Thursday, March 31, 2016

Get Your Thrills!

Loaded with spunk and attitude, Lou Danger And The Thrills just dropped a sick new album. Catchy and full of trashy drums, riding bass, crunchy guitar, this album will surely have you grooving. With every track on the album I just image seeing this live. It reminds me of Skid Row mixed with a little more punk influence. Nothing too overly complicated in the instrumentals which keep the feeling straight forward and actually quite radio friendly. They do a great job at leaving room for the vocal to ring clear and grab you. "All My Friends Are Now My Enemies" reminds me of a mix of The Ramones with Tubronegro. My inner 90's kid is going nuts, wanting me to crank this album while I try and beat Tony Hawk Pro Skater  again on my N64. With shorter songs it just makes me want to keep playing this album over and over again.

I give it a solid 8/10 Hammers. Go check it out HERE and check out their Facebook page HERE.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Quaint Night At Funkys

It was a quiet and quaint night at funkys, enabling the nights performances to be close and personal. What the night entailed was a fresh experience of new bands to discover, I didn't know what to expect. Little did I know, funkys had a heavier night in store than what I had in mind.
The first band Porcelain Sky began their set with prepared can of whoop-ass. While starting the first song the frontman provoked and antagonized the crowd to engage the stage. With in the first 20 seconds they had the crowd head banging imeadiatly. While switching between feels of meshuggah, deftones, and TOOL they maintained a completely original sound listeners can relate to. Topping off their performance with tight musicianship and stage presence like a well stitched seam, they're going in the memory bank. To finalize a well executed set they made a shout out to Wendy 13. I give porcelain sky 7/10 hammers. Up second was Blackstar, a female fronted cover band slaying our favourite classic rock and heavymetal songs. They opened their set with The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy and immediately began kicking but. Right away, Bkackstar made me feel right at home, like cranking tunes at the band house. Constantly slugging out the solos and licks we are all so familiar with, they enforce beer drinking. Near the end of their performance they hammered out the Immigrant Song and 22 Acacia Avenue which was a great way end the set. I had a coversation with the front woman who has been singing for bands over the past thirty years which clearly shows. I give Blackstar 6/10 hammers. The last and final band Curse the Forsaken, following a classic rock cover band, had a neat little shrink wrapped pandoras box like package. Opening their set with super grovey and juicy riffs and chunky solos, these guys were excedingly heavier than the first two acts. I was left completely speachless for  the majority of their set stunned by their ability to encorperate groove with grindcore and technical death metal. Their energy is comparable to slayer, early dying fetus, and one of my local favourites The Almighty Excruciating Pain (EXPAIN). Curse the Forsaken had the best stage presence, musicianship, and progressively heavy riffs of sorts I've heard in a long time.  After their mind blowing performance I found my brains splattered on the wall behind me. I give Curse the Forsaken 9/10 hammers. This was another review brought to you by Hammer Records and severvancity productions. Until next time, keep rocking and be safe.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wacken Battle #3

The third battle of this years Wacken Battles happened this wednesday at the Red Room. Not going to lie, but I've was pretty pumped to get the opportunity to review this show. On top of seeing new bands I finally got around to heading to the Red Room for the first time. With the whole event being put on by the Invisible Orange, which I try to make every show they put on.
First up of the night was a band I actually just reviewed a couple weeks ago, Exterminatus. I got to be honest, I have a hard time writing for these guys. Their show this time around definitely had more stage presence but I just find something about their execution to be lacking. The nerd in me loves the idea of their writing being focused on a table top game, Warhammer 40k. Though the metal head in me expects more on stage. One of my biggest pet peeves is when tech death bands put technical riffs over throwing on a live show. Its gets really redundant when you watch a band play for thirty minutes and they spend most of their time looking at their fret boards. All in all Im going to be following this band and their progress. Cause once their live show matches the ferocity of their music I can see them really take off.
6.5/10 Hammers
Right before I start, I have to mention that this next band was all kids. The youngest member of the band was only 13. So right off the bat you got to give them a slap on the back. Occasionally Dropped is a young band that I got to be honest sounded like all the old tunes I use to listen to. Everything from Rage Against the Machine to Nirvana and Soundgarden. The band had alot of stage presence, even more so than some older more experianced bands. The played their music with such passion, and at their age, it was inspiring to see. The only things I have to say to this band is that they need to find their own voice. Also even though I said they have alot of stage presence they cut the damage they really could have done by always showing their back to the crowd. Though most of the faults they had, they usually get fixed quickly by; more experiance, practice and writing together. Good job guys, and keep up the good work. In a generation more focused on electronically produced music and never bothering to pick up an instrument, you kids give me hope.
7/10 Hammers
Last up for the night I wasnt quite sure what to expect. I had just listened to a song off their ep and I rather liked it, so my hopes we high. I can honestly say I was not expecting what I saw. The Mountain Man threw down hard. With a well rehearsed show and stage presence that demanded you to headbang you couldn't help but get hooked. With groovy melodies, frantic harmonies and relentless vocals you knew you were about to go for a ride. They say they are Vancouvers outdoor-metallers and I couldnt agree more. As rugged and intense as their music was, it was broken into very harmonic sections that reminded me of exactly what they are going for, the wild of BC. 

8.5/10 Hammers

Chew On This!

Five bands for $10, you can't beat that kind of a deal! First up was Rexford Drive, and what a drive they had! Coming all the way from Chilliwack, they made sure to bring a can of whoop-ass! I've never seen an opening band put so much energy onto a stage. Right from the first few notes you could tell that you were in for a good time. Full of energy, tight playing and excellent song writing, Rexford Drive had the crowd grooving along in no time. Multiple times the guitarist leaped into the crowd and  stirred up trouble. The bass player was constantly moving around the stage, doing a fantastic job of filling the space and building the bands stage presence. The end of their set included a huge drum solo with a little bit of comedy thrown into the mix. Needless to say, I will keep my eyes on these three lads for sure. 

I give Rexford Drive 8/10 Hammers. Check out their Facebook page HERE.

Not A Chew Toy has a some new faces. A bit of an all star line up including members from other bands all coming together to bring the audience a few originals and a bunch of covers.  It was a pretty rag tag performance and you could hear band members asking each other "what song is next?". It was a blast hearing a bunch of tunes that everyone can sing along too. Reminded me more of a band karaoke jam party than a normal media club show. Showcasing multiple vocalists, as well as bringing lead vocalist Adam from the band Redfinn up on stage for an awesome cover of Rolling In The Deep. The one original band member switched around on bass, vocals and guitar for different songs, adding some funny stage moments. Overall it was fun seeing a band not take things too seriously and have some fun on stage!

I give Not A Chew Toy 7/10 Hammers. Check out their Facebook page HERE

Going from one spectrum to another, Redfinn was like a well oiled machine. Their set up time was super quick and their performance was energetic, professional and personable. Their front man Adam did a great job interacting with the audience with funny banter, jokes and making fun of band mates. Their sound was full of dynamics, depth, and tone. The drums were locked in with the bass and the single guitarist just filled the entire room with his sound. The vocals sat on top of everything like morning dew on the grass. Their misfits cover was a huge success and during their set a mosh pit broke out! I can't wait to see these boys further down their career.

I give Redfinn 9/10 Hammers. Check out their Facebook page HERE.

I only caught a few songs from Dead Rival's before I had to head out. I've heard some live videos of theirs and caught them playing live a few times in the past. Tonight though, something just wasn't sitting right with me. Their rhythm guitarist was up so loud that the minute he started playing my ears physically hurt. Completely drowned out the lead guitarist which I could only hear when the rhythm guitarist WASNT playing. The bass was almost non existent except for just a low rumble, so any cool notes or rhythms was just lost in the mix. In the monitors the vocals were just cranked in order to try and them them heard over instrument mix. I wish they had done a quick sound check or really checked each others volumes before playing their set. Just before I left they brought up a guest dancer to dance through one of their songs. Their stage performance was strong and the lead singer did a great job with crowd interaction. I hope next time I see them that they have a better mix going on!

I give Dead Rivals a 6.5/10 Hammers. Check them out on Facebook HERE.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#CMW Artist Showcase - Lost In Artificial Reality

Coming from Paris, Lost In Artificial Reality is coming to Canadian Music Week to share her art. Check out the few words we had with the lovely Elonie.

Hammer Records: Tell us what you think of when you think Canadian Music?
LIAR: It seems many people are very talented here especially in the DIY scene

Hammer Records: How did you get involved in Canadian Music Week?
LIAR: I sent my application and didn't believed I would be selected! 

Hammer Records: What do you have planned for Canadian Music Week?
LIAR: It is a surprise !

Hammer Records: What message do you want to send to Canadians listening to your music?
LIAR: That no matter where you come from you can connect with people from all other the world 

Hammer Records: Whats coming up for you?

LIAR: I just released an album. More infos on

#CMW Artist Showcase - Ivy James

Ivy James is bringing her singer-songwriter music to Toronto's Canadian Music Week. We spoke briefly about her upcoming performance.

Hammer Records: Tell us what you think of when you think Canadian Music?
Ivy James: When I think about Canadian music, the first word that comes to mind is “supportive.” Canada is a great country to be a musician in and we have so much talent. Not only does our government support us with grant programs like FACTOR, but we also have great festivals like Canadian Music Week that bring all of us together and it really shows how supportive we are of one another.

Hammer Records: How did you get involved in Canadian Music Week?
Ivy James: This is my fourth year playing CMW. When I was 16 years old, I went to a workshop at Metalworks and they played a video encouraging musicians to apply through Sonicbids. This was just after I had released my first EP and I ended up being selected. CMW was actually one of my first shows. Four years later, I'm lucky enough to still be a part of such a great festival.

Hammer Records: What do you have planned for Canadian Music Week?
Ivy James: I've got a few tricks up my sleeve. This will be my first year performing with a full band instead of as a solo acoustic artist, so that's exciting! It's also going to be one of the first shows in support of my new EP, which is scheduled for release in early May.

Hammer Records: What message do you want to send to Canadians listening to your music?
Ivy James: I try very hard to write all of my music from a genuine and honest place. If anything, I hope that people who listen to my music understand that I went through a rough time and they can relate to that in their own lives. It's okay not to be okay, as long as you know that one day you will be.

Hammer Records: Whats coming up for you?

Ivy James: I have a new EP coming out! The date is still being finalized but it's looking like early May. I'm also playing some shows this summer that I can't announce yet, so stay tuned for that. You can find me on Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram ( and YouTube (  My music is available through iTunes, Bandcamp and other online channels.