North Jersey Notes: Lamps Burning

Lamps BurningMy boy Christian from Split Vision used to sing for this band Lamps Burning out of Union City, NJ. Since Christian left the band, I haven’t heard from Lamps Burning. So, I decided to see what they were up to via their MySpace page,, and what did I find? Looks like they found a new singer, and they are even stronger than ever! I got to hear three songs, “Sorting Out The Herd,” “At The Edge Of The Earth,” and “Failure to Communicate,” off of their current CD In Three Days. I have to tell you, these tracks are brutal! I mean that in a good way! Their music hits you hard and just keeps hitting you until your down for the count!

Lamps Burning is a metal/post-hardcore band out of Union City, NJ, who got their name from a verse out of the Bible. Lamps Burning was formed in November of 2004 by co-founders, guitarist Rob Beltran and drummer J.R. Pereira. Rob and J.R. spent the next three years polishing up their sound and writing songs even though they were minus a bass player and a singer, until 2007 when bassist Chris Vargas finally answered an ad on the band’s MySpace page. Chris walked in and totally blew the doors off of their practice space with his big and fat bottom. The most vital position in the band would come in the form of singer Chris Barretto, the son of the legendary Latin percussionist and Grammy Award winner, the late Ray Barretto. Chris seems to be filled with that same passion that his father had for music, and has become an incredible asset to Lamps Burning with his multiple talents of playing the saxophone, piano, guitar, and drums.

With the release of their latest CD, In Three Days, Lamps Burning is ready to hit the stage with their guns blazing. They went into work with one of my favorite producers and engineers, Tim Gilles and his crew from Big Blue Meenie Recording Studio in Jersey City, NJ. Lamps Burning has a boatload of shows on their schedule. Trust me your going to want to catch one of them! You can actually do so this Friday night, June 13, when they open for God Forbid down at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. To find out more about Lamps Burning, log onto


I haven’t heard from Dave Incognito of Dying Eyes of Sloth in a hot minute. That could be because he and the boys from Dying Eyes of Sloth have been hard at work in the studio working on their debut CD under Romulus X Records titled The Seventh Hour, which will be released sometime this summer. Dave also told me that he’s also revamped the Dying Eyes of Sloth lineup, which now consists of former Rizen members guitarist Jerry Derasamo, Jerry’s brother Frank Derasamo on drums, Poose on bass, and also on guitar Cesar Maguino. In other Dying Eyes of Sloth news, the boys will be opening for the legendary Flotsam and Jetsam on July 18 at L’Amour’s in Staten Island, NY. For more info on Dying Eyes of Sloth, log onto

From one constant informer to another, Steve Bello emailed me recently to let me know that his new website is finally up and live! It’s not fully done yet, but at least Steve has a little bit more of a web presence to promote his amazing new CD, About to Explode, and you’ll also notice that you can find out more about Steve through his bio. Hopefully, this time Steve won’t have any jealous former band members hacking into his site to change it around! Check it out at

And finally, a huge local show is happening over at the Starland Ballroom down in Sayreville, NJ, on June 27 with my band, of course, Hostel Inc. playing with our brothers from Split Vision, Ten Feet From Murder, Morbid Visions, Smother Theresa, and Apathy. As of now, I’m not sure who else is being added to the bill, but this show is going to be huge! To buy tickets to the show, which is an all ages event, log onto any of the respective band’s MySpace pages.

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey and you want some exposure, send your demos and press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140 Little Falls, NJ 07424 or if you want me to check out your band or a band that you think could use some exposure email me at and let me know where your performing next. No cover bands, please!

Just remember… We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!