Monday, October 31, 2011

When Great Minds and Great Tunes Come Together

October the 20th was Music Industry Showcase Night at Joe's Apartment on the Granville Street strip downtown Vancouver. The night consisted of a bunch of great minds all under one roof! There were record labels, promoters, sound engineers, radio stations, photographers, and artists. The night also featured 3 singer/songwriters, and FOUR bands. That's a lot of acts! Though certainly a great time.

First up was host for the night, Lee Lindsay. She had a three song set that started to draw in the crowd. Her voice was soft yet powerful, and her lyrics came straight from the heart. It was a great start to the night.

Next was a fellow who'd travelled all the way from the UK. Personally, I love their musical style. It's quite different than the singer/songwriters of North America. He had a unique ton, and lots of vocal theatrics. He also really knew how to demand attention with use of stomping, and knocking on his guitar, not to mention that grand vocal style! Definitely loved his set.

Third up was Mark Alexandrie. This man has an amazing voice, guitar skills, and his lyrics are passionate and straight forward. Though, somehow poetic all at the same time. He had a great presence on stage, and seemed to have quite a following amongst the crowd. Overall, loved his style.

The next band, Marc Alexandre (?), had a lot of spunk. Their songs were catchy and fun, and the instruments sounded very on point. They had great stage presence, though the female vocalist/tamborine player looked bored a lot of the time.

The Broadway Bullies took the stage next, and they took it by storm! Honestly, they stole the show. I'd never seen them perform before, and I was blown away. The amount of energy coming from that stage itself was incredible, let alone the whole instrumental sound which was on point and fantastic. Every member moved around that stage, though it was the singer that really captured attention. He was constantly moving, jumping, and dancing the entire set. He had a very old school vibe to him. Think, a rock n' roll version of Link Larkin from Hairspray. They have a great image, and even better songs. Definitely make sure to check them out on FACEBOOK.

A Hammer Records favourite, Lift Off, took the stage. Their light show alone was incredible! These fellas always put on a great performance and wow every crowd. Their Green Day-esque sound got the crowd moving and shaking, and I believe EVERYONE was having a blast. They will be back at Joe's with bands Whisky Jack and The Shrugs on Saturday October 29th for a huge masquerade ball. Make sure to come check it out.. Hammer and I will be hosting the Lift Off tour bus! Check out the event HERE, and get your tickets ASAP!

The final act for the night was a band called Quickness. Now, those who visit Joe's Apartment a lot may have recognized lead singer, Jacob Dryden... That's because he's one of the resident sound guys at the venue! Though that night, he got to see the other side! His band has a very tight sound, and work really nicely together. I would have liked to see a little more movement on stage, but over all they had a very cool aura, and lots of musical talent! Check them out HERE.

It was a fun evening with lots of fantastic tunes, and tons of mingling with like-minds. We're looking forward to another one of these nights in the future.

Keep Rockin!
Roxy xx

Here are a sample of the videos! And due to technical problems pictures are coming soon!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hammer Records Enters The Fashion World

Hammer Records is proud to be working with the Vancouver Fashion Week and will be covering all of their after party shows!

November 1st:
Opening Night @ Celebrities

Wednesday November 2nd:
@ Cinema

Thursday November 3rd:
@ Whiskey Dix
-Bands and events

Friday November 4th:
@ Celebraties, Caprice and Venue

Saturday November 5th:
@ Celebraties

Sunday Novembmer 6th:
@ Republic

So come dance the night away!

Tom Morello livens up Occupy Vancouver

Hammer and I were sad to have missed one of Hammer's biggest influences, Tom Morello, when he came through Vancouver last week; but were lucky enough to have our good friend Uri "Drum Skank" Soomer cover the event for us!

Living Guitar Legend/Renegade Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Street Sweeper Social Club, and now his one man show “The Nightwatchman” made an appearance in Van City, Wednesday October 19th, to support our pursuit of happiness in the ongoing Occupy movement. I went down to the Vancouver Art Gallery with the intention of listening to the man speak and maybe play a couple songs. He showed up and indeed had a few positive words to say:

“This is a movement that is different from other movements”

“This is a movement that has correctly identified the bad guys,”

“This is a movement that has correctly identified the 99 per cent that are the righteous.”

“History is not made by presidents or popes, or kings or queens or generals, or CIA kingpins running dope,” he went on, quoting from Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine, the opening track of his solo album "World Wide Rebel Songs."

“History is not made by nine robed men, or billionaires or bankers, it’s not made by them. Now they might throw a little money around, wondering who can be bought. Some might find they’re weaker, some stronger than they thought. Well we’ll stand right here, in our country, in our home. I used to think that I was alone, well….. I ain’t alone no more.”

After this was all said, Morello told everyone standing there that he was planning on playing a couple songs for us all standing in the rain… but that he had a better idea in mind. He asked everyone to line up in an orderly fashion at one of the many tents erected at the Art Gallery to score free tickets to his concert that night at the Vogue Theatre. The smiles just kept coming. After he left the stage, I promptly stood in said line and took my free ticket for the ride. Everybody got one. I walked a few blocks over to the Vogue with a huge smile on my face.

Now, I went down to Occupy Vancouver with enough money in my pocket for a coffee. I was completely broke due to book purchases and adult responsibilities. So for Mr. Morello to invite us all to his show for no cost…. It was simply unreal. A lot of my friends missed out on a really good time. But I made a few new ones in the process.

Two Seattle boys took the stage first (their names escape me…all apologies). It was a good intro for the concert. Just two dudes playing their guitars. Really mellow tunes. I enjoyed it. After they serenaded the crowd, big bad Tom came out on stage and the people there went ape shit. A friendly crowd instantly formed at the front of the theatre stage. Tom said a few more positive words and got right into the music. There must have been at least 6 different guitars on stage that Tom would switch in and out of throughout the show. He played to every style his creative mind produced. Tom invited fellow guitarist, Carl Restivo of the Freedom Fighter Orchestra, to join him on stage and play along. Restivo was most excellent and added a perfect element to the sounds we all experienced. As a drummer, I was wondering where the drums where at. In "Stompin’ Tom" fashion, Mr. Morello whipped out a Stomping pad and kicked the crap out of it as he and Carl rocked through the program.

Of course, we all heard a couple Rage classics with a new spin taken to each of them. “Guerilla Radio”, and my favourite, a Springsteen cover “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. Most excellent indeedy. The time of tremendous excitement for me came when he picked up the classic “Rage Axe”. You know the one- The electric beast with all the flailing unclipped guitar strings skanking out. I lost my mind when he started shredding it up. It was amazing. All the unique tunrntablist-style scratching and cutting sounds, which -- by the way, was the sound Tom introduced to this genre of music way before bands like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, or Slipknot. This mothertrucker was doing it on his guitar way before that!!! Insano. He promptly took a page from the immortal Jimi Hendrix and proceeded to play the thing with his teeth… Everyone there went absolutely bonkers.

The crowd… the crowd in attendance at the Vogue that night was nothing short of amazing. There were a few “Pixie Girls”, as Tom labeled them, that decided to jump on stage and flower about. I thought it was pretty funny, although a brief show stopper, Morello made light of the situation and promised everyone that when the time came at the end of the concert, we would all have a chance to jump up on stage with him and sing along. He had an awesome sense of humor and it came out every time he spoke to the audience. I was smiling the whole entire time. A real cool cat for sure. That time did come, and plenty of the crowd did indeed jump up there on stage with the man. I didn’t want to cramp the scene, so I went up into the balcony to get a good view of the final countdown. Tom got everyone in the place to sing along with him as he rocked the new “World Wide Rebel Songs” off of his new album with the same title. It was epic.  I left the Vogue still smiling, hopped on the skytrain, got home, and slept like a baby. I got up the next morning with an amazing story to tell everyone.

Now, his music and his positive vibes are Occupying Movements world wide. Tom has been to New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and now Vancouver to support us in what we’re trying to accomplish. He’s keeping on with the tour (which has been going on for a long long time) with the good word to try and cure our ills. My thoughts?? Basically is that we are all tired of the negatives we face in all cultures and walks. Inequality and greed have created some pretty bad situations for a lot of our sisters and brothers. My old friend Chris said this, “ When we get sick, most of us try to ignore it and hope it goes away. Eventually it gets bad enough that we have to go see the doctor.” I think now is the time for all of us to go see that doctor, come together, and share ideas on how we can all prosper and be happy in a progressive flow of positive togetherness. Tom Morello is a true renegade. Please check out his music and listen to what he has to say. He has been inspiring me for years now, and I’m sure he’s got something for you as well.

Thanks for reading,

Uri “DRUM SKANK” Soomer

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Apocalypse Is Upon Us

When Roxy was working fright night, I travelled to the Media Club to see ex-local band Kill Matilda rock the stage.The night was a double CD release party for Kill Matilda's Zombie Apocalypse and Sol's 3 new album. Mia Moth was supposed to open but I was pleasantly surprised when approaching the venue...

I was just showing my ID when I heard a familiar sound. I was like "They're playing Bridges Out on the stereo!" but as i entered i saw them tearing it up on stage! These guys were in the middle of rocking out when I joined and started snapping pictures. They sound exactly like their album and had the stage presence to make their tunes rock. Thumping bass, heavy guitar, soaring keys, and screaming vocals made them sound tight and larger than life on stage. Only thing that would have improved the show was some band on band interaction. Its always a treat when a band is so comfortable on stage that they have fun with themselves as well as the audience. Bridges Out involved the audience and it was apparent that the crowd was familiar with some of their songs, but I would have liked to see some band members rock out with each other. Super tight sound, great crowd involvement, and just overall great performance.

Up next was KUSH. I had only heard of and seen posters of them around Vancouver. Its hard to top a great band like Bridges Out, so even though they had a raw edgy sound their stage presence lacked. It took me a few songs to warm up to their sound. An interesting vocalist with an unusual sound. I would have liked to see some more movement from the whole band, they were very stationary. Their sound was a mix of blues rock and hard rock. Some great guitar licks from both guitarists. The drummer seemed a bit unsure about himself or his playing. I believe the drummer should lead the songs tempo wise and it felt like the drummer was more of a follower. Simple beats but simplicity worked for some of the songs. Great back up vocals from the rhythm guitarist. He had a song where he sang and I really liked his voice. The bass player was ripping on a firebird bass and had the look of a hard rock bassist. Would have liked to see some more movement and maybe some headbanging from him. The whole band LOOKED good, the lead guitarist looked like Petrucci, the lead singer looked like someone from Jersey Shore (in a good way) more of a modern rock look. Keep working boys!

Kill Matilda looked stoked as they hoped up onto the familiar Vancouver stage. They have been touring for over a year now promoting their music all over Canada. Having great success on both radio and TV their music has been reaching new ears and new heights! This band is the real deal. Living the life of a true rock and roll band, the clothes on your back, the instruments in your hand and the music in your hearts. They put on a great show, jumping all around the stage and rocking out like no other. Playing so hard and aggressively its as if they believe the Zombie Apocalypse is happening tomorrow and this is they're last time to play! Dusty, the lead vocalist, always involves and communicates with the crowd. Everyone on that stage looks like they are having so much fun its hard not to join in. A few times I put my camera down and just headbanged. Go see them when they come back to Vancouver! A full album review of their new album Zombie Apocalypse will be coming soon!

Last but not least was Sol. 3, releasing another great album. These look like your normal straight up rock. Looking like a cross between Weezer and Trailer Park Boys. Lots of plaid, glasses. A definite college rock kind of sound. An all around good-time feel kind of band. Definitely had a huge draw of an older crowd. A lot of people dancing and grooving. But nothing super special during the time I spent there. Had to run to catch the skytrain home. But good show guys! Can't wait to check out their album!

Support the scene!

To see more photos and videos email

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photoshoot with LungFlower

Hammer Records did an excellent photoshoot with local Vancouver band LungFlower.

Check out their facebook page HERE

And their myspace page HERE

So be sure to check them out! Here are a few samples of the photoshoot! To see full abum go to HERE

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Hachiman is the Shinto God of War and protector of the Japanese people, though this Vancouver band likes the name simply because "it rocks!" Hachiman is a loud, 4 membered, modern rock band with an in-your-face style that you just can't ignore; and I got a chance to check out and review their 11 track album. Now, I'm going to do this review a little differently. I'm going to start from the last track, and work my way back to number one. Why? Simply because I want to start off with my favourite tracks from this album!

#11- Time To Fly
 This track has a very cool feel to it, though I would like to hear a little bit more in the percussion section. The drums were just a little to simple during the verses, though they worked well in the chorus. The vocals were a perfect fit for this song, and the guitar was very playful and fun. There were some really neat guitar riffs starting around 2:10, that went until about 3:31. As for the bass - it was kept simple and followed along well. It wasn't distinct, but did a great job filling out the sound. Over all, it's a very catchy tune.

#10- So Wonderful
This was certainly one of my favourites on the album. I could picture this as a music video easily. This track reminded me of another local band, Lift Off. The vocals and back vocals were perfectly put together and on pitch. The varied drum kicks really added to the beat, along with bass which followed the kick expertly; and the guitar solo(s) were dynamic and, well, awesome. Excellent for this song. All in all, it's fantastically mixed, and ready for your stereos!

#9- Runaway
Now, this track is yet another favourite. Why? Simply because it's very catchy, and all of the elements were there! Bass, drums, guitar, vocals - it's fully complete, and radio worthy. The vocal effects made it sound as if this song was song by a different person than the other tracks, but who knows.. maybe it was! It had a very early Green Day vibe to it. Definitely one to listen to again and again.

#8- Nothing Better To Do
This track comes off sounding almost surf-punk. It had very Offspring-esque drums, a bluesy rock guitar solo, and Sex Pistol style vocals. Though it was pulled together nicely. Though it's the shortest song on the album, it leaves one of the best impressions.

#7- My Time
This song was the most "Metal" sounding on the album, and Hammer's favourite track. It reminded me of yet another local band, called Iron Kingdom. You can finally hear some distinct bass runs, and the guitar was very well structured/phrased. It had long held out choruses, and shorter, punchier verses. The lead was a little too "hidden," and got lost in the mix during a lot of the song though. Over all, a great sound.

#6- Just A Little
Despite the title, there was definitely more than "Just A Little" going on in this song. It had a very AC/DC mixed with Van Halen feel to it. The drums, guitar, and bass were punchy and on-point. They accompanied the vocals very well. The guitar solo was fantastic, and again, had a very AC/DC sound to it.

#5- Flavor Of The Month
This song had a perfect "Skate-Punk" sound, and I could invision it in a video game or skate movie for sure. The vocals are very versatile, though a little too loud; and drowned out the other instruments in parts. As for the guitar, drums, and bass - they were just right for the track. Flowed together nicely, and did a great job of keeping your ear interested.

#4- Don't Judge Me
This tune had great structure and melody, and some really cool effects throughout. The kick drum, in comparison to the snare, sounded a little weak. The drums as a whole could sound a little more up-front. The vocals were hot, and the chorus' super catchy. Well produced, and almost radio ready I'd say. Just fatten up those drums a little bit, and you'll have a great Alt. Rock track hitting the airwaves!

#3- Detroit Rock City
This was a nice attempt at a cover. Everything was there - all the right notes and beats - but no one can do Kiss like Kiss. When doing a cover like this, one should really try and make it their own. Add something to it, change up the drums, add a synth - something! It was a good attempt, but it needed something to make it their own.

#2- Call Before You Come
This was definitely a classic rock style tune, though it's not in the same league as some of the later tracks. The drums sounded fairly hollow, the bass was kept simple, and the lead was unconvincing and buried in the mix. The vocals had some nice attempts at harmonies, but they were just very hard to hear. Over all, the whole song could have been mixed better. It has the right ideas, they just need to be spoken more clearly.

#1- Bad Girl
This tune had some good rock style vocals, which the guitar follows nicely. The bass lines weren't distinct, but filled out the sound. As for the drums - they could be more dynamic. I thought it was a little weird doing side sticks in a rock beat, but it's all in the ear of the beholder!

I'd like to see the whole album mixed better, but all in all, this album is one I'd keep near the stereo to play over again. The songs were made to radio length, but didn't seem too short, and all of the lyrics and melodies were catchy. The guitar riffs and licks were interesting to listen to, and the rhythm section kept the beat nice and strong. If you want to check out any of these songs, go to Hachiman's REVERB NATION page, and go "Like" them on their new-found FACEBOOK fan page.

Keep Rockin!

Friday, October 14, 2011

You've Been Fubar'ed

Last night Hammer and I were lucky enough to be invited down to Venue on the Granville Street Strip, to check out a commentary by Deaner himself during Fubar 2, then two fantastic performances by a band called MONSTER TRUCK, and Deaner's band NIGHTSEEKER. The whole shebang just blew my mind! I think Vancouver bands could honestly learn a thing or two about performing from these guys! 

Having seen both Fubar 1, and Fubar 2, watching the movie and listening to Deaner's commentary was just downright hilarious! The whole place was packed full of hardcore Fubar/Nightseeker fans, hootin, hollering, and laughing outrageously along with him. There were women in denim jackets, men sporting mullets and flannel, and a beer in everyone's hands! It was like being a part of the film. Definitely something worth remembering!

Monster Truck hit the stage promptly after the movie, and took it by storm! Man those guys can rock. They had strong hooks, lavish instrumentation, and great lyrical melodies. They moved extremely well on stage, had great chemistry with the audience, and had so much energy, stage presence, and skill it was near-mindblowing. They have a new album dropping on October 18th (which will be reviewed here on Hammer Records shortly) which I'd reccommend everyone to check out. It definitely kicks some ass! They will also be back in Vancouver soon - so make sure to like them on FACEBOOK to keep up to date!

NIGHTSEEKER came on stage in a foggy haze. All the members were there, minus Deaner... who crept up in the fog sporting an enclosed cape and a Darth Vader mask! It was a very neat way to start the show, and really captured the audience's attention. After the first song, the drums broke, for simply "Given 'er too hard" said Deaner. They filled in the time fixing the kit by introducing all the band members. Very clever and effective! They quickly jumped into the rest of their set, complete with multiple crowd sufings from the energetic and slightly intoxicated front man/bass player - until the next malfunction! One of the guitarists' amps blew from, again, Given 'er too hard. Though thankfully, all was worked out, and the show went on! Each member of the band really knew how to play well, while giving an amazing, fun, performance to their fans. I really didn't know what to expect of the vocals, but they were strong, and almost flawless! A perfect rock/metal type voice. To end the night, Nightseeker threw out an AMAZING cover of "Run To The Hills." Every person in the venue cheered, sang, and danced/moshed along on the floor. It was a wicked show. One I would definitely go see again in a heartbeat! Make sure to go like and check them out on FACEBOOK for more of their tunes, and tour dates!

Keep Rockin!

BANDS! For more photos and videos, please email us at

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vancouver Fashion Week

Hammer Records got backstage at the Interior Design Show and got a peak at the Vancouver Fashion Week spring/summer 2012 preview. We are proud to anounce that we will be covering a lot of their events this coming November. To see all the details go to their website: