Lords Of Mercy – Hard Rock Sentries Pave The Way In The Garden State
Lords Of Mercy might be in the fledgling stage (they formed as a band in 2011), but their experience and history go back years with their involvement in the North Jersey music scene. Several members are forever tied to the fan-based muscle of the legendary Old Bridge Metal Militia and the “call to arms” grassroots support that has paved the way for the country’s largest metal preaching names. OBMM was allegedly responsible for the early successes of Metallica, Anvil, Overkill, Slayer and Anthrax, just to name royalty’s exclusive few.
Lords Of Mercy was formed out of necessity. The need for expressing something different than everyone else was doing has always been the goal that drove this band to its present positioning of blitzkrieg originality. Combining the smart traditional portrayal of heroes from the past with the modern process of presentation and sound, Lords Of Mercy have taken the hard-earned steps that put them outside the circle of copycats that flood the Jersey scene today.
The payoff is revealed in their commercially viable recordings and the high-level accolades that come from everyone from Johnny Zazula (Megaforce Records kingpin) to Garrett Sweeny and Bob Pantella of Monster Magnet. Utilizing a super hyped live presence, Lords Of Mercy easily pave waves of hard rock blacktop through the opportunity-laden matrix of the Garden State.
Nominated for three Asbury Music Awards, the band has unleashed a brand new record which was recently showcased at the legendary Stone Pony. Word has it that even though the inclement weather was a definite hurdle, the band still wowed Pony bosses and musical diehards with hundreds of attendees.
When you look into the world of Lords Of Mercy and their position in the scene, it’s almost as if they hold a place of unspoken reverence with both fans and fellow musicians alike. Bands that play with them are emphatically respectful and thankful when given opportunities to shine, and fans brave rain, sleet and snow to see them play on any stage. This public reaction stems from the forthright actions of a group that doesn’t just play music for fame and fortune, but embraces and supports a complete choice of lifestyle and the community that they come from.
The powerhouse self-titled release on Main Man Records, Lords Of Mercy showcases smart and cutting-edge compositions that move boundaries when you think of stereotypical genres. Is it metal? You bet. But the cross-pollinated importance of hard rock, punk and pop all shine meteor bright on Lords Of Mercy.
Songs such as “Your Time Is Gonna Come” blast from the speakers, whistling with bomb dropping salutations and the fast-paced nods to bands such as Soundgarden and Overkill. Guitars detonate courtesy of Danny “The Farrow” Anniello, and the bass and drums of Joe Stabile and Pete Perrina supply addictive rumble for lead vocalist Brandon Sweeny to rip straight up the middle on this solid gold hornet’s nest. This is three minutes and seven seconds of pure, undiluted, rock and roll rebellion, and it’s still moving in my head days after the initial play.
Other great songs include “Walking A Thin Line.” With its White Zombie influential meter and tone, “Walking A Thin Line” jogs the responsive listener with the heaviest of musical messages. Once again the guitar work of Anniello takes this song into areas of cleverly thought out originality. This is a guy who could probably recreate a myriad of typical guitar god styles, but he concentrates on his own diverse fretboard rampages, and that attention to detail keeps this from heading down the same ole highway to hell. Brandon Sweeny’s strategy of swerving into catchy and plausible melodic direction is also well noted, and the support of the rhythmic duo keeps this raw and edgy number reigned in where it needs to be and let loose to run for miles when it’s time to get it done.
Another great example from the record is the pulsating 1970s attitude of “Pray For Me Now.” Combining the savvy, stop and go signature of bands such as AC/DC or Audioslave with the quick-paced, hook-laden vocal detail of Jerry Fulton Cantrell, “Pray For Me Now” kneels at the proverbial altar of golden opportunity and this band’s inevitable, Billboard scoring positioning.
To quote the succinct words of Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, “Great vocal melodies, ripping guitar solos and grooves that hit my old school metal heart.” I would have to agree emphatically. Lords Of Mercy pay tribute to their Old Bridge powerhouse past, while focusing on a present success and commercially viable future here in New Jersey and the world beyond.
The full-length, 10-song, two-cover limited edition debut, Lords Of Mercy, is available on iTunes and Amazon. It is also available over at Main Man Records and at lordsofmercyband.com.
A Big Man’s West Reunion – Nick Clemons III Continues The Legend
Big Man’s West was a Red Bank New Jersey club owned and frequented by the late, renowned Clarence Clemons in the ‘80s. The room played host to some of the area’s biggest and best, as well as many up-and-coming rock and roll brethren. I have many great recollections of the club, and I played there more than a few times back in the room’s heyday.
In remembered continuance of the iconic room and the man who started it, Clarence “Nick” ClemonsIIIinvites you to celebrate the Big Man’s legacy at the Official Clemons Family Celebration being held at Martell’s Tiki Bar on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
The Jan. 11 show will highlight “Big Man’s West” regulars including John Cafferty and Michael “Tunes” Antunes of the Beaver Brown Band, JoBonanno & The Godsons Of Soul, Gary Bangs, DJ Lee Mrowicki, past Red Bank Rockers including JT Bowen and Jack Scarangella, and the list keeps growing. The Nick Clemons Band will also perform and the evening’s emcee will be WFAS-AM’s Orlando In The Morning, Brian Anthony.
This one-of-a-kind night sharpens attention on the late, great Clarence “Big Man” Clemons on the official New Jersey designated Clarence Clemons Day on what would have been his 72nd birthday. Additional musical guests providing their own personal recognition to Clemons include Huntley, Mike Rocket, Tommy Byrne, VyntEdge, Killer Joe And The Lido Soul, Eddie Testa, Mario Casella & Eric Greene, and more special wonders.
The Nick Clemons camp sent me this significant event notice and wanted to add that Nick’s association with this event is an ongoing priority in his association with Clarence’s legacy as well as New Jersey’s past and present scene. His press release states, “I will continue to work to preserve the legacy of the Big Man and Big Man’s West and this event will give fans an opportunity to show their love for Clarence Clemons and relive the magic that was Big Man’s West for a night.”
If you didn’t get the chance to be part of those intoxicating days of rock and roll magic, now is your chance to rub elbows with the bands that have gone on to make an unforgettable mark in the music world, and your chance to hear the vibrant and compelling stories of the club and the man who set the tone of the day.
Tickets are still available and can be acquired by going to the NCB website, calling 732-948-2491, or stopping in at Martell’s on the boardwalk in person. The website is www.ncbproductions.com.