Locals, we meet again. Wednesday is upon us in full force and it’s time for another addition of my Local Radar, where I spotlight the hottest local music each and every week. I bring you some of my favorite bands, whether it’s pop, country, rock, metal and more, and there are so many bands to choose from that sometimes it can be overwhelming; however, on that note, I do appreciate your constant feedback and emailing of your submissions. I am finding more and more that you guys are sharing and retweeting articles from the Local Radar, and that means so much to me and the acts featured in the column. I had a lot of fun this past week seeing bands like Fozzy and Theory Of A Deadman along with Alter Bridge over at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. They also have tons of local acts playing there in the near future, including Beyond Visible, Commonwealth and many more.

This week, I am going to stick to the trend of heavy metal/rock music by spotlighting this genre as much as possible. Speaking of Beyond Visible, I actually first heard of my featured band of the week on their page, which is why I always stress how important it is to network and support other bands in the market. That’s how you get on shows, get noticed, and gain new fans. They go by the name of Mass Punishment. Now, the name alone must have you heavy fans intrigued, for it just sounds tough, don’t you agree? Either way, that’s my view on it personally. Not to worry, though; I am not at a level of being scared, so I will gladly dive into some more fun facts about this band and why you should check them out. I am hoping to get to know more about this band as time goes on, so maybe in the near future I can do a live show review, or maybe even a new album spotlight (hint hint guys if you are reading). Let’s proceed to give you what you need.

Mass Punishment are a heavy rock/metal band from the wonderful town of Howell, New Jersey. Maybe it’s me, but I think there is something in the water in the town, for I find so much local talent from that area. Howell should host a festival of the fine arts, just throwing it out there! Anyway, I digress, back to business. Mass Punishment consists of Erick on vocals, Chris on guitar and vocals, Scott on bass and vocals, and Brian on drums and vocals. I have seen this band in The Aquarian once before I believe in North Jersey Notes, one of my favorite features of our publication. When I really became interested in this band, I first decided to check out some of their influences to see where their sound comes from. They listed acts such as In Flames, DevilDriver, Biohazard, Lamb Of God and many more. Now, being a hard music fan, who wouldn’t want a band that combines the sounds of all of these amazing acts?

They quote their style as “commissioned to unveil the truth and train the masses.” Their sound, indeed, does just that. While exploring their social media pages, I also noticed how much this group supports other acts, which I was stressing earlier how important this is. Now, I had been hoping I would fall in love with their sound, and I did just that. They recently played a show with GWAR at Starland Ballroom, which couldn’t have been a better fit for them. These guys know had to perform and entertain a crowd, and that is all we can ever want.

Their talent is effortless, as each member of the band brings an element to the table to complete their undeniable heavy, incredible sound. If I had to recommend some songs to check out, I would suggest you start off with “Lion’s Den.” It’s an insane track that is definitely going to get your adrenaline going. It can be found on their EP, Proving Grounds, which is available now. Also, take a listen to “Enemy Within,” which will almost certainly give you a newfound appreciation of heavy music. You can tell on tracks like this just how talented each member of the band really is. Even if they played instrumental with no vocals, it would still be noteworthy. I also love “Ground Pounder,” for it’s very anthemic with a dark side, but if you really listen, this song could mean something personal to you, so check it out.

Mass Punishment play shows all around the local area, so be sure to catch them live. Hopefully we will be seeing them on the big stage again very soon, playing with a national act as big as GWAR! You can learn more about them on their Facebook fan page at facebook.com/masspunishment1. Here you can also stream their music, check out their photos, and let them know just how much we like them. Again, they do cross promote, so say hello and build some relationships. They seem to have a pretty steady following as well, so I am sure you will jump right onto the fan wagon.

I will be back next week with another band of your liking, maybe heavy, maybe pop, classical, solo artists, only time will tell! Keep supporting local music and be sure to check out my friends in Mass Punishment!

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