Monday, November 25, 2013

Whose The Best?

Joe's Apartment held round 3 of the "Best Of Vancouver" show on Saturday and we were there! It was a packed night, full of great bands, good beer and lots of hi-5s! Another thanks to Kevin and Rednyne for putting on the event and Joe's Apartment for hosting it! Great seeing local bands showcased.

Who says rock and roll is dead... Not Queen Cobra! Playing tunes that hail back to when rock was in it's prime. Opening up the night with a solid set which included some great lead guitar work and vocals that could rival Joan Jet and Ann Wilson. The sound was solid but we had wished the rhythm guitarist had put on a bit more of a "rock and roll" show. A quarter of the band looked classic rock and roll and the rhythm guitarist didn't match. Didn't help that he had just a small amp compared to the half stack of the lead guitarist. His tone just didn't match up. The lead player rocked the crowd by jumping in front and at one point even running into the crowd! The lead singer rocked the mic and the two back up vocals really added to their sound! A solid set for opening up the night. Check out their Facebook HERE.

By 8pm Joe's Apartment was getting full! One of the fullest we've seen for that time slot. No Operator had brought a large number of fans over from Nanaimo. (Impressive) The front was packed with people and the band provided one heck of a show! Their new rhythm guitarist was super tight and played fantastically. The addition of a light box really amped up the look of the show! The whole band filled up that stage and headbanged hard. With a super solid set that flowed so smoothly they really made an impact on the crowd. Check them out on Facebook HERE.

The Vidos were up next and were definitely a switch up sonically! Going from hard rock to old school pop punk. With an awesome 90's sound they kept up the energy with a fast-paced set and a quirky attitude. Sounding like an early Blink 182, this band had a secret fourth member! A huge teddy frog! The guitarist was jumping around and ripping solos! We had seen them before at the Richmond Night Market and we look forward to seeing them again! Check out their Facebook HERE.

We've seen The Green Room before and they were the third act that night. They were a bit of an energy drop from the previous acts. They played some more chill tunes and didn't have their usual fire and flare. We don't know if the lead singer couldn't hear himself but his vocals were a bit rough and sometimes not in key. With some guitar problems, it seemed to throw him off his usual swing. We have seen them tear the roof off and we can't wait to see them do it again! Check out their Facebook HERE.

Last up was 7 Years Luck. Once again just didn't have the energy of the first three bands. However still putting on a solid set! Definitely had some catchy tunes. Near the end of their set they brought up the energy and ended on a strong note. Be sure to check out their Facebook HERE.

Only one more week of competition until the finalists are announced! Be sure to catch our coverage of Week 4! Check out the photos HERE.

#IronManMarkus (BC Musicians VS Cancer)

We had the honor of covering a cancer benifit for young Markus Yule. With such a great list of performers and a cause so close to our hearts, we made sure not to miss it! What a night! Big thanks to Tina for organizing the event, and The Shark Club for hosting. The night was MC'd by Mary Zilba.
Markus Yule is 10 years old and has just been diagnosed with Brain Cancer and is currently in the Oncology Wing of the BC Children’s Hospital. Last week, Markus, went through surgery to remove one of the two tumors on his brain, although somewhat successful, they were not able to completely remove the large tumor as portions of it were embedded into his brain stem and could not be removed surgically. Unfortunately, he will be going through aggressive radiation treatment in order to try and eliminate the second tumor and the remnants of the first tumour.

Stay strong Markus. You're an incredible kid. 

(#IronManMarkus on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook to show your support.) 

For pictures from the event, please go to: Photos HERE

Big thanks to all the performers and silent auctioneers! Be sure to check out these compassionate performers at their links below.

Bonnie Kilroe as Cher

Kelly Brock Country Rock Solo

Ian Perry 12 yr old Guitar Prodigy

Barracuda Heart Tribute

Jim Byrnes Blues/Solo Actor

Jayden Holman Country Rock Solo WINNER of the PNE star contest 2012

Mike Reno Rock Duo (from Loverboy)

Mary Zilba Pop Country #1 hit in the UK called “ Hero” 
(Real Housewives of Vancouver)

Bodhi Jones Folk Rock (The Peak Performance Project Finalist)

Jupiter Jill Alt Country Rock Duo

Elise Estrada Pop Star

Stone Poets Dark Folk Rock Band

Damn the Diva Pop/Rock Band

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Island Invaders!

Hammer Records covers a lot of Vancouver shows, but on the odd occasion that we've been in Victoria, we have gone out to enjoy their local scene. On one of those outings we went to see No Operator at the Copper Owl, and also saw Synapse that night. Well, both of those bands made the trip over to the mainland to rock Joe's Apartment with local band Liars and Lions. Booking two Island bands is always an interesting move, so we weren't shocked when the venue wasn't packed, even by the end of the night. However, the music was top notch and there were some very enjoyable sets.

Synapse opened the show. Think of Alexisonfire, Rise Against and a smattering of Tool all mixed together. Some solid prog-rock tunes. Great stage presence. Having three people in the band sing really makes the chorus' sound huge and the gang vocals stand out. Also, we noticed a great use of harmonies in their set that really sets them apart from a lot of bands. The vocals really cut through the mix and we could really hear some catchy hooks and the lead singer's pitch was spot on. The guitar and vocals were very melodic, laid perfectly on top of a thick and heavy instrumental. I think a perfect combination would be having them open up for local bands Quartered or Incura to help them propel themselves to the next level. Go check out their Facebook page HERE.

It was our first time seeing No Operator's new lineup with the additional guitarist. We had seen their vocalist's first front man show (due to a wrist injury he didn't play guitar but has healed since) and we could tell that it was still new to the band. What a show though! Such catchy songs and nice trade off of clean vocals and screaming. The new guitarist stepped up and really didn't miss a beat that we could catch! I think some more time and tightening of parts will make this band a force to be reckoned with! If you haven't checked out their Facebook go HERE.

Last up was Liars and Lions. From what we had seen so far this night, the energy kind of dipped down. Being a three piece is hard because you have to push that much more to really fill that stage and connect with your audience. The tunes sounded good and the originals were nice and heavy. A good number of covers were thrown in which was nice, including a Rage Against the Machine cover and a Queens Of the Stone Age cover. I did notice that the bassist didn't really connect at all with the audience; kind of had a blank stare going on through the entire set and remained fairly still in one spot. The guitarist/vocalist did his best to rock but being tied down to a mic stand really limited his capability of movement. The middle of the stage remained fairly empty for the duration of the set. Check out their Facebook Page HERE.

To see more photos go HERE. Big thanks to Clyde from Magnetized Productions for letting us cover this show and to the bands for putting on a great show!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Truly Radioactive!

Hammer Records loves working on our own music just as much as we love working on others. We recently got a whole new set of lights and a background kit and we decided to take them into the field and do some shooting! We recorded all the vocals at our studio, mixed and mastered the track and then headed out to an old warehouse and spent 6 hours filming. Check out the final result here!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rocking The Strip

Hammer Records had missed the first week of the Best Of Vancouver contest at Joe's Apartment. We heard it was a blast! So, we really didn't want to miss out on the second week of bands. Sadly, due to me forgetting my wallet at home and having to travel back to the house we ended up missing the first band, Last Shelter. Our apologizes to them. But we ended up catching two acts before having to head to another show!

We have heard a lot of buzz about STRIP. We could hear the roar of their guitars as we entered the venue to an almost full Joe's Apartment. It felt like a time warp as we made our way to the front. If you've had the pleasure of seeing The Broadway Bullies live, then this band brings just as much energy. STRIP brought a level of swagger from which we haven't seen since McJagger. They have the potential to take the scene by storm. Playing solid tunes, putting on a show and looking good while doing it! They have a great niche market carved out with their 80's esque tunes. They've got some very catchy hooks and great stage moves. They have an EP out right now and a full album on the way! Go check out this band HERE.

The last band we caught was Bobby's Cane. We've seen this band a few times and they keep bringing it. Good sound, cool tunes but we just want to see them take it a step forward. Push the boundaries. Take it beyond the stage. We love seeing bands evolve and grow. We are not saying do something super crazy, but find something that sets you apart from the rest of the bands in BC. We are excited to see this band grow into fruition. Check out their Facebook page HERE.

Check out the rest of the photos HERE.

Friday, November 8, 2013

East Coast Meets West Coast

Rock is a universal language, but that doesn't stop it from having many different flavours. Everyone's taste is slightly different. It was incredible to see two east coast bands come and play the Roxy and share their rock'n'roll. Local favourites, Cobra Ramone,  New Brunswick's The Motorleague and Toronto's The Balconies all rocked the stage last night!

Cobra Ramone's southern blues rock filled the Roxy to warm up the night. Cobra Ramone's voice floats nicely over the instruments. Thick busy drums laid the base, fat organ riffs locked everything together and their chunky guitar is the grit flavoured icing on top. This cake has layers of sweetness but just enough spice to keep things interesting. I could really see this band grabbing a small group of choir singers and adding a little "soul sound" into their live set. Their tunes really have a southern rock flavour. The Cobra strikes again! Check out their Facebook page HERE.

The Motorleague took the stage next and brought the fire! This band held nothing back and played their hearts out. Rocking all over the stage, singing riff driven rock and roll. Reminding me of Alexisonfire and Thrice, with a modern rock flare mixed in as well. Jumping everywhere and filling out that stage but also hitting all their catchy vocal hooks. Lots of different flavours in their songs. Some crunchy garage rock, and other huge rock anthems. The duel backing vocals really boosted their sound, thick choruses blasted over their rocking instrumentals. Can't wait to see this band back in Vancouver! Check out their Facebook page HERE.

If the previous band brought the fire, then The Balconies brought the thunder that created that fire! Such tights riffs, great dynamics and memorable songs made up their set. A refined professional presence emanated from them as they rocked their set. You could put this act on a festival stage or a stadium with their sound, and it would fill up the place. Their songs sounded radio ready with great guitar licks,  screaming vocals and super tight drums and bass, creating an awesome overall sound. This band is a well oiled machine ready to spread it's rock! Check out their Facebook page HERE.

Check out all the photos HERE. Thanks again to The Roxy and The Fox 99.3 for putting on the show!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A House Full Of Rock

Who says Halloween ends when October does? The Green Room invited us to a halloween themed house party on Nov.1st and it was crazy! Rose and I ventured down to this get together dressed as a pair of Spartans (Halo Spartans), helmets and all. It was a blast attending a house party, no cover, no expensive drinks, just good people and good times. There were people jamming on instruments as we entered as the bands were scheduled to start later on. Mostly everyone was dressed up in costumes ranging from panda bears to super heroes! Be sure to check out our photos from the night by clicking HERE.  Big thanks to The Green Room for inviting us out!