Welcome to the firecrackers-strapped-to-your-Rust-Belt column “Welcome To Pittsburgh,” as today we find ourselves entranced by stars yet lamenting another fine night of noise at the Polish Hill dive bar/cheap beer institution Gooski’s. It’s been a week and change now and we just barely got sober enough to write this ourselves. Well, there was no clear frontrunner or headliner bathing in Gooski’s familiar blue and blood-red neon lights the other night, as a four-band bill of Pittsburgh troublemakers stormed the stage. While Popdose favorites T-Tops drew down the curtain in truly rollicking, drunken fashion with a handful of new songs and a shitload of energy, Horehound and Del Rios held their own and then some with sets full of venom and vigor, not to mention enough metallic and hard-rawk vitriol to keep the crowd knocked back on its heels. Old Dream opened the night with an enveloping set of trippy guitar loops, deceptively quiet glue. Del Rios’ songs like “Blood River” show why these guys are straddling an interesting intersection of the hard-rock, punk and metal scenes here …
Editor’s note: In this installment of EhOr, Jay Kumar looks back at Canadian power trio Triumph, who used a combination of hard rock and showmanship to put together a successful, if sometimes under the radar, career. Big riffs. Booming drums. Hot solos. Anthemic choruses. Upbeat lyrics. Endless touring. Lights, lasers and pyro. From a hard rock standpoint, Triumph had it all. It wasn’t enough to translate into big-time U.S. success like their compatriots Rush, but the band made its mark on AOR radio and as a successful arena rock touring act. The power trio first formed in 1975 in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, where drummer/vocalist Gil Moore and bassist Mike Levine were looking for a guitarist to round out their band. They joined forces with Rik Emmett, who had been playing in a band called Act III. Moore and Levine were already very business-savvy and had lined up a number of gigs before Emmett joined. Moore wrote blues-based hard rock songs, while Emmett’s contributions had more of a prog-rock feel with classically-inspired guitar parts. …
Editor’s note: In this ongoing series of posts about Canadian AOR acts of yore, Jay Kumar looks back at Toronto hard rockers Coney Hatch. The hard rock and metal scene in the early 1980s was jam-packed. In the U.S., Van Halen led the way, providing inspiration for a slew of homegrown bands featuring flamboyant frontmen and virtuoso guitar gods. In Europe, mainstays like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest competed with upstarts like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Scorpions and many others. And in Canada, Rush, Triumph and April Wine were the pacesetters. It was from that last scene that Coney Hatch emerged, quickly gaining notice in their homeland but never progressing beyond footnote status south of the border. Coney Hatch was a four-piece out of Toronto named after the London mental asylum Colney Hatch. Formed in 1980 by bassist-singer Andy Curran and drummer Dave Ketchum, the band didn’t really pick up steam until singer-guitarist Carl Dixon and lead guitarist Steve Shelski joined a year later. The band caught the eye of Pye Dubois, who made his name …
In 2010, Canada’s hard-rocking duo the Unravelling released their debut album to critical acclaim; the press dubbed it an “industrial-infused metal masterpiece.” They showed true promise of channeling venerated bands like Tool, NIN, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and others. Then, one year later, they were forced to put their dreams on hold when lead singer Steve Moore fell ill. He spent the next year and a half in surgery and recovery. The future of the Unravelling was, indeed, unraveling. But, behind the scenes, Moore’s partner in crime, Gustavo De Beauville, was honing his production skills and working on keeping up the momentum and even released some solo work. Then, as Moore recovered, the duo came back together and began to work on their first new tracks in years. One might expect a band that’s been on hiatus to ease themselves back into the game, but not these guys. Their first single, “Revolt,” is perhaps the most aptly titled comeback song of all time. As Moore says, “The song was the first piece of new material Gus …
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