Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Ether Sunday & SIOS

Locals, it’s about that time again. What’s more fun than talking about music, honestly? Well, you may all be able to think of some things, but I am stumped! This week, I am going to talk about two bands completely different in style, sound and genre. I’m sure they’ve never met or even heard of each other, for New Jersey can be very big at times, no matter what the map may look like. However, this article makes for a great pairing. I have no crazy backstory on their names, how any of them met or if they will live happily ever after, but that’s alright. What I do know is that they are both extremely talented, on the rise, and ready to break through the music barrier. I’m just bringing them to your attention so hopefully you can add some new music to your playlist!

First and foremost, I am going to talk about one of the most talented acts I have seen in quite some time. A few weeks back, I suited up and headed out to The Saint in Asbury Park to see a great lineup of bands including Chemtrail, Those Modern Cavemen and the group this article will shine light upon, Ether Sunday. I always have a great time at The Saint, as the lineups are always very diverse and eclectic. They sucked me out of my seat at the bar, which at times can be hard to do. They pulled me right to the front of the stage, hanging on to every chord and song. I heard of this band so many times before, and am ashamed to admit that this was my first time at a performance, but I can guarantee it won’t be the last. The guitar riffs are compelling, the drums solid as a rock, and the vocals savage, deep and rough. Their set is so tight you could hear a pin drop, if anyone actually brought one to the show.

I don’t know if I’d classify them as alternative grunge, heavy rock or other, though I’m sure they wouldn’t know how to describe it either. But what we can call them is a bunch of seriously talented musicians. I was first introduced to them upon their three-track self-titled release on cassette. Honestly, I don’t know what was harder: finding a place to listen to it or removing myself from the room once I found somewhere to play it. “495 Weeks” is a personal favorite. I thoroughly enjoy this group, for they are compacted with raw and confrontational energy as well as a more aggressive edge than many I have seen. Check out the song “Beat” and you’ll see what I mean. That’s not to say that their recordings created a specific sound or originated it, but it sure as hell displays it. Those who love heavy rock should more than appreciate their music. Do yourself a favor and check this band out at a venue near you, and be sure to pick up that cassette!

Next, I am going to talk about a band that is fairly new on my radar called SIOS. They sent me their music a few months back, and having been bombarded with submissions as of late, finally got around to it. Since I am just getting acquainted with these guys, I cannot spill my heart and guts out just yet, but I am sure I will get there soon enough. They are from Newark, NJ, and have a progressive style and sound. Their debut album, Halcyon Failure, has been picking up momentum since its release last year. What can I say about them so far? Well, they are very gifted storytellers in the rock and roll world. I can honestly say in a positive way that they are very, very different, and feel now more than ever that music lovers are more accepting of unique acts willing to experiment with new sounds. The raw talent of this group should be enough to entertain the ears of a broad range of listeners. If you can look past the “genre labels” and your initial perception of the sound, the soul and passion shines through in the experimental love for music its members lend to their work. Some personal favorite tracks of mine include “Heaven” and “Lost In Wonderland.” The lyrics are extremely deep and can be interpreted on a personal level. Some of their songs are dark and of a decent length, containing many complex and satisfying guitar parts. I am looking forward to hopefully catching their live set in the near future, for I have a feeling it will be a very meaningful, theatrical, thought-out performance. I believe they have a lot of time to grow in the business, and their sound will mature very gracefully. You can find all of their music online to listen to and purchase, so be sure to get on that as soon as possible.

So here are two more bands from completely different ends of the spectrum fighting for some listeners, although, in their favor, the fight won’t be very difficult. Both groups blend various elements of sound while making it all their own. Maybe Ether Sunday and SIOS will one day be co-headlining a tour together. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? Every artist was a local at some point! I’ll be back next week with some more local artists to watch out for. Support your local bands by going to their shows and buying some new merchandise and music. Not sure where to start, what venues to go to or what shows to see? Well, when all else fails, pick up a random gig. Keep rocking, locals.