Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Modern Chemistry & Jakes Gorilla

Locals, we meet again. My inbox has been flooded with submissions so far for 2013, and there are so many new bands and solo acts happening. Just when I thought it was impossible to hear any more new music, you all went blowing my mind and eardrums once again! Whether you’re trying out a new project, left your old band or just decided to pick up a guitar and go with it, I am here to support! Being in a band is hard work, but prodigious fun, and many people nowadays are in one. Predominantly, they are awesome, stylish, and rockin’! After a while of hard work and practice, you should be well on your way with a consistent gig. I’m a huge advocate of always promoting your band online and in person. Facebook accounts for bands would make it easy for people like myself to hear samples of your music, and learn who you are. In fact, Facebook is how I found out about the bands I’m going to be writing about this week.

Many people want to be in a band, but some haven’t fulfilled their dream, so we are here to help them change that, get the word out, and spread the love! The past few weeks I’ve been dedicating my articles to one band, but I am going to get back into the groove of multiple acts this week, for I have too much to talk about! I am about to introduce you to two amazing acts that are completely different in sound and genre, and that is the beauty of it! This article will attract music lovers of all types and hopefully get your butts in the seats at their next show!

First and foremost, I want to talk about a band that recently stumbled onto my radar, and they go by the name of Modern Chemistry. Matt, Jesse, Brandon, and Joe recently got together to create awesome sounds, and they hail from one of my favorite towns, New Brunswick. Joe actually reached out to me via Facebook (told you it works), for he was in another group I’ve worked with in the past, and he wanted to inform me of his new project. I love getting messages, as it shows personality and perseverance. Well, let me just say that I am so glad he did so.

The first track of theirs that I listened to was “Remember This Bridge,” and I instantly fell in love. They have a style all their own, and they rock hard and deliver a punch. If you close your eyes, you can hear their songs playing on the radio, or even blasted over the systems at arena-type shows. They have cited influences such as Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, and I can definitely pull the roots from that plant. This track can be found on their latest EP, An Introduction, which is available now. I wish there were more songs on it for me to jam out to, however, beggars can’t be choosers. The good news is that I know they are working on more music, so that gets my hair and arms waving in anticipation. Musically, they pack a mean blow with a lot of raw energy. The first EP launches a reputation consisting of superb energy and attitude. The singer’s voice is truly original and a pleasure to listen to. To top that off, the lyrics are top-notch. I could go on and on about this EP, or I could just say that if you like original voices with deep, meaningful lyrics, this is a group for you. I have yet to check them out live, though it is a goal of mine in the near future. Be sure to get to know Modern Chemistry sooner than later.

Next, let me dip into the extravaganza better known as Jakes Gorilla. I also found out about this trio while stumbling on an events page on Facebook that I had clicked “attending.” This led me to see them at The Saint in Asbury Park alongside Kid Felix, Empire Escorts, and Kings Highway, and I was blown away. “How have I never heard of this band before?” is what I kept asking myself, but no need to live in the past; I know them now, and nothing is holding back my love. They are a rock/indie/blues three-piece from Red Bank with quite a loud sound. My favorite tracks are “Night Girl” and “Bitter Cold” from their amazing album, Nice Job Of Disturbing The Peace In The Park.

Their sound is almost impossible to describe because it’s extremely unique. It’s compacted with a raw and nasty yet beautiful and recurring mix of jazz, rock and roll, and blues. Their energy is uncanny and even if you’ve never heard them, or feel like sitting for the whole night, they will force you out of your seat. The band’s live set is perfect, as if they have known each other for years, and in this case, some of them have. Let us not forget about their mind-blowing harmonies. In my opinion, the lead singer in any song is important, of course. But often, it’s the harmony around the vocalist that makes or breaks a song and here, it makes it! Don’t you agree the best harmonies can turn a good song into an instant classic that people will be singing for years to come? Jakes Gorilla are proof of this statement. Check them out and trust me, you will not regret it.

So there you have it, two more bands to get on your radar. I’m lucky enough to have stumbled upon them both through social media, so be sure to keep promoting, spreading the word, and gaining a solid fanbase in order for more people to pick up press on your band, book a show, or even just show you some love! It’s amazing how much you can do with the power of the internet; uploading your songs, promoting shows, posting music, interacting with fans, and even finding groups that you sound like to network with! I hope that you all continue the momentum of submitting your acts so I can check them out, write about you, and attend your shows in the front row! Until next week, my friends, when we bask in the beauty that is the New Jersey local music scene, keep supporting, keep booking shows, sharing articles, and doing your part to keep the buzz going! Long live the local music scene!