No Label Required: The Unsigned Bands Class Of 2013


Hermit Song [Single]

by Roz Smith

After their last three-song release came out in August 2012, Morning… have stayed relatively low-key. However, that just built suspense for their second release with their newest member, who adds the missing piece to the band’s puzzle. If you’re not careful, the start of “Hermit Song,” the band’s latest release, can and will easily scare you. The booming intro dies down in an almost theatrical way. If the chorus doesn’t latch on to you after the first listen, your hearing may need to be checked. The release of “Hermit Song” marks a new chapter for the sextet, and it could easily be the chapter that makes Morning…’s whole story into a massive hit. Check them out when they perform as part of the Tiny Giant Winter Beach Ball on Feb. 10 at Maxwell’s.


Reese Van Riper

Ghost Oil Revival

by Roz Smith

Released last November, Ghost Oil Revival is a five-track album that has a spooky, soulful feel that hooks listeners right in. From the cynical “Bastard,” the circus gone wrong riffs and guest vocals in “Promenade,” and even the odd duck of the release, “Love Is A Cure,” Reese Van Riper are creating timeless music. Made up of veteran rockers from other bands that once prevailed, the trio that make up Reese Van Riper are no strangers to the local circuit. It’ll be interesting to see how the seasoned rockers top Ghost Oil Revival given its outstanding qualities. Don’t miss them at Maxwell’s in Hoboken on Feb. 10 as part of the Tiny Giant Winter Beach Ball!

Cicada Radio

No Fate But What We Make

by Darryl Norrell

Recent Cicada Radio release, No Fate But What We Make, has tenets of post-hardcore, though it is strangely dreamy and peaceful for its pugnacity. Its heavy rhythms are chased with shoegazey guitars and vocals stretching from bark to gut-shout. I’m a fan of the way it’s mixed, as well, with the vox barely clawing above the band’s reverberating disarray. For your curiosity’s sake, imagine what Bear VS. Shark might’ve sounded like if they satisfied a Slowdive obsession as opposed to, say, Fugazi… but that doesn’t really do their unique take on this style justice. Hear them along with the rest of the stacked lineup scheduled for the Asbury Lanes Winter Beach Ball show on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Dad Brother


by Darryl Norrell

Dad Brother have arrived to make sure I never have to listen to The Black Keys again, and I couldn’t be happier to have them. This duo of Andrew Lange and Evan Luberger lay down impossibly slick grooves and dusty moods on October’s LP, Mavericks, and upon listening, you’ll see that the link to aforementioned major labelers is only superficial—these songs ooze life, as guitars erupt into bluesy squalls out of hushed fingerpicking, rustic-sounding production full of mood. Catching their live set will drive singer Andrew Lange’s acerbic hooks into your brain with a nail and hammer. I can verify, as “Tie It Right” is still going five days later. They will play the Asbury Lanes portion of the Beach Ball fest on Saturday, Feb. 9, and are one of the reasons you can’t miss a minute.


Holy City Zoo

Everybody Sells For More

by Darryl Norrell

I must confess to some confusion on account of all the disparate attempts to classify music that falls under the “punk” umbrella. I wouldn’t know if Holy City Zoo‘s latest EP, Everybody Sells For More, should be considered post-punk, post-hardcore, post-music—what’s important is that it’s a snarling, gorgeous mess of aggression that catches another side of the Zoo’s vigorous live set on record. Last year’s Nobody Sells For Less felt vulnerable, melodic, and deliberate, and this follow-up couldn’t be any more dissimilar: It’s all short structures and thrashing riffs, raw like a Dischord band, and replete with inspired guitar work that make HCZ irreplaceable. The New Brunswick quartet will bring their energetic live set to Asbury Lanes on Feb. 9 for an appearance at the Winter Beach Ball.


I Am The Heat


by Darryl Norrell

The latest release by Brooklyn’s I Am The Heat, a three-track EP called Endings, is so saturated with red-cheeked, care-free exuberance that you can sort of smell the rock ‘n’ roll on it. Tempos and vibe push on past Strokes-territory and make for three garage-fuzzy, wall-punching anthems meant for heavy alcohol intake. Frontman Jameson Edwards, working under this band name since 2005, delivers some genuine snot-nosed swagger amidst bop-bas, whoa-ohs, and some delicious bass riffs. It’s all too brief, but we’ll get to know them better in person: They’ve got a set in Hoboken at Maxwell’s on Sunday, Feb. 10, for the Beach Ball’s final hurrah, and if there’s any justice in the world, it’ll get plenty rowdy.


Debut Album

by Darryl Norrell

OneHundredThousand are a new prog-metal project out of Butler, NJ, who are gearing up to release their debut album this spring. A four-piece with nary but a teaser available online for now, the brief glimpse at their music seems to promise big, heady riffs and a hell of a drummer—not to mention Aquarian freelancer Andrew Magnotta on bass. The record’s being finished up at Architekt Music with Sevendust’s Clint Lowery offering co-production on the vocals. You can catch them at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan in support of fellow proggers Jolly on Friday, March 1.


Horses [Single]

by Darryl Norrell

Sara are a trio whose spin on alt-rock is eerily beautiful and off-the-wall creative, first introduced on a 2011 self-titled debut and expanded upon in their live-tracked EP, Spud Brain. It’s just guitar-bass-drums but rich with inspired songwriting and style-swapping—garage, grunge, indie, psychedelic rock to name a few—but contextualizing their sound is pointless, as they draw from everywhere and establish a sound with a mood rather than any blend of styles. Serene, surreal new single “Horses,” out at the start of this year, seems to suggest more attention given to production: Vocals warble like they’re underwater, overdubs bolster the strumming guitars, and synths drone under the melody—it kind of feels like déjà vu. See them in New Brunswick at the Court Tavern during its night of Winter Beach Ball on Feb. 8.


Zac Clark & The Griswolds

Come On Down

by Darryl Norrell

Zac Clark‘s alien hysterics and the trashy punk of his backing Griswolds (comprised of former Black Water guys Adam Copeland and Lloyd Naideck) first set up shop on their debut EP, Come On Down, out this past August. It’s comprised of three short, freaked-out bursts with manic energy and brilliantly antisocial movie-kitsch lyrics, danceable and strange—a fine teaser for a full-length, we hope. Though they’re more commonly found ass-kicking somewhere like The Lamp Post or Grand Victory, they’ll play at Asbury Lanes for the Beach Ball on Feb. 9 for a night of the fest that looks to be a triumph for all who believe in the ageless companionship between rock shows and boozed-up escapism. If you’re a human being, that’s probably you, so catching this set ought to be a priority.


Michael Glazier

by Amanda Ferrante Batista

He’s a guy with his guitar—bringing Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Madonna’s “Get Into The Groove” to tavern and coffee house performances. Michael Glazier, 46, is a singer-songwriter from Basking Ridge, NJ. The primarily self-taught musician is immersed in sound all day. His day job as an audio engineer working in television has given him the unique opportunity to mix for acts performing on ABC’s The View, where he made his own television debut during the Backstage Talent Show. Glazier’s repertoire is all about the impact of pure sound.

“Since I deal with technology all day, I tend to like the raw organic nature of a voice and an acoustic guitar—just wire, wood, a microphone and some stories,” he says. Influenced by a plethora of acts, including U2, The Police, INXS, Joe Jackson, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails, Glazier often draws inspiration to write lyrics for his own songs by tapping emotion from relationships, family and how we relate to one another.

Catch Michael Glazier frequently at The National Underground in New York City, a club owned by Gavin DeGraw and his brother, Joey. For more information and music, visit


by Noah Ruede

Brooklyn isn’t the best place to have a band. Sure, it’s been America’s hotbed for indie rock—whatever that might mean anymore—for over a decade now. But the music scene is desperately oversaturated, and unabashedly fetishizes all things hip, making it nearly impossible for truly talented, unpretentious, self-deprecating artists to earn the coveted title of “buzz band.” At least not without a publicist. Such is the plight of Slothbear.

Since their formation in 2008, the Long Island four-piece have churned out an LP, two EPs, and a 7” single, with another EP due later this year. As they’ve trekked to Brooklyn for countless DIY and small-venue gigs, I’ve watched them come into their own. Their refreshingly honest brand of shimmery, hook-riddled songwriting runs the gamut between the sweetly melodic, the darker/more brooding, and occasionally, the endearingly goofy. They’ll be playing at The Lab, in Brooklyn, on Feb. 8. You can find them at to keep appraised of their upcoming shows and/or snarky banter.


by Andrea Seastrand

Central New York’s Papership have started the New Year with clear skies and calm seas ahead. Formed in 2006, members Mark Romano (vocals, guitar), Charlie Bell (keys, synth), Alan Smead (bass), and Joel Reissig (drums) have worked to fine-tune their unique brand of “trash pop,” using their hard work and talents to emerge victorious at Syracuse’s Big Break Battle Of The Bands. First formed as a means for songwriting and noise exploration, Papership’s sound has evolved into a crowd-pleasing blend of catchy songs and musicianship comparable, as some have said, to Yoko Ono fronting The Flaming Lips. Crowned as Syracuse’s musical nautical champs, Papership’s 2013 promises to be productive and exciting, with opening spots for national touring artists, a follow-up to 2010’s A Ladder To The Dinghy studio release, and an on-air spot on Syracuse’s 95X on Feb. 21. They’ll play The Lounge at The Lost Horizon, in Syracuse, on Feb. 22. For more information, find Papership on Facebook.