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Three years running and just getting better – Heavy MTL does it again

When I saw the line-up for this year’s Heavy MTL, I was floored by the fact that organizers somehow managed to top last year’s with bands of an overall much higher caliber. The sound was dead-on and the only minor technical glitch I noticed was with Billy Talent’s set; after their banner fell down and they didn’t bother to fix it (the show must go on!), the sound guy didn’t turn on the mic until about 15 seconds into their first song.

The organization was on the ball for preventing anyone from getting seriously injured, beer tent lines were reasonable and the stage set up was efficient. In fact, the only thing I could say the weekend was missing was a little more shaded area but that is just Parc Jean-Drapeau for you.

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Photo Essay: Heavy MTL throws down the gauntlet with its third installment and jumps on the path to festival domination

At the risk of taking away from any of the potential suspense that usually surrounds a review, with a line-up that included Motörhead, Anthrax, Billy Talent and KISS, it’s hard to imagine how Heavy MTL could have possibly gone wrong. And they didn’t.

From the moment the official schedule was released, it was obvious that Evenko was pulling out all the stops they could to make the third edition of Heavy MTL the best one to date. If the organizers’ hope was to continue on the path to establishing Heavy MTL as one of the most respected and unique rock/metal festivals in North America, they certainly contributed positively to their goal this year. Although, I must say, debuting a Heavy T.O. on the very same weekend, with many of the same bands on the bill, seemed strange. Why would you want to take a chunk of the annual crowd that would drive in from Ontario away from Heavy MTL?

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Artists and Bands

Antics with attitude in Aberdare: The Nukes and Clay Statues

Have you ever made a spur of the moment decision and gone off on a whim, chasing a gut feeling? And don’t you just love it when this pays off? Well, I recently trucked off up to Aberdare in the valleys of South Wales on one of these whims. This particular whim was to go and check out a couple of bands from Aberdare whom I had only just come across thanks to a good friend who lives there. The bands I went to see play were The Nukes and Clay Statues, and I was so pleased to find that the journey was well worth it, as both bands played blinding sets at The Glandover Arms.

The opening band of the night was Say When!, a young indie rock band. These guys played with great enthusiasm, but I have to say that they did not really do much for me. Their style of rock just blended into the vast collection of so many other similar bands who sadly fail to stand out from this bland majority of young and enthusiastic acts.

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Voodoo Johnson perservere and hit the road with Europe

We all know that nothing comes easy in this world. In the music business, this is exaggerated and taken to the extreme on many occasions for so many bands. The most recent example of this that I have come across is the recent situation that Voodoo Johnson have encountered.

Late in August of last year, the band released their debut album, “10,000 Horses” (and these stallions are all pure thoroughbred heavyweight beasts).  The album was produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Lost Prophets, Bullet for a Valentine and many more) and is an excellent piece of kick-ass, solid rock. There are eleven tracks (actually, ten plus one bonus track!) and each of these justifies the need for the entire rock world to take a listen and prepare for the voodoo that these boys do.

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Rock and Roll Photo Essay – The Rebel Reviewer Revisits Motorhead

lemmy coverMotorhead

The Sound Academy

Toronto, Ontario

September 2, 2009-09-07

Last time I saw Motorhead, Lemmy was touring with guitarist Wurzel, longtime drummer, Phil “the Animal” Taylor and guitarist Phil Campbell. It was February 13, 1988 in London Ontario, I went solely to see Lemmy open for Alice Cooper, who, at the time, I didn’t really give two shits about.

Now it could have been the double hit of purple microdot I was on, or it could just be the fact that it was and still stands as THEE best show I’ve ever seen. Not only did I get my face ripped off by the mighty Motorhead but I also found out that night why so many people love Alice Cooper.