Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Reach

Hello my local lovers, it’s that time again to talk about some New Jersey-based musicians! Thanks to all of you who have been giving me some great feedback and suggestions on some bands to feature in the Local Radar. To be honest, I’ve been getting more submissions from friends of bands than actual groups themselves. That truly is awesome, because it makes me believe that you guys are really doing your local research and passing the test (the test for Maria Mar’s stamp of approval, that is).

This week, I’m going to talk about a group that used to be something else and underwent a bit of a transformation. They give some hope to many popular sounds in the industry, as they break the clichés of sound today and set higher standards in what’s considered “cool.” If you’re a music lover in the market for something loaded with talent, extremely experimental and with a theatrical atmosphere, then Reach is a band for you.

According to their Facebook page, Reach reside in Long Branch, NJ. Now, you may recognize their band members—Joel, Christian, Joe and Steve—from a group called Boy Meets Machine. For a minute, I thought they had just disappeared out to sea. So, when I saw they had a project that had come to shore, I was more than relieved. They recently sent me a message on my Jersey Rock page, which is 100 percent the best way to get me. Well, let’s just say, “Tag, I’m it.”

You can tell that the members of Reach have eclectic tastes in music just by what they each bring to the table. I really did not know what to expect when I first listened to Reach because I didn’t want to compare them to their prior work. All I was certain of was that I enjoyed what I heard previously. That being said, if you are open to different kinds of music, this will be a real treat for you. I don’t usually make promises that I can’t keep, but I do promise that you will enjoy this.

The boys just released a new EP entitled Patterns In Static, and it’s already getting airplay and a ton of buzz. I would like to learn a little bit more about where the title of this EP came from, because I think it could explain the direction they are going toward a little more thoroughly. While I haven’t heard the entire thing yet, I must say my favorite track off the EP would probably be “Pins And Needles,” which they just released a very unique, artsy video for. I could hear this song being played in movie trailers, TV shows and on the radio, and that, my friends, is a perfect blend of success. Ironically enough, my sister from another station and fellow local rock queen, DJ Lindsay Klein of WDHA, was singing their praise, and whatever advice she gives, I usually take and run with. Not only are the vocals on this track exceptional, but the lyrics flow with the music perfectly. I am a complete sucker for higher-pitched, angelic vocalists, and upon the first note hit, I was eager to listen. The guitars weave in and out of each other, really creating a full and beautiful pattern of harmony, topped off with some stellar drums and bass.

Now, upon listening to this track, you may notice that Reach is the type of band you have to really sit down and study, as you have to make a conscious effort to fully inhale and absorb what they are trying to do here. I am by no means saying that it doesn’t make sense or that it’s weird; I simply mean it’s very different and noteworthy. It’s somewhat challenging, for they could crossover into a few genres if we really had to place them into one (which trust me, we don’t). However, for the many of us who need that instant description of what they sound like, I would call it experimental, in the most positive way possible. They are very ambient and almost fall into the category of space rock. To sum it up in a nutshell, this band has a sound that is pretty much uncategorizable. Whatever you say will not do it justice properly, as you just have to listen to find out what it’s all about.

Reach have a diverse blend of positive attributes—artistic, complex and eclectic come to mind—while still being capable of grabbing any listener in a way that would somewhat force them to hit repeat, not only to hear it again, but to fully understand it better. To touch on their official video for “Pins And Needles” a little more, I think it’s really neat. I did some research and saw that it was shot in stop animation (which I am not so familiar with) and that it took “over 3,000 frames” by Matt Provenzano. Well, I don’t know you at all, Matt, but awesome work. This just goes to show how original this band really is by imitating their creativeness through art, not just sound.

I am excited to have access to their entire EP, and look forward to spinning it on my show. If one single can have that much impact on my ears, I think it’s safe to say we are in good shape. And, of course, we cannot forget, you have to check out the video. It’s one of a kind! Keep checking their socials to find out when they will be playing some shows, and demand that Reach come to a town near you. If their live set is as fun as their videos and recordings, then I will be a regular show attendee! You can learn more about them at Tell them Maria Mar sent you and maybe I’ll get a reward! Until next week, my friends, keep supporting local music!