Sunday, October 28, 2007

Festival Of Guns

Earlstown Winter will be playing as part of SPM Music's annual Festival Of Guns. Check out the show on Friday November 16th at The Railway club, 579 Dunsmuir St
Vancouver, BC. Show starts at 9:00pm.

Earlstown Winter

Friday, August 31, 2007

new format for the roller

Hello Steamroller reader. That is if that last reader is still even around, either way... So since The Steamroller has been inactive due to a number of different reasons, I have been forced to take a look at a new format for this blog. I have considered a few options as in, celebrity nude photo's and gossip, questions & answers regarding steamrollers, Micheal Vick - from a dog's viewpoint, or maybe even a page dedicated completely to Nickelback, and who they had blow for their success. Now these are all awesome ideas, but after much deliberation at the latest Steamroller board meeting with me and myself (I was on vacation), I have decided to go with a more personalized, traditional approach to this blog. Although this blog was originally designed to feature up and coming bands, and report indie music news on behalf of my indie record label Worn Records, that is going to slightly change as well. I will still report relevant indie music news, and do reviews for bands, but not as regularly. I plan on simply writing about a wider variety of topics. Whatever comes to mind that day. It could be music related. It could be about my record label, or about any of my bands, or projects I'm working on. Or it could be about the weather, or sports, or politics. I don't even know for sure yet. All I know is that I generally have a lot to say, so I may as well dump it on my blog. And until I can run and maintain a proper music blog, i figure this is the best way to go.

So anyway, thanks for your patience during this transitional period here at The Steamroller, and thanks to all the bands who have participated in the Indie Band Showdown over the last year. Feel free to continue sending me music to check out, but I am going to reserve publishing any reviews for bands and artists that leave a real lasting impression. Laters!

John Simmonds

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Willis In My Head

Former Vancouver, B.C. power pop/rock/punk/ska explosion, Willis, is currently working on a 10 year anniversary album, so to speak. They have been "on hiatus" since 1999, but have recently felt the need to re-record their back catalogue and release it as a complete album once and for all. This semi popular local band had the potential to break through, but never quite pulled it off before disbanding, and moving on to many other projects over the following decade. They released a couple of e.p.'s including 1998's "Steamroller" which drew some significant attention.

The songs are catchy and infectious and at times, even a bit quirky. Fronted by the fun, easy going lyrics of Amy Ferguson, and a rhythm section that powers it's way to the fore front, Willis is timeless. The back catalogue sounds as relevant today as it did 10 years ago, and this upcoming album is a sure thing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Where are we?

As many of you have noticed, or perhaps you haven't, The Steamroller E-Zine has been inactictive for some time. We have had a difficult time keeping a consistent writing team, and this has forced us to re-think our format. At present we have not decided whether or not to continue with the indie band showdown, or simply do away with it and try to bring it back in the future.

I would also like to thank all the bands who have submitted their music for review, and apologize to those who we have not yet reviewed. In the meantime, while we work out our new format, if anybody would be interested in contributing to this blog in any way please email us with your ideas, comments, suggestions etc. We want to continue serving the independent music scene, and hope to be back on track soon. Thanks for your patience.

John Simmonds

Friday, April 27, 2007

Zero Mass

Zero Mass was founded in 2002 by Matt Poland & others. After a year long struggle, according to their Myspace Page , they regained control of their band in 2004 and Zero Mass was formed. An additional band member was added in 2005, but again, the band was found to be a solo act after some trouble. In late 2006 Harrison Leong and Matthew Lucas joined the band by playing drums and bass. And to my delight, their sound is one that puts you in the mood to get on your feet and toss yourself around like a rag doll.

As I listened to their selection of music that they have for us all to enjoy on their Myspace page, I felt a surge of energy and a jolt of excitement. The guitar in Zero Mass' music rides through you like lightening and you toss your head as you listen to the beat of the drums, and as you feel like you're about to explode, you get the bass.

I'm not usually a huge fan of music that has many instrumental riffs in it, but I seemed to enjoy the instrumental bits a lot, but they were a bit short for my liking. I couldn't really nail down who the lead singer sounded like, so I came to the conclusion that he was a mixture between Billy Corgan & Fred Durst... if you can imagine that. I am no music professional by any means, but I know what I like, and I think I could flip on their CD and listen to it in its entirety over and over again.

Although they are currently playing in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm sure it will not be long before we see these boys on a tour of their own, and hopefully they will roll into Vancouver and let me in on some backstage action! (not in the biblical sense of course. maybe for an interview). I give them a solid AC Slater, and I hope you all check them out, I'm off to buy their CD!

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
A.C. Slater

huh? what the hell does that mean?


Your Fav writer

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Social Distortion in Vancouver B.C.

Let me start off by bringing you up to speed. I found out several weeks ago that Social Distortion was coming to Vancouver to play the Commodore Ballroom on April 16th. I later found out that they added a second show. However, as soon as I heard about the first show, I ran inside and got on to purchase tickets. I soon realized that after all the bullshit charges and reach around taxes, that it came to just over $97 for a pair of tickets! "Wow, thats a lot for a punk rock show." I thought.

(this is my drunken rant after the show...)

Now, I have spent more than that on an arena show many times before, despite saying every time that I won't attend another one again. I mean what's the point of spending upwards of $75 per ticket to sit a mile away from the band, confined to your tiny, horribly uncomfortable seat, and experiencing probably the worst possible acoustics imaginable. Time and time again I would do this only to regret the money spent every time. So what do you do if your favorite band is past the playing clubs stage, and attracts more than the 1500 fans, and needs to play a larger venue? Well, for that I don't have an answer that works for everyone. I suppose they could do what Social Distortion did, and play 2 nights at a cool club like the Commodore? But what if they attract a good size under 19 audience? I'm sure lots of kids would have loved to see the legendary Social D, but couldn't. Or, they could play one bullshit show at the PNE Forum, (5000 plus sports arena)? Yeah you can make it all ages, and have a beer garden (with an hour long line-up), but at what cost? The show itself is the shits because you're in a barn and it sounds like it. Now, you can even make it general seating so your not confined to your little cell, but the place is still so big that unless you want to get into the PIT and mosh with the stinky jocko's and over sweaty pre teen emo kids, your stuck a mile away again. The other option that bands seem to exercise is the amphitheater show. I've seen some good shows in these type of venues, but it really depends on the type of band. I still don't like being confined to my seat, but if it's a chilled out show, and I'm able to get a few beers in before taking my seat, I can sometimes deal with it. I saw Wilco a few times in these type of venues and enjoyed the shows immensely. But I've seen others in these same venues, and the show and the band really suffered. My favorite place to see a band is by far a small club. The smaller the better as far as I'm concerned. I've been to shows, seeing pretty large bands, and practically been on stage watching them. Or maybe I just want to be able to have a beer and walk around freely and check the band out from various vantage points in the building? To me this is the ultimate, and the only downside I see, is the non-all ages aspect. Sorry kids, you'll understand when you're a bit older.
(end of drunken rant after the show...)

This brings me to the show. As I mentioned earlier, I was a little miffed about having to spend $50 each on a pair of tickets to a punk rock show at a bar, but having said that, I would rather spend that kind of money and be happy with the show and the venue. The Vancouver crowd was warmed up by the bands I Hate Kate, and local heroes, The Black Halo's. I Hate Kate was alright, nothing special though. The Black Halo's were really cool. Great back-up vocals, and Billy Hopeless is quite the performer. And then, the moment I've been waiting for since 1997's Van's Warped Tour!

The band takes the stage and starts jamming, only to allow a dramatic entrance for punk legend Mike Ness. Ness straps on his ax sporting a paper boy hat and a bandanna covering his face, making him look like a punk rock hobo. He rips into a lead riff and and the pumped up crowd ignites. The jam halts, and they bust into "Reach For The Sky" off their latest record, "Sex, Love, and Rock N' Roll". They blast out about 5 or 6 songs before the inevitable rants from Mike Ness begin. However to be fair, he was pretty good about them on this night, keeping them pretty short. They continued on with favorites like, "Ball and Chain", "Sick Boy", "Mommy's Little Monster", "Prison Bound", and "Bye Bye Baby". They even played the covers, "Under My Thumb", "Ring Of Fire", and the Chuck Berry tune "Maybelline". Surprisingly absent from their set were three of my favorite Social D songs, "I Was Wrong", "Cold Feelings", and "Making Believe".

Although their performance didn't blow me away with their stage show, or give me anything above or beyond my expectations, what they did was completely satisfy my Social Distortion craving. I've wanted to see them for a second time for years, and finally got to. I was looking forward to this show perhaps more so than any other for quite some time, and it didn't disappoint. The sound was pretty good for a punk show, and the Commodore is always a treat. I love seeing 4 musicians on stage that genuinely appear to love what they do. They played their guts out, and left me wanting more. I could have easily listened for another hour, but they new better than to outstay their welcome. I enjoyed it so much so, that I considered purchasing a ticket to the second show, but didn't. $50 for Social D at the Commodore is a bargain as far as I'm concerned, and I envy the lucky folks that got to see night number 2, and the rest of the Canadian dates on this tour. Social D Kicks Ass!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ours To Destroy - Review

Ours To Destroy describe themselves as an "anarchist folk abstract". In fact on their website, they reach out for fan participation in classifying their genre, as well as contributing to their next album. I was actually quite impressed with their website, even though I'm supposed to be reviewing their music.

Keeping in mind that this band is not your average pop/rock band, I was instantly intrigued by them. Having been my given my choice of band to write about, after hearing 10 seconds of "Checkmate", I new this was the band for me. As I listened more and read more about them I realized why I like them so much. They list their influences as Modest Mouse, Wilco, Ween, The Eels, the Flaming Lips, and Mark Lanegan. I can hear all of these bands within their sound and would even add Frank Zappa and The Drive By Truckers. I really enjoyed the folk country feel of "Two Thousand Sunsets", and "Skipping Rope OF Daisies". Our To Destroy seem to pride themselves on creating a mood with each song.

Out of the 5 songs on their website I would have to say "Exorcising Demons" was my favorite, but each is so different form the last it's truly difficult to pick a favorite. They are all so much their own sound, and they are all "bridged by sound montages captured during several guerilla recording sessions on the streets and in the malls of Calgary during 2005", according to their bio.

From a production standpoint, everything sounds polished and professional. The performances are all excellent, with at some times so much going on it leaves you having to listen again just to catch what you missed the first time around. There is some really nice guitar work, and vocally everything seems to fit. The samples are very tasteful, and a great use of percussion.

Ours To Destroy won't be for everyone, but anyone with an appreciation for good writing, and originality should give them a listen.

Ours To Destroy

"saved by the bell - rock rating"

huh? what the hell does that mean?


Friday, April 13, 2007


Going over Wireless' myspace page, the first sense was of a band that wants to rock out, wants to MAKE IT. After a cursory listen I felt like the best option in reviewing Wireless would be to enlist the aid of my 14 year old daughter. She patiently listened, and told me she'd like them if she heard them on the radio. Not a ringing endorsement, but fourteen year olds tend to regard anything a parent asks them about as automatically and fatally infected with uncoolness, so take it with a grain of salt. For all I know she's singing their songs 'n' praises to her squealing friends as we speak.
My own impression is one of a catchy band with a dense sound, at least on the three tracks I found on their Myspace page ( Nothing revolutionary, but nothing that made me mash the keyboard desperately to escape. "Sold Us Out" is anthemic and driving, with a nice singalong chorus. I'll actually download this one and add it to the playlist. "Bad Dream" has a little more honkytonk to it, with a nice effect on the voice. "I Won't Be Free" is the least interesting to me of the three, a bit standard and expected.
I'd say Wireless is a good add to the playlist, especially if you drive a lot and want to sing along. I bet they rock out live...they have a kind of "over-studioed" sound that always makes me think of a group that loves killing on stage, riffing and going off on solos and whatnot.

From their page:
"Hailing from Harwich, a miserable Essex coastal town, formerly a significant port but now in decline and left for dead, Wireless were launched to alleviate the boredom of their depressing home town.
Taking their time to develop their song-writing and stage-craft, Wireless drew on the experience of local bands and influences such as Doves, The Jam, Stereophonics and The Beatles to make sure, when they hit the stage people took notice. And they did.
Quickly building a fanatical loyal following, the bands blistering set of original songs has earnt them a reputation for exhilarating live performances and an excellent night out. Regular visits to London with coach-loads of fans and a summer festival gig playing to 4000 people in support of The Levellers have cemented their reputation as one of the best bands on the Essex scene.
2007 will see Wireless pushing hard for the recognition that is surely due."

Paul - Guitar and Vocals, Dan - Bass and Vocals, Rob - Guitar, Dave - Drums
Harwich, Essex, UK

"saved by the bell - rock rating"

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Friend of Worn Records to perform

Arsenic and Old Lace runs Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Stanley (2750 Granville St.). Tickets are available at 604-687-1644.

Scott Johnston has some big shoes to fill Friday night as he steps outside his comfort zone and prepares to take on a role made famous by Hollywood icon Cary Grant.

Accustomed to playing the villain in previous charity fundraising productions, the Vancouver lawyer and Matthew McNair Secondary grad will this time get a shot as the lead in the black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. The play, which features actors from the legal community, runs for two nights at the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver.

Read the entire article from BC News Group

My long time friend Scott Johnston takes the stage again at the famous Stanley Theatre in Vancouver. I've seen Scott perform in nearly everything he's done since grade 8. I know it's not rock and roll, but let's get out there and support!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


You know that cover band that plays every Thursday night at that bar down the street from you? The one that just can't let you possibly get through the night without hearing their overly enthusiastic take on "Brown Eyed Girl" or "Hotel California"? The kind of band that have obviously spent a lot of time practicing their sweet licks and can bang off "Sweet Child of Mine" without even breaking a sweat, but have still ended up playing to a bunch of bleary-eyed middle aged women in a suburban strip mall bar?

Well have you ever wondered what would happen if one of these "bands" decided to stop playing "Rock the Casbah" for five minutes and made an original album? Well, look no further because Arlington's own Vent have made the nightmare a reality.

With album artwork that looks like the cover to some kind of pornographic video game, I was already a little apprehensive, but decided to give it a listen anyway. What I found was the most horrible amalgamation of everything that is bad about 70's, 80's and 90's rock all in one convenient package. Like every worst moment of Journey, Poison and Nickelback all at once. The only thing I feel I can say is at least I made it through it.

So just remember, the next time you end up at that bar that you said you'd never go to again, and have to listen to "Light My Fire" while you watch a your friends mom stumble around the dance floor with a glass of white wine in her hand. At least that band has the common courtesy to keep their creativity to themselves.

"saved by the bell - rock rating"

huh? what the hell does that mean?

- Clino

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Earlstown Winter @ The Backstage Lounge

Friday, April 13th IMU presents RUN GMC, EARLSTOWN WINTER, DAN SWINIMER & TARL @ The BACKSTAGE LOUNGE on Granville Island (1585 Johnston St.) . 9pm / $10 - Get your advance tickets online at

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Annunaki - Review

The Anunnaki (also transcribed as: Anunnaku, Ananaki) are a group of Sumerian and Akkadian deities related to, and in some cases overlapping with, the Annuna (the 'Fifty Great Gods') and the Igigi (minor gods). The name is variously written "da-nuna", "da-nuna-ke4-ne", or "da-nun-na", meaning something to the effect of 'those of royal blood'[1] or 'princely offspring'[2]. Wikipedia

Well I don't how any of that relates to these five mates from Red Deer Alberta, but I suppose a name can just be a name. Annunaki have only been together since 2004, and based on the songs I am checking out on the bands myspace page, they have some polishing to do on their sound. I could totally see these guys playing a high school, or small town hall dance on a Friday night. You know like that scene at the end of the movie Footloose before Kevin Bacon shows up to get the party rocking? Everyone just kind of sitting there uncomfortably while the music fills the air space in the otherwise silent room.

First off "My Hands Are Tied" starts off with a gentle guitar lick that to me seems slightly out of tune with the rest of the band. It may just be a tremolo effect that's making it sound off, but either way, I wish they had cleaned it up. Otherwise it's a pretty catchy song, highlighted with a wicked guitar solo. Vocally it's fairly dry, nothing unique and honestly no passion behind the lyrics.

Next up is "Taking Over The World". This cut had to me my least favorite out of the bunch. Again there is some nice lead guitar work in there, but the vocals, both lyrically and their delivery are killing this song. I mean does the singer even have a pulse? On their website they claim to pride themselves on their live show. I can only assume they get pumped and put some energy into the vocals on stage.

Last is "These Men". This song starts off with an almost Mark Knopfler kind of feel with some nice picking. It builds up quite nicely before exploding into a skynyrd like instrumental type of chorus. Again the vocals do this song no justice, but it sounds like he's at least trying a little harder on this one. Definitely my favorite out of the three.

For the short time these guys have been together I give them props. They know how to play, and I like the folk, roots rock, country style they're going after. Take some more time in the studio, especially working on the vocals, and you may have something. Nice guitar work, but watch the tuning on the rhythm git. Drums and bass are tight, but nothing exceptional. Having said that, next time I pass through Red Deer, and if they're playing, I'll check these guys out.


"saved by the bell - rock rating"

huh? what the hell does that mean?


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Favored Nation

Ok, so first let me say this, in some miracle of foresight I listened to Favored Nation the first time our wonderful editor asked me to start doing reviews. The first time I listened to this it reminded me of that Kids in the Hall song, "The Daves I know"

Now, being from Toronto, I have never ever heard of these guys, except through Steamroller, and I really found it pretty funny. I don't know if it's supposed to be, but hey, keep em guessing guys, that keeps it interesting.

The Good:

Screaming Pre-Pubescent Girls, Statutory Rape Charges, Trials, Notoriety, Good Family Friendly Sounding Music. You could be the next R. Kelly, and if you keep it in your pants, you'll never have anyone know you like to relieve yourself on chicks.

The Bad:

The Maritimes (where I grew up) have been churning out this kind of music since 1991, and the east side of Canada has been listening to this stuff forever now. Do you really want to aspire to be the next Sloan/Eric's Trip deal, even if you are trying to be funny? The sound is so, well, done. So good luck with that.

All in all, great shoe gazer music, nothing you haven't heard before, but hey, it's not like you've been locked up in a room with Ann Coulter, giving a speech on the decline of morality in America

Joel Out

"saved by the bell - rock rating"

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Karabal Nightlife

Disclaimer: No member of this blog or the reviewer has heard The Karabal Nightlife's "The Other Shore" in it's entirety, only the tracks listed on their Myspace page.

When you listen to a band/song/album for the first time, you often wonder - 'Under what circumstances would I bump this record? Would I play this in my car, driving to work? Is this ideal music for a quick dip in the slough on a warm summers eve?'

I am here to say that The Karabal Nightlife's 'The Other Shore' is fantastic late-night hand job music.

All crassness aside, 'The Other Shore' has the dreamy quality ideal for a first-time grope session on your couch with the cute girl you just met at the bar earlier that night. The guitars are gentle and swirly, the melodies are simple, and the rhythm section is appropriately fragile. Make no mistake - this is scented candle-lightin' music, my friends. Karabal Nightlife front man Jesse Davis' high-pitched vocals warmly recall those of Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue - and in many ways, you could draw a lot of comparison between the two bands. Seriously - how many late night hand-jobs do you think The Rev's 'Deserters Songs' was responsible for? At least 3 in my neck of the woods. Don’t make me connect the dots for you here, people.

These kids have great pedigree, they look cute, and the hooks are there. Toss on the esteem of being mastered by Rick Parker (Black Rebel, Dandy Warhols, Von Bondies, etc), and you're able to easily forget the same-sounding redundancy that sets in after a few spins. Besides - hand-job music isn't about mind-blowing time changes; it's about getting her hands wrapped around that peen of yours, right? Right. And with that in mind, I present to you The Karabal Nightlife. Now just make sure you've got some semi-absorbent towelettes close by.

I'm giving this one a solid Jesse Spano.

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
jesse spano

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Country Night @ The Roxy

This Sunday April 1st, Worn Records recording artists Earlstown Winter are playing country night at The Roxy in Vancouver. This is going to be a great show. I have heard great things about country night at The Roxy, but have never been to it myself. We will have new Earlstown Winter merchandise for sale too. We have shirts, womens tank tops, hats, fridge magnets, buttons, and of course the "Easy Roads, Easy Skies" cd. See you Sunday at The Roxy!

April 1st @ The Roxy

932 Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada, V6Z 1L2
(604) 331-7997

Doors 7pm

Cover $5

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Natalie Illeana

Emergency meeting called! The review for this singer/songwriter comes upon me with a need for quick yet thoughtful insight: the time crunch is upon me. Originally from the Los Angeles area but who recently relocated to small-town Nebraska, this group shows heart and soul in each track that I listened to, one after the other bringing back memories of my youth with their lyrics.

Describing their sound as a fun and quirky listen. "Bored" I found to be one of the most defining yet free-spirited tracks on their website. And I was definitely not bored listening to the screeching sounds of the guitar intros, which knocked my socks off at the beginning of each song. Although, it did seem to me that the music was a bit similar throughout all the tracks I listened to, the rocking lyrics made me quickly put the thought to the back of my mind. I will definitely look for this album to continue my listening pleasure, as should you. You can find some of her songs on Natalie's myspace page or go right to the source My over all rating for this collection of music is an A.C Slater, I think with a bit more time to polish the sound they can really rock the house!

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Saturna - Review

First off, I have to ask, what is "Shoegaze"? On Saturna's myspace page they list their three musical genre's as, indie/rock/shoegaze. Well I tell you, you learn something everyday. Sure enough "Shoegaze" is an actual genre according to Wikipedia. And now that I know what it is I have realized that I'm probably the biggest "shoegazer" in the history of music, not having seen Saturna live yet. Which brings me to their music.

I was able to listen to three songs by this quartet from just south of the border down in Portland, Oregon. My first impression was good, I was intrigued, wanting to listen further, and thats a good sign for sure. I'm sitting in my studio with the speakers just pinned blasting "Pop Rocks". This song first makes me think of The Kills, but way better. It starts with a great beat, followed by a wicked bass line that people could dance to, or just bop their heads. The chorus, while maybe a tad cheesy, comes off really well. This song would go over well at any house party, shindig, get together, or bar mitzvah.

"Just For Thrills" kicks my ass right out of the gate. It starts with that same kind of "Kills" feel, and then busts into a more old school rock tune. It feels like that train that used to pass right by my house when I was a kid. The vocals in the chorus are reminiscent of a somewhat sober Scott Wieland in Velvet Revolver's "Set Me Free". I like that song in case you were wondering.

Lastly, a little gem entitled "Blanket Of Stars" hits my monitors. This song starts off a little slower than the others. It takes about minute before I realize that this is the best song of the bunch. Kind of Deftones, maybe a bit Floyd even, but I think their is really only one word to describe this last song..... Saturna. This song is incredible from the first second to the final fade out. I love the haunting vocals, the distant almost infectious guitar tones. This song just melts together.

Saturna is a band that I would love to watch live. I enjoyed their recordings, but I'm sure it wouldn't compare to seeing them in a small club, having a few pints. You know Vancouver B.C. is only a few hours away?

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater and a half a zack

huh? what the hell does that mean?


Red Cat Records

Easy Roads, Easy Skies is now available at Red Cat Records in Vancouver and is on sale for only $9.99.

4307 Main Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V5V 3R1

Phone: (604) 708-9422

Thursday, March 15, 2007


For those who may be unfamiliar with Zero:State, they are a 3 piece band started in 2006 in Manchester and have come together because of their love of music. They pride their influences on Nirvana, Muse and the Foo Fighters. They have recorded 2 EPs in their short time together as a band.

As you listen to their songs you can feel an energy and a passion for the music combined with a sense of their influences in the music industry. Their sound is crisp and fresh, and makes you want drive real fast on a hot summer day. They find a nice balance of hard rock and indie-pop neatly and professionally. I found myself humming along to the tunes of their songs. That being said, they have a memorable ring in the industry.
Overall my rating of this band is A.C. Slater, and I recommend that you stop by and take a listen. Watch out for them, cause they are well on their way to making the scene their own. You can find out more information about Zero:State or listen to some of their tunes at

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Steamroller

Hey everybody, go check out the new and improved Steamroller E-Zine. There are new articles and reviews. And starting next week, will be the return of the indie band showdown.

If you are a band or artist and want to have your music reviewed, or if you are interested in writing articles, email The Steamroller.

John Simmmonds

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

God Damn Trio - Review

i'm lying bed with my power book on my lap listening to a band known as God Damn Trio. since it was me who had originally found them for the steamroller a few months back, i was quite happy to write about them for my first steamroller review. they hail from stockholm sweden. sweden? hey wasn't abba from there? having lived in canada my whole life and having never been to europe, the only thing i know about sweden is that they produce great hockey players, and that chef from the muppets was pretty funny.

anyway back to the "g.d.t." i've just started the 4 songs on their myspace page for the second time, and first time through had some ups and some downs, but mostly ups. we'll start with them. these guys can rock when they want to, no doubt about that. great guitar riffs, awesome production, and solid playing. the song "intoxicated" was definitely my favorite. the tempo change after the chorus shows the maturity in the song writing, along with a very progressive bridge featuring a great groove change, followed by a trip through a claustrophobic, or maybe even paranoid departure, only to lead us back to the final chorus. almost a bit.... dare i say it.....zeppelin? either way, i liked it. they took a pretty solid rock song, and pushed it ahead of the pack.

my next favorite had to be the part punk, part fuzz rock, part ska, pop rock song "said and done". really catchy, but perhaps too many drastic changes. i do like the diversity in the style changes, but just when i find myself really getting into a part, like the intro, it's followed up by this almost tongue and cheek sounding poppy verse. then it busts into a catchy chorus, and then another very interesting bridge. i think it's just the verse i don't care for because the more i listen to it, the more i like it, but i just keep wanting the verse to end.

"all to me" has great potential. it's the type of song that would probably just rock if you were to see it live, but i think something got lost in the studio translation. again, great playing, catchy hooks, but this time it's vocals. the singing is lacking some identity. the more melodic parts seem a bit unstable, and the kicked up choruses aren't all that big. i keep wanting those choruses to just explode vocally and they kind of disappoint.

my least favorite tune had to be "weak life situation". this is the attempt at a pop rock, radio friendly song. again i really like the music, but the melodic vocals in the verses just aren't working for me. the chorus is good, the bridge is solid, i'm just not digging the vocals. it just seems like the chilled out parts are too chilled and shaky sounding, and the harder parts are just not rockin' enough.

over all, i believe the "god damn trio" has a lot of talent, and i plan on listening to "intoxicated" a few more times before i sleep tonight just to ensure i have good rockin' dreams. extra props to the drumming on that one too, nice and solid. i listen to the vocals on that one, and wonder why he didn't sing with that same passion in his voice on the other tracks. i read on their site that they're writing for a new record right now. with the potential this band has, i wouldn't be surprised if these guys find themselves leaving stockholm soon to come tour my corner of the globe. hey guys, guest list maybe? come on, i'll bring some canadian beer? i want to hear more from the "god damn trio" and i would certainly recommend checking them out.

God Damn Trio

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater

huh? what the hell does that mean?


it's alright, cause we're saved by the bell

so since i will be reviewing bands for the steamroller starting this week, i have decided to create my own personal ranking system for the bands i review. i would encourage all of the writers here at the steamroller to do the same, or if they would like, feel free to use mine. my ranking system is called the "saved by the bell, rock rank". i know, it's ingenious. but before i start throwing out rankings like it's 1990 all over again, let me explain how it works. it's quite simple, there are 6 levels. the best being "zack", and the worst being "screech". here are all the possible levels:


a.c. slater






happy music reviewing.

the writer formerly known as "lord steamroller"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

good times, bad times...ya know i've had my share

Yes! All the rumors are in fact true. To my millions and million of fans in the indie music world, I would like to announce that I am stepping down as "Lord Steamroller". Please try to hold back the tears. I know it's hard to comprehend, even more so than the Oilers trading Ryan Smyth, but we must accept and move on. Fortunately for the music world, I will still be working with The Steamroller, but in a lesser role. I will be contributing music articles, and reviewing bands along side my fellow Steamroller reviewers.

I leave you in very capable hands. Effective immediately, Courtney Heard will be taking over day to day operations of the soon to be greatest indie music blog on the web. This change will allow us to expand, grow, and improve our site to better serve our readers as well as our featured artists. Thanks to all the bands and writers who have participated since we launched last year, and I look forward to a new and improved Steamroller.

John Simmonds
"Lord Steamroller"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Indie Band Showdown on it's way back!

Yes, the Indie Band Showdown here at the Steamroller will be returning very soon. We still need volunteers to review bands and we're always looking for bands to be reviewed, so email us at the Steamroller and let us know if you're interested. In the meantime, stay tuned for the Showdown and get ready to vote!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Drive By Truckers

yeah so i'm really late in getting to this record since it came out last april. well, it's pretty good. reminds me a bit more of my favorite trucker's record "decoration day". Nobody can tell a story in song better than these guys except maybe the late johnny cash. very cool record, lots of melody, lots of rockers, and just enough twang to keep that southern rock feel alive despite what my room mate said. although i would like to listen to it a few more times before passing final judgement, i really enjoyed this record, check it out.

Drive By Truckers

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Monday, January 15, 2007

New Release from Worn Records

The time is finally upon us. Although this album from Earlstown Winter has been delayed for the last month, it is now here. Their first release "Easy Roads, Easy Skies" has the makings of an instant classic, and we are extremely excited about having it ready to ship out.

"A lot has been accomplished over the past four months since we signed the deal, and much more in the several years since we recorded it. It's a great feeling to have it in our hands." commented John Simmonds, founder of Worn Records and producer of the album.

Make sure to order your copy of this great folk/rock, alt-country, solid collective of pure music writing genius now, and be sure to check out Earlstown Winter live in Vancouver on February 1st at The Media Club.

Buy "Easy Roads, Easy Skies" Now, Click Here

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We're back up and running!

It's been a few weeks of waiting for Google to get their collective head out of their ass, and fix so I can have access to The Steamroller again. I still have a few bugs to work out, but at least I can post reviews, articles, and a new Indie Band Showdown. Normally I post a new poll Sunday nights, but because the page just started working again a few minutes ago, and I don't have everything together that I need for the next poll, I am going to try and post it tomorrow. Until then, thanks for your patience, and sorry for the inconvenience. I'm looking forward to getting back on track and listening more indie music.

John Simmonds
Worn Records/The Steamroller

Double Down - Review

The country-rock or "alternative country" genre is fast becoming a crowded one, and because of this, it is becoming harder and harder for a band rooted in these styles to create something that is still new, unique, and exiting. However, combining hard rock, country and blues, Denver Colorado's Double Down are one such band that seem to be determined to stand out from the pack with their latest EP Still Motion.

It would be hard to argue that the six songs offered are packed full of energy, passion and sincerity, with every track being played as if it may be their last. You can almost smell the dirt, sweat, and whiskey with each passing song, which all seem to be begging to be played live rather than within the confines of the recording.

The musicianship is very good, with the only criticism being the sometimes flamboyant guitar solos that somehow seem to contradict the humble country roots and elegant subtlety of some songs. The songs are catchy while still retaining their rawness, and the lyrics of Jeff Browning add to the rollicking atmosphere of the music.

The best songs are the ones that stick closest to their country roots while still including a healthy dose of blues infused rock such as "Other Side" and "Whiskey Driver" rather than the more rock based tracks like "Sometimes" which tend to trade their timeless roots rock sound for more of a grunge meets country aesthetic that isn't quite as compelling.

Overall, Double Down are a band that manages to stand out within a crowded country-rock landscape, which is becoming very a hard thing to do. Although it still seems as if they are still discovering their sound, they show promise through their energy, passion, honesty, as well as their ability to meld the rawness of rock n roll with the earnestness of country and blues.

Double Down

- Clino

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Earlstown Winter @ The Media Club Feb 1

Come out to see Earlstown Winter perform at The Media Club in Vancouver. The show is on Feb 1st, and we will have the new "Easy Roads, Easy Skies" cd available. If you can't wait that long, Johnathan Truefitt will be performing solo, at Tree's Organic Coffee house on January 19th. We'll see you at the shows!

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Steamroller on myspace

While The Steamroller - Indie Music Blog is being repaired, we are currently re-directing our readers to our myspace page. Sorry for the inconvenience. We will also be skipping this weeks "Indie Band Showdown" due to these difficulties we are experiencing. Reviews are being posted on Myspace, and will be re-posted on The Steamroller once back up and running, along with the next "Indie Band Showdown".

Happy New Year, from everyone at Worn Records.