Maria’s Local Radar: Hodera

First off, I have to start off by saying, is it really mid-July already? Why do the months that I cherish always fly by so quickly? When I start seeing winter clothes in the stores, it’s really going to hit home. Thank goodness for shows and long summer nights to keep my energy going!

Thanks for all of your submissions and feedback as of late. What shows have you all been to lately? I saw a personal favorite, The Front Bottoms, over at Starland Ballroom not too long ago, and also had a blast being an extra in a music video shoot for Toothgrinder, along with seeing some great cover bands at the local bars including Sweet Chin Music, just to name a few. But, enough about me, it’s time to talk music that you should get on your radar.

I actually heard about a band from some friends of mine in Dramaticat, whom we featured just a few weeks back. I always like to take recommendations from the musicians themselves, since it’s interesting to see the bands in which they choose to promote. In this case, I am glad they did, for it’s been a love story from the start. Let us embrace the magic that goes by the name of Hodera. I don’t know where the name comes from, and I am not sure how they met, but there is one thing I know for certain: I am really digging this band.

I am still a new fan to this band, so I will provide you with as much information as I can without shamelessly plugging their tunes, because I am an insta-fan. Hodera are an alternative/indie rock band from New Jersey with members Matt Smith on vocals and guitar, Matthew Caponegro on guitar, Nick VanderMass on bass, and Nick Baughman on drums. I initially recognized the names of these band members, for I think they may have all had other projects in the past or people have just really been buzzing about how talented these members are individually. I felt a familiarity, so it made me comfortable, and I indulged in their sound.

Their new record, Reset To Default, is available now for free; yes, for free, on their Bandcamp page. It was just released in early June, and as the old saying goes, some of the best things in life are free. I kicked the album off with its leadoff track, “Just My Instinct,” and really got a strong feel for their sound. It starts off slow, really showcasing the different instruments, then picks up to a roaring, strong chorus, which is very contagious, and a solid single choice. (If it wasn’t chosen, I highly recommend they use this one.) The vocal range is very strong on here as well, as Matt can hit a very diverse amount of notes. It’s extremely impressive, and I would love to see how he maintains his talents live.

After listening to the leadoff track on repeat for a solid 30 minutes, I then explored my other options on the album. I really enjoyed “Tell Me Something I Can Do,” since I feel this is a track that almost anyone can relate to. Even looking at the title without actually hearing the lyrics, it gives you the initial motivating impression that songs should leave on listeners. It’s a solid track that I can picture almost anyone singing along to, fans of various genres included. Another standout tune is the title-track, “Reset To Default”; I could hear this one on the radio with no problem. I tend to feel I know a hit when I hear one, or recognize one at least, and this is in that category. The musicianship is very robust, and I love every second of it. Don’t let my recommendations steer you away from listening to the entire album, since there is a song on here for everyone to enjoy.

Hodera have been touring this record, and I hope to catch them at a venue or bar near me in the near future. You can learn more about them and tell them how much you enjoy their music over at their Facebook page at Again, don’t forget to download their debut album for free over on their Bandcamp page at Good music with no cost? I’d say yes, please.

It’s really cool to see that this group is on the road and taking their music outside of the state, since that’s what it’s all about: Gaining a fanbase, one town at a time. I still have a lot to learn about this band, and need to see a live set. From what I have heard so far, I think it’s safe to say these guys are well on their way. They’ve got the talent, the style, the look, and the sound to take them to higher levels, but I have a feeling that they will never forget where they came from locally. Hey, who knows, maybe Hodera and Dramaticat will co-headline a showcase that I could host (wishful thinking). Catch Hodera at a venue near you, and demand that they come to your town!

I will be back next week with some more amazing local talent, and bands, keep doing your part and helping one another out! The scene is a much better place when all of the acts are unified and supporting each other as one. Hodera are one of the many bands out there that need a little attention in the limelight, so I will continue to do my part! Keep rocking!