Assemble, and D*Files play This Ain’t Hollywood on October 30th. Show is 19+ and costumes are welcome.

 

The actual day, (and appropriately, night), of Halloween, there are at least 3 different shows to go to. Doors Pub is having a Goth/Fetish party; with candy, a horror movie marathon, and prizes for best costumes. It’s $10 admission, things kick off at 8pm, and the event is 19+.

 

This Ain’t Hollywood hosts an electronica dance party for Halloween, with Ark Analog, Dex, and more. It’s $5 to get in before 10pm, $8 after. I don’t know if this event is All-Ages or 19+.

 

Napalm Death play the Opera House on the 1st of November with municipal Waste, Vektor, and Exhumed. That’s about all I know right now though, so if you’re heading out, Go*gle the bands or check the venue for things like prices, age requirements, etc.

 

Gatling play the All-Star Bar and Grill in Brampton November 3rd. (The address is 73 Bramalea Road, Brampton. For those of you like me, that know their hometown; but after that get hopelessly lost.) Joining them is Skatalyst, Ravyn’s Fall, and quite a few more. Tickets are $10, and I don’t know if this is All-Ages or not. As always, check before you head out.

 

Also happening November 3rd, Hangman Pinata play the Doors Pub with Meathook, Miner69er, and Bad Logic. (For now. More bands are to be announced, according to my information.)  This show is 19+, costs $5, and gets started at 9pm.

 

November the 10th, Gag Order play Charlie’s in Brantford. (43 Oak Street, Brantford.) This is their bass player’s last show, so it’s sort of a send-off party/show, too. Playing alongside them are End Program, Hangman Pinata, and Hooker Spit. This show is 19+, and things get started 9pm. Admission is $5.

 

Punk and New Wave legends The Rezillos play This Ain’t Hollywood November 23rd. Rounding out the show are Wiggler!?! and The Tiny Humans, and The Fuckholes. I don’t know how much tickets will be, or if the show is All-Ages or 19+, so definitely check This Ain’t Hollywood’s site.

 

What’s better than an awesome Punk show?  Helping to give a kid a holiday.                                                                                                                       Burly Calling is having it’s annual Toy Drive on the 6th of December, and if you donate a new toy; you get to see The Spicoli’s, Adelleda, and more!  (Admission is $5 without a toy. This event is 19+. Things kick off at 9pm at Joe Dog’s Burlington. 531 Brant Street, Burlington.)

 

That’s all I know about for now. I hope everyone gets out and enjoys themselves!

 

Thunder Issue 11. Part 2.

And now we come to the second part of the issue.

Here, I interviewed guitarist Alex Crosty electronically because he had just recovered from an injury.

KW: How did Gatling form?

AC: It really just formed from me and Alex Sallas screwing around and writing songs when we were a lot younger. Eventually we gave a name to our brainchild and added new members as time went on.

KW: How would you describe the sound of the band, yourself?

AC: Hm, I’d say the music is presented as straight up progressive metal, but the band has a wide variety of influences that you can sometimes hear in the music such as post-hardcore and even a sprinkle of jazz.

KW: I know you are one of the guitar players in the band. When did you learn to play?

AC: I started out as a drummer, after about 5 years of drumming my dad forced a guitar on me when I was 12 or 13.  I’m really glad he introduced me to the instrument though!

KW: That’s kind of weird. Why did he force it on you?

AC: Well he wanted me to play guitar instead of having to lug around drums all the time, and to get a knowledge of scales and how music works.  Maybe forced is the wrong word, but he pushed me in the right direction.

KW: Oh I see. So, you can play drums and guitar. Can you play any other instruments?.

AC: I can play bass to a certain degree, I sing, and I have pretty basic piano skills. (Nothing special).

KW: WOW!

Music is obviously a big part of your life.  Who are you listening to right now?

AC: Honestly everything I listen to is so varied.I realized that getting a nice selection of all sorts of music across every genre is important if you want to create something really special yourself. Influences always effect your music.

I listen to a lot of metal obviously, and even things like rap, jazz, pop, post-hardcore anyone that I feel has the talent and can grab my attention, regardless of genre.

KW: Is there anyone you look up to, as either a drummer or a guitarist?

AC: Oh totally. While technical skill impresses me, I usually end up being influenced by the musicians who wrote some of my favourite songs of all time. I guess off the top of my head some of those would be Misha Mansoor of Periphery and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria in terms of guitar. And Jonny Craig as a vocalist, love that guy.

KW: You guys recently played a show at the Mod Club, but you guys have also played more intimate shows at smaller venues. Is there a type of show you prefer to play?

AC: Hm, it’s really hard to decide for me. I mean I wouldn’t call MOD club small but, it’s intimate in a way a venue like 24/7 isn’t. It really depends where the stage is and how the room is set up. And if it gives you the most leeway to interact with people, because interaction with the crowd is almost as important as the performance itself.

KW: You guys just released Beforemath, but you went about it in such a way that it was unique. (Going through Rockband, etc.) What do you think the response has been to the album?

AC: Well, the Rockband players have enjoyed Absolute and they’ve all noted the changes and improvements we’ve made from our debut to Beforemath. Overall, while I’m looking for more opinions of the album it has been pretty awesome. People seem to like it for the unique touch we put on it.

KW: How long did the recording of Beforemath take?

AC: We recorded the album in about 2 weeks. But the writing process and preparing took us almost two years due to multiple hurdles we faced as a band over time.

KW: Why are you a musician?

AC: Oh damn. Well most people would come up with some sort of complex and articulate answer to that question. But I guess I’m a fan of all art forms, I’ve dabbled in most of them, but music just seems to be my calling and it’s the medium I am the most talented at.

KW: It’s an honest answer. At least you didn’t say ‘Kristine, I was chosen to save rock ‘n’ roll.’.

AC: Hahahaha. I’d deserve a kick in the face if that was my answer.

 

This issue we would like to thank:

Alex Sallas

Alex Crosty

Absinthe

The city of Hamilton

 

 

 

 

 

Thunder Issue 11. Part 1.

Lately, Thunder is becoming something of a real publication.

Me and my partner are adding more graphics, adding more options for covers, making sure there are photos, and the like.

But the part I am most proud of is how we’re branching out interview wise. We’re taking more opportunities as they come to us, and we are interviewing bands outside of the Punk genre.

Take this issue. The interview is with two members of Gatling. Gatling is a four piece, Progressive Metal band from Ontario who released their album Beforemath in April. The two members I spoke with are Alex Sallas, the drummer and Alex Crosty, one of the guitarists. I spoke with Alex Sallas after his solo show at Absinthe, and Alex Crosty shortly after an injury to his hand.

Here are the interviews, finally in there finished form.

(*Note: The opinions are those of the people providing them, and are protected under the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Section 2 B.)

Interview with Alex Sallas:

KW: How did Gatling form?

AS: Me and the guitar player who cut his hand were talking on MSN. We both played in cover bands, and we didn’t really like it. So we started talking and ended up forming a band. And I went to his house, and he has a recording studio in his basement. We ended up recording 19 songs in one night, because we were so ‘musically inclined.’ This would have been 2007, because we were 13. And basically, it went from there. We kept playing as a two piece for two years, played a couple shows, realized we needed to get more members. Added a bass player, played more shows, added a singer. When we added Elliot, the singer, it kind of changed us. We became more progressive. Whereas before we were just throwing a bunch of stuff together. Because we would play anything. Techno, opera, as you heard tonight, Metal, anything. Basically, we played anything. But when we added him, we became unified. The current status is I’m playing a solo show and they’re all at home. (Laughs.)

KW: How would you describe the sound of the band, yourself?

AS: Four monkeys. One of whom is beating on pans really hard. One of whom is kind of yammering chords out on a ukulele, but it’s a guitar that sounds like a ukulele. One who cuts his finger so he only plays with three fingers. And a bass player who texts during our shows. Because he is so bored, he’s playing and he’s texting. (Laughs.)

KW: When did you learn to play drums?

AS: I started when I was about 10. Just on a kids kit you get from Lo*g and McQua*e. I started playing on that, and I really liked it, so I kept playing. I never actually took a drum lesson, I sort taught myself how to play and moved up to a bigger kit. And I practice for about an hour a day.

KW: When did you start playing guitar?

AS: Around the same time, actually. I took guitar lessons for like 7 years, and I kind of did both at the same time. That’s when I started playing guitar, and I still play it today.

KW: I know that you play Metal, but what kind of music are you listening to right now?

AS: Oh my God, I listen to everything. It’s really kind of weird, I listen to albums by year and I’ll keep track of a list of albums I’ve heard. So last year, I listened to about 85 albums. And my favorite ones were ‘The Collective’ by Scale  The Summit, which is a really awesome instrumental band. There’s a band called Septic Flesh, who are from Greece and they play Death Metal with an orchestra behind them. And right now I’m listening to Faith No More, they’re always on my list. I listen to all new music, and I give it all a chance. So I have a lot of favorite ones.

KW: Is there anybody that you look up to as a drummer?

AS: Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree is one of favorite drummers. Also Martin Lopez from Opeth. He has a lot of Latin rhythms in his playing, which I like.

KW: I know you guys have recently played a show at the Mod Club, and now you’re doing some smaller-scale shows here in Hamilton. Is there a type of show that you prefer to play?

AS: Hum… The ones with the most people are the best to play because you’ll get the biggest reaction. So, generally, bigger venues are more fun to play because they can fit more people. But when you’re as unknown as we are, it really makes no difference. So the more people there are, the more I love playing the show.

KW: I know recently you guys released Beforemath. But you guys went about it in such a way that it was unique. (Releasing the songs through Xbox’s Rockband, etc.) What do you think the reaction has been?

AS: I’ve found a couple of reviews and they’ve been pretty positive. And from perusing random YouTube comments, people seem to like it a lot. So it’s been positive in regards to it. But even if they weren’t, I’m still happy anyway.

KW: Why are you a musician?

AS: Because I love music. It’s definitely not for anything but the passion! Haha. I certainly make no profit at it, financially that is.

(Some changes have had to be made for clarifcation. You can listen to the entire audio interview here: http://youtu.be/P2DVbkZT_QA)

Review Of Gatling’s Alex Sallas And His Solo Show At Absinthe.

What do you do when you have three band mates, but they can’t play a show that you’re due to play?

What do you do when you’re scheduled to do an interview for your zine, but a key member of the team is off for Fathers Day?

The solution to both problems is you do the best you can.

I shot plenty of photos. I listened and evaluated in my own way so I could review the show. I did the interview for Thunder with voice recorder in tow. (And, Lord help me, I tried my hand at grabbing some footage. My partner who’s far better at video will have to examine it and see what can be used.)

Alex Sallas had even tougher challenge. Usually the drummer for Gatling, he found himself without three band mates and a show to play this past Sunday.

But music prevailed. First Alex got behind his kit and kicked out some impressive sounds that ranged from the great but simple; to infinitely more complex. (With the aid of three others holding up more cymbals and drums, Alex worked with an even bigger kit.)

Next he worked marvelously with his guitar while another person was behind the kit.

This was probably the most interesting part of the evening for me, as I have never seen Alex play guitar live. But  I have to say I was impressed. The playing was in the vein of Hard Rock and Metal, and I enjoyed it a lot.

The final part of the set came when Web Society’s guitarist Brandon Kummer and bassist Jeffrey Mills, plus some others, joined Alex and they played a tried and true Web Society number.

All in all, fantastic for a man without a band. (For a day.)

10 out of 10.

 

Review Of Gatling’s ‘Beforemath.’

To make your mark in music, uniqueness is key.

Gatling seems to be taking that knowledge and running with it.

-Their music is Metal, but you can’t place it in any category. And it’s not the stereotype of growling vocals and migraine inducing thuds. Instead, they have instrumentation that ranges from one acoustic guitar to a drum, two guitars, and a bassist playing loudly together.

-One way their music is available is through the Xbox Rock Band library. They are tapping into that ever important video game market, which is considered the new movie-soundtrack spot.

-And; they play a variety of shows. From the old Absinthe location, which had a basement; to their upcoming Mod Club gig.

Their album, Beforemath, is due out April 12th. But I got an advance copy of the songs to review, and I was pleasantly surprised. Just like I was when I first saw them at Absinthe.

1st Track: Ten Forward.

Opening with melodic guitars and minimal drums, this song soon becomes fuller. (Showcasing the strong rhythm of drummer Alex Sallas and bassist Matt Luu.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The few lyrics in the song make you curious, as they describe trying to forget, among other things, a ‘brush with death.’  There is a nifty little section, around 3 and a half minutes into the song, that I love. It brings surf rock so strongly to mind.

2nd Track: Midnight Cemetery.

I consider this the opposite to the first song. It starts off as a louder, chaotic whir of instruments and goes into lighter guitars. And the clear, concise vocals of frontman Elliot Slater.                                                                                                                                                                                        Soon enough though, the listener is given back over to the grand, loud instrumentation. You gotta love it, though.

3rd Track: Inverse Condemnation.

I do not know if it was Elliot Slater, or the second guitarist Alex Crosty. Or even Alex Sallas, who plays when he is not on drums. But whoever it was, someone played guitar on this song and gave it a rather hypnotic, dream-like quality.  But in the last minute of the song, the sound goes in a very Metal direction. However, it’s extremely well done.

4th Track: Vertigo.

All the instruments, and the vocals, are showcased well on Vertigo. As it bounces from heavy, to light, to back again.  The subject matter seems to be about a break-up, but that’s just a guess.

5th Track: Glass Room.

The lyrics to this track are a little creepy, but the creepy I like. (‘Waking up/ To the eyes of the dead’) Music-wise, it’s a rather light song. It’s full of acoustic guitars, and has a few rifts that really caught my attention.

6th Track: On A Rail.

This is a strong song, in my opinion. The lyrics speak, at one point, of learning from mistakes. There is solid, howling guitars courtesy of Alex Crosty and Elliot Slater.  And once again, Alex Sallas and Matt Luu give an amazingly full rhythm section.

7th Track: Absolute.

Sometimes there’s power in subtlety. As this track proves. It starts off by seeming like a light track with lyrics that make you feel sorry for the protagonist. ( It repeats ‘You lied to us’) But then, the song hits the 2 minute mark, and the band makes some serious noise. And it leaves you thinking: ‘If they can do that to the instruments, they can handle whoever they’re singing about.’

8th Track: What Lies Below.

Making, to me, what seems like the most of their Metal potential on this track, Gatling get their heaviest. And fullest. And craziest. This is the longest track on the album, at 11 minutes and 40 seconds, and listening to it is akin to a Metal roller coaster. The lyrics are a little dark, as they discuss ‘a gunshot to the head…../Is this what Death looks like?’