North Jersey Notes: Hands On The Stereo, The Compulsions, Piston Driven and more!


Now, you can’t get any more North Jersey than Maywood, NJ, and when I came across Hands On The Stereo on ReverbNation, I felt that they would be a perfect fit for this column. They’re music was modern and at times anthemic, especially their song “Can’t Stop Kids Like Us,” which reminded me a little of All-American Rejects. Hands On The Stereo’s music is actually pretty heavy, with a punk/hardcore edge. The band describes themselves as a happy hardcore band. A few standouts for me included the songs “Tara,” “Party Baker” and “Time Machine,” off of the band’s self-titled demo.

Hands On The Stereo was formed by four friends back in the summer of 2008. After their original singer left the band, they decided to hire two new members and are now the band that you hear today. Hands On The Stereo consists of singer Chris Cunha, Dave Falcone and Rob Bednarz on guitars, bassist Corey Reilly-Davis and Matt Trawinski on drums. This is a band that is ready, eager and willing to play as many shows as they possible to make their mark on the New Jersey music scene. If their music is any indication, it won’t take them long.

Hands On The Stereo is currently performing in support of their current demo. I haven’t seen this band live yet, but the feel of these songs can only mean one thing: that this band is full of energy! Catch Hands On The Stereo live next Friday Night Dec. 10 at Fusion Café in Butler, NJ. Find out more at


One band that I haven’t written about in quite some time is The Complusions. It could be because singer Rob Carlyle has had the band under wraps all summer. Well, Rob wrote me recently that the band is looking to perform live again in NYC in early 2011. This version of The Compulsions will feature ex-members of Guns ‘N’ Roses and The New York Dolls. In other Compulsions news, the band’s first full-length CD, Lucky Devils, is almost finished, and should be released sometime in 2011. At the end of the month, you’ll be able to preview new tracks “Ya Never Got Me Down” and “She’s So F****n’ Sexy” off of the upcoming CD on, where you can also get all of your Compulsions info.

Congrats go out to my bro, Echofission singer/guitarist Geb Zurburg, who is now engaged to singer Jaymie Gerard! To celebrate, Geb accompanied his fiancée Jaymie on the release of her second EP, Black Eyed Susans, which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Geb played electric guitars, bass, keys/synthesizer, sang backing vocals and percussion on every track. Black Eyed Susans joins Jaymie’s first EP, Ain’t Life Sweet on iTunes for a very affordable $3.96. For more info on Jaymie and Geb, log onto

And finally, the boys from Piston Driven have welcomed another new member into the band, as the abrupt exit of guitarist Jay Heintz had left the boys in a rut. Former Split Vision and Tru Smoke Diezel guitarist Tim Allen has stepped up and joined Piston Driven. For those who don’t know the back story, “Big Tim” actually replaced Piston Driven head honcho and guitarist Joe “Smokes” Wilkinson in Tru Smoke Diezel when Joe left the band to play for Universal Recording artists, Dropbox. Now, it seems life has come full circle and Tim and Joey will be on opposite ends of the stage. He’s a perfect fit for the band, and I hope this line-up finally sticks! Check out Piston Driven now at or catch them live next Friday night Dec. 12 at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ.

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. No cover bands, please!

Just remember: we are all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.

NJN Concert Calendar:

12/3—Kosmic Daydream/ 6 to 8 Mathematics—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

12/3—Della Valle—Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC

12/3—With Daggers Drawn/Nonpoint/In This Moment/Taking Dawn—Santos Party House, NYC

12/4—Hands on the Stereo—Sounds Asylum, Middletown, NY

12/4—Filter Effect/Rob Halford—Crocodile Rock, Allentown, PA

12/4—Christa Renee/Daylow—National Underground, NYC

12/4—Anaka—Don Hill’s, NYC

12/4—Borgo Pass—Jugs and Strokers, Merrick, NY

12/8—Third Kind—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

12/9—Val Emmich/Reverse Order—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

12/10—Hands on the Stereo—Fusion Café, Bultler

12/10—Shat/Piston Driven/Boundalive—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ

12/11—Hands on the Stereo—Paramus VFW, Paramus, NJ