The guys from the band AUG asked me to check their band out in a recent email because they were opening for my bud, Joe Lynn Turner, at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ. Joe always packs a crowd wherever he performs. I know firsthand because I’ve opened for Joe at least six times, and every time the venue was sold out. Anyway, I needed to check out this band AUG because they must be good if they’re opening for Joe Lynn Turner. I logged onto reverbnation.com/aug to give them a listen only to hear some pretty amateur sounding recordings. Musically, I liked what I heard! There were some aggressive guitar riffs accompanied by some thunderous drums and bass on songs like “Hypnotized,” “20 Years In Hell,” and “Give It Up,” but then the vocals came in and singer Aug sounded like he had a fairly decent voice. The only problem was that you couldn’t tell through all of the effects. I haven’t heard a vocal recording like this since the days before digital recordings. I actually felt bad for AUG. They should get their money back from the studio they recorded this CD at. Unless, of course, they were going after that retro 1980s demo sound, but I don’t understand why.

AUG was formed by the two founding members of Fractured Mirror, singer Aug and guitarist Tommy Strange, and no, not the Ace Frehley tribute band! Aug and Tommy have been playing together since high school, and for their latest CD, 20 Years In Hell, they enlisted friend and co-producer Darren Verpeut of Ours to lay down all of the drum tracks for the CD. The band would later add bassist Rich Tanis and drummer Russ LaMater to finalize the live lineup of the band. In their time together, the boys from AUG have opened for many national acts like Dokken, Joe Lynn Turner, Blue Oyster Cult, Kings-X, Trixter, Circus of Power, EZO, and MOD just to name a few.

AUG currently has 20 Years In Hell available for purchase on the band’s website, augrocks.com, where you can also find out where the band is playing next other than their show this weekend at Dingbatz. Personally, I’d be curious to hear these guys live because I’m sure that their recordings are serving their songs no justice whatsoever. Then again, that’s just my opinion! Check out AUG for yourself!

 

NORTH JERSEY NOTES UPDATES:

I have to congratulate my bro Scott Williams and his band, Our Black Friday, for being chosen by Lincstar Records to be one out of nine bands to be added to this weekend’s lineup for the Bamboozle Festival. Our Black Friday will be performing this Sunday, May 20, before the big headliner, Bon Jovi. As if you didn’t already know, this year’s Bamboozle Festival has moved back to Asbury Park, and will be taking over the whole town for the weekend! God help us all! Check out Our Black Friday at facebook.com/ourblackfriday.

Congrats also go out to the guys in Lords Of Mercy, who were recently handpicked by Poison singer Bret Michaels to open his solo gig at The Paramount Theater in Asbury Park last weekend. From what I understand, my bro Tattoo Tony had a big influence on Bret’s choice! Either way, I think he made a good one! Lords Of Mercy are on fire! You can find out which big band they’ll be opening for next at facebook.com/lordsofmercy.

And finally, while I’m in the congratulatory mood, how about a nod to one of my favorite guitar wiz’s in North Jersey, Steve Bello. Steve is now playing guitar for the T.M. Stevens Band. Well, at least for TM’s upcoming show at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ on June 16 with more shows to possibly follow. Apparently, T.M. really wants Steve around, and why not? Steve’s guitar playing can really complement T.M.’s wizardry on the bass. T.M. is so amazing to watch—just YouTube him! Former Plasmatics drummer T.C. Tolliver is on drums where he’s been for T.M. for the past 17 years. T.C. is also helping Steve write his next CD along with bassist Joe DeMott, meaning the Steve Bello Band is not done! Speaking of, Steve is also working on a song for an upcoming compilation CD for Shredguy Records. He says the song reminds him of Zeppelin meets Sabbath meets Living Colour. Can’t wait to hear it! For more info on Steve Bello, log onto reverbnation.com/stevebello.

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140, Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at tim@theaquarian.com, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!

Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.

NJN Concert Calendar:

5/16—ZO2—Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY

5/16—Steve Brown—The Orange Lantern, Paramus, NJ

5/17—Steve Brown—Shannon Rose, Ramsey, NJ

5/18—Midnight Mosaic—Le Grand Fromage, Atlantic City, NJ

5/18—Joe Lynn Turner/Cookiehead/AUG—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

5/18—Steve Brown—Grasshopper Too, Wayne, NJ

5/19—A Lesson In Violence—The Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

5/19—Kosmic Daydream—Pier A Park, Hoboken, NJ

5/19—The Bad News—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

5/19—Lower The Veil—Aztec Ocean Resort (Seaside Music Festival) Seaside Heights, NJ

5/19—Steve Brown—The Beachcomber Bar, Seaside Heights, NJ

5/19—Julius Seizure/Betrayus/Visions Of The Vanished/Ashes Of Amber—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

5/22—Our Black Friday/Adelitas Way/Art Of Dying/Redlight King/Velora—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

5/24—Steve Brown—Thatcher McGee’s, Denville, NJ

5/24—Lionel Pryor/Hollywood Kills/Gyre—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

5/25—Steve Brown and Dennis Zimmer—The Sandbar, Brielle, NJ

5/26—The Brimstones/The Trash Mavericks/Monster Rat—7 Days Bar and Grill, Union Beach, NJ

5/26—Steve Brown—The Beachcomber Bar, Seaside Heights, NJ

5/27—Steve Brown and the Fallout—The Beachcomber Bar, Seaside Heights, NJ

5/31—Steve Brown—Pellegrino’s, North Haledon, NJ

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