Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Idöl Threat, The Luna Laval & EdTang

Locals, we meet again. The warm weather has finally embraced us, shows are getting booked, bands are recording, and local life is good. This week I am going to rant and rave about some tremendous bands that are on the course of a bright future that you need to get to know about before their claim to fame! Three bands/artists that are anything but comparable and could not be more different, and that’s the beauty of it! Here at the Radar, we like to experience and indulge various genres and styles that are all pleasing to the ear. One band is young and rocking, another is more established with an indie forte, and the last is a solo artist whose sound is as mysterious as his record titles. Please proceed so I can bring these musicians into the local spotlight!

First and foremost, please be so kind to embrace the awesomeness that is Idöl Threat. I first met these guys a little over a year ago at the Point Pleasant Beach Battle Of The Bands, where they took home some great prizes for their performance. Although talented, kind, humble and driven, there is a specific element about this band that is a strong driving force: their charitable qualities. These guys are always playing benefits and shows to raise money for awareness of various causes, which I think is super cool for men of their young stature. They are also in the process of releasing a new record, which I am lucky enough to already have my hands on, while celebrating the release at Sea Girt Lanes on May 31. Bowling and live local music, what else could a girl ask for? There are some other awesome groups on the bill including The Ground and The Unexpected, which I am excited to find out more about. They play rock ‘n’ roll and even throw in some contagious covers every now and then. The crazy part about this is they have only been a band for just over a year, and they have already made quite the name for themselves in the local scene. They have tagged themselves as “The Jersey Shore’s Hardest Working Band,” and I can most definitely agree that they are up there. With their continuous perseverance, drive and determination, they will get far. Robbie, Pat and Brian will continue to make the Jersey Shore proud, along with their fans. Check them out on social media, as they are very active with their fans. Keep up the good work guys, and I am excited for the world to hear your new record!

Next, let us completely do a 180 here and talk about a more established band on the scene, The Luna Laval. They reached out to me via email a few weeks back, and I have been hooked ever since. The group just released a new EP back in January, A Good Fear, and have been playing shows all over New Jersey ever since. Hailing from New Brunswick, I have yet to catch them live, though I am hoping they will migrate more this way in the summer. How can I describe their sound? Well, it’s definitely indie—however you want to classify that—with a solid incorporation of alternative, and I was completely blown away at first by their sound. If you have yet to hear them, I highly suggest you start off with “The Silent Song,” for it’s anything but. I guess what they say is true: silence can be golden. Jakub, Tom, Andy and Jeff make a four-piece sound as full as it can, hitting every element along the way. The best advice I can give you about The Luna Laval is don’t let whether you have heard of them or not sway your perception of their music; that goes exactly against the common indie credo. They don’t slag off any other bands, as I could not compare them to anyone even if I wanted too. I could be totally off with this perception, but it seems as if they are playing music because they want to experience new things, see new places, meet new people and scratch the creative itch that many of us have. They make music that we’d like to hear. I am highly anticipating their live performance, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for The Luna Laval.

Now we will make another complete twist and talk about singer-songwriter EdTang. He is from New Jersey, and is a man on a mission. I recently checked out one of his older CDs and was intrigued. I truly enjoyed the tracks “Vaya” and “Lincoln” right off the bat, and then proceeded to indulge in the rest of the album, which was just as fulfilling. He has a nice set of “chops” on him as well, with no pun intended. His sophomore release, Goodbye, Zen5, Sushi Dinner, admittedly left me somewhat confused just by the title, but it’s far from puzzling. “Just Two Old Friends” is by far my recommended choice of listen if you are just starting out. This is a strong follow-up, for he is far from a one-hit wonder. From checking out his website, I can tell he has a deep soul, and his music has a lot more meaning behind it then what the ear can hear. He even states, “there are a lot more songs to be recorded, some serious, some mysterious,” which naturally leaves me intrigued. He has a show coming up at the Berkeley Bar in Asbury Park on May 11, so if you are looking for something fresh and original, I highly suggested you attend.

There we have it, three more interesting artists from New Jersey that help us fill spots on the local map. They are all very active on socials and perform a lot of shows, so be sure to get out there, show them support, and tell them Maria Mar sent you! Thanks to all of you who have been emailing me suggestions of some bands to get into; Summer 2013 is going to be hot on the Local Radar! Speaking of hot, local photographer Jeff Crespi and I will be hosting a welcoming summer bash at The Saint in Asbury Park on June 1, with bands featuring The Antics, Stiff Motion, Toothgrinder, Kid Felix, and Those Modern Cavemen. Come out and support, for it’s going to be a big party and everyone is invited. Also, be sure to keep updating me on your shows so we can spread the love, one band at a time. Until next week, my local friends, rock on!