North Jersey Notes: Circle Of Insanity, The Bad News, Audio Machine and More!

I took part in the inaugural Summer Jam at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ a couple of weeks ago, which featured many of the bands I have written about in the past, but there was one band that I’ve never written about that really tickled my fancy that day. They were called Circle Of Insanity and they had this old school metal-feel to them that reminded me of an early Megadeth. I had to hear more, so I logged onto their ReverbNation page and I got to hear “Cradle To The Grave,” “Bitter Pill” and my favorite track, “Fall From Grace.” These songs featured some crunchy guitar riffs along with a thunderous double bass.

Circle Of Insanity was started as a concept by guitarist Scott Michalowski back in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2007 when the band really started to take a life of its own. Scott would complete his lineup with guitarist Brett Sontag, drummer Phil Rucci, bassist Art Franklin, and his latest edition, singer Glen Hasslebrink. Since finalizing the lineup, the band has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the music industry like Queensryche, Accept, former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno, and Kix, as well as some local favorites on the Jersey music scene.

Here in 2012, Circle Of Insanity recently released their debut CD, Versatility, and the band will be spending the rest of the year promoting it wherever they can. What a way to kick off your promotion with an outdoor festival at Raceway Park, huh? If you love that old school metal sound, keep an eye out for Circle Of Insanity! Give them a listen now on


So, my little bros The Bad News, got some ‘big news’ a couple of weeks ago when they were asked to open for their idols, Steel Panther, at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville on Aug. 16. They will be the lone support act for the evening and they got the gig because promoters read about them right here in North Jersey Notes! Needless to say, singer Jimmy Forest is super-excited, as he posted on his Facebook page, “This is a dream come true!” I’m happy for these boys and their big opportunity to open for their idols! Give The Bad News a listen now on, where you can also hit them up for tickets for the August 16 show with Steel Panther.

Speaking of my bros, one band that I feel like I single-handedly put together with all of my former bandmates is Hackensack’s Audio Machine, and it looks like we’re finally going to get to see Audio Machine in action with their first gig on Aug. 24 at The Blue Room in Secaucus. That’s not all! Audio Machine is in the middle of recording their debut CD. Bassist Roy Brunston sent me a taste in the form of a song called “Bleed Like You,” and I have to say that the song is awesome! It’s got some great grooves and singer Dave Marcus’ voice is one of the best I’ve heard in a while. “Bleed Like You” had sort of a Shinedown feel to it. Learn more about my boys Audio Machine on

And finally, speaking of great songs, my bros Black Water Rising recently posted an ‘unreleased’ track from their self-titled debut CD called “Tears From The Sun,” and the track is incredible! I’m not sure why they never released it, but you can hear it on YouTube. I guess the boys are trying to keep their fans happy while they put the finishing touches on their upcoming second CD. You can catch Black Water Rising live in NJ again when they open for Kix in Pompton Lakes for the annual Rock The Lake concert on Aug. 4. Also performing will be Our Black Friday. For more info on Black Water Rising, log onto

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:

6/22— Agnostic Front/Wisdom In Chains/Suburban Scum/Undivided/Low Road/Back and Forth—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/22—Steve Brown—Shannon Rose, Ramsey, NJ

6/23—Panzie*/AUG/SHAT—The Tattoo Shot Lounge, Brooklyn, NY

6/23—Steve Brown—The Grasshopper Off The Green, Morristown, NJ

6/23—Shadowplay—The Grape Room, Philadelphia, PA

6/23—Ten Foot Tall—Unionville Winery, Ringoes, NJ

6/23—Aurin—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

6/24—Panzie*–Governors Island, NYC

6/24—A Lesson In Violence/AfterThreat—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

6/25—Steve Brown—Dutchmans, Manahawkin, NJ

6/27—Set It Free/Breathing Blue—Jenkinson’s, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

6/27—Steve Brown—Willie McBride’s Pub, Branchburg, NJ

6/28—Mindswitch/Scars Of Envy/Syka/The 39—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/28—Steve Brown—Thatcher McGhee’s, Denville, NJ

6/29—Ten Foot Tall—Olive’s, Nyack, NY

6/29—A Clever Con—The Cambridge Inn, Spotswood, NJ

6/29—Mother—The Silo, Reading, PA

6/30—InDisguise—The Tattoo Shot Lounge, Brooklyn, NY

6/30—Steve Brown and the Fallout—Beachcomber Bar, Seaside Heights, NJ

7/5—BoundAlive—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/6—Panzie*/Gas NYC/AUG/Rahway—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/6—Trimm/Filter—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

7/7—Set It Free/Breathing Blue—Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ

7/13—Darkness Fest—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/14—Mother/Scarlet Carson—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

7/14—The Plot Thickens/BoundAlive/Fever Vein/InDisguise—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

7/15—Aurin/Spineshank/The Agonist—Championships Bar and Grill, Trenton, NJ