I was driving home from work the other day and listening WMMR, a Philadelphia rock radio station, and on their “Local Shots” segment, they featured a band called Pine Barons from South Jersey. Now, just an F.Y.I., this is the second week in a row that I’ve featured a South Jersey band. North Jersey bands really need to step it up for next week. Just sayin’! Anyway, I really dug what I heard from these guys. I loved the name, first of all. They took the name of the region and ran with it. I’m just surprised that they were the first Pine Barons ever, but I really liked the Weezer feeling that this band had. They had more of an alternative grunge rock sound that I’m not used to hearing in this South Jersey area, so it was pretty refreshing. The songs “Clowns,” “What Is Mine,” “Y7,” and “Lion Ate the Cub” off of the bands new CD, The Acchin Book, were definite notables on the disc.
Born among the pitch pines of Shamong, NJ, Pine Barons was born as friends gathered around campfires in the nature-rich environments of their hometowns. They trace their beginnings back to singer and guitarist Keith Abrams and drummer Collin Smith’s meeting in preschool and eventually playing in a series of bands together. They honed in on their skills together getting to know their instruments in their parents’ basements as well as outdoors, adventuring around, exploring an eclectic and intimate palette of punk, jazz and psychedelic rock. They would combine their energies with guitarist Brad Pulley, bassist Shane Hower and keyboardist Alex Beebe to complete the full Pine Barons lineup in 2012. The new music they were writing blended the raw, lo-fi energy of those early days with an infusion of folk, roots and emo. Pine Barons released their debut self-titled EP in 2013 featuring songs like “Smile America” and “Carnival” proving the songwriting and lyrical abilities of these young bucks and set the stage for the next evolution of their multi-faceted sound.
Five years after the Pine Barons formed, they proudly unveiled their first full-length, The Acchin Book, this past Aug., filled with 11 tracks of nuanced and emotional rock. Songs like “Clowns” and “Hourcoat” have masterfully navigated complex rhythms and impassioned vocals, combined with memorable melodies. The nostalgic yet forward-thinking qualities of the Pine Barons have been compared to bands like Animal Collective, Modest Mouse, Velvet Underground, and if you ask me, Weezer. We need to get these guys up to North Jersey before they head elsewhere. For more on the Pine Barons or to find out where they’re playing next, visit PineBarons.tumblr.com.
NORTH JERSEY NOTES UPDATES:
My bud, Keith Roth, from the WRAT and Sirius/XM satellite radio and the band Frankenstein 3000, has a movie out called Let Me Down Hard, which set right in Asbury Park, NJ. Keith plays Jack Ainsley, a rock star who had everything from a hit record and a rabid following to money to burn. He also had an ego the size of his tour bus and a soul-crushing temper to match, until one night it all evaporated right in front his eyes. Now, 15 years later Roth’s character, Jack, finds himself back in the place he couldn’t escape from fast enough…Jersey! I, personally, can’t wait to check this film out. My bud, Mark Weiss, makes an appearance in the film as well. Let Me Down Hard has already won a few awards at a number of film festivals. Also, look out of a new CD from Frankenstein 3000 in your earhole soon. For more on the Let Me Down Hard film, visit Pledgemusic.com/projects/LetMeDownHard
Speaking of locals with movies, my brother Santino “Noir” Campanelli, from Scarlet Carson, and his dad Joe Campanelli teamed up for what’s looking like a major motion picture called Bully. The film is about a quiet young man named Jimmy, who is a heavy set kid tormented by the school bullies. With the help of a former professional boxer, he decides to learn how to fight back. Bully also features Danny Trejo and Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore. Santino directed the film while his dad, Joe, wrote the script. Here’s another movie I can’t wait to see. For more on The Campanelli’s upcoming movie debut, Bully, visit Facebook.com/NotAnotherBullyMovie.
And finally, speaking of The WRAT, I just wanted to thank Tom Hanley, host of “Jersey Rock” on the Jersey Shore rock station for having me on a couple of weeks ago and promoting my band Rahway by featuring us for three days in a row. Jersey Rock is the longest running local band showcase in Jersey rock radio. I’m assuming sister station WDHA’s “Homegrown Spotlight” is the second longest. Anyway, thank you again, Tom for having me on and promoting my band Rahway. “Jersey Rock” is a great way to promote your band, Jersey bands! If you would like your music in Tom’s hands, reach out to him at wrat.com/shows/jersey-rock.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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:
10/13—Headbanger’s Bowl with Devils Harvest/DJ Alex Kayne—Knob Hill Country Lanes, Manalapan, NJ
10/27—Circadian Lapse/Te Kalliste/One Time Without/Prince and Beggar/Embrace Agony—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
10/28—Damnation Fest 2017 featuring Throwdown Syndicate/Ixion Lux/Metal Life Crisis/COMMON WEALTH/Ashes of Your Enemy/Stagger/Broken Past/Scars of Envy/Voodoo Terror Tribe/Negative Sky—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
10/28—From the Concrete/Eli/The Shaking Trees/A Door with No House/The Neverends—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ