One band that I never seemed to have gotten around to in all my years of writing this column was Monster Magnet drummer Bob Pantella’s other band, RiotGod. These guys are absolutely awesome! I love the sludgy guitar riffs of guitarist Garrett Sweeny and the vocal stylings of Mark Sunshine are so addictive. His harmonies are so Alice In Chains-like in tracks like “Crossfade,” but the song that really caught my ear was called “Breed.” Like I said, I love me some sludge!

Back in 2007, Monster Magnet drummer Bob Pantella and bassist Jim Baglino recorded some music during some downtime with Monster Magnet and the finished product was so good that they decided to form a band out of it. Pantella and Baglino soon enlisted guitarist Garrett Sweeny and singer Mark Sunshine and RiotGod was born. The band would go on to record two CDs and release them through a German record label called Metalville. The discs would lead to tours in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe, which makes sense since their label is in Germany. One show where RiotGod really stood out was in 2012 when they were given the opportunity to play at the Wacken Open Air festival.

In the middle of 2011, Baglino departed from the band and in 2012, Erik Boe joined as the new bassist. This year, RiotGod found themselves back in the studio recording CD number three, Driven•Rise, which they hope to release soon. If you’d like to see RiotGod live, you can catch them on Halloween night (10/31) at the Stone Pony with The Battery Electric, Sekond Skyn and Harvey Djent. You can also check them out online at



My new little brothers from NYC’s Brand Of Julez have added a new member to their band. He is drummer Jeremy Frank from Brooklyn. Singer Julez Zamore is more than happy to have Jeremy join the family. You can catch Jeremy and Brand Of Julez live when they headline The Studio at Webster Hall in NYC on Dec. 14 with Ghosts Of Eden, someonElse, Fear Report and Srotakin IV. For more info on Brand Of Julez, log onto

Speaking of new drummers, Steve Bello has added one to the Steve Bello Band, and his name is Kamran Vaziri. Vaziri debuted with the Steve Bello Band at the Pets Rock show back in September, and Steve and bassist Joe DeMott both agreed that Vaziri was the right man for the job. The trio has since been working on new songs for the group. You can catch them live at Buddies Tavern in Sayreville on Nov. 2 with the band Ripped. Oh, and by the way, that night will be Steve Bello’s birthday, so buy him a shot! I’d love to see this guitar wiz play all hammered! For more info on the Steve Bello Band, log onto

And finally, my boys from A Lesson In Violence have been hard at work in the studio to pump out some new bone-crushing, ear-shattering metal into your ears! The boys have been threatening that people will need to wear a cup when they hear these new songs. They recently unleashed a song called “Tyranny’s Hold” online and you don’t need a cup to hear this song! You need a helmet! This song is brutal! Give it a listen now at

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140, Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!


Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.

NJN Concert Calendar:

10/30—Syka/Demon Boy—The Paper Box, Brooklyn, NY

10/30—Borgo Pass/The Winery Dogs—The Emporium, Patchogue, NY

10/31—Riotgod/The Battery Electric/Sekond Skyn/Harvey Djent—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

10/31—DevilHaus/Natural Born Losers/Metal Opera/The Royal Dumonts—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/1—Straight Line Stitch—Finnegan’s Wake, Philadelphia, PA

11/1—Days Before Tomorrow—The Bitter End, NYC

11/1—Mister Monster/Sardonica/Darrow Chemical Co./Cryptkeeper 5/Who Killed Marilyn—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/2—Faster Pussycat/Horseman 5/Roulette/Sick Mind/Big Tom and The Guns—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

11/2—Steve Bello Band/Ripped—Buddies Tavern, Sayreville, NJ

11/2—Shat/Anciients/Decoy/Gyre—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/2—Anvil Bitch—The Rusty Nail Tavern, Ardmore, PA

11/3—Attacker/Liege Lord/Freedoms Resign—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/8—Heavens Edge/Bad Seed Rising—World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA

11/8—Spread Eagle/Shawn Mars/High Octane/Spiral Scar/Joey Affatato—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

11/9—BlackOcean/Lower The Veil/Black Angel Down/Audio Empire—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ

11/9—Charetta—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

11/9—Panzie*–Pineapple Jacks, Rochester, NY

11/9—Long Gone Day—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/13—A Sound Of Thunder/Operatika/Edge Of Paradise/Fiakra—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/16—Generation Kill/Slam One Down/Julius Siezure—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/23—Knucklebone—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

11/23—Flatus/The Wait/The Bullys/Lakeside Drive/Disposable—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/24—Fates Warning/Halcyon Way/Fever Vein/Psychoprism/Dark Empire/Knollwood—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/29—Ten Feet From Murder/E-Town Concrete/40 Below Summer/Bane/Nora—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

11/30—Ted Poley—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

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