North Jersey Notes: The RiCECOOKERS, Thanatonic Desire, Awaken The Shadow and More!

I’m not sure how I came across these guys, but they somehow came across my plate…or shall I say my bowl? And I think they are great! The name of the band is THE RiCECOOKERS (best name ever!) and they’re based out of Brooklyn, NY. Well, technically, these guys aren’t from Brooklyn, but they live here now. They’re really from the Boston area and believe it or not, all Japanese! That’s not the reason why I like them. Their music and songwriting is actually really good. I was able to listen to a few tracks off of their latest EP, Again And Again. The title-track along with the songs “Veronika” and “Someday” really pull you in. Singer Tomomi Hiroishi’s voice is modern and engaging. These guys are an alt-rock band that is sure to survive here in the Big Apple.

THE RiCECOOKERS are an all-Japanese rock band that formed back in 2004 up in Boston, but with dreams of becoming rock stars, they knew they had to move to a more creative area of the country and are now based in Brooklyn. The band was formed by singer Tomomi Hiroishi, guitarist Kota Fujii, and bassist Daisuke Wakabayashi, who met at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where they were classically trained and also where they were given the opportunity to perfect their musical skills. Drummer Sohei Oyama would end up joining the band later to round out the lineup. Back in 2010, THE RiCECOOKERS made their debut by releasing an EP titled Four Of Our Songs, and soon after their first Japan tour, one of their songs was chosen for a Japanese TV drama called SPEC, which ended up becoming a movie series as well. Along with appearing at various rock festivals, THE RiCECOOKERS continue to tour Japan occasionally and since 2010, they’ve not only been playing at local venues in NYC like Arlene’s Grocery, Pianos, The Knitting Factory and Fontana’s, but they’ve also been back to Boston, Delaware, here in Jersey and Connecticut.

This past August, THE RiCECOOKERS released their latest EP, Again And Again, featuring the songs I mentioned earlier, and is available on iTunes and Amazon. I have to admit that since I started playing music, I always wanted to put together an all-Asian band like Loudness, EZO and X-Japan, but I could never find other Asian rockers who were like me. Other Asians were always into house music and crap like that, so it’s refreshing to see a good all-Asian rock band out there in my neck of the woods trying to make it. By the way, I’m not dead yet, so I’m still down if there are any talented Asian guitar players, drummers or singers out there. Anyway, check out THE RiCECOOKERS at



My bros from the band Thanatotic Desire will be releasing their new single, “The Devil Won’t Let Me Die,” sometime this month. I got a sneak peek of the song thanks to singer and bassist Will Winton, and just like every other Thanatotic Desire song, it’s brutal and it gives you a nice kick in the teeth. Keep your ears peeled on WSOU for your taste of “The Devil Won’t Let Me Die.” For more on Thanatotic Desire, visit

My bass bro, Ali Hassan, formerly of the glam band Wildstreet, has a new project almost ready to hit the streets. The band is called Awaken The Shadow, and they recently completed a more than successful Kickstarter campaign to help them record their new EP. Something all of you might want to keep your eyes open for in 2015. For more on Awaken The Shadow, visit

And finally, a couple of cool shows that you might not want to miss this weekend. I’m talking about That Metal Show’s Annual Holiday Bash at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ. Not only are my buds Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine celebrating another Christmas at the local rock spot this Friday night (12/19), but also performing will be my buds from Psychoprism, the lovely Madysin Hatter, Gathering After Ashes, and Stereo Outlaws. The next night (12/20) at The Blue Room in Secaucus, Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo will be bringing his solo band Marc Rizzo And The Corrupters into town, and he’ll be playing for toys! All toys donated will go to the Archdiocese of Paterson. Also performing will be No View, Valence, Faction Zero, and Ego Kill. These are a couple of amazing shows this weekend. So, get out there and support local music.

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, 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:

12/19—Ropetree/Buckcherry—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

12/19—That Metal Show’s Holiday Bash featuring Psychoprism/Madysin Hatter/Gathering After Ashes/Stereo Outlaws—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/19—Knightlife/Beautiful Madness/The Dogs of Lust/Civic/Mile Marker Zero—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

12/19—Gasmask Maniacs/ Baby Sandwiches/Little Old Ladies/The Cuts—Hanks Saloon, Brooklyn, NY

12/20—Marc Rizzo and the Corrupters—The Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

12/20—Lieder—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

12/20—The Dirty Stayouts/Who Killed Marilyn—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/20—Robots and Monsters—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ

12/21—Agnostic Front/HUGE/Negative Traction/Negative Sky/Mass Punishment—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

12/27—Battlecross/Wretched/War Of Ages/Julius Seizure/Monument Of A Memory—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/27—SYKA/Andrew W.K.—GameChanger World, Howell, NJ

12/29—Lower The Veil/Clutch—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

12/30—Answer Infinity/Another Distraction/Syka/Asphalt Green/Me With Creeps—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

12/31—SYKA—Revolution Bar and Music Hall, Amityville, NY

1/2/15—Hookers-N-Blow/Don Jamieson/Voodoo Train/Spiral Scar/Flowers To Flames/The Uncommonly Good—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

1/9/15—Bound By Substance/Super Gravity—Mercury Lounge, NYC