Maria’s Local Radar: Holy City Zoo

Locals, we meet again. It’s so crazy that it’s almost 2015; where has the time gone? I wonder how many months it will take me to start using that as the date, too. Hopefully you are all getting ready for the holidays with getting your shopping done, preparing your family visits, and decorating your houses. When buying your gifts this year, try to shop local. The gift of instruments, vinyl, and more is always appreciated amongst us music folks. You can hit up places like Russo Music, Vintage Vinyl, and much more to give the gift the keeps on giving! All right, now it’s time to give the gift of great talent here in the Local Radar.

This week, I am going to talk about a band that has been getting a lot of buzz on the local front these days. This band I am about to feature I recently found out about through some of my good friends over at Speak Into My Good Eye, an awesome music hub. They reside in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and they go by the name of Holy City Zoo. Now, keep in mind these guys are still new to me, so this won’t be an intense, vigorous review. It will, however, put them in the spotlight they deserve to get some noted attention and help build their fanbase.

Holy City Zoo consists of Joe, AJ, Frank, and Brian, and they’ve been providing us jams since roughly 2010. Upon hearing some of their music, I immediately went over to their socials to try and learn more about them. The biography that they provide about themselves is fantastic, saying, “Four dudes who get together and make tunage for their/your listening pleasure.” Bold and to the point, I was immediately intrigued. After all, we listen to music for pleasure, don’t we?

Their EP, Sunburst, has been in heavy rotation in my library for the past few weeks. It was released back in July, and has gotten a lot of great feedback. If you are looking for something to dance and jam along to, you have found your perfect match here. The first track I dove into is entitled “These Cheers Are On Me,” and it’s the perfect album opener. If you want to hear just straight-up music, this is the tune for you. Having no vocals really leaves a lot to the imagination, yet also allows you to appreciate just how talented the musicians actually are. It provides a high energy, leaving you with no boundaries—forcing your body to move.

I recently saw a video the guys posted on their Facebook page about a song that they actually sing along with called “No Bunting” that was performed at one of my favorite venues, The Court Tavern. They brought an undeniable energy to the stage that almost makes you feel as if you are in the room with them by simply pressing play on a video. I really dig this track, and hope it makes it to another release. They also played with some really cool friends of mine including Dentist and Deal Casino, whom, if you haven’t checked out already, you should. There is something about Holy City Zoo that just makes you appreciate true, talented musicians. There is no holding back here, for they are giving you each and every ounce they have.

Again, as I recently stated, I am still new to the fanbase of this band, and I cannot wait to see their live set to indulge in what they are all about. I hope to one day interview Holy City Zoo so I can find out if they are religious, love cities, or just regularly attend zoos. Who knows, it could be none of the above. If you are into what you are reading, be sure to check out their tunes and visit their Facebook page at Over there you will find awesome videos, show announcements, promotion of other cool bands, and basically everything you need to be local act royalty. These guys have got something here, for it’s original and fun; what more could a girl ask for? You can also hear their tunes on their Bandcamp page, and get their EP while you’re at it! Hey, what did I say? You’re looking for holiday gifts, aren’t you? Perfect stocking stuffer!

I will be back next week with another kick-butt local band of your liking. In the meantime, get out to some holiday shows. You can catch Taking Back Sunday and Modern Chemistry at the Starland Ballroom on Dec. 28 for The Aquarian’s own holiday show! What better way to close out the year than with the sound of good music? And if you’re not in the area, check out the venues in your hometown, for I am sure there are plenty of cool things to do for good causes to help bring in that holiday cheer. Enjoy, everyone; long live Holy City Zoo!