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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Live at the Cambie

The last couple of weekends found me at the Cambie Bar, my favorite haunt in Nanaimo....yeah, that's right, I was on the wrong side of town and let me tell you rockers...they were fucking doing it right!  A week ago I was there for Carry the Storm and Under the Mountain and this past weekend the rock continued with SplitTRACT, Soundstem and Nanaimo favorites and home boys No Operator!

Last week Carry the Storm opened the night with their unique brand of metal.  It doesn't matter what kind of metal you're into, Carry the Storm has created a sound that seems to blend them all together!  They're my favorite local metal band and they fucking rock the place to it's foundations everytime they play.  Oh, I should also mention that they were the judges favorite at the VIU (Vancouver Island University) Battle of the Bands and actually got paid!  I hear their winnings are going into the artwork for their upcoming EP!  I can't wait for that release!

Under The Mountain are the fucking hard rockers that took home honors at this past year's Cambie Battle of the Bands and they never disappoint....though I'm really starting to wonder if Steve (lead vocals and guitar) knows how to play without a hangover...everytime I catch them he's well, under the weather, let alone under the mountain.  Doesn't seem to fucking matter....they kill it everytime!  They too are promising an upcoming EP release!

This week the I was treated to Vancouver's SplitTRACT and was fucking blown away by the incredible talent of this band.  Hard Rock is their style and man, they are fucking tight!  I'm not the only one noticing either...local radio stations have picked up on their sound and have been sending it over the airwaves.  I highly suggest  you pick up their EP while it's still dirt cheap...these boys have the makings to make it big and it won't be long before their merch goes up in price - and rightly so! And dare I say...not hard on the eyes either.  Oh fuck it, check them out for yourself....


Next up was another Vancouver band, Soundstem, and what a great set!  Randy...killer bassist for SplitTRACT did double duty and played bass for this band as well!  I feel I know Randy well because after every song he played (for both bands) an enthusiastic fan (I believe his name was Geoff - don't know if that's how he spells his name, he just struck me as a Geoff with a G...) yelled out "I love you Randy" ....not in a gay way (not that there's anything wrong with that) but in a drunken friend at 2:00 am way.  Well I fucking agree Geoff...I fucking love him too!  This band has been around for a while and played originals off both their CDs as well as a covers of Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and Billy Idol's Rebel Yell!  One of the originals they played is Erase and also the first track on their CD Tomorrow can Wait....check it out rockers....


Headlining the show was No Operator and also what drew me to the Cambie for a second weekend in a row.  These guys are fucking amazing!  I missed their show a couple of months back and was heartbroken....stupid winter weather...and there was no fucking way I was going to miss this one!  There's a reason these guys are the fucking beaus of the ball in Nanaimo!  No Operator has managed to find the perfect blend, a clean sound that appeals to rock fans yet hard enough for metal fans to throw their horns in the air and start a mosh pit.  And oh yes....there was definitely a pit!  Their high energy is contagious and they had the joint jumping!    Goes to show you don't need a large stage to move around because these boys used every bit of that small stage and put on a show like no other! 

There is something else I need to share with you about No Operator.  These boys are just more than pretty faces!  I've had the opportunity to really dig into their latest CD Weather and War (not a hard feat considering I own it) and not only am I impressed by their incredible talent as musicians but also by their intelligence.  Their songs are rife with political opinions and they're using their gift of music to not only open ears, but minds as well.  I have to admit, I had a hard fucking time trying to choose just one of No Operator's songs to share with you!  I chose this one because it's just so fucking hauntingly beautiful.....


These bands fucking rocked to a packed house and I have to congratulate Amber McGrath for a job well done in bringing talent like this to our appreciative ears!  But that's not all I'm congratulating this awesome chick for!  Saturday marked the 150th show she's brought to Nanaimo's Cambie Bar and I for one am grateful for her dedication and support of live local music.  The Cambie has been an awesome venue for local bands to stretch their stage performance muscles as well as gain new fans...good job Amber!  Yeah, yeah....I know....I still expect to pay the cover..... ; )

Where can you find more info on these bands?  Well, let me help you out!
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Monday, 14 April 2014

Red Dragon Cartel

Hey rock fans....I heard a new tune by Red Dragon Cartel this past weekend that blew me out of my fucking shoes for a couple of reasons.  One ....well, simply put, Redeem Me is a fucking rocking tune.  Second it features my girl Sass Jordan.

Red Dragon Cartel is the new band featuring Jake E. Lee, prior guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne.  Bark at the Moon...remember that little ditty?  Well, though the writing credits went solely to Osbourne, Jake E. Lee and Bob Daisley were major contributors to the composition of that song in addition to the performance of it! Jake E. has been a contributor to many projects since those days with Ozzy and they all lead to the awesomeness of Red Dragon Cartel.

Montreal, Canada's own Sass Jordan is not a member of Red Dragon Cartel but an outstanding featured guest vocalist!  I was blown away to hear Sass's incredible vocals featured on this album mainly because, though a Canadian icon, many of my American friends haven't had the pleasure of hearing her.  Not surprising really...not many of our Canadian talents break through into the American music market...shame guys don't know what you're missing.  So, in doing some research of the incredibly talented Jake E. Lee, I found Sass isn't his only Canadian connection.

Beginning with the obvious his current drummer in Red Dragon Cartel is Vancouver, British Columbia native Jonas Fairley.  I also learned that the first tune Jake E. learned to play on the guitar was The Guess Who's No Time....some of you may remember The Guess Who, that little Canadian group from the 70s and 80s (understated....fucking super group!!).



The Red Dragon Cartel is made up of Jake E. Lee, Ronnie Mancuso, Jonas Fairley and Darren James Smith and in addition to Sass they've featured some awesome guest talent on their first album including vocalist Robin Zander from Cheap Trick; Iron Maiden original vocalist Paul Di’Anno; former bassist from Pantera, Rex Brown; Slash’s Conspirator’s, Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz; and Five Finger Death Punch's Jeremy Spencer. Just released earlier this year if you haven't had a chance to check it can take my word for it - Red Dragon Cartel's self-titled first album is definitely worth your listen!  Pick it up and commence rockin out!  Pure rock and fucking roll baby......... ;)

Check out more by Red Dragon Cartel and order their album at >

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Shotgun Rebellion

What are friends for if they can't turn you on to new things that you're gonna love?  Maybe a girlfriend lets you know about a great sale on shoes, or a buddy tells you how to pirate the blacked-out game.  Well, my friends tend to turn me on to great new music and then I, being the fucking awesome friend I am (as I'm sure you will attest to), share it with you.  That's the case this week, because my friends Red and Jay from the podcast We're Right, You're Wrong turned me on to Shotgun Rebellion and let me make myself clear, I am fucking turned on!!

Shotgun Rebellion has created and named their unique brand of rock and roll as Outlaw Metal!  I fucking love it!  It fits!  Combining elements of Southern Rock, Country, Hard Rock and Metal they have brought it all together to create a sound that's new and retro all at the same fucking time.  Don't believe me?  Check out their newly released video for Roll On....



Nowhere near a one hit wonder, Shotgun Rebellion has become an easy and fast favorite of mine and for good reason.  If you need another reason, maybe you should check out more.  Here, let me make it easy for you...


Comprised of Rick Davis - guitars and vocals, Wes Wallace - lead guitar, Johni Walker - drums, and Jon Parr- Bass, I have definitely found 4 rock n roll outlaws to fucking crush on!  I hear Shotgun Rebellion and I close my eyes and imagine these bad-asses rolling into town on steel steeds, long hair and tattooed,  and not only do I get thirsty for whiskey but also for .....well..... that might be a story for The Cat House...... ; )

You can get their tunes here > iTunes.... best fucking 10 bucks you'll ever spend.  And you can stalk 'em on Twitter, Facebook, ReverbNation and YouTube.  You might even find me hiding in the bushes!