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

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Review Of The ‘Punk In The Creek’ Matinee.

(*Note: Everything contained in this review, whether details of the musical performance or the reactions of the audience, are as written. There have been no exaggerations.)

I acknowledge this review is late.

Usually, I write a review a day after a show. (If I have received a migraine from the glorious noise, it will be 3 days. At most.)

The reason for the delay?

I couldn’t think of what to say to fully describe what I saw and heard.

So below is the best I can do. But I don’t feel as if I’ve captured how spectacular the Punk In The Creek matinée was.

Last Saturday, I went to Stoney Creek for a Punk show. And it was one of those shows that had to be experienced in person. The bands were in great form. The sound was terrific. The atmosphere was amazing.

But mostly, the people responded in a way I would expect of a huge concert, and I saw that Stoney Creek is another place in Ontario that can be a fertile home for Punk.

This was easily one of the 10 best Punk shows I have EVER been too. I hope host Brandon Kummer organizes more matinees, as the audience was a force that seemed eager for more Punk Rock. (And I include myself in that count.)

1st Band: Web Society.

The vocals were clear and sharp. Brandon Kummer’s guitar shredded. Stephen Petrina’s drums pounded. And the bass of Jeffrey Mills thudded. And yet something was different this time.

There was a ferocity and drive that seemed to present itself at unprecedented levels, and it was incredible to witness. Web Society were superbly in their element, and at the best I’ve ever seen and heard them.

For a long time, Web Society was known as a Pop-Punk band. But to see their set on Saturday was to hear a band that was Punk Rock and nothing else.

This was an amazing home-town set, and of a variety I’ve seen all too rarely. (Guest Simon Marshall, of Adelleda, joined the guys for a song and added a cool touch to the already great set.) For people who don’t believe hometown shows make a difference, this was proof.

10 out of 10.

2nd band: The Rebel Arms.

I’ll admit, I was surprised when I heard that the Rebel Arms would be playing this matinée. I thought, for his first effort as an organizer, Mr Kummer would stick with Stoney Creek bands.

But he didn’t, and the Grimsby four-piece took to the stage in one of their most intense shows.

Lead singer Bobby Dell was red in the face and yelling some of the lyrics. While remaining melodic, the music was at the most Hard-Core I’ve ever heard it. The rest of the band was at the best I’ve ever heard them. But coolest of all, Adelleda’s Steve Vos guested as a stand-up drummer. While the Rebel Arms drummer and singer beat on other parts of the kit. That was a hint of the craziness to come later in the evening.

10 out of 10.

3rd Band: NOT.

NOT has always been a great band.

They’ve got a unique sound. (Ska-Punk-Jazz. Skapazz?)

They’re from Stoney Creek, but they come to Hamilton and play killer shows.

And they’re young, but they put more into their shows than some people who are older than them.

But last Saturdays set? HOLY F**K.

Lead singer Nathan Ivanco, who seemed to be taking a cue from the Snakecharmer school of intensity, actually dove into the crowd and yelled lyrics into the face of a friend/ fan.

And the sheer movement of people!

They had massive mosh pits. They came on-stage to guest on songs. And they dove off stage. Nothing stopped moving until the band’s music was done.

This was NOT’s best set, by far. No question.

10 out of 10.

4th Band: Adelleda.

While they tout themselves as a Hamilton band, the fact remains that some members of Adelleda are from Stoney Creek.

So it was interesting to see what they would play like in a home environment.

But while they seemed excited to be playing a home show, they did as they always do. They gave the set their all.

Guitarists Steve Vos and Chris Allan were, as they usually are, the formidable guitar duo providing great riffs.

Drummer Simon Marshall threw out his infectious, thunderous drum beats. (With a ton of energy, despite doing guest vocals on a few sets and moshing much of the night.)

Lead vocalist Adam Shea took a different approach to the night, and spent much of the set in the pit. Even with the going, Adam’s vocals came out great.

Bassist Kevin March’s work was impressive. His bass pounded the air loud and clear.

Alot of craziness ensued with Adelleda’s set. I got to guest on some songs. People threw a couch. Everyone in the audience came on-stage to sing the final song.

In short, Adelleda didn’t disappoint.

10 out of 10.

I would like to thank Brandon Kummer for organizing this show, the interview he gave, and the treatment I received as the photographer. It was an awesome show Brandon , and I hope to see more!