Greetings locals. I am getting more and more comfortable with meeting you all on a weekly basis. Wednesday is truly the new Friday—well, to me at least. I feel as if we are getting closer, and bonding over great music. The feedback I have been getting from bands that I write about is just remarkable; it’s refreshing to hear so many of you have expanded your options and stepped outside of your musical comfort zone. Anyway, I don’t want to get to sentimental, but it’s awesome seeing the reaction to my Local Radar each week. Lately, I have been following themes, with everything from holiday music, drummers, lead singers, brand spankin’ new music, and even six-piece bands. But this week, we are just keeping it generic; it’s all about the bands. Not to say that there is anything less significant here; in fact, that is the complete opposite of what this is. Please proceed to find out about some bands that are new to my radar that I am simply addicted to. One I have known of—and worked with, in fact, several times—and I want to bring them to your attention. The other one, on the complete opposite end, is brand new to me, yet was suggested by many of you for me to review. So, let’s just say, “Hey there, nice to meet you, and nice to have known you.” See what I did there? I know, I know, I crack myself up. Now, please proceed, and let me give you what you need: your local music fix. Buckle up music lovers, for I am about to take you all over the road.
First and foremost, I want to touch on a band called The Antics from Skillman, NJ. I don’t know the history or background of this band, so I cannot provide you a lengthy bio on them, but hell, we all like shortened versions, right? Anyway, I was sent their stuff from a good photographer friend of mine named Jeff Crespi, and I haven’t looked back since. They have that old school, raw, raucous, garage sound. The Antics are Luke, Derek, Kyle, and Josh, a four-piece not to be messed with. The band’s unadorned, slop rock niche yielded them an album called Running Faster, and it’s compacted with hit after hit and no filler. Let me just say that after 15 listens, I love it. The album as a whole is impressive; they have used several broad brushes to paint one of the most unified yet dissimilar records I have heard in quite some time. It’s totally refreshing to hear music and records that do not sound overproduced, auto tuned, or insanely tweaked. My favorite track is “Payday,” as it has somewhat of a grandiose feel that is best served leisurely and consciously. Other standout tracks consist of “In The Night,” and “Touch The Sky.” The Antics back their rebellious stance with music that sears with energy and volume. I have yet to see them live, and I am more than excited to get out on the road and cheer them on. Be sure to check out their social media sites to find out where they are stopping next, so you can join me as well. Trust me when I say that this is a band you want to get to know!
Next, please allow me to introduce to you a band that I have been familiar with for a few years now but want to bring them to the frontlines, New Theory. They describe themselves as a “heavy, melodic rock band,” though I feel they exhibit attributes to all of the aforementioned genres. They have been active in the game since 2004, and that is extremely impressive for a local band to stay dominant for that many years, for I can’t even keep track of how many groups come and then fade shortly after. With their heavy-duty distortion, substantial rhythms, and cynical lyrics, New Theory are a band for fans of true heavy rock music. All of the sound is engrossed profoundly on texture, with vocals and guitars layered one atop the other and heart-pounding drums from Tom underlying everything. They have played with acts such as Sevendust, Flogging Molly, and so many more. I have worked with them many times for my radio show, Jersey Rock, on 95.9 The Rat, and they are always a fan favorite, on the airwaves and on the stage. However, it isn’t the opening slot on national gigs that makes these guys so appealing; it’s their unique sound, unfailing drive, and natural love of the music. They have this power over their fans that, even when they take a few months off from playing to record new material, their absence makes the heart grow. Tom, Sean, Steven, and Karl have created a kind of music that’s timeless, unmatched, deep, mysterious, forbidding, and captivating, all at once. My favorite track is “Lost,” though I’m a fan of all their tracks. (And no, I’m not just saying that because I have to because, let’s be honest here; I really don’t have to.) Their music explores murkier themes like agony, anger, frustration, and self-reproach. Then it takes a sharp turn, while still keeping everyone compacted in his or her seats, and then restates them into a volatile, yet lovely and alluring purification. Pick up their album, “like” their Facebook page, and get out to one of their shows, for I can guarantee you will become a huge fan in no time.
So there we go, two more amazing bands that are on my radar, that I am hoping are now also on yours. I could go on and on for hours about each one of these bands—and every artist I write about—and never run out of positive things to say. New Theory and The Antics are completely different groups in every shape and form, from genre, appearance, sound, target audience, and style, yet they blend like a set of twins here in this article today. It just goes to show that gigs don’t necessarily have to be same-genre oriented because it’s always nice to have a little something for everyone’s liking. Some lineups may come across as “odd,” yet those are always some of the best shows. Take playlists or that old school term, mixtapes; you take the time to create a list of all different songs, from completely diverse artists, because it will be fun the whole way through. You cannot deny that you have done it, because we all have. All I’m saying is to take the opportunity to check out some of these bands, even if you do not normally stop to listen to music of their genres.
Until next week, my friends. Who knows where the Local Radar will take me? I smell cover bands in the near future, and perhaps even some indie stuff, but I know one thing is for certain; it will be rockin’!