Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Lost In Society, Almost There & Elevator Art

What’s up my fellow Jersey rockers, we meet again! How exciting is this that we get to talk on a weekly basis, almost as if we are life-long friends? Alright, I know, enough with the sentimental crap. There is no time for that, because we have too much remarkable music to discuss. Last week I introduced you to three dope bands by the names of Breathing Blue, Set It Free, and Kid Felix. Big things happened to all three of them recently, including a dual CD release party for Breathing Blue and Set It Free at the infamous Asbury Lanes, along with Kid Felix winning a poll on 95.9 The Rat (my home) to play the Vans Warped Tour at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Congratulations to all of these bands for solidifying my point as to how badass they truly are. You make mama proud! Hopefully you still have them all on repeat, but also have some room to let some new kids into the crew.

First off, let’s start off with a little punk flair. A dictionary can define punk as “a type of rock and roll, reaching its peak in the late 1970s, and characterized by loud, insistent music and abusive or violent protest lyrics, and whose performers and followers are distinguished by extremes of dress and socially defiant behavior.” Lost In Society can define punk as their genre, dominated with their freshness and signed on the dotted line.

Lost In Society consists of Zach, Nick, and Hector, a power trio that makes music sound full. Combining gruff punk rock vocals, fresh, fun lyricism, and a stage presence that will give any expert concertgoer the shudders, Lost In Society are unquestionably the real deal. Based in the indie music hub of Asbury Park, this trio likes it loud and submissive. With a few discs under their belt, they have a deep placement in my musical library. They recently released a new full-length entitled Let It Sail, which is completely compacted for music lovers of all generations. They’ve been featured on my show, Jersey Rock, three times thus far. That is the most any local band has ever been featured, so that must say something, right? Some noteworthy tracks that I can’t get enough of include “Guns” and “Strange Chemistry.” Their newly released single, “Halloween Song,” comes with a music video, which is somewhat of a sequel to an older hit entitled “Wrong Direction,” which is off of their split EP with American Pinup (label mates on Altercation Records). By the way, that EP is worth picking up as well. They recently did a minor stint on the Vans Warped Tour, and are hopefully gaining national attention. I had the pleasure of seeing them on one of the dates and their live set really hit me right in the heart, dead center. When the boys took the stage, there was some kind of electricity in the air. A surge of emotion stemming from the massive amounts of bodies jammed together in the summer heat, sticky and carefree, which was so physical and comforting. Witnessing these guys go from the small stage to a big tour is so rewarding as a fan and I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for them as a band. Keep on trucking guys—you’re on the right path. And no matter what they say, punk is defiantly not dead with you guys in the game.

Okay, let’s stick to the three-piece tradition, shall we? Haven’t heard of a band called Almost There? Let’s change that. In their own words, Almost There are a good ole’ fashioned rock trio from Asbury Park. The group is led by dual frontmen Ed Soles and Zach Sicherman on guitar and bass, and backed by their new drummer, Mike “Seahawk” Lucchetti. They produce an original blend of up-tempo, melodic, alternative rock with hints of many other genres ranging from punk to reggae. These guys have been in the game for many years as different bands with multiple lineups, but this one is certainly the completed puzzle. The band has dominated the contest front from winning the Ratfest Band Search for six weeks of regular rotation airplay and the opening slot at Ratfest 2010 as well as a Myspace (yes, that Myspace) contest where they got to fly to L.A. to record an album. These boys also just released their first full-length back in March entitled Abandon The Sinking Ship. Having all of their EPs in my collection, I truly feel like this is their most honest, mature, solid work to date. Noteworthy tracks include “Look Alive” and “Worst Day Ever.” You may have heard their tunes on my show and you will positively hear more from them in the future. They’ve shared the stage with such an eclectic lineup of mainstream artists including Gym Class Heroes, Creed, Wu-Tang Clan, and most recently, 311 at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Plain and simple, something tells me these guys are far from abandoning any sort of musical ship. Keep them on your radar.

Last but not least, we are doubling the trios to a sextet for a band called Elevator Art. Hailing from Toms River, Elevator Art’s six members (Daimon, Jen, Joe, Liz, Maureen and Mike) have been creating music since 2007. This band puts on one of the most original, intricate entertaining live sets I have ever seen. From multiple instruments to banging pots and pans together, they’re a crew that can do no wrong. They have made it known that an average show includes sharp lyrics, catchy guitar licks, keyboard solos, megaphones, party horns, flutes, and vocals from each and every member. Within two minutes of the set, they make you feel as if you are the seventh member of the band. I love the whole guy-girl split, as it brings so many flavors to the drawing board. Are they in a specific genre you ask? Screw that—straight originality is what they are. All over the place never sounded so good. Get to know these guys, I am begging you—it will change your view of live shows for good.

So, I have provided you with three more bands that have been crawling in my brain this week. Although they’re all different in their own right, they’re all molded together by one common glue—local New Jersey musicians. Hopefully my insights will steer you in the right direction to get out and support some shows in the scene. Until next week, my friends, keep your eyes on Maria Mar’s Local Radar.