Locals, we meet again. It’s about that time to talk about local music and everything that has been getting my attention over the past week.
I look into a lot of things for motivation: CDs, downloads, artwork and, of course, live sets. Not to say I do a ton of live reviews, because I cannot get out to every show, but there are always a few that stand out and make me take interest in a band. This week, I will be doing just that: talking about a group that I have been seeing live that recently made an impact. To your surprise, it’s actually a cover band. Yes, I said it, a cover band. Don’t know it until you try it, guys. If you find the right one, all could be magical, and I mean that. After all, I like everything I write about; otherwise, why would I waste my time writing about it?
Whether you like cover bands or not, you have to admit that when you are at a bar, having a good time, there is nothing like hearing a song you are familiar with. You’d be surprised how many people don’t have an actual understanding of what a cover band is. Just to ease the minds of those who don’t, cover bands play tracks by other artists, sometimes putting their own twists on songs—whether it’s adding keys, a tambourine or backing vocals—just to keep it fresh. I have come to notice in my short time reviewing cover bands that many of these acts have a cult following, and rightfully so.
This time around, the band is fresh off the market, or reincarnated, I should say. They have only had a few shows, but already are buzzing hard in the local market. The past two times I have seen them, I could barely fit in the room, and have heard people in the crowd stating that they couldn’t wait to come back and see more. Now, I have to mention that they may have the greatest band name ever. If you are a fan of WWE—or way back when, WWF—you will completely understand what I am saying. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Sweet Chin Music. And yes, you’re right, that is Shawn Michaels’ finishing move.
Sweet Chin Music consists of Ray, Joe, Chuck, Josh, and recently added, Nick. These five guys have known each other for most of their lives, all having other side-projects of their own. They decided to come back together and create something that was for two reasons: make music for fun, and entertain people. I know all of the members personally, and it’s fantastic to see their song selections for their setlists, because they all have eclectic tastes in music. They like everything from rock and metal to punk and everything far in between. To see what they agree upon to play is pretty cool, as some of it isn’t expected. This is a great quality to have in a cover band, for you cater to not only yourselves and your interests, but most importantly, what the crowd wants to hear. In my opinion, this is a key factor to a successful cover band. You need to learn to adapt to what the audience wants to hear, which will keep them dancing and, of course, drinking and sticking around. Sweet Chin Music have adapted to this theory rather quickly. They play everything from country and rock to even some indie. Some of my personal favorites on their setlist include Of Monsters And Men, Elvis and Gin Blossoms. They even throw in twists like Jason Derulo and OneRepublic, which will absolutely grab the girls and have their hands in the air in no time.
Now, to break it down a little further, I absolutely love Ray’s voice. He has a nice range without ever overdoing it or trying to force a note that he shouldn’t. Chuck and Joe are a perfect balance of one another on guitar and bass, both really grabbing your attention. Josh’s drumming is awesome and I can tell he is just dying to break out into a metal solo on many songs. They recently added Nick on keys, which really completed the puzzle. When I saw them as a four-piece, I knew it was good stuff. However, you don’t realize how many songs you can add some spice to by implementing another instrument. For example, many songs may not have keys, but when you incorporate them, it almost makes them your own, even though they are someone else’s. You really notice it in certain tracks and it creates a whole new identity.
Sweet Chin Music are starting to plays shows all over the shore area, so keep them in mind when looking to book or see a great cover band. These guys are very talented and as previously stated, will quickly get you on your feet and dancing. Nothing but a good time, as Poison would say. I have a funny feeling that if you give them a hint of some songs you want to hear, they would go to practice, learn it, and nail it in no time. By the way, if I ever meet Shawn Michaels face to face, I will be sure to tell him all about this awesome band that we owe him name credit for. How cool would that be? You can learn more about them on their Facebook page at facebook.com/sweetchinmusicnj.
I will be back next week with another local band of your liking. In the meantime, you know the deal: send me your tunes; I want to hear them and spread the word! Let’s keep the local music scene alive one week at a time!