I recently posted on Facebook that I was looking for a band to feature this week and what a response I received! One band that really tickled my fancy was a band out of Howell, NJ, called Mass Punishment! Holy cow! After listening to the songs “Nightmare,” “Line Of Departure,” and “Lion’s Den,” I felt like I needed to pick my teeth up off the floor because they were knocked out by the brutality of their music! Mass Punishment is a perfect name for this sound. The maniacal riffs blended with the ruthless vocals of singer Erick Laurino. Mass Punishment was badass, and they were here to prove it!

The concept of Mass Punishment came from guitarist Chris Milos’ honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. After witnessing first-hand the horrors of war in Iraq, Chris came home with something to say about it. The only way that he knew how was through music, so he immediately started writing the riffs and lyrics to set the stage for Mass Punishment. He teamed up with former Beyond The Flesh bassist Matt Volz, and the two had immediate chemistry. The duo searched for a singer but Chris knew who his first choice was. It was former Severance and Mara singer, Erick Laurino. Rounding out the lineup for Mass Punishment is drummer Brian Donat, who is actually the second drummer the band has ever had. Brian’s drumming style truly complements the music of Mass Punishment.

In 2011, the band released an eight-song studio EP, Proving Grounds, Vol.1, which garnered the band much attention on the scene. The band spent most of the year promoting the new CD and put on as brutal of a live show as their music allowed. These guys must be amazing live! If you want to hear what I’m talking about, give Mass Punishment a listen at masspunishment.com. Make sure you’re wearing your cup when you listen to this stuff!

 

NORTH JERSEY NOTES UPDATES:

My boys Set It Free have been booked for a slew of great shows coming up this summer but one in particular piqued my interest! It looks like they’ll be playing special guests to the mighty Skid Row and L.A. Guns at Bergen PAC in Englewood, NJ, on August 24. I’m just not sure which L.A. Guns this will be. Is it the Phil Lewis and Steve Riley L.A. Guns? Or is it the Tracii Guns L.A. Guns? My guess is that it’s the first one. Anyway, this is a huge show for Set It Free! Also, let’s not forget that their new CD, Don’t Stand Alone, is set to drop any day now. Log onto facebook.com/setitfree.

I just got to hear the new single from Endall and it rocks! The song is called “Where Were You,” which I believe features their new singer, and I have to admit that their music sounds much different from the last time I heard Endall! They clearly seem to be heading in the right direction with their music. Give “Where Were You” a listen now on facebook.com/endallnj.

And finally, ‘80s rockers Spread Eagle, featuring my former Hostel Inc. singer Ray West, is looking for a new guitar player. It turns out that guitarist Dennis Kimak is moving on to concentrate on other projects, like his plethora of cover bands and Black Water Rising. Dennis is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill, so if you think you have what it takes to go on the road and shred your ass off, contact Spread Eagle immediately on Facebook at facebook.com/spread.eagle.9 for an audition.

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:

6/13—Shattered Realm/Death Before Dishonor—7 Days Bar and Grill, Union Beach, NJ

6/14—Darkness Descends/Ashes Of Your Enemy/Doomsday Mourning/Ghost For Heroes—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/15—Richie Scarlet—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/16—Kosmic Daydream/The Black 100s—Goodbye Blue Monday, Brooklyn, NY

6/16—Fate Strikes Twice/Charetta/Killcode—The Gramercy Theater, NYC

6/16—Last Resort/Ashes of Amber/Chemically Controlled Children/Morningside Lane/Carnavarice Breathe/Murder League All Stars/Regalia—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/16—Lieder—The Parkside Lounge, NYC

6/17—Knucklebone—The Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ

6/22— Agnostic Front/Wisdom In Chains/Suburban Scum/Undivided/Low Road/Back and Forth—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/23—Panzie*/AUG/SHAT—The Tattoo Shot Lounge, Brooklyn, NY

6/23—Shadowplay—The Grape Room, Philadelphia, PA

6/23—Ten Foot Tall—Unionville Winery, Ringoes, NJ

6/23—Aurin—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

6/24—Panzie*–Governor’s Island, NYC

6/24—A Lesson In Violence/AfterThreat—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

6/25—Steve Brown—Dutchmans, Manahawkin, NJ

6/27—Set It Free/Breathing Blue—Jenkinson’s, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

6/28—Mindswitch/Scars Of Envy/Syka/The 39—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/29—Ten Foot Tall—Olive’s, Nyack, NY

6/29—A Clever Con—The Cambridge Inn, Spotswood, NJ

6/29—Mother—The Silo, Reading, PA

6/30—InDisguise—The Tattoo Shot Lounge, Brooklyn, NY

7/5—BoundAlive—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/6—Panzie*/Gas NYC/AUG/Rahway—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/6—Trimm/Filter—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

7/7—Set It Free/Breathing Blue—Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ

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