Maria’s Local Radar: Avon Junkies

Wednesday is once again upon us. Why is it that the seasons we want to last the longest go the fastest? June certainly flew by, and there were constant shows almost every night to attend! Whether it’s indoor, outdoor, or even in a backyard, summer is the season of live music, so get off your butts and get to some shows!

Last week, I wrote about one of my favorite bands on a local and national level, The Parlor Mob, and their exciting comeback to the market. This week, I am going to switch it up a tad and write about a band that is completely different. I recently found out about this group since they are opening up for the one and only George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic at Starland Ballroom on Aug. 22. They are no strangers to the local scene, and shame on me for taking so long to get to know them, but better late than never. They are a large group, in number of members and in sound, and I couldn’t compare them to someone if I tried.

Avon Junkies consists of Adam on lead vocals and guitar, Stef on the trumpet and vocals, Anthony on the trumpet and vocals, James on the trombone and vocals, Julian on bass, Danny on drums, DJ on trombone and Vadium on organ. Damn, when you really write it out, they are a large group! I say the more the merrier, for it’s one big party on stage.

So, what do they sound like? Well, as I stated earlier, I can’t compare them, but I would put their sound in a category of punk and ska with a little twist (if that makes any sense at all). It’s crazy to imagine that they’ve been a band since July of 1999, when I was still in middle school! Hey, if something makes me sound young, I will take advantage. They have been a household name in the local scene, dominating one venue and fanbase at a time. As funny as this may sound, the first song I ever heard by them was a track called “Thanks For Getting Fat.” Now, before we get all judgmental, I love this song. Have you ever wanted a dig at someone, whether it’s an old friend, an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or even an old teacher? Well, not to name call, but this song is my anthem. However, don’t let this distract you from checking out all of their tunes, for their discography is stacked. If you check out iTunes, you can purchase some of their records, and I would say my personal favorite is “Down With Everyone.”

It’s rare that I say the energy on an album is contagious. I mean, after all, that statement usually comes from a live show. However, when listening to their records, you almost feel as if you are dancing at their concert with a beer or two in your hand. If you’re into guitars, check out “Close My Eyes,” as you will hear a sick opening riff that really got me noticing just how talented the musicians actually are. Each and every member of this posse brings something equally as important to the table. I really also love track “Park Mentally,” for this is a heavy, fast-paced, raging song, with some sick basslines thrown in. If you’re looking for something that is fun, high-energy, action-packed, original, and just overall let-yourself-go music, this band is totally for you.

I highly recommend catching the Avon Junkies live to experience what they really are about. Their set is more of a production than a performance that will keep you on your feet the entire time. You can catch them at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville as they open for George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic on Aug. 22, along with my good friends in Small Town Scoundrels (which could totally play a co-headline show with Avon Junkies). To learn more about them, access their music, and just experience all that they are, visit their official website at They are also on Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much all over the web. I hope one day to interview them so I can find out more about their history, chemistry, and the bond that has kept them together for so long in this industry. Also, I’d love to know their secret for remaining relevant for so long, though I think I could easily guess it: their originality and ability to make someone have a good time.

I will be back next week with another local band of your liking, or who knows, it could be a solo act, a brand new artist, or something that is established and really doesn’t need the limelight but is on my radar! I listen to everything you send so keep on pushing your music my way and email me at Show some love to the Avon Junkies and all of the other local bands pursuing their dreams. Cheers!