Sunday, July 29, 2012

For A Great Cause

Local band "Cupla" has created this fantastic video against bullying. please check it out, and if you purchase the song then 50% of the funds go towards Unite-Way's Anti-bullying program

Monday, July 23, 2012

EPIC: Static In The Stars

A great piece about the local scene and the band Static In The Stars. Top 3 finalists in Fox 99.3 Vancouver Seeds! Check this video out and share it!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Word With The Truck

Monster Truck is a band out of Ontario which has skyrocketed onto the national scene recently. To see their full bio, check out they're FaceBook page here! After seeing them on tour with [Fubar's] Deener's NightSeeker, I, among many, thought to myself, "Why wasn't Monster Truck headlining?"

I managed to have a chat with guitarist Jeremy Wilderman about what's on the horizon for the band.

James: So things have been going amazingly well for you guys lately, can you give us a brief laydown of memorable gigs you've played recently? Any unreal experiences?

JeremyGetting off stage on this tour and having Slash say "good set" and even just sharing the same stage with him every night is a pretty big mind blow. There aren't many active musicians out there right now that I respect as much as him.

JamesThats great. Yea, he's one of my favourite inspirations of all time. I've read his biography a billion times. Any funny times backstage? How is touring on the level that you guys are at? Have a word of advice to younger bands who are starting off their first tour?

JeremyBuy a V8

James: Haha!

JeremyEveryone in the van is taking turns reading his bio now. It's highly entertaining. As far as backstage I'm just gonna let people's imaginations run wild because I imagine the fantasy is about 10 times more entertaining than the truth about us eating veggie trays and stretching to get ready. haha

JamesWhat's next? Any insight into the future of the 'Truck? After the slash tour? 

JeremyGot a few USA dates with Clutch after this and then getting ready for the album release in the fall. Plus we have to learn about 6-7 songs again that we recorded for the album

JamesThe EP is stuck in our car on constant repeat. Can't wait for the full album. A different sound from the EP? or along the same lines but with a new twist? What can fans expect from the new album? Have a title yet?

JeremyNew Twist on the same song writing formula as far as the style we used to record it. Did the bed tracks live and overdubbed guitars and vocals but this time we left out the computers. all to tape. raw and dirty. not as "perfect" sounding. as for the album title you'll have to wait for now

James: Fantastic! Back to analog! As a sound engineer I can appreciate the dedication to tape. Taking things old school. How was that compared to using Protools or being able to punch with such ease?

Jeremy: Very tough. Frustrating for me. I'm not very used to it. I'm used to being about to tailor and fix everything little thing. so being forced to leaving some flubs and missed notes was a new level compromise for me.

James: Such a different feel I bet. But I bet the finished product will sound amazing and real. Your live sound is amazing and I hope this album will capture your essence on a CD. Any word of a music video?

Jeremy: Nah too early for that right now. still finalizing all the logistics on the release

James: Cool! Thanks for the words! Any words to your fans?

Jeremy: Pirate our record when it comes out. The label won't let us continue giving it away

James: Haha awesome. I'll be sure to look for a copy on pirate bay!

Take It To The Top

Hammer Records was proud to sponsor the Cruel Young Heart live concert DVD video shoot. This band always dreams big and thinks of the next way to bring an amazing live experience to their crowd. I remember first having a video interview after seeing them rock the Troubadour and thinking to myself, this is a band that will go far. Well, about a year later here they are headlining The Venue and shooting a live DVD. But rarely do things go exactly as planned...

Pleasure Dome started the night off with a bang, literally. After playing a fantastic set they used some home made flash bombs to make sure their faces were forever burned into your memory. We sadly missed this act but will be sharing the stage with them next month hopefully so come check it out!

Shy Sharity took the stage next and brought a well produced sound, clever song writing and some catchy hooks. The band had a professional feel, but the stage presence was lacking. With such a large stage at hand I would have wished for them to wander around or put more towards the audience. Of the songs we caught Shy Sharity projected out towards the crowd. Good set and great tunes. Be sure to check her out!

From the first note we knew Bondless was the real deal. These guys just tore up the stage. Leaping around majestically and never missing a beat. They're songs were hard hitting, catchy and perfect for radio play. We had never heard there stuff before and it was refreshing to hear a band so radio friendly but yet still true to themselves and their sound. Writing songs to express their ideas and music, not trying to write radio hits. I want to see this band go far, and having 8,000+ fans doesn't hurt. I hope these guys keep it up and go to the top!

Last but definitely not least was Cruel Young Heart. Having put this whole night together they were prepped and ready to rock the stage! But after a shrinking crowd through out the whole night it was down to a dedicated bunch who stuck around until the end. CYH pulled out all the stops that any big artist would have pulled on a larger stage. Costume Changes, Dubstep breaks, catwalk and even confetti cannons provided an amazing spectacle throughout the night! Stay tuned for the upcoming DVD release! A couple screen shots above!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More Than Just Pizza

It was Hammer Record's first time out to Olympia Pizza & Pasta to see a metal show, actually to see any show at all at this venue. We've heard of MANY shows being done at this forward thinking pizzeria but had yet to witness the greatness first hand. This is now one of our favourite venues for local music. Not only does it have a great stage, sound system, nice crew and super close to Surrey Central Skytrain. It also serves pizza and beverages all night long. So even after having 10 beers, you don't have to miss a second of the action to bite down on a slice of pizza!

First band we caught was Dawning Of The Inferno. The mix of the sound was great. Guitars were punchy, bass was fat, and drums were crunchy. In lots of heavier bands the vocals are buried in live mixes, but right up front in the recordings. It was great to hear the vocals nice and clear in the speakers. Lots of heavy riffing, but a lot of things were muddied and not the clearest. Tight band but hard to hear a lot of distinct riffs, just a lot of awesome heavy chugging. Could have just been the room, but definitely check out these guy's album, super tight stuff.

Up next was the fabled Galactic Pegasus. Huge fan base for these guys and they had a great crowd to watch them rock out. Lots of great movement from the front man as he screamed his way into oblivion. The guitars were heavy but also melodic at points which added a nice contrast. Riffs were easier to distinguish and song structures were great. Would have liked to see some more movement from the other members, but I found out it was a couple of the bandmates first show with the band. A super tight set had the crowd fired up and dying for more. The pits were great and I even put down my camera and joined a couple of times.

Stella finished up the night and reminded me why they are one of my favourite hardcore bands in Vancouver. After years of perfecting there art, they have been moulded into a deadly, heavy riffing, touring creature that when you experience it's roar, it leaves you deafened by its sheer amazingness. The crowd was quiet through a lot of there set, not from boredom or lack of interest, but because the sound enveloped the crowd. So much energy in every song, such a deep burning passion, and the ability to just have fun with each song really set this band apart. Smiles on every member's face as they tore through their set with such flawless easy. At points band members were hi-fiving, jumping, dancing or even just goofing off and the sound was never changed. The guitars were heavy and precise as each riff was executed with the easiest of ease. Ranging of heavy chugging to tapping, to singe note riffs. Both guitars were distant and blended together nicely but also stood by it self. Melodic vocals also set these guys apart from the other bands. Having two screamers/singers in the band added dynamics and different vocals into the songs. Surrey's Finest (one of there album titles) indeed!

Hammer Records will try and cover more shows at Olympia Pizza and Pasta!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Are You Ready For The Apocalypse?

So it’s 2012 and the end of time may be near, or so they say, but that’s no reason to panic because Vancouver-based metal masters Titans Eve are unleashing their second full-length album, the extremely timely and aptly titled,Life Apocalypse
The perfect musical end for the perfect apocalypse, the 11 tracks of Life Apocalypse were produced by Titans Eve and recorded by Sacha Laskow of Divinity at Perfect Fifth Studios in Calgary, AB in a manner that was strikingly different from the band’s first foray into the studio while creating their critically-acclaimed debut, The Divine Equal. After all, time was of the essence. 
“This album was written faster and was more of an aggressive attempt at writing and recording an album,” says guitaristKyle Gamblin. “We hammered out the songs and bunkered down to record in Calgary with Sacha Laskow for a month and recorded every day.” 
Taking a turn from their debut, which was released in February of last year, but staying true to their personal interpretations of honest, powerful modern metal, “the result, Life Apocalypse, shows our efforts and captures the best performances from all four members of our band. We worked very hard to deliver something that wouldn’t disappoint fans of our last album,” says Brian Gamblin.
Following the release of Life Apocalypse this summer, Titans Eve will once again pile into the “Titan Train” (i.e. their 2007 Ford E-350 van) and travel across Canada, bringing their music to as great an audience as possible, supporting Canadian metal heavyweights Anvil and Kill Devil Hillthe new project featuring acclaimed drummer Vinny Appice(Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, Dio) and bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, Down)

Album Links:
Single - Destined To Die -

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vancouver Seeds Week 2

So the Fox 99.3 Vancouver Seeds madness continued for the second week on the Tuesday and picked up right where it left off, bands rocking out and playing a handful of tunes for some very talented judges.

Breaking the ice for the first night was Derek Bourbon. A singer songwriter who has gathered a band to back his tunes. The band did a great job at filling out his songs with catchy hooks of their own and the sound was nice and thick. His sound reminded me of 90's grunge bands such as Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins. The tunes were nice but the stage presence was lacking, some nice movement near the end of the set but the energy didn't compete with some of the later bands that night or in the past nights.

The Faceplants are born performers. Young, spry and full of spunk they just burst onto that stage! A perfect mix of Ska, rock, and hip-hop they're sound was surprisingly full. Using backing tracks to fill out their sound with keyboards, backing vocals and organs they had a very professional sound. Lots of their songs are catchy, radio friendly and ready to hit the masses! Not much to say but keep it up guys! Even through lots of running around, jumps, and even a synchronized dance routine they didn't miss a beat or a loose their pitch!

Last but not least was Exit 200, talented musicians with a wide range of styles which they fluently combined into one flow of music. Lots of nice chill tunes mixed with upbeat dance beats kept the audience's feet moving all night long. Great use of the saxophone to add to their sound but something was lacking that night. Can't quite put our finger on it but the performance didn't blow us away compared to the first time we had seen them. Great band though, be sure to check out their tunes!


Day two promised to be an interesting night. Only knowing 1 of the bands playing that night we were excited to hear some new music. Cause4Drama opened that night up with some straight up modern rock. Blending sounds of Papa Roach, Theory Of A Deadman, and other modern bands into a bunch of hard rocking tunes. They never fail on delivery of each song either, every performance is a true rock and roll show with head banging, beer cheers'ing, and screaming solos. Channeling the energy of Motley Crüe and Guns N'Roses they're moves are classic with a twist of freshness. Great way to open up the night!

From their first note, we knew Fields Of Green was not your average band. Blasting wave of sound hit our ears in a chorus of sound as all 4 members slammed into their instruments. They have to be experienced live to understand the dynamics of this band. Each member is under a trance from start to finish of every song as the music envelops them. Beruit, Muse, and Radiohead are only a few names that come to mind to explain they're amazing sound. Every member was not only a singer, but a mutli-instrumentalist which made their music change as quick as a cat in the rain! Check out these guys, a Kelowna band but definitely made an impression here in Vancouver.

And for something completely different again was Elizabeth. Having a great mid 2000's sound reminding us of Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand their punk rock sounding vocals overtop of edgy guitars, fat bass and pounding drums lead to a high energy set of tunes! Mixing in catchy hooks and chorus in with fantastic guitar effects to really add depth to their sound. Not being my personal choice of music it took me a while but it grew on me like moss on rocks and by the end of it we were dancing around up front as the band rocked out in front of us.

A great end to a great night! Our only complaint was that this was BY FAR the loudest Seeds night of both weeks. Even rock and roll band Cause4Drama was quieter than both Fields Of Green and Elizabeth. Standing in front of a guitar amp actually hurt our ears, even with earplugs (that we always wear at every show). Having a good amount of volume is understandable, but if your amp is lowered the sound engineer will (hopefully) raise your volume to create a great mix. If you need to hear more of it just ask the engineer for more of yourself in the monitor. Our ears were definitely ringing after that night!


Thursday is the new Friday, lots of people now a days are heading out Thursday night to get rid of the week day blues early which is great for live music. No longer are Thursday shows thought ill upon.

Whoa! She's A Babe was rocking their set as we walked into the Roxy and even though there were few people on the dance floor it didn't stop these guys from rocking as if their life depended on it. First thing we noticed was the absence of a bass player. A lot of times to compensate for this the guitarists will adjust their tones to have lots of lower tones to fill that gap. I don't know if it was intentional but the guitar sounds sounded muffled. Thick, but not as edgy as they could have been and sadly their riffs suffered from it. Sound great stops and dynamics were lost to a muffled sound. We would love to see them with a bass player or with more bite in their gutiars. Their recording sound fantastic so check them out for sure!

That was it for our night, we were heading across the way to catch last year Vancouver Seeds Winners Louder Than Love at Venue opening up for Ill Scarlett. We missed Headwater but check them out!


The last night, the last chance to lay it all down on the line for the judges, the last chance to put on your game face and rock that crowd! Well Malibu Knights gave it their all as they tore into their set. Once again only to a handful of people on the floor but giving a solid performance. Very radio friendly and rocking songs, perfectly structured for radio. But maybe it was an off night, but their performance just didn't leap off the stage and grab us. Their history is inspiring and I know that even without the success of the Vancouver Seeds they will be a band that goes far.

The same can be said for Static In The Stars, having fantastic success so far the only way to go is up for these seasoned rockers. Jordan Carriere leads the way with his epic vocals filling the room, Cam Thomas's guitar dominates the crunch, Ex Halfway To Hollywood member Jacob Owen Lütje covering the lower end, Joey Levesque's keyboards providing the fizzle, and Trent Otter supplying the pounding drums! Just proving a wicked end to a fantastic couple of weeks. Playing to a full dance floor they just savoured the moment and played their hearts out.

A big thanks to 99.3 The Fox, Budweiser, and everyone who came out and supported two weeks of all local bands at the Roxy. Never stop supporting local music!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Getting Your Voice Heard

So while we have been talking about music competitions around Vancouver, we can't forget to mention  one that has already been taking place at The Cellar on a weekly basis! "Voice Of The Cellar" is on every wednesday that started on June 20th, and the semi finals and finals will take place on August 3rd, 10th and 17th. Like the Seed's its a free show! Doors at 9pm and the first band goes on at 9:30pm.

Heres a list of all the shows including the past ones that have passed already. Be sure to check out every single artist as they are all talented musicians!

June 20th
City Of Glass
Jordan Carrier And The Soviets

June 27th
Kemal Evans
Niska Napoleon

July 4th
Georgia Murray
Velvet Chameleon
Krystal Dos Santos

July 11th
Cobra Ramone
Cruel Young Heart

July 18th
Jordan Klassen
The Magician and The Gates Of Love
Sam Alviar

July 25th
Steph Macpherson
Coldwater Road
Katie Rox

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fight For The Top!

Vancouver is full of music competitions. The Fox Seeds just wrapped up their second stage, The Cellar is holding a "Voice Of The Cellar" and Y57 Media is holding a battle of the bands! Be sure to check out our coverage of the Vancouver Seeds Week 1 and week 2 review is coming up.

The top 10 bands have been chosen for the Y57 Battle Of The Bands 2012. Go and listen to each band and vote! Only 5 of the 10 bands will advance to the finals to play at the Rio Theatre on August 30th. You still have 8 days to vote until the 15th so go and choose your favourite!

They have a page to see the bio on each band to learn more about them and tracks to listen to. So go and check it out and make an informed decision!

Quick list of bands:
Terra Nova Bay
Young Pacific
Sam Alviar
Magic Pixie Dream Girls
The Friends
Shai Mate
The Cut Losses

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Your 15 Seconds Of Fame!

Saturday July 21st is a night that YOU want to be at The Venue! Cruel Young Heart, Bondless, Shy Sharity and Pleasure Dome. Doors are at 7:00pm and tickets are only $10. Cruel Young Heart has a crew filming the event so come dressed to kill! We are proud to be supporting such great acts on their way to the top.

So heres the facts:

WHERE: The Venue 5708 Glover Rd
WHEN: July 21st 7pm
WHO: Cruel Young Heart, Bondless, Shy Sharity and Pleasure Dome

Hammer Records will be giving away TWO tickets for the show!
So keep your ears peeled and follow us on twitter to find out how! @Hammer_Records

New Proper Villains Single Released!

The Proper Villains have blown up since the last time we featured them on our site. From playing a show out in Langely, to playing the brand new SPF festival at Playland with acts such as Carley Rae Jepsen, One Republic, Gym Class Heroes and more. Be sure to listen to their new single posted above.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Vancouver Seeds Week 1

The Vancouver Seeds has a long history of helping and discovering some of the great talent from Vancouver and pushing it to the nation stage. With bands like Nickelback, Faber Drive, Daniel Wesley, Incura, Bif Naked, State Of Shock, Matt Good, and Default as past victors. This year the winners receive 10,000 dollars worth of gear, an EP released by Maple Music, GGGarth Richardson producing your EP and touring with Juno winners The Arkells. Quite a prize that any band would dream of having!

Two weeks full of bands at the Roxy presented by Budweiser brew.
On the first night The Day He Quit, Lovely Sinners and Bullets Over Beauty.

The Day He Quit is a band from Nanaimo, BC with impeccable energy and stage presence. Paired with their wicked riffs, licks, beats, vocals, and lots of loyal friends and fans singing along to every tune - it came as no surprise that they won the Cellar's latest Launch Project competition, and moved on to this years Fox Seeds Competition.  As the first band selected to perform, the pressure was on, though was no problem for these seasoned performers. They moved, they grooved, and started this years competition with a bang!

Not letting the energy of the night slow down The Lovely Sinners took the stage by storm. Such a strong 3 piece with dynamic, catchy songs. The bass player amazed us with his skill and groove, filling out each song perfectly with thick yett melodic bass lines. Reminded me of a mix of Motley Crüe, Trapt and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. A solid band for sure. Great vocals and tight drumming also added to the songs. Very rock and roll tunes, though I noticed most of them were over 5 minutes, which would hurt them for radio play, which is still a huge part of publicity today, as it's always been.

Bullets Over Beauty was last that night and just blew up the stage. A mix of Hedley, Incura, and My Chemical Romance. Such a unique voice and well produced sound emanated from the stage. Each song was crafted beautifully with meaningful lyrics and powerful melodies. Great use of backing vocals, and the perfect instrumentals for each tune. The guitarist moved around the stage using his space perfectly, though I wished the bassist had moved around a bit more. The Roxy, having such a big stage, is best-used when the whole band interacts with each other as well as the crowd. Overall, a great first night of the competition, and a great crowd full of energetic and supportive people.


The second night consisted of Kristopher James, The Shrugs and Rude City Riot. Kristopher James did a great job on stage. Well written songs with a tight band to back up his vocals. It was a good set, though nothing super impressed me. Lots of the songs sounded like they were meant for more of an acoustic sound,  but were put on with a full band.

The Shrugs took the stage and had a ton of dedicated fans up front cheering them on as they blasted their songs with a new twist. Adding keys to theirs sound definitely helped fill out their songs sonically, but hurt their stage presence. Caitlin (lead vocals) switched between the piano and just singing, which allowed her to move away from the keyboard, but still, such a large instrument blocks much of the stage when it's mostly front and center. They played a mix of new and old songs; but I had wished they played some of their more radio friendly singles.

Rude City Riot has been gaining momentum in the Canadian ska scene for years now and they proved to be the most energetic act that night. An 8 piece band grooved their way into their fans hearts. The whole crowd was dancing their feet off! Their power ska songs were catchy and dynamic. I can't wait to see them take it to the international level!


On the third night we missed Pigeon Park but bet they put on a fantastic show. Huge fans of their tunes and know that they would have put their all into the show. Be sure to check them out on facebook and catch of their shows.

But we did catch We Hunt Buffalo!  It was delightful to see a heavy, hard rocking band make the Top 20. These guys pack a punch with their hard hitting set. Reminding me of bands like Monster Truck, Black Sabbath, and Kyuss. They had great stage presence as they strutted around the stage, appearing larger than life. Each song had people head banging and/or grooving on the dancefloor. Can't wait to see where they go from here!


The last night of the week was packed with 2 bands. Amber Hills (formally Silent Springs) and Falling For Scarlet.

Amber Hills started playing and immediately you got a sense of a very well developed band. They had a sense of class to their playing and sound. Definitely appealing to more of an older audience, their 90's-esque Alternative sound simply floated into our ears. The mix was off and depending on where you were standing either guitarist was too loud and the other couldn't be heard, though they still brought out a lot of their fans, and had them grooving on the floor. With the right marketing Amber Hills could dominate Vancouver's rock scene.

Falling for Scarlet is one of Vancouver's few female fronted rock bands. Each member brought a different flavour to the stage and together it created a unique blend of rock. The only thing with a female fronted band in this genre, sometimes in the mix it's hard to hear the vocals. Her quiet vocals were lost in the mix but her chorus normally cut through. It was unfortunate to hear her voice buried by the guitars. Each song had some great dynamic parts, though after a while the songs seemed to start blending into each other. Great talent on stage and can't wait to catch them at a different show to see how another venue sounds.

This first week was great and reminds us why we love the Vancouver scene. Each band was different and brought their own bag of tricks to win over the judges. There is no clear victor from week one but we eagerly await week two to see what it brings!

Be sure to go out and support the scene. Tuesday through Friday free rock shows at 9pm at the Roxy. So come on out!