Local world, we meet again. I hope you are all having a wonderful week. So many things are happening on the local front. It’s so awesome that I seem to never run out of content or new bands to rave about; New Jersey just keeps pumping out talent. These reviews come from a girl who listens to everything from Incubus and Foo Fighters to Young The Giant and The Gaslight Anthem, and then will even switch it up to some Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. Point being, I listen to all kinds of music, and keep an open mind upon going to live shows and receiving CDs. I truly feel every genre has a purpose, whether it’s a part of your style and taste or not. This week I am going to focus on the power of reggae. This style of music makes you feel good, no matter what kind of day you are having or what is happening in your life, and it makes you leave all of your ambitions at the door. It usually has a strong message about life, but gives listeners a noble beat and sound to listen to. There is no better style of music that you can sit back, relax, and just chill out to while listening. Believe it or not, we have a lot of reggae-esque bands locally. Although they incorporate other parts of different genres into their sound as well, these acts generally keep their message optimistic and free. On that note, let us talk some local music, shall we? Please proceed.

Just like one of my favorite bands on the planet, The Beach Boys, “I’m picking up good vibrations.” Now, that being said, please allow me to touch on a band that will make you feel so good, Loose Fit. The boys reside in Oceanport, NJ, and have a huge following across the state. They have been together for a little over two years, and have dominated the scene in a short amount of time. They have that jam, surfer vibe that just makes you want to take off your shoes and dance around in the sand. Listening to them will take you away from all the hassles of your daily life and put you right in the music with the band. In their own words, they define themselves as a multi-format genre, including “roots, reggae, blues, alternative, jazz, and funk.” Joey, the multi-talented lead singer who also plays keyboard and guitar, has vocals that are as smooth as butter, with a tone that makes you just plain “chill out.” Along with virtuous drum beats and sick guitar riffs, Loose Fit has some excellent songs. Some of my personal favorites include “Wasted Basement” and “Winter Soul.” All you have to do is press play and let the music start; it’s that simple. It can be listened to over and over again without getting exhausted with it. It’s amazing how they can go from reggae to a rock sound in minutes. Their live set is appropriate and enjoyable for crowds of all ages and occasions. Joey, Pat, Kevin, and Ray love to play live, so you will most likely be able to catch them in the near future. Now don’t get it twisted; when I say reggae, I don’t mean Bob Marley reggae. They just pull many influences from the genre and are extremely original in their own right. With the evolution of dancehall, reggae rock has surpassed into what we now witness as being a mainstream musical force; and Loose Fit are right on board. Throw your lighters up and enjoy the ride.

Sticking to the reggae rock roots, let’s talk about a band from Long Branch that goes by the name of Eastbourne. I first worked with this band for The Break Contest for Bamboozle, and instantly fell in love. They made it to the finals with a huge fanbase screaming and chanting their name throughout the venue. Although they did not get to play the festival, I truly feel they gained a lot of new fans and tons of respect during that competition, considering they had only been a band for less than a year. They are real, down to earth, talented musicians, who play for one reason, and one reason only; their passion. They don’t care about the glitz and glam that fame could bring, they simply want to play music that gets you off your feet, feeling good, and letting loose. It almost seems as if they all grew up playing music, for you can see the love and emotion they put into it through their stage presence and facial expressions. Their hometown of Long Branch is also very important to them, and they sure do not forget where they came from. In fact, one of their tracks, “LB Stylee,” is one of my favorites from their collection. For them, music is not just a hobby; it’s somewhat of a lifestyle. The three-piece, featuring David, Dave, and Omar, really like to jam. Their infectious beats and pleasant live set will make you an instant fan. They aren’t afraid to move when on stage, as they are usually the first ones dancing. They also do a pretty amazing 311 cover, but I will not spoil that for you; you will have to catch them live to see which song they choose. The guys are putting out some new music in a little bit, so be sure to stay tuned for what they are about to throw onto the scene. Eastbourne aren’t stopping anytime soon, so you might as well embrace the movement.

So there you have it, two awesome local bands that not only have great style, live performances and recording quality, but great attitudes as well. Their love for music keeps them going and gives them the desire to entertain people like you and I. Their reggae styles make my inner core dance while making the blood flow through my veins! It truly is a humble sound that must only be experienced in a chilling and mellow state of mind. For some of you Jersey Shore folks, you may like it most before or after your surfing sessions. Loose Fit and Eastbourne both play venues locally on a consistent basis, so be sure to check out their websites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and all of their promotional sites to find out when you can get out there and see them live. I’ll be back next week with more bands to chat about and get on your radar and who knows, maybe it could be you! Be sure to check your local venues’ schedules this weekend to get out to some shows and show some support, as the next big band could be playing right in your own backyard! After all, you don’t want to be the last one who knows! Local music isn’t just a phase, people. It’s here to stay!

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