Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Ropetree Maria Mar January 22, 2014 Columns What’s up my local rockers? It’s about that time to talk about music that is making the headlines and making our heads bob! I have been getting a ton of submissions, so please continue to keep them coming! I love to hear your input of what you are listening to and what shows you are going out to see, as it really helps me know what is hot! The group I am featuring this week is no stranger to the local music scene. I have grown to have a true love for them, as they have a bit of everything: the talent, the look, the personality, the fans, and the drive. Hopefully by the end of this article you will 100 percent agree. So, what band am I referring to, you ask? Well, let me hit some nails on the head first. They have opened up for countless national acts and have one of the strongest followings in the area. When I first heard them many moons ago in a battle of the bands contest we did for the Rat, I immediately thought to myself that this group belonged in regular rotation radio, just from hearing their live set. Then I heard their recordings and my thoughts were solidified. Yes, these guys have been in the Local Radar before, but this time around there is new music, new shows, and a lot more to talk about. Ropetree hail from Toms River, New Jersey, and have an active rock sound with a unique twist. I am not sure what their name means (not that it matters), but one day I hope to sit them down in an interview and find out their true backstory. It’s apparent the guys have been friends for a while, for their genuine chemistry on stage cannot be made up. Their new EP, Bacon, is one for the books. First of all, I love that they chose this as the title, because after all, who doesn’t love bacon? Every time I hear that word I come running, so when I received the EP through the mail, nothing changed. When describing the record, the guys put a cute twist on it, calling it “sizzling and full of flavor,” which indeed it is. So, once I got past the creative title, I decided to touch upon what was actually on the CD and not by the cover! It’s compacted with five amazing songs that could all be lead singles. It’s rare to find that EP that is complete killer with no filler in between, but this one is. The disc is aggressive and heavy at parts, but they are perfectly blended with even ingredients that thoroughly make it a complete success. This record is pure rock and roll and very heavy yet melodic at the same time. On each note of these songs, singer Bill hits notes that any music lover can appreciate. I really see him up there with the many frontmen of rock, including Corey Taylor, Aaron Lewis and Chris Daughtry. He is also extremely entertaining live, engaging the crowd and getting everyone off their feet. All of their lyrics have deep meaning and show the band’s feelings, bringing you to a place where you can relate your own situations to the tracks. If I had to suggest a song of theirs to start off with, I would recommend “Finally.” It’s a very strong number, compiling elements of everything you want in an active rock hit: great chords, soaring vocals, and catchy lyrics. There really is something for everyone on this track, for they are truly tight as a group, and I feel that metal, rock, pop and even indie fans would enjoy this cut. After “Finally,” proceed to check out “Dark Enough.” I spun this track on the radio and it got a ton of feedback. It’s somewhat anthemic, and it may be my personal favorite. I also highly recommend “Focus And Breathe,” for this is something that all of us need to learn to do. As I stated before, the lyrics and song content are meaningful, and again, I feel as if this tune was written just for me. That is the key to success when writing, in my opinion. Don’t let my suggestions dissuade you from listening to the entire disc, however, because each track is noteworthy. Also check out their older material, since that shouldn’t be forgotten either. After all, that’s what landed them in the radar more than once and made me an original fan. Now, I cannot forget about their live set. Ropetree have some of the most dedicated fans I have ever seen in the local community. Every time they are playing a show in town, it floods my socials! It’s always a packed house, and bars love to book them because not only are they talented, but people want to see them play. The show is filled with crowd involvement, with fans singing every word and dancing to every note the band hits. If you check out their Facebook page, you will see that they are constantly playing shows in the area, and most of the time it’s for a good cause, so you have no excuse not to get out to one of their sets! It’s not always easy to find bands that are just as flawless live as they are on CD, but Ropetree take the cake! I hope you take a liking to their new EP, Bacon, so pick up a copy and share with your friends! These guys already have done what many bands strive to do their whole careers: gain a respectable following. I hope they continue to make music and play shows, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats at all times. You can find out more about them on Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, and pretty much all over the web. I will be back next week with some more local talent to keep it diverse and fresh! Until then, my friends, I hope to see you at some shows. Please continue giving me some suggestions on the music we should be spotlighting! Rock and roll! 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