North Jersey Notes: Prodigal Sons, The Compulsions, Audio Empire and More!

A few weekends ago, I played a show at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ for Mike Camp’s Jersey Campfires Productions, and the band that opened the night was a really cool band called Prodigal Sons out of Paramus, NJ. I tried to check them out online, but at the time of this writing, they had no music posted. I do, however, remember hearing them do a cover of a Foo Fighter tune that really brought my attention to them because they nailed it. Their originals were mainly riff-driven with some pretty great rock vocals by singer and guitarist, Dave Alvarez, supporting the songs.

Prodigal Sons is only a trio, but they carry a big sound with them. According to their bio, the band is based out of Paramus, NJ, near my old stomping grounds, and they formed in October 2013 after an ill-advised karaoke binge. Prodigal Sons base their original style on their influences ranging from blues, grunge, garage, and punk rock, and when combined, they come up with original music that is aggressive with a bit of funk and a side of grit. According to the Prodigal Sons, they’re just a rock band looking to “have fun, melt faces, and do cool stuff.” Prodigal Sons is comprised of singer and guitarist Dave Alvarez, bassist Nael Llaverias and drummer John Reilly.

As I said earlier, Prodigal Sons did not have any music posted, but according to their website, they had an EP called The Cool Kids, which wasn’t posted on any of their digital media pages. It’s too bad because Prodigal Sons had a really cool sound. I wish there was a site that I was able to direct you to hear their music, but there isn’t. So, I guess you’ll just have to check Prodigal Sons out live! You can visit them on to find out where they’re playing next.



My brothers from NYC’s The Compulsions recently leaked a teaser video for the release of their upcoming cover of the Kiss classic, “Shock Me,” featuring guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. This unique version of the Kiss classic is currently on pre-order on iTunes with a release date of August 16. All proceeds from the pre-order will go to VH1’s Save The Music Foundation. The track sounds killer! For more info on The Compulsions, visit

The remaining members of Audio Empire, bassist Roy Brunston and guitarist Dan Neary, recently posted that they are working on a new post-AE project and they need a singer. Although, my bros Brunston and Neary are still friendly with former singer David Marcus, who they say “is just not interested at the moment.” The two also said that they have a great drummer they are working with and are now looking for a kick-ass frontman to finalize their lineup. If you have the voice, the attitude, swagger and dedication, contact Roy at for more details.

And finally, last week, I mentioned there would be a Diablo Royale reunion in NYC on August 11 at Drom with my bros from Mother opening. Well, the night just got even bigger with my band Rahway recently added to the bill. This night is destined to be epic with Rahway kicking the night off at 7 pm. This reunion is definitely a long time coming and you won’t want to miss this. For more info, visit

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:

7/13—Don’t Tell Maggie/Joseph Pagano Band/Illegally Blind/Low Roads Ghost—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

7/13—Nalani and Sarina—Black Potatoe Festival, Clinton, NJ

7/15—Corevalay—Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ

7/15—Reality Suite/Chevonne And The Fuzz/Last Minet—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

7/16—Brand of Julez—Championship Bar, Trenton, NJ

7/16—Dinosaur Eyelids—Leftfield, NYC

7/17—Illusionist/Resentment/Revelations/Kaonashi/To Live As Wolves/Polarity/Shallow Views—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/20—The Ivory/In Angles/Use Big Words/The Funeral Portrait—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/21—Famous Last Words/Outline In Color/It Lives It Breathes/Open Your Eyes—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/22—Brand of Julez—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/23—Morningside Lane/The Clocktown Giants—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

7/23—Brand of Julez—Whiskey Tango, Fords, NJ

7/29—6 Prong Paw/Framework/Unkempt Herald/Mikell’s Plot/Paulus Hook/Bullet Train—Al Cibelli’s Restaurant and Bar, Perth Amboy, NJ

8/5—Brand of Julez—NIHIL Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

8/5—Seas of Wake/Fear Factory—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

8/6—“Jersey Campfires Productions Presents” Stillphase/Spiral Scar/Phntms—The Boneyard, Atlantic City, NJ

8/6—Brand of Julez—Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ

8/11—Rahway/Mother/Diablo Royale reunion—Drom, NYC

8/11—Abandoned By Bears/Save The Lost Boys/Southview—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/11—New Day Dawn/Baelfire/Steve Bello/Lita Ford—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

8/13—Nalani and Sarina—Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA

8/13—Arc’d Angel/Damn Glad/The Primadonnaz/The Dead—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/17—Nalani and Sarina—The Bitter End, NYC