Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rocking With Before Helen

Got Overdose?

Don't Need To Fly To Wear Aviators

Hammer Records made it out to another Aviator Shades show. They rocked the Roxy with touring band from Saskatchewan. They are always improving and becoming more powerful with their set. The Roxy had great sound so the band sounded great. A perfect balance of guitars whom both played lead. The bass was thick and heavy and the drums were pounding! They have gathered a new drummer and he learnt all the songs for the show in a week and sounded super tight. The band has really matured their sound and tightened the set into a rocking good time! Not much else to say!! Check out a snippet from the upcoming live video from the show!

To see all the photos go to FACEBOOK

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vancouver In Shock

Every year 99.3 The Fox puts on a free show on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver for the Seeds winners, and they're known to always bring in a big band to headline the show. This year I finally had my camera and was able to document the amazing show. So, Roxy and I embarked downtown to witness the mightiness of the Top 3 Seeds bands Head Of The Herd, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Louder Than Love. But to top it all off, State Of Shock (previous Seeds Winners) came to rock the stage. Sadly due to traffic, and short notice of the show, we missed Head Of The Herd; but heard they played a great set.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes just finished setting up when we got there and we watched them rock the stage. Looking a little out of their comfort zone, playing with their amps facing the back of the stage (for sound reasons), they played a solid set. Trying to hype up the crowd and moving energetically around the floor they just seemed to not connect with the crowd as much as some of the later bands did. Some of it was due to the mixing of the sounds, such as, the guitars were down too much in the mix for their guitar driven hard rock, and the guitar solos were lost to peoples ears because of being turned down too much. But that definitely didn't stop these driven musicians from giving it all they had.

Louder Than Love brought everything up a notch as they played a beautiful set. You can tell this bunch of guys are born rockers. Each member displaying great stage presence and the singer really reaching out to the crowd and creating an amazing connection between band and audience. Their music was dynamic and full of life as they seemed to effortlessly pull off these challenging songs. The vocals were like candy as they poured out from the speakers, the guitars were huge sounding and could sound heavy and thick or crisp and delicate, the drums were godlike as they pounded from the back, and the bass was thick and heavy playing tight rhythmic lines. This band is going somewhere. So watch out!

State of Shock just slayed. `Nuff said. Having never seen them before, I didn't know what to expect from this Seeds Winner from years before that have gone around spreading their music for years. Having some great hits (their most well known "Money Honey") I was eager to see how they played live. They blew all my expectations out of the water! Starting off with a backing track intro and ripping into a very catchy tune right away grabbed my interest, and continued to keep my attention the whole time with new twists, turns, dynamics, chords, solos, and every trick in a rock-band's sleeve as they just nailed their set. Little gems between band members stick out, some which are highlighted in the video footage, but the lead guitarist playing around with the rhythm guitarists microphone while he's playing was fun to watch, as well as when the singer leapt down and hugged the crowd while singing was perfect. This band made the show an experience the whole crowd will never forget. Combined with perfect playing and great tunes, this was a night to remember! 

Full videos are coming soon! Bands! Here are some PICTURES! Contact us for the rest of the pictures:

Hammer signing off.

Get Hammered!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Get Your Dancing Shoes On!

Everyone get up and off that couch! Go to Joe's apartment tonight for an epic night! A real treat tonight for all you music lovers. I grew up with the drummer who is amazing. So go out tonight and check them out!!!! Here is a music video from them! Absolutely amazing

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hello Disquiet -Bridges OUT

I remember walking into the Media Club and hearing this noise from the stage. Going to investigate, I see a crowd of dedicated metal heads, rockers and punks rocking out to this band rocking the stage. After headbanging and soaking in these monstrous tunes I sought the name of the band who had just rox'ed my soxs. Bridges OUT was that name.

Hello Disquiet is their brand new EP and it definitely is anything but quiet. The opening track (Goodbye Terra Firma) starts off with a bang, leaving the listener no second guesses at what they got them selves into by putting the CD into their car stereo. Following the good old formula a verse follows the opening riffs and you get your first taste of Marin Sykes's vocals. His unique voice cuts through the mix quiet well. A different voice than the standard stuff out on the radio now a days. Full of pain and sorrow, a very emotive voice. And he steps it up as he screams and growls his very soul into the microphone. But on a dime back to his melodic vocals. The opening track was a great demonstration of their sound and talent. A nice mixture of heavy versus soft and structured well. Nice piano work during the bridge, nothing too fancy leaving lots of room for the vocals to get nice and quiet and intimate. Great track to open or close a show with.

Aural Hygiene, the second track, starts of very similar to the 1st track which kinda of disappointed me, wished this track had been spaced out a bit more from the first track so not as obvious. But during the verses a really cool guitar tremolo effect drew my ear right off from the opening riff immediately. Screaming verses leading into a melodic pre-chorus launching right into a catchy huge chorus really made me feel the build of the song. Screaming vocals reminds me of Alexisonfire screaming (RIP Alexisonfire) at times. A note on the guitar work on this song. Very nice guitar lines, lots of dimensions and interchanging melodies. Love the synth lines on this track, really thickens things out. Another epic breakdown bridge which would be a lot of fun to headbang too. One of my personal favourite tracks of the album.

The 3rd track, A Vigil, A Sentence, was the most dynamic track on the album. Going from thrash riffs to modern rock riffs. Love the drumming on this track. Each beat perfectly suited for the section of the song. changing feel and rhythm but never loosing the driving force behind the beat. A very cool breakdown quiet part in the middle of the song made me realize once again this band can change on a dime. Another catchy chorus had me singing in my car as I'm driving down the highway. Never sticking on a thought too long 3/4 through the song they threw in a new riff which brings you right back to the chorus for a final couple of times. Great tune to keep things fresh!

The end of the previous track flows right into the next, Obligatory Nautical Theme, which starts off like the 1st track ended. Another highlight of the guitar work on this track. Some very complicated riffs which are smooth like silk. The bass always goes unmentioned but without it all these tracks would be lost. I find it the grounding between everything. Playing some nice steady lines with some complicated licks thrown in for good measure. This track would be a perfect ending with its catch last chorus pounding into your head. The dividing and joining melodies made me shiver the first time I heard this track.

A very sick album!! Tight recording, great sound, lots of low end to make your speakers shake but with nice crisp. Wished a few more structured songs to easily predict choruses, just so people won't get lost but great songs! Such emotion written within each tune. Short and sweet this EP is 15 minutes of non stop action!

Be sure to check it out!
Hammer signing off
Stay Hammered!


Are You Before Helen?

I haven't been out to many all ages shows, but the few i have been to have ranged from 5 people to 30 people. But usually those 5-30 people are the most energetic people I've ever seen. And this was no different going out to Coquitlam to see Before Helen's CD release party.

Only a week ago we saw The Chimpanzebras rock the Roxy with Kristen Karma. They opened the night up yet again. Sadly the sound system was ill equipped to handle their dynamic sound. While a good mix, the vocals were quite distorted giving unnecessary edge to their sound. While playing a good set and communicating with the audience the bunch of youngsters didn't seem overly thrilled. Great set guys.

Once again We've seen Green Tree before, but they have greatly improved since the last time we saw them. Reminding me a lot of High School Musical mixed with Glee. Really good new songs. Loved their recording of their single. Good to hear they are heading back into the studio. I hope they work hard and come out with a product worthy of their talent. I think with the right producer and engineer their song Mountain could really be a hit. The drummer has an amazing voice and I wish he sang up and front more. Would be very cool to see them grab another drummer and having a singing duo up front. Solid show. Their have the loyalist fan's I've seen from any band their age. Just keep on truckin! 

Before Helen was supposed to open up for Kristen Karma but was unable due to their drummer already being booked. Their drummer was amazing one of the most pounding drummer I've seen at an all ages show. The lead guitarist was also the sound engineer for the show. Sadly leaving it up to your friend while your playing usually doesn't go so well as was the case that night when the constantly feedback loops were distracting from the show. But that didn't bother the band at all. They rocked hard. The lead singer really taking control of the whole situation and had a very commanding stature on stage. A very kind of "it's my show, don't F*ck with me". Sadly the mix keep bugging me. I wanted to step in and fix it but didn't want to step on any toes. Crowd responded well to the headliner. Cant wait to see this band further down their career!

Keep the scene alive guys, all ages can rock.
Hammer signing off
Stay Hammered

Bands if you want all the pictures please contact us at

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bring Out Your Familia

Video from Familia playing at a country festival in Maple Ridge
Watch in HD

Check Them out on Facebook

A Little Shameless Self Promotion

For those who don't know. I have been playing piano for over 13 years. I play mostly improvised. I was at my grandmas house and I love her piano. So rose filmed me playing some little background music for them. Check it out and let me know your comments! Be sure to watch in HD and probably on the separate youtube link for better quality.

To by my album:
Over an hour of my best work

Friday, August 12, 2011

Did Your Guitarist Play With Weezer?

Roxy interviews local Langely band Cruel Young Heart. Check it out!

Check out their FACEBOOK

Check out their NEXTSHOW

And Follow them on TWITTER

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Riffs Not Riot's Videos






Ever Wonder About The Space Between Stars?

Hmm. Do those vocals sound a little familiar? Does that shredding of guitar leave you thinking you've heard something like this before, but perhaps softer and poppier? The correct answer is yes! A little while ago I reviewed a band called Halfway To Hollywood's EP, and upon it Jacob Owen Lutje is featured! Though Jacob does not just play lead guitar, and sing back vocals for HTH, he fronts Idol Underground (as well as plays lead and bass on this single) too!; With Jordan Funk accompanying him on drums. A heavier sound for him, but I think it really works well.

This song starts off with some really neat background vocal effects, and leads into some sweet riffs on guitar. The vocals kick in not long after, and you can hear that the levels were mixed perfectly to showcase not only his voice, but the instruments behind as well. The lyrics are simple, and to the point - which is perfect for this genre of music. The chorus itself is very easy to catch on to, and seems to double lyrically each time it comes around! A very neat hook I must say!

After the second chorus, at 2:05, there is a 1 minute, 25 second instrumental break. It starts off soft and melodic, and after about 37 seconds, a heavier drum beat kicks in, along with some sweet licks and solos on guitar for another 36 seconds! At about the 3:18 mark it slows down again, and then vocals kick back in nice and strong at 3:30 to finish off the song! Some might think that's a fairly long instrumental break, but it really does keep your attention the whole way through.

Definitely a different, heavier sound than the poppy Halfway To Hollywood, but I certainly dig it! It is available for download HERE on iTunes, and make sure to keep your eye out for a new single dropping this month. For more on Idol Underground, visit their FACEBOOK page. You won't regret it!

Until next time.
Get Hammered!

The Roxy Has Good Karma

Due to scheduling conflicts the opening band Before Helen was unable to play. So The Chimpanezebras opened the night up on short notice! They brought out a few friends to cheers beers with. They had a fun sound! Rocking and kind of circusy actually. Very indie and alternative. Tight band and totally playful. Maybe a little more playful than normal because playing for just their friends, or maybe a little less playful because of the lacking crowd. I'll have to go check out another show to know! Good band, check them out!

Kristen Karma has invest a lot into her show to make it a spectacular experience. Sadly not many people were there to witness the extravaganza. I know its hard to bring people out for an early show on a wednesday but i was disappointed with the turnout. But none the less she rocked the stage. Using her vast array of effects she sang her heart into that microphone. Backed by a band she used a combination of live instruments and backing tracks to deliver her vast array of songs. The drummer threw in a lot of drum tricks as he slammed his kit. Bass player fingered his bass expertly but I had wished he had moved around a bit. Both him and guitarist kinda just stood there which looked odd compared to Kristen moving around. A little interaction would be nice. Cool sound! But just wished it had been a bigger crowd!

Bands, for all photos/videos email:

Keep support the hard working people in the liqour stores
Hammer signing off,

Proving You Don't Need CD's for a CD Release Party!

Returning from tour once again Versus The Nothing was eager to play for a home crowd. After seeing their last show at the Media Club I didn't think anything could top it, but as usual, I was wrong.

Thorntry opened the night up to a small crowd, warming the stage for the coming onslaught. Playing some very tight riffs and easily head bangable songs I thought they sounded a little like Black Sabbath, but with a heavy Metallica influence. I know its hard as an opening band to get "into it" but would have liked to see some more movement around the stage. The drummer was using VTN's drums so i think he was a little out of his element and it sounded like their guitarist was having an off day. While playing super tight rhythm riffs, his leads were not his strong points and stuck out like a sore thumb. Sick axe he was wielding, but some awkward moments. The bass player was tight and fat and his sound really filled out the tracks. I would like to see them in a few months and see them kick some ass!

I had heard a lot about the next band but had never seen them play. Senticsphere rocked the stage taking things up about several notches. A true powerhouse of sound. Reminding me of the local band Macula with their modern rock driven sound. Frontman Warren's vocals amped up the crowd as the band behind him rocked hard. I swear Luongo was playing bass on that stage, the bass player looked a lot like him and half expected him to be wearing hockey gear! The band worked well together. Stay tuned for more stuff from them! They are back in fighting force and ready to take over the world!

The show was already getting pretty late, starting pretty late and long breaks between bands, I was worried Roxy and I would have to leave the show early to catch the last sky train. So we were happy to see the headliners take to the stage, I must say, well worth the wait. Versus The Nothing reminded me why I love to local music scene. True rock heroes, traveling with the clothes in their back and the instruments in their hands. After months of touring they had sharpened their skills to a pinpoint of perfection. The singer just threw himself around the stage as he roared into the microphone. Doing pull ups on the rafters, jumping, spinning, even failing at points. I remember hearing "She's A Killer" just as they released the single, now after fine tuning the song they rocked it quite early into their set. But it seemed like everyone in the club knew the lyrics to that song. Taking things up another 10 notches they blew that stage apart! Sadly they had no physical copies of their CD at the show, but it is available on CD baby and iTunes! SO CHECK IT OUT! I can guarantee you wont be disapointed!

Keep Rocking! Bands, if you want the rest of the pictures/videos of the show please email:

Hammer signing off,