I recently received an email on theaquarian.com from Ripped guitarist Steve Keller asking me to check out his band. He prefaced it with the fact that former Slaughter House singer Steve Sroczynski was in the band, which is cool because I actually remembered Slaughter House back when they were signed to Metal Blade Records. And here I thought that I was the only who performed with D-List rock stars. (Love ya, Ray West!) Needless to say, I recalled the band Ripped because they were supposed to do a show with my band, BlackOcean, at The Blue Room in Secaucus, but failed to sell any tickets, so they bounced and I never got to meet my D-List rocker friend from Slaughter House! The fact that Steve Keller and I had something in common raised my curiosity about Ripped though, so I decided to give them a listen. I have to admit that after a few weeks of listening to local metal, hearing their classic hard rock sounds was almost soothing to my ears. “Wishing Well,” “Jack The Reaper” and the title-track to their new CD, King Of The World, were melodically sound with sort of a very classic tone. I even loved their cover of The Doors’ classic “L.A. Woman.” Singer Steve Sroczynski didn’t sound bad for an old man. Sorry, Steve! I couldn’t resist!
According to their bio, Keller created the idea of Ripped nearly 25 years ago. The band has been through many changes throughout the years and as of only two years ago, Keller decided to resurrect what was left of his old band with all new members. He got Sroczynski to sing on a few tracks, which led to him eventually joining the band because of, what he felt, was amazing chemistry. Guitarist Brian McGee has been playing with Keller ever since the group’s second show. He joined the band after realizing Keller’s vision and love for the classics. Rounding out Ripped is bassist Jack France and drummer Jeff Kelly. This new lineup would finally go on to release their debut self-titled CD in August 2010, and it’s just a well-rounded rock ‘n’ roll disc.
Right before the end of 2012, Ripped released their second album, King Of The World, which you can hear clips of on Amazon. If you love classic rock but want to hear something original, give these guys a listen! I love the guitar work and Sroczynski sounds great! Ripped are simply trying to excel at what they do and have fun with their style of music, and you have to commend them for that! Catch Ripped live at Hebe Music in Mount Holly on Feb. 9 or at Otto’s Shrunken Head on Feb. 23. You can also give them a listen on reverbnation.com/rippednj.
NORTH JERSEY NOTES UPDATES:
First off, I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everybody! It seems we all survived the Mayan apocalypse prediction, so I guess we can all move forward now, right? I thought 2012 was one of the better years for the North Jersey music scene. It seemed people were actually going out to see original music again, which is always a good thing. I hope we can keep this momentum going into 2013! There seems to be tons of great shows lining up already and January’s only just begun.
Scars Of Envy singer Ethan Murphy recently posted a new track called “Same Old Story” on his ReverbNation page, and the song’s not bad. I mean, Ethan is known for his screaming ways in Scars Of Envy, but this stuff is more acoustic, melodic, and hard rock. There’s another song on the page called “Fading Away” that actually has an Alice In Chains feel to it. Ethan says that eventually he wants to book some shows and play this stuff at various venues. Does this mean an end to Scars Of Envy? I doubt it! Did Aaron Lewis leave Staind? Nope! Check out Ethan’s music at reverbnation.com/ethanmurphy.
And finally, don’t miss the return of Scarlet Carson and Cashmier at The Stone Pony on Friday, Jan. 4. It seems Santino has put his hip-hop solo project aside to get back to his rock roots for one night to rock out the legendary Pony. For more info on this show, log onto stoneponyonline.com. If you’re in the Atlantic City area on Saturday, Jan. 5, stop in at Le Grand Fromage to see my band BlackOcean perform a benefit show for the fallen Revel Nine singer, Matt Dower, who left behind his two-year-old daughter, Penny Rose. All proceeds from the event go to help little Penny. For more info on this event, log onto facebook.com/legrandfromageac.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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:
1/4—The Dirty Pearls—The Bowery Ballroom, NYC
1/4—Scarlet Carson/Cashmier—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
1/4—Michale Graves/The Dead Elvi/The Unknown—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/4—Brand Of Julez—Webster Hall, NYC
1/5—Fever Vein/Gas NYC/Voodoo Terror Tribe/Mordus—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/5—BlackOcean/MeatPlow/Decypher/Mother/Midnight Mob/Machines Of Penalty/Flesh Engine/Infernal Opera/Stare Syndicate/The Hard Way/Pool Of Thorns/Position 9/Soul Pole —La Grand Fromage, Atlantic City, NJ
1/11—Alekhine’s Gun/Seas Of Wake/Leech/Valor/Thanatotic Desire—The Studio at Webster Hall, NYC
1/11—Blue Food/The Great Apes/Mr. Breakdown—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ
1/12— Scars Of Envy/Negative Sky/Beyond Visible/Shadows Of Dawn/The Optimist/Iratetion/A Need For Reason/Ixion Lux/Useless/Cover Her Face/Sydbarret/Ominous/Dead Fish Handshake/Ripface Invasion —Roxy and Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
1/13—Ionia/Saint Diablo—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/13—Lords Of Mercy—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ
1/17—Aurin/Sylex—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/18—Borgo Pass/.49 Grain—Revolution Bar and Music Hall, Amityville, NY
1/18—Dead Fish Handshake/ Ed Kowalczyk—Bergen PAC, Englewood, NJ
1/18—PT Grimm/Reese Van Riper/The Racer—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/19—Attacker/Arctic Flame/Present Darkness/Operatika—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/24—BlackOcean/Panzie*--The Rebel Rock Bar, Philadelphia, PA
1/25—Robot Slaves/Spiritual Sickness/Spiral Out—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/26—Knucklebone—The Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ
1/26—VOD/Carbomb/Slam One Down—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
1/26—Atom Strange—Rock ‘N’ Ink Tattoo Festival, Stroudsburg, PA
1/30—Dead Fish Handshake/Eye Empire/3 Years Hollow/One Hundred Thousand—Architekt Music, Butler, NJ