Locals, we meet again. Our summer turf is now again ours, the fall shows can begin, new bands can arise, and all will be well on this fine old Jersey Shore of ours. The local bands really dominated this summer in every aspect from opening for national acts, playing huge festivals, getting signed, and so much more. It’s an honor to be a part of such a great local movement. I tend to have this habit where I need to see bands live before I hear their recorded product, and although life does not always allow it to work out that way, for the most part, I get it done. Seeing a band’s live performance, energy, and emotions put out on a stage is way more intriguing than hearing it through headphones. No matter how good the CD is, and no matter how good the stereo is, it will never sound as good as the physical thing. The sound of a live instrument is always so much richer than a CD. This is how I scout talent for my show, Jersey Rock, as well as for this awesome column. Get on some shows, people, and show the world what you’re made of! You’re going to have to put yourself out there and email venues and other trustworthy rock periodicals. The artists who spend the most time making sure their live mixes are immaculate and unblemished are the ones you will want to come back and see again and again. If you don’t have faith in what you’re doing, no one else will. On that note, I will be ranting and raving about some bands I have found including Boy Meets Machine and Senium. Buckle up, it’s about to get fun.
First and foremost, let’s touch on a little monster called Boy Meets Machine. Christian, Mike, Joel, and Joe are Long Branch natives with a strong desire and passion to play music. Upon first listen, I was somewhat confused in the best way possible because I did not know how to classify their genre. They hold a vast variety of sounds and styles appealing to the ear. They set out to be unique and it really shows. Remember, if you’re unique, you’re being noticed. The one thing you can always be sure of is that people are going to ask you what your band sounds like, or who you aspire to be like. We encounter that every day—the immediate comparison. It's a pretty distinctive inquiry when you tell someone that you're in a band. If you simply say "rock," or "punk," that's not going to light any fires nor spark much excitement. Any band can have that title. In fact, it may not even lead people to check out your band at all.
Boy Meets Machine came up with a cool genre description that you can be sure nobody has ever heard before, calling themselves “an amalgam of musical styles, a whirlwind of personalities and an anthology of ideologies.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, boys. They have this certain upbeat style tinged with an out-of-this-world sound that gives it exclusivity. The production of their recorded stuff is outstanding and there are transitions between some of the songs that bleed one song into another. They don’t sound like any other band out right now at all. The vocals never take the easy road, for the singing and lyrical phrasing offers many unexpected treats. Each and every time I’ve seen them live, they have gotten better than before. It almost seems as if they are challenging themselves. I have been gradually seeing their popularity skyrocket, with various local bands asking to join them on showcases. A recommended track is “Exit Tragedy,” for it will have you hooked and hyped. Again, to go back to my theory, I discovered this band through their live set, and never looked back. They control the power of how fun their set is, and it’s set at maximum voltage. Check these guys out if you’re looking for something fresh.
Next on the list is Senium, an Ocean County trio that’s on the top of my radar. They fill sound like an orchestra. To touch on that immediate live set again, the first time I saw them, Nirvana popped into my head. They are some of the grungiest dudes I have ever met. I would love nothing more than to sit in a garage and listen to them play for hours on end, and then top off the night with a club show. Their 2011 album, Such Progress, brought me into musical directions I did not even know existed. These guys are as simple and talented as it gets—plug a few cables in, turn a few knobs, and boom, you are rocking. Basically, add water and mix. They also do it right locally. Playing shows more than most, they get out, spread the word, and get their music heard. They have a muddy guitar sound, strong riffs, and heavy drumming. Their lyrics are true; call it angst-filled, angry, frustrated, sad, fearsome, and depressed, call it real music. Andrew’s vocals are impeccable, as he knows his range and pitch like the back of his hand. I cannot help but get swallowed up in his tone. My favorite track is “Anything You Say.” Play this one over and over and over until you fall completely head over heels in love. It will happen, people. There is just something about it that put my eardrums in an iron grip. Also, “As It Is” is a single everyone can enjoy. The whole album is impressive. They have an extensive catalogue on YouTube where you can see all of their influences and styles shining through, visually and musically. Take a minute of your time and check it out.
So there you have it, people, two more hot bands to get on your local radar. Senium and Boy Meets Machine may be completely different in genre aspects, but they are out for the same cause—making a dent on the scene musically. Whether it’s a live set or recordings, these guys all have what it takes. It’s the little things that they do that stand out, from performance, to lyrics, to crowd interaction, and appreciation for their fans. Hopefully this weekend you will drop the remote and head out to a show. The best shows are life altering experiences, where a band attaches with an audience in a very distinct way. Considering we have so many venues in this area to choose from, it shouldn’t be that hard. You never know when you’re going to find that next big band to change your outlook on music, and it could be today. Hopefully this article has helped the process along!