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All Else Fails rocks steady

When half the band quits, that’s usually a death knell for the group. However, All Else Fails has always flown in the face of convention.

When half the band quits, that’s usually a death knell for the group.

However, All Else Fails has always flown in the face of convention. Not only has the metal-punk band resurrected itself from the ashes of destruction, it is bouncing with fresh fury.

Two years ago, All Else Fails introduced its own record label, Suicidal Bride Records, a vehicle to promote new bands. The label’s can-do spirit attracted hardcore attention across the provinces. Tonight Suicidal Bride imports Vancouver-based Ninjaspy as headliner for the mother of local concerts, a six-band affair at St. Albert’s Brew-in Taphouse.

Signed up are two St. Albert bands — All Else Fails and Enduring the Fall. And the opening acts are Samandriel, Built on Despondency and Catalyst for Destruction.

Barrett Klesko, vocalist and driving force of All Else Fails and Suicidal Records, was blown away by Ninjaspy’s full-throttle performance at Vancouver’s 2009 Warped Tour, the Holy Grail for hardcore indie bands.

“Their songs are fantastic. They’re a fusion of metal and reggae. Their stage presence is unbelievable and they are one of the most dedicated bands I know.”

All Else Fails was invited to perform at the August event after winning an online Battle of the Bands competition determined by fan vote. “There were thousands of people and it was phenomenal. I don’t know how it happened we won, and at first I thought it was a joke,” says Klesko.

Ironically, after releasing Against the Darkening Sky, a 13-track CD that charted in the top 10 across college radio stations, developing a record label to expand alternative music, playing hundreds of shows, and touring for a month last spring, two key musicians quit after the Warped Tour ended.

Mike Chartrand just parked his guitar and drummer Brent Francis acknowledged that touring did not appeal to him. “It was disheartening and no small task to hold a project together — especially finding two guys to replace the originals.”

Bass player Seedy Mitchell stepped up to do more songwriting, and guitarist Mike Sands and drummer Ryan Biggs teamed up. As the foursome experiments with new grooves, they are also planning a new CD. Unlike the last album with its strong political overtones, the new CD will be a split album and graphic novel. “We want to chronicle the history of mankind as we see it.”

All Else Fails is once more competing for a slot at the Warped Tour. Fans can vote at


Ninjaspy with All Else Fails, Enduring the Fall, Samandriel, Catalyst for Destruction and Built on Despondency<br />Saturday, March 20 at 9 p.m.<br />Brew-in Taphouse<br />9020 McKenney Avenue<br />Cover: $10 advance, $15 door; email [email protected]

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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