North Jersey Notes: Reach, Hammerfight, Thank You Scientist and More!

While scouring the internet for a band to feature this week, I came across a band from Long Branch, NJ, who I thought wasn’t doing anything new, but they were doing something that was popular. They were technically sound and would sound great opening for a band like Linkin Park. I’m talking about the band Reach. I gave a listen to the songs “Caveman” and “yungpunx,” but the song that really tickled my fancy was a song called “pins&needles,” which had a great hook and was most commercial of the songs that I listened to.

According to their bio, Reach had to overcome crossing many state lines from Alabama to New Jersey to come together. The band’s strong commitment to a quality of work creating a unique sound with the ambition to satisfy music fans everywhere of something more with their music, really put the band on the map. Reach was actually born out of the ashes of the band Boy Meets Machine, who originally formed in Atlanta, Georgia, back in 2008. After making a name for themselves within the Atlanta music scene and suffering many lineup changes, lead singer and bassist Joel Monet decided it was time to head home to Alabama to regroup. After being connected by a mutual friend, he began writing with guitarist Christian Colabelli by sending song ideas through email back in 2009. The duo wrote over two CDs worth of music and soon realized that they might have something. So, Joel decided it was time for him to head up to Christian’s home state of the Dirty Jersey to make this pipe dream a reality. Drummer Joe Nivare was added to the mix and the band began performing regional shows. The lineup was finally completed with the addition of guitarist Steve Swain and Reach is here!

Reach recently released a slew of brand new songs on at the end of December that I really liked. I loved the direction the band was heading in as opposed to the earlier stuff that I heard on the band’s ReverbNation page. The new songs “I Could’ve Lied,” “Keeping The Secrets” and “Paramour” really had more pop to it and could be more appealing to their audience. Reach is another band that I expect to hear more from in 2015. For more info on Reach, visit



One of the most underrated metal bands on the scene is Hammerfight. My band BlackOcean has even shared the stage with these guys a few times in South Jersey and Philly, and I always thought these guys were nothing short of amazing every time we played with them. I even ran into guitar player Todd Stern a couple years ago while having breakfast and we stayed in touch on Facebook. I’m glad to see the band is currently writing some new material and still tearing it up. If you get a chance, catch Hammerfight live! To find out where, and to learn more about them, visit

How about the guys from Thank You Scientist? What a year they had and are still having. This past summer, they hit the road opening for Coheed And Cambria. My bud, singer Sal Marrano, guitarist Tom Monda and violinist Ben Karas survived carbon monoxide poisoning while writing new material at Streets Rehearsal in Clifton, NJ back in December. And now, they are back on the road for another world tour opening for Periphery with Nothing More and Wovenwar. The boys will be stopping home on this tour on Feb. 12 when they hit Irving Plaza in NYC. For more on Thank You Scientist, log onto

And finally, there are some great shows this weekend that you won’t want to miss! Friday night (1/16), there’s Corevalay and Civic at the newly re-opened Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken, NJ. Then on Saturday night (1/17), there’s Silent Horror, Darrow Chemical Company, and The Cryptkeeper Five at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ, or if you’re in the Woodland Park area, there are my bros from Lower The Veil, Atom Strange, Christian Morelli, Empire Fallen, Jaded Past, Lost Cause, That’s What She Said and McClinton at The West Side Bar and Grill. What a lineup! The holidays are over, so get off your asses and go to a show and support local music! I would, but I’m on my honeymoon right now!

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140, Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!


Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.

NJN Concert Calendar:

1/14—The Howler Weary/Steve Bello Band/Sam and Margot—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

1/16—Civic/Corevalay—Maxwell’sTavern, Hoboken, NJ

1/16—Hammerfight/Full Blown Chaos—Evenflow, Bayshore, NY

1/17—Silent Horror/Darrow Chemical Company/The Cryptkeeper Five—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/17—Hammerfight/Full Blown Chaos—The Boneyard, Atlantic City, NJ

1/17—Lower The Veil/Atom Strange/Christian Morelli/Empire Fallen/Jaded Past/Lost Cause/That’s What She Said/McClinton—West Side Bar and Grill, Woodland Park, NJ

1/18—Hammerfight/Full Blown Chaos—The Hideout, Brooklyn, NY

1/21—SYKA—Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NY

1/23—Lethal Affection/Dark Matter/COMMON WEALTH/Libricide/Pralaya/Sun and Flesh—The Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NY

1/23—Empire Fallen—Old Canal Inn, Nutley, NJ

1/24—SYKA—The Bitter End, NYC

1/24—Don Jamieson/Circuitry/Wrathstack/Meat For The Beast—Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

1/24—Aurin—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/24—Divergence/Entropy/This Life We Live/A Great Day To Die/Lies Beneath/Plague of Humanity—The Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NY

1/30—Empire Fallen (CD Release Party)—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

1/30—Shift/Pralaya/Harvest Falls/King Kelly/Science/Animal Pharmacy—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

1/31—That Metal Show Live featuring Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine/SYKA/Lightning Lord—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

2/6—Steve Bello Band—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

2/7—BoundAlive—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

2/12—Thank You Scientist/Periphery/Nothing More/Wovenwar—Irving Plaza, NYC

2/13—Steve Bello Band/Krown Point/Ripped Graffiti/Scottish Windows–Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

2/15—Brand of Julez—Santos Party House, NYC