Locals, we meet again. Time for a new year, new music, and new beginnings! I recommend making your New Year’s resolutions to get out and support the scene! I have many friends who are unfamiliar with the amount of talent that there is out there, and day by day I’m trying to convert them. With all of the devastation we’ve experienced in Jersey this year, it would be awesome to give not only money, but support back to the local venues and businesses. Let’s make this our biggest year yet! In NJ alone, there are so many places to check out live music, which means there are no excuses not to get out! Whether it’s a large venue like Convention Hall or a small, quaint environment like The Saint, there is something for everyone. These venues host bands of many genres, sometimes all at once, sometimes sporadically, which is great for not only the ear, but for the industry! On that note, I would like to take the time, once again, to bring two amazing local bands into the limelight, and gain them the attention that they deserve. Sometimes I like to write about two bands that are completely different so that you all can get a feel as to how much talent there actually is out there. So on that note, please allow me to introduce you to Seconds To Impact and A Balance Between.

First, let us touch on a band called Seconds To Impact, which is one of the heaviest of heavy out there today. I love every minute and aspect of what they are all about, including image, attitude, demeanor, and more. They are a five-piece based out of Maywood, NJ, and have only been active for a short amount of time. However, don’t let that fool you, for they have done a lot in their careers! It was their motivating and positive attitude that grabbed my attention before I even heard their music. They were always sending out inspirational messages supporting the scene, and I think that is very important in order to gain respect not only from fans, but also from the industry in general. I also found them consistently commenting on other bands that I featured, asking to play shows with them and showing encouragement, and I found that to be super cool. Shortly thereafter, I made that wise decision of checking out their music. To be in a band as a carrier of thought, idea and emotion, one must perform with complete expression of the self, and that is exactly what this group exemplifies. They bring a unique twist to the metal generation. While the media is obsessed with little ego dramas, heavy metal has emerged as big picture music. What I mean by this is that it’s heavy (deep and ambiguous concepts in life), and rocks at the same time. Basically, Seconds To Impact picks up the energy that pop music somewhat took away. If you’re into very flexible styles of music and have an eager ear, try listening to this band, for they don’t exclusively use that death growl as vocals. If you go to a concert unfamiliar with the music, there’s an excellent chance you’ll still enjoy yourself if everything else falls in place. Groups like this can show you that both the easy and the vicious can be attractive. I think Seconds To Impact have a lot going for them in their genre, and should continue doing what they are doing—making music they love.

Next, I would like to touch on a Bergen County-based band from a completely different genre, A Balance Between. I instantly fell in love with them when I was lucky enough to be their mentor for The Break Contest for Bamboozle 2012. I had to keep asking myself, “why have I not heard of this group before, and where did they come from?” I was not alone with that question, as people from all over the state were trying to find out more information on the best-kept secret in local music. They define rock and roll, and have a sound fuller than almost any band I have ever seen live. From the beginning of their sets, the daunting presence of vocal powerhouse Jeremy Hernandez is one to be reckoned with. I truly think he should be considered as one of the best vocalists currently in local music today, for he hits every note impeccably, showing himself to have earned every part of that praise the scene has given him. As a band, they firmly recreate the full impact of their recorded music, an accolade that any group should be proud of. They really showcase the talent of the band as a whole as well, being multi-instrumentalists holding down all parts. Performing music in front of people can be difficult, but if it’s done right like these guys, it can come as naturally as riding a bike or driving a car. The band adds a lot of showmanship to the music, they keep improvisation to a minimum, and they build the show from the beginning to the climactic end. When they perform, they talk to the crowd but not in over-abundance, making them feel like a part of the show; they can feel the pulse of the crowd, and it’s apparent just upon standing there how much the crowd is into it. You will find that there is a hushed silence as the band plays their songs, hanging on every word, becoming fueled by A Balance Between’s energy. I cannot say enough good things about them. Do yourself a favor and download “Safe Sleeping,” for it will give you a preview as to how tight this group actually is.

So, here are two bands that you should get on your radar sooner than later. You may have heard of them before, or this may be your introduction, but either way, you won’t forget them! Their shows are enchanting, and their recorded material is impeccable. Check out their social media sites to see where they are playing a show near you. Both bands are at the top of their game, with nothing slowing them down. Most bands and artists can play their music well, but there are few that put their heart and soul into every performance. These are two bands that you will brag about to your friends. Whether it’s at a concert or party, there should always be an act who fills the room by just them being there, and A Balance Between and Seconds To Impact do just that. Take some time out of your day to discover artists that are featured in my radar, since I want to enhance your artistic lives in the best way possible! Until next week, my friends, keep supporting the local music scene!

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