Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Cellar Launch Project Week 2

The second night of the Cellar Launch Project was ready to kick off with four bands on the bill. Starting everything off to an already pretty packed Cellar was, Bobby's Cane.

Even though the Cellar was packed, the dance floor remained fairly empty, except for a couple dedicated fans. This fact instantly puzzled us. Obviously this band had a solid following to come early and listen, but not to stand on the dance floor while the band poured their hearts out from that stage? Weird. Never the less, this did not stop Bobby's Cane from rocking and rocking hard! The guitarist and bass player jammed out and moved to fill up the stage perfectly. The lead singer's voice had a great rasp to it, his guitar playing was good and only until the 3rd or fourth song was when I noticed he was visually impaired! Having a few friends who are visually impaired, I applauded his skill at the guitar that much more. Together they sounded tight, bluesy and fun. After listening to their recordings I liked the more gritty tones in the recordings than their live sound. We will keep an eye out for their next show!

Thrown in last minute to the mix was The Deadset. Im guessing the second band, "I am An Optimist," dropped out and Rednyne asked Deadset to step in. Playing to a fairly blues-rock crowd is hard in the first place, but being a pop-punk band didn't make it any easier! A nice crowd of dedicated Deadsetters crowded the front of the stage to hear Jt Criminal belt her lyrics and rock her guitar as bassist Tommy filled up the space behind her with his trademarked stage presence. The drums tried to keep every one locked together but you could hear tempo changes throughout the whole set. The sound in total was pretty raw and uncut. Good for being thrown on last minute but I could tell some of the songs still needed some touch up and rehearsal. I think adding a second guitar would fatten up the sound and add a bit more flavour. Would love to see them in their natural element rocking a punk show!

It was fairly clear who the large crowd filling the Cellar was here for the minute "The Green Room" started setting up. Everyone who was hanging back suddenly came to life and flowed to the dance floor, including a fairly old couple who had sat in the back drinking bottle after bottle of wine. It's always fun seeing a band play for friends because they normally win over the rest of the crowd by just their sheer attitude. The Green Room had a pretty cool, chill vibe to their tunes. Quite talented musicians, but they had more of the indie sound than a mainstream sound. Their recording sounds solid with some nice producing and their live performances was passionate. We will be keeping our eye on this band to see their development over the next couple of years.

Now touching back to the comment I made earlier about "a fairly blues rock crowd." While Pop-Punk may be tough to get them excited, throw some hardrock-metal on the stage and apparently they go NUTS! Crankshaft started off their set with an epic build up and then launched right into the riff driven rock tunes that is the meat and potatoes of their sound. It took just a couple songs for them to have a large crowd around the front of the stage listening intently. It only took a couple more songs before most of that crowd was bobbing their heads to the bombastic beats from the drummer. Horns were raised to the shredding lead guitar player as he burned through lick after lick for his solos. Everyone felt the bass reverberate through their bones, filling out the bottom end. Topping everything off was the crunch rhythm playing and the "Breaking Benjamin" style vocals. Perfect hard rock vocals. However, after a few songs his voice seemed to waver as more and more screams were introduced. The Art Of Screaming DVD is a fantastic place for touching up on proper screaming techniques to keep your voice pristine so you don't end up like Sonny Moore (Over 10 vocal surgeries). By the end of their set there was a full on mosh pit at the Cellar. Which is something I don't think I've ever witnessed before.

Overall, a quite eventful night for sure! Looking forward to next week. If you're a band in the upcoming weeks please feel free to say hi to Hammer Records at the judges table. Also, if you are looking for photos and/or videos please feel free to email us at to discuss prices! That also goes for the bands of this week that are interested in more photos!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Launch Of The Launch Project

The Cellar is at it again! Didn't they ever hear to never ever give away things for free? Guess not! Rednyne Productions is giving away thousands of dollars, cash, to take your band to the next level.

Kicking off the entire competition was Lonely Cave Kings. A college-rock flavoured band. Sometimes the singer sounded like Bob Dylan with a very "don't care" essence in his vocal which was reminiscent of 70's rock. More about the message of the song than the actual pitch of the vocals. The drummer had great spunk in rocking his kit. The singers's guitar had a great tone for his chords and strumming but the lead guitar tone just wasn't doing it for me. I don't know if they were borrowing gear but it just didn't fit that style of music. Tight sound and a good image for the style of music it was. Definitely check out their recordings which I think capture their sound well.

Sally's Hot took the stage next. Last time we had seen this Po-Co based band was at the Railway Club when Hammer Records booked them. Having greatly tightened up their sound, their look and their stage presence they have improved 200%. Leaning away from Pop-Punk and diving into real punk-rock has greatly improved their sound. Their lead guitarist needs a bit more bite on his guitar tone. I think just a step up in gear and they could be formidable punk band in the future!

Kicked Off The Farm drove all the way from Langley and thank goodness they did! Most of the people we ran into that night were there to see Kicked Off The Farm. From their first chord we knew we were in for a treat. These hard rockers brought the fire into the cellar! Great edgy vocals, rough crunch guitars, thick melodic bass lines mixed with some prog-hard rock drums made for a perfect combination. They looked stage ready and marketable which was a great bonus. I know not every band needs to dress up for shows, but having an image always helps. Some tasty lead guitar licks sweetened the deal as they tore up the stage to a surprisingly rambunctious crowd. Cant wait to see these guys again!

After that performance we hoped that Grizzly Bones would bring the thunder, and yes they did! More of a rag tag rock and roll group flare than the previous band. Their recordings didn't do them justice as they danced, grooved, and head banged all over that stage. Crowd surfing, shoulder sitting upon, were just some of the antics that the fans did as Grizzly Bones played their post-rock psychedelic tunes. All the way from North Delta we can't wait to see more of these guys. Our only advice "Get better recordings!"

Stay tuned for next week! We get to see I Am An Optimist, The Green Room, Bobby's Cane, and Crank Shaft. Also if you are a band in this contest and you want Hi-Res Photos, contact us at

Thanks again to the Cellar, Rednyne and all the great bands!



Monday, March 4, 2013

"Freeze Time" Rayne's Official Music Video

Hammer Records is proud to announce after a year and a half of working, Rayne released his first single off his upcoming album and the official music video! Please check it out and share!

Be sure to 'like' his Facebook page and stay tuned for the full release of the album!

Get Ready To Lift Off!

So it's been a while since we've written a show review! We've been super busy with our two signed artists Rayne and Solo D. We went to Joe's Apartment to check out our long time friends Lift Off before they head down to Texas for a bit. But there were a few other bands on the bill, some we knew and some we didn't!

Warming up the night was Erik Gman who played a set of acoustic songs aided by an enthusiastic bongo player! Eriks voice cut through the mix clearly but the bongos were quite bassy in the mix and sounded more like a rumble than percussion. Overall a good sound and some solid tunes! Check him out next time hes playing.

Up next was The Phantom Life which is a new band on the scene! It was their first show and they played great, obviously all the members were no strangers to the stage as they strutted their punk rock flavoured tunes. A great crunch sound to the guitar and huge drums let the thick bass lines ring through and create a massive sound. I think after some more shows and some tightening up of some song structures this band could rock some serious socks!

We've heard the name Danha once before but seeing them live was a real treat. A well talented group of musicians they played a fantastic set. Great songs, amazing guitar work and great showman ship. Every element fit like pieces of a mystical puzzle. Some of the less radio friendly songs hit my heart strings a little more than their current hit. But thats just my personal opinion  Congrats to the band for hitting number #1 in the independent music charts in the NYC-LA area. Danny's voice is great and his high notes cut through the chorus lines with ease. Andrew's guitar solos remind me of a mix of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. Dan's bass lines and their new drummer laid down the perfect foundation for the rest of the band to stand on. We will definitely be checking them out again!

Ending the night was Lift Off, after having a whirlwind of success and their own movie on the silver screen and on tv, they rocked the stage like it was their god given right. We've kept tabs on Lift Off ever since we first saw them years ago. I think I've said this every time we review them, but they just keep blowing us away. I think they have finally crafted a sound that fits their image. The guitars were perfect volume and crunch, the bass and drums were clear and enormous. Carmon's vocals have never sounded better. Adding some grit into the mix he has found his rock star voice. We can't praise this band enough because they prove everything we say to other bands. Great sound + great stage performance + little bit of magic = great show!

Overall a great night, glad to see a bunch of friends and other industry folk!