North Jersey Notes – Hodera

HODERA – Montclair, NJ

  For the second week in a row, I’ve stumbled across a band that I am in love with, and as luck would have it, they’re from Montclair, NJ! The name of the band is Hodera, and I was turned on to them when a co-worker of mine asked me to check them out. So, I found them on Spotify and gave their 2015 release, United By Birdcalls, and their latest release, First Things First, a listen and these songs are simply awesome! Now, I’m not a folk-rock guy, but I love all kinds of rock, and songs like “North Dakota,” “Baltimore,” “Breathe Easy,” “Feel Better” and “Dear Forefathers” really tickled my fancy. I might have listened to United By Birdcalls at least five times since my co-worker turned me on to Hodera.

  Hodera effortlessly mixes vibrant indie-rock with the storytelling of Americana, preparing Hodera to be that band that never leaves listeners ears and minds. The band was a vision of singer and guitarist, Matthew Smith, who originally used Hodera as an outlet for his poetry only to be put to folk music. At its core, the songwriter sentiment remained, but the final product contained twinges of 2000s alternative, emo, and indie rock. Smith’s voice is deep, conversational, and kind, but communicates internal pain through teeth-gritting yells that match the explosive energy of a breaking crescendo. Hodera has persisted in forming a unique sound amidst the vast depths of other successful Jersey acts. Hodera’s debut release in 2014, Reset To Default, was only a glimpse at the songwriting talent possessed by Smith. In 2015, United By Birdcalls helped put the name Hodera on the map as the band toured extensively both in the United States and the United Kingdom, landing showcases at SXSW. The honest nature of the songs found the band at the top of Spotify Viral Charts. This past October, Hodera released their second full-length, First Things First, by way of Take This To Heart Records. First Things First dives into difficult subjects like depression, suicide, loss and love. Hodera pushed the boundaries with their songwriting on this latest CD. Through First Things First’s dynamic ten tracks, Hodera takes the listener on a journey, as Matthew Smith poetically narrates each story. Joining Smith in Hodera are guitarist Doug Gallo, bassist Alek Mager, and drummer Scott Tilley.

  Hodera is seriously fantastic! If you’re a fan of great songwriting, a soothing voice with no screaming, and good folk rock, Hodera is the band for you. These guys could be huge! They just need you to give them a listen! You can catch them live at SUNY Oneonta with Have Mercy on Saturday, April 14 or at Montclair Center Stage on Saturday, May 5. You have to give these guys a listen! Even if folk Americana rock is not your thing, I believe these guys can win you over. For more on Hodera, visit



  The gang from Sinaro will be playing with Station and Vick and the Velvicks tomorrow night (3/29) at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. You may even get a chance to hear the band’s latest single, “The Living Dead,” which can also be heard on YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes. Sinaro is also fully loaded with new merch for their Gramercy show, so get down there, check these guys out and buy some of their merch! For more on Sinaro and their new single “The Living Dead,” visit

  In some awesome news, my brother and bad-ass guitarist Tim Allen from Tru Smoke Diesel and a bunch of other short-lived projects, has been added to the growing power-packed line-up of War For The Crown. The band recently also added another one my buds, guitarist Roger Manzo, who made his debut at Dingbatz in Clifton recently. I will say that this is one scary guitar duo to have in your back pocket. Both guitarists have been out of the scene for quite a while and both are back and hungry. That is could be dangerous! Good for War For The Crown, but dangerous for the rest of the Jersey music scene! Congrats to Tim on the new gig! Catch War For the Crown at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Penn. on April 13, with Buckcherry and my bud’s from Another Day Dawns.

  And finally, for my last ditch plug to sell tickets…Don’t miss my band Rahway, this Friday night (3/30) at the Starland Ballroom in Slayerville with the mighty Monster Magnet. Also performing are our buds in Sekond Skin, BoundAlive, my new friends in The Walk Arounds, and Painted Doll. This should be an epic night and I hope to see some of you out there that night. For discounted tickets, you can contact me at the email below. For more on my band Rahway and where will end up next, 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:
3/29—Station/Sinero/Vick and The Velvicks—The Gramercy Theatre, NYC
3/30—Rahway/Sekond Skyn/BoundAlive/The Walk Arounds/Painted Doll/Monster Magnet—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
3/31—Under Blood Red Skies/Empire Fallen/Gathering After Ashes/Shivers, The Lifeless Butler—Dingnbatz, Clifton, NJ
3/31—The Pain Method—The Village Pub, Lindenhurst, NY
3/31—Lunatic Fringe/Our Fears/In This Lifetime—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ
4/4—Krosis/Silent On Fifth Street/Terrform/Subverse/The Inversion Circus—Dingnbatz, Clifton, NJ
4/6—Metal Life Crisis/Elm Street /DIRKSCHNEIDER—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
4/6—Jersey Campfires Presents Corevalay/Sunday Brave /Low Roads Ghost/Amigos, Amigos!/Prodigal Sons—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ
4/7—Rahway/Schism “A Tribute to Tool”/Frozen Sun/One Day Waiting—Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY
4/13—Buckcherry/Another Day Dawns/War For The Crown—Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg, PA
4/14—The Dark Matters (Reunion Show)/In The Presence of Wolves/Reese Van Riper/Comb The Desert/Black Lagoon—Dingnbatz, Clifton, NJ
4/14—Hodera/Have Mercy—SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, NY
4/18—Life Of Agony/Borgo Pass—Saint Vitus, NYC
4/19—Life of Agony/Pain Method—Saint Vitus, NYC
4/20—Queen V’s Spring Fling—The Cutting Room, NYC
4/20—Don Jamieson/Shiwan Khan/Bionic Monkey/Tilted/Ripped/Johnny Zostant/Second Sin—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ
4/21—Janet Gardner of VIXEN/SINERTIA/Loaded Gun/Sunday Brave/Knightlife/Alden—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
4/27—Psychoprism/Sunless Sky/Legion/Imperial Crypt—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
4/28—Missi Fieretag’s Birthday Bash featuring KILLCODE/Arc’d Angel/Baelfire/Resurge/COMMON WEALTH—Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ
5/4—Last In Line—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ
5/5—Hodera—Montclair Center Stage, Montclair, NJ
5/12—Out of Bounds CD Release Party/Metal Life Crisis/Don Jamieson—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ