Just 6 Hours is an alternative rock band from Asbury Park, NJ consisting of members Seth Barnett (vocals/guitar), Nick Marrotta (lead guitar), Gordon Sine (bass), and Anthony Giordano (drums). Since that first show at The Saint, Just 6 Hours has performed at major venues across New Jersey, including Boontunes, House of Independents and The Stone Pony. They have also been playing regularly at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch supporting legendary national acts such as Manitoba NYC (The Dictators), The Toasters and Statues of Liberty. With influences that range from Nirvana, Green Day and Pierce the Veil to Black Sabbath and Metallica, the J6H sound includes lyrics that are thoughtful and emotional along with a combination of powerful rhythms supporting aggressive guitar driven melodies.
On MOTO Records, J6H recorded and released their first EP, H.O.P.E., in early 2017, which is available on all the major music streaming services. In December 2017, the group returned to Lakehouse Recording Studios to record their new EP, Sober, with engineer Evan Rudenjak, which is set to be released in Spring 2018. Joey Affatato over at MOTU Records sent me the tracks to take a listen to so I’ll do my best to describe the band’s style and sound here now.
The first track is a song called “Ashes.” The band comes out of the gate healthy, blending punk influences with an alternative edge reminiscent of Matchbox 20. Barnett’s vocals are sharp and clear as a bell, allowing Nick Marrotta plenty of room to solo over verse and chorus. Sine and Giordano cover the rhythms well, allowing the song to breathe while Seth sprinkles his lyrical magic over the top of this pop-tinged punk jewel. Guitars mix well and each player manages to cover different aspects without sounding the same. The song itself is a compositional gem filled with numerous chordal journeys, tempo changes and sonic soundscapes that make this opening tune shine brightly.
“Patrick” is up next. Covering the topic of the guy who has everything, “Patrick” rides like a roller-coaster, coming in on delicate chord changes before charging into high gear and a super distorted run of lead breaks that would make Pat Smear sit up and take notice. Addiction, privilege and the final lot in life take center stage lyrically as the band once again rides their composition to the full level of creativity. Verses come down to focus on Barnett’s vocal before raging into their excellent chorus. The middle-eight guitar lead is both melodic and angry as hell, and it’s a perfect fit for the song. Seth can sing crisp and clear in verse and then roar into the chorus like Kurt Cobain used to do. This song should be a favorite live anthem and well-liked by fans.
“Pity Me” takes over the player next. Like some bizarre concoction of poppy and punkish mixture of cool, “Pity Me” is yet another song that doesn’t go for stock movements and takes its very own pathway when it comes to original sound. Bass and drums nail it to the floor as Barnett and Marrotta play off each other like a pair of whirling dervishes. Seth undertakes the vital exploration of emotions as Marrotta rips his six-string moxie over the top.
“One Way Doors” is next and like the previous songs, it’s an original composition that offers a little of everything for the listener. Part Sugar Ray, part Pierce The Veil, “One Way Doors” is a swirling bundle of well thought out sounds and parts that make this song a winner in any book. I love how the beginning pushes a bit of funky, lounge vibe into the song verse before they storm into the distorted chorus. Coming out of that they enter a bluesy little interlude that features Marrotta’s electric magic prior to heading back into the songs central theme and signature sound. Barnett roars into the ending as the band vamps alongside.
“Dan” comes out of the gate next. “Dan” is a more mid-tempo number that features some Slash-like guitar work in the middle-eight. Barnett is in fine vocal fashion here as well, laying out melodic lines concerning the topic of exploring and learning about life’s puzzles. This song is one of their more standard sounding tunes, and that’s not a bad thing. College radio will probably love this song as they can sell it to specific audiences, especially college girls.
“Number Man” is the last song on this too short EP. I could definitely listen to a full album by this band and be happy, but I’ll take these six for now. Anyhow, “Number Man” is a hornet’s nest of activity. Guitars sizzle and burn from beginning to end as bassist Gordon Sine, and drummer Anthony Giordano goes from minimalist percussion to full out blasting in the interludes and choruses. Marrotta comes into the middle-eight with the fierce inspirational vengeance of Kirk Hammett as Barnett holds down the rhythms with Sine and Giordano before coming out into the endings clean guitars and vocal before exploding one more time into the end of the song. Persuasive and forceful music, it’s one of my favorite songs on the disc.
Just 6 Hours have done well with Sober, and I know that once it comes out, it’s going to raise the visibility of this incredibly talented group and put them on the map for sure. And if you want to see the band play some of these songs live they will be playing on March 30 at the Asbury Park Brewery and then they’ll be doing their record release party over at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch on April 14. To get more information on Just 6 Hours, Sober and the groups complete schedule and history, head over to just6hours.com.