Maria’s Local Radar: The Vansaders

Each week, I sit down to write this column and I sort through a bunch of submissions I have received. It has become somewhat of my weekly routine to scout out some talent that I want to dedicate some time to and put in the local spotlight. Week after week, I continue to get blown away by the amount of talent that I encounter not only on a weekly basis, but in general. This summer was booming with amazing shows, tons of new records, and meetings with new and upcoming artists. Last week, I wrote about an established act on the scene that goes by the name of Crobot. I am so glad I got so much good feedback on them; it was unbelievable! They are just one of the many bands that I have encountered.

This week, I am going to write about a group that I recently found out about from the new host of my former radio program, Jersey Rock, Nikki Black. This band goes by the name of The Vansaders. You may or may not have heard of them before (they were featured in Shoreworld a few months ago), but they are certain to get your ears in a frenzy. Let’s learn more about them and recruit some super fans.

The Vansaders are a band from Asbury Park with members Doug, Mikey, Jonny, Marie and Robby. As crazy as this sounds, they have an eclectic blend in genres including rock, a little country twang, and maybe even some punk. Confused? Well, don’t be, for it works, and it works well. They have been on the road with a band that I have featured in the Radar before called Hot Blood, whom many of you know and love. Although I am not on the road with them, I feel like I have been a roadie, since they have been documenting their tour on social media. This has really engaged me to take an interest in their style and fanbase, as it seems as if they are making music for the sake of loving music. I could be completely off with that accusation, but I don’t think so.

Now, I want to touch a little on their full-length album, Stuck In New York City. This album is amazing in its entirety, and as the fine folks of Sum 41 would say, “All killer, no filler.” I started off with the leadoff track, “End Of The Line,” and it really set the mood and the tempo for their style. I was hooked, since it’s fast paced with some serious Southern blues rock in there. Also, the raspy, whisky-soaked lead vocals are prominent on this track, and I absolutely love it. This song could be a smash hit on the radio, as the chorus is insanely catch and is bound to make people throw their hands in the air. Plus, I absolutely adore the lyrics, for I feel anyone, especially myself, can relate to them. I also really love the title-track and, of course, “Highway To The Sun.” The song title itself puts me in a good mood, and yes, we can judge a book by its cover on this one. This track has some great guitar riffs and a little more of a “groove” feel.

Each song on this record goes to show just how many genres they actually touch upon in their style. “Everything We’re Not,” which begins with the lines, “Pour another shot, fill my beer up to the top,” is a track that I am sure many can apply to their relationships or even solo life. It’s fun, effortless, and just an all-around great track. This is one that you want to open your windows and blast as loud as it can go. Also, if you get around to it, check out “No Plans.” It starts off slow and then picks up like a bat out of hell. I think the lyrics on this one are my favorite, and I cannot even pinpoint why. It’s just that one song on a record that I cannot get out of my head.

I love everything that The Vansaders stand for, and I couldn’t compare them to another band if I tried. I have yet to catch their live set, but I can only imagine how much more I will love this band after I do. I am absolutely into their record, and it hasn’t left my rotation in almost three weeks. Trust me, with all of the music I receive, that’s almost an eternity, and I mean that.

You can learn more about The Vansaders on their Facebook page at, where they are extremely interactive with their fans. They are always posting new content, show dates, art, videos, and more, and of course, you can find their full-length album streaming there as well. I highly suggest you spend a few bucks and purchase it so you can have it in your library forever. I look forward to their next local appearance so I can be right in the front row, drink in hand and dance moves in full effect.

I will be back next week with another local act of your liking, so don’t you fret. In the meantime, get your butts off the couch and get out to support some live and local music. The scene isn’t going to support itself! Until next week, my friends, carry on.