Brass Bows- The Storied Life, Know Lyfe @ The Pyramid Scheme 6/2/12

June 8, 2012 in Local Bands

For those of you who might have missed out on this past Saturday’s show at The Pyramid Scheme, you missed a great time with an eclectic pairing of local bands from all over MI.

The night started off with newcomers Brass Bows from Kalamazoo. This band is made up of former members of Kalamazoo outfit Their Teeth Will Be Of Lions, as well as current members of Terror Terror Oh My! For those of you who may not have ever seen this previous outfit, to say that they were a hybrid of a lot of musical styles is to put it mildly. They were always entertaining and had a penchant for being on some of the best bills around town, a show at the Strutt with then relatively unknown Foxy Shazzam comes to mind. Knowing all of this I was very excited to hear what this band was going to sound like. When putting this show together leader singer Jay said it was like t.t.w.b.o.l, but a little darker. The band came out and didn’t waste any time getting down to business. While this may have been this bands third show, you could tell this was a band that has honed it’s craft over the years playing in various other bands, and played with such a controlled intensity that you couldn’t not take notice of what they had to say. While their set was short, a blistering 6 songs, and left most of the crowd wanting to hear more. There was a lot of buzz about them the rest of the night. This is definitely a band that you will want to catch the next time they are around town, or if you can’t wait make a little road trip out of it…you won’t be disappointed. Check them out on their Facebook page, there is currently no music, but you can keep up with the band as they work on their new album


The second of the three bands to take the stage is Grand Rapids own The Storied Life. This is a band that has been around locally for awhile and always seems to play around town feverishly and then go into hibernation for a little while. While I know this can be the routine for local bands as they all have day jobs and personal lives that can interfere with being able to play as often as their fans may want, it has never deterred me from dropping everything just so I can go see this phenomenal band. A friend of mine who was around for their sound check made the comment “This was worth my $5 alone, they sounds amazing…and this is just a soundcheck.” This band sounds really loud, I’d be willing to put them against most “metal” bands as far as sheer volume. The main difference is The Storied Life know how to maintain control over being a loud band and using it to add dynamics within their songs that keep the listener aurally satisfied. Lead singer Jordan has a voice that is very much his own and is refreshing to hear from someone who is tired of hearing singers try and sound like someone else. Throughout the night it was clear that each member knows how to play their instruments proficiently, but that it wasn’t about showcasing their individual talents, but only playing the necessary parts to compliment the song as a whole. The band played mostly new stuff that will be appearing on their long awaited new EP due out sometime within this year.


Last up was Know Lyfe from Lansing. This band has been around for over 10 years now and are considered veterans of the Michigan metal/hardcore scene. This band are one of those bands that everyone knows and seems to kind of be a joke to many people..that is until everyone sees how lean and mean this band has become over the last few years. It should be noted that this band has adapted over the years to stay relevant over the years, something most of their peers can’t say as they are no longer around, without sounding like they are trying to cash in on the latest “it” sound. As a listener one of the few bands I could ever compare Know Lyfe’s career to would be that of the Deftones, always changing and keeping their existing fan base while expanding and gaining new fans with every new release. This is truly a band that has to be seen to be believed. They play with such raw emotion and conviction, where any notion of them being a joke goes right out the window. While playing a set comprised of mostly newer tunes off their new album “Empire of Wolves” and some of the crowd favorites from “On Cold Hands and Dark Waters” It’s songs like “Kobraki” and new single “Oceans” that showcase the broad spectrum of this bands songwriting. The first being a straight shit kicker with a pummeling riff that’s met with a ferocious rhythm section that shakes your senses only to bring a chorus that is very reminiscent of something you’d find on a Sevendust record. While “Oceans” is more of that slow, groove oriented song that’s meant to make you focus on the lyrics, with a chorus that’s hummable even if you don’t actually know the lyrics. This band puts it’s all into their live shows and is appreciative of everything they have, as was made evident by them constantly thanking the crowd for being there, thanking the bands that were on the bill by name, and the venue for treating bands the right way. They will be appearing on this year’s Mayhem festival alongside such notable acts as Slayer, Slipknot and Motorhead to name a few. Listen to songs off their new album “Empire of Wolves” and see when they will be playing near you.

Also want to send out a quick thank you to all the bands for playing this show with such a short amount of heads up. To all the people that came out to support all of these bands, thank you for supporting your friends and sticking around to listen to everyone else as well. Lastly, to the Pyramid Scheme for allowing me to put on such a crazy show at their venue. This show was a success because of all of YOU.

-Jonathan Beatty-


Capital City Chaos III

June 6, 2012 in Local Bands

Saturday was a metal-head’s wet dream come to fruition- 12 local metal bands playing all day at the Blackened Moon. What better way to spend a Saturday than listening to metal all day, drinking beer, and eating awesome BBQ?!

The Plague Years and Society Kills were the first bands of the day and were a great starting point with their punk meets metal style. As The Plague Years commented, it was like the breakfast club. I’m assuming because metal-heads have a bunch of issues and 2 o’clock in the afternoon is pretty early for metal fans. But we did it right- liquor bottles half way empty, beers constantly cracking, and rockin’ out to each band.

Dead Against showed the crowd what they were in store for the rest of the day- solid, hard-hitting, chugging, in-your-face metal. Their breakdowns seemed to grab your head and pull you right into their songs.

The day was filled with Lansing favorites. The show’s mastermind, Adam Ray, said that he asked his band members (All Ends Black) to pick two of their favorite local bands and that was how the line-up started to come together.

Hillside Barrier, Dozic, All Ends Black and Genocya were all in attendance and all proved that Lansing has an amazing group of musicians. They all guarantee a good show and great music.

Hillside Barrier’s “End Game,” is about getting rid of all the stupid people, which is something we can all agree should be done. Dozic puts on a high-energy show that keeps the crowd head-banging and moving around.

All Ends Black’s “Tormentor” has the true essence of metal and of the scene, which is probably why the floor was filled with people. Genocya proved to be one of Lansing’s favorites when the crowd started screaming along to “Frozen in Fear.” They also proved why they have the nickname Drunkocya.

One of the best qualities of local scenes is the mutual support. One person in almost every band was sporting another band’s shirt. True metal love. Not to mention the constant shit-talking between the bands.

Hillside Barrier said if you liked them to check them out and if you didn’t like them their name was Hokori. Hokori’s lead singer, Kenn, joked about he’ll fist Hillside’s singer Scott. Besides being funny, Hokori has locomotion to their music that truly drives through each song, and the chugging and scream style of death metal.

One Without Reason added some new style to the night by bringing back a sense of the old-school nu-metal sound. They sound like Rage Against the Machine meets an angrier version of Limp Bizkit meets a heavier version of Linkin Park. Ray of All Ends Black joined them on stage for a song that made everyone throw their hands up as if saying “Fuck yeah!”

The headliner of the night was It Lies Within. The crowd was antsy with anticipation and that energy level rose when the set started. Zach Main, singer, said it was the best show they’ve played in a while.

“We’ve played shows with Hillside Barrier growing up and we met Bon [Jasso, Blackened Moon] and Adam [Ray, All Ends Black] and we’ve been waiting to play a show here,” said Main.

They come through with a somewhat scream-core style, due to the pop-like singing. The electronic beats that back them up add a new level to their sound. “The Watcher” had an old-school start and seamlessly drifted to a newer sound- went from head-banging to jumping around.

The night was a huge success. Everyone had a blast, got their drink on and got to play and/or listen to great music. Ray said that no one had to listen to a shitty band and he’s not sure how he is going to top himself for next year.

If next year is going to top this one then everyone better hold on tight for Capital City Chaos IV.

– Alyssa Gienapp –

Check out some videos of the local bands that played this awesome event here and thanks to Welcome To This World for recording some awesome songs on this great night of metal!

Sleepeater, Pan, The Apostles, Lost in Translation 4-13-12 @Louie’s [KZO]

April 30, 2012 in Local Bands

Friday the 13th is a night of freaky superstitions and apparently awesome rock shows. Louie’s was the perfect venue for a hellish good time. The drinks are strong and cheap and the music never ended.

The first band to take the stage was Lost in Translation. This three piece group is made up of Ryan P who cannot just be titled as a drummer, Tanner N. on guitar and Jud C. who carries the bass line.  They are an instrumental band that mixes styles, sounds, feelings and noises that are uncommon in most instrumental groups. Tanner has a really awesome and fresh approach to his tone and guitar styles. He regularly follows Jud through the main melodic riff in the song that keeps your mind on a music treadmill. Tanner uses different chord progressions to build the song up all while gently letting it fall down around you in unsuspicious time signatures. Jud has a great bass sound and I really enjoyed his style. He used both his fingers and a pick to get the right feel of the song and he is a great addition to their sound. As I stated before Ryan is not just a drummer. Inspiring to watch, he plays his set with ease and confidence. He switches up time signatures and drumming styles to create an unworldly sound. I would love to see that kid do some blast beats sometime but this band harvests their mellower side and creates a beautiful sound that I wouldn’t want to change. Ryan has the chops to do almost any style of music and he has already created a name for himself in the local scene with his technique. All of these guys are really amazing artists and I cannot wait to see where they take their music over the next few years. Go check these guys out as soon as possible.

Lost in Translation on Facebook

Pan. I don’t even know where to start with this band. Everybody who knows me personally knows that doom/sludge/stoner rock is my favorite type of metal and this group really did it for me! I had heard about this band from a friend who told me they were from up north and played some evil sounding doom/sludge heavy metal and was given their first EP to check out. When I put that cd in my car stereo that night I knew right then that I had to see what these guys were like live. This trio is made up of Ken Kline on drums, Chris Boris on guitar/vocals and John Carey on bass. Ken’s drumming was heavy and hard hitting through the entire set. His right foot was kicking on that bass drum in perfect time all while interchanging the double bass pedal and high hat with his left foot. John followed Ken’s beat and adding upon their sound a deep rich tone that filled the room. When the time came in the song to s-l-o-w the fuck down you could hear his low and grimy bass scraping the bottom pits of your soul. When I listened to that EP that night there were no vocals but much to my delight Chris showed up with his awesome riffs and guttural growls. The music wasn’t heavy on the vocals which I thought was really interesting because he really has amazing chops in regards to scary noises but their music speaks for itself. Honestly with their dope riffs and interesting time signatures they wouldn’t even need vocals to appease me, but having them is the cherry on top. I could write more about this band and their new album “advent” because that is even more awesome,  but you should probably just go have a listen to their stuff for yourself.

Pan on Facebook
Pan on Reverbnation

The Apostles are loud! Hell yes they are. These dudes came to rock out, and rock out they did. Their facebook page says that this band was raised by wolves in a brush pile and I could totally get behind that. This band in made up by Adam Rossell- guitar/vocals, Matt Younker on drums, Josh Stacey- Guitar and Evan Wiley Bass. This band’s music just sounds like a kick ass party that you are wasted at throughout the entire set. It makes you want to jump around and chug PBR, well it did for me anyways. Adam’s vocals are all encompassing and cover the bands unique sound very well. Josh has some really awesome riffs that were perfect to headbang along with. Matt keeps a tight grip on his drumming and follows a great beat that is easy to follow along with. The bass that is played by Evan fills out the band and gives a huge full sound that the Apostles are known for. These guys were really enjoyable to watch play and I really enjoyed how they mixed their sludgy sound with different styles. Every song leaves you anticipating and wondering what’s next? Go to these guy’s show and party it up!

The Apostles on Facebook 

Sleepeater is a hard band for me to review if I can be completely honest. Obviously I’m bias but it’s not because the lead singer happens to be my boyfriend, it’s because I have seen this band play more than any other local band. I have seen them evolve from an idea and transform their idea into the flesh. I have watched their recordings, listened in on important decisions on their EP “The psalm of Capricorn” and spoken to so many people who have fallen in love with this group.  Sleepeater is made up of Mark Baum- guitar, DJ- Bass/Vocals, Ben Boggs- Vocals,  Charlie Cook- Guitar/Vocals Ben Zeeuw – Drums. As soon as their set starts this group gives it all. They take you on a ride of cognizance that is filled with heavy mind tearing riffs and beautiful chords. Their sound is all encircling and it’s easy to close your eyes and listen to the story they are telling you with their lyrics and music. All I can recommend is that you go see this band’s live show. They can take you from cowboy be-bop to funky psychedelic all in one set and leave you wanting for more. They were a perfect end to a perfect Friday the 13th.

Sleepeater on Facebook

By: Keshia Driscoll

Cannibal Corpse 4-15-2012 @The Intersection [GR]

April 30, 2012 in National Bands

First of all I want to day that the show was amazing. The lineup was solid.

Starting the show off was Arkaik; they were s fantastic, considering the lack of crowd participation. Abysmal Dawn was next, and their set was great due to the fact the lead singer/guitarist’s stage presence. Exhumed was fuckin’ killer not much to say about them other than that these openers were all Cali boys! Lol

Next came cannibal corpse FUCKIN A! They were great. Though I did notice that there were a few technical problems, that didn’t seem to matter. The show was amazing and fulfilling mentally speaking.

THE PIT!!! During the Cannibal set the Pit came alive like I have never witnessed before. I have to mention that little Latina chick that busted a dude str8 in the face And broke his shit!!!!! Blood flew everywhere!! hahaha  Sad to say that was the only time I saw someone get his in the pit that show.

The show for me was a total skyrocket/\!!!

By: Colby Heenan