Jim Testa reviews the sophomore release from Don Giovanni's
California X, the young Brooklyn band Active
Bird Community, Minneapolis' thelonesomekid,
NJ/NYC anti-folk rockers Crazy & The
Brains, and Trenton's Honah Lee.
Read Jim's reviews here...
by Joe Wawzyrniak
The focus is on New Jersey in Joe's latest column as he
reviews new releases from some Garden State favorites including
Hoboken's Mike Korman, Montclair's Terry
McCarthy, Asbury's Billy Hector,
along with Brooklyn singer/songwriter Hugh Trimble,
Fred Gillen Jr., Where Is My SPaceship, and
Read Joe's column here...
Eric leaves no stone unturned in his latest edition of
"More Metal," with bands from Finland, Sweden,
Norway, Italy, Germany, the U.K., and of course all across
the U.S.A. Check out Eric's informative and engaging coverage
of new releases from Venom, Baring Teeth, Deconstructing
Sequence, Foreseen HKI, Horisont, Putrid Christ, Riwen,
Sahhr, Sedna, Spectral Haze, Varsang, Witchese of Doom,
and Wizard Rifle.
Read Eric's column here...
It's been a big year for indie-rock documentaries. Records
Collecting Dust continues that trend with a insider's look
at "vinyholics," as filmmaker Jason Blackmore
talks to musicians, record labels owners, and other music
lovers about the music and records that changed their lives.
The film opens nationally in January; Paul Silver reviews
Editor Jim Testa counts down his favorite local releases
from NJ and NYC bands, while Paul Silver lists not only
his 10 favorite records of the year but his 10 favorite
shows as well. Finally Mark Hughson chimes in with his Top
10 releases. Updated with Eric Walls' Metal picks!
See our Best of 2014 lists here...
It's Gonna Blow!
San Diego's Music Underground 1986-1996
This has been a great year for regional music documentaries:
Add to that list filmmaker Bill Perrine's examination of
ten years in the history of the San Diego music scene, a
tumultuous period that produced bands like Drive Like Jehu
and Trumans Water, a network of great clubs, and a slew
of excellent record labels. Paul Silver writes, "It
tells the story of a scene that had to reinvent itself a
couple of times, a scene that was deeply rooted in the DIY
ethic, and a scene that struggled with the sudden, unexpected
attention from an outside world, while bands still labored
in relative obscurity at home. And it succeeds in telling
that story." Read his review here...
THE JERSEY BEAT INTERVIEW
Jamie Frey talks to one of his heroes, power pop innovator
and rock 'n' roll warrior Paul Collins of the Nerves, the
Beat, and currently, the Paul Collins Beat. Collins talks
about touring, how society undervalues music, and how he's
fighting to make local band shows into events again. Photos
by Jersey Beat's Paul Silver. Read the interview here...
Paul's last column of the year includes reviews of the Swan's
Oxygen, Ty Segall's $ingle$ 2, and new
releases from Acid Baby Jesus, The Blind Shake,
the Ex-Gentlemen, Gazer, the Off White, and La
Escalera Records' label showcase compilation Without
Each Other We Have Nothing.
Read Paul's column here...
Quinlan reviews the new album from Jersey punk supergroup
Smalltalk, a fun collection of George Jones
covers from Early & Justin, NJ singer/songwriter
d.smith, as well as new releases from Kim Ware's
Good Graces, lo-fi basement artist Whole
Wheat, punk rockers The Moderns,
the cleverly named Harlem Downtrotters,
folk/rock legend Daniel Lanois, and two
releases from legendary Aussie punks The Saints.
Rich's review here...
FOXYGEN ...AND STAR POWER
The self-proclaimed 21st Century ambassadors of peace and
magic return with a sprawling, shambolic double-LP. Jersey
Beat's Mady Thuylein gives it a listen and decides it's
worth slogging through the whole thing to find the nuggets
hiddin within. Read her review here...
Butler is best known for his work in Tin Huey and the Waitresses
but he remains a working singer/songwriter who unlreashes
new albums from time to time. On Easy Life, Chris reminisces
about his years as a college student at Kent State, the
early days of the Akron punk rock scene, and the horrific
moment when National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of
unarmed students at a camps anti-war protest. We recruited
our old friend Jim Benson,, who's been a fixture in Cleveland's
indie underground for decades, behind the scenes and on
the radio, to write about the album. Read his review here...
In an age in which punk rock can be interpreted in a myriad
of ways, it is wonderful to have Vortis back. This Chicago-based
trio of Jim DeRogatis, Louie Calvano, and Tony Tavano play
short, sharp, and biting songs that truly deserve the moniker
review continued here...
Jane's Addiction, Weezer, the Descendents, Wu Tang Clan...
the lineup at Riot Fest Chicago 2014 read like a twentysomething's
wet dream. Our man Jamie Frey was there to soak up the ambience,
sun, mud, and alcohol. Here's his report....
TEAM SPIRIT - Killing Time (Vice)
Here are two takes on the new album from NYC garage
rockers Team Spirit: One by Pete Kilpin and another by our
newest contributor Mady Thuylein. You can read Pete Kilpin's
review here... Mady also reviews
the debut from the Dark Ages, a new NYC
band playing danceable "doom improv." Read Mady's
Our San Diego correspondent Paul Silver recently caught
up with filmmaker Bill Perrine, who's started screening
his new docmentary “It’s Gonna Blow!!! The San
Diego Music Underground 1986-1996.” Paul talks to
Bill about his career and what he found so fascinating about
San Diego's indie-rock scene. Read his interview here...
EASTERN ANCHORS/ZERO FOR CONDUCT
This split 7" from two veteran NJ bands finds Eastern
Anchors roaring through a big fat ROCK song with a monster
beat called "Above Your Station" that sounds like
Superchunk and Cheap Trick jamming at the Court Tavern.
Zero For Conduct offers a more angular post-punk track,
"Average Marks Make Shitty Sparks," produced by
Chris Pierce with a guitar sound as sharp as shark's teeth
and a roiling live vibe.
Another Labor Day Weekend has passed, and with it another
summer, and out in San Diego, another Awesomefest. This
pop-punk festival brings together fans and bands from all
over the country (and the world) for four days of punk rock,
beer, hanging out, and if you're our busy scribe Paul Silver,
snapping photos and taking notes. Read Paul's account of
this year's shindig here...
Modern Suits - Every Light EP
- Madman (reviewed by Leslie Snyder)
Britanys - It's Alright EP (reviewed by Eli Zeger)
Eaters - Bleeding Moon (reviewed by Rich Quinlan)
Mr. Payday - Music Explopsion (reviewed by Joe Wawrzyniak)
Two of NJ's most important bands released new records this
month. Rich Quinlan provides his analysis of the Gaslight
Anthem's Get Hurt, while Paul Silver looks at Cymbals
Eat Guitars' third full-length, Lose. Read Rich's
and Paul's here.
Frey and his band The Brooklyn What first came to Jersey
Beat's attention one night when they opened for Joe Jack
Talcum at a club in Manhattan. Since then, Jamie's become
a reviewer here and to bring this all around in a perfect
circle, here he is reviewing the latest solo offering from
Joe, a collection of lo-fi home recordings made from 1993-1999.
Read Jamie's review
Neil Sabatino is the owner/operator of Mint 400 Records,
lead singer of the NJ indie band Fairmont, and a longtime
friend of Jersey Beat. In this article, Neil explains the
nuts-and-bolts of home recording for the interested DIY
beginner. Read it here...
Temple senior Alex G makes music in his bedroom and releases
it on the Internet, but his latest album DSU has already
been favorablyreviewed by Rolling Stone, Conequence Of Sound,
and Pitchfork. Is this the end of the indie underground,
or the beginning of something else? Jackson Phinney ponders
these questions while discussing Alex G's unique genius
Jim Testa sits down with the godfather of punk rock to talk
about his folkie beginnings, New York City in the Fifties,
the joys of collaboration, and much, much more. Read our
Leslie Snyder reviews the new EP from Pennsylvania's
Modern Suits and Philly's Del
Sur, and two records from Double Plus Good
Records, Holly & Plastic and
Read Leslie's reviews here...
reviews the latest album from South Jersey power pop
veterans The Successful Failures.
Forrmer members of Weston turn up in two reviews in
Rich's new column, the new EP from Beach Slang
and an excellent album from The Transmission
Now. Rich also reviews new releases from
the self-proclaimed New Jersey "supergroup"
The Satisfactors, Tetherball, Aaron &
The Burrs, Meridian, Courtesy Drop and Entropy.
Rich's column here...
Leslie checks out two reissues from the seminal Bristol,
UK post-punk group The Pop Group,
as well as recent albums by San Francisco indie Americana
group New American Farmers, African-American
chanteuse Lady Esther, singer songwriters
Daniel Lovegren and Karen
Haglof, Austin folk-rock artists the
Belle Sounds, and NJ alternative pop quarter
Framing Dakota. Read Leslie's reviews
Eli checks out two young bands from Brooklyn with
new EP's, the Britanys and the Gradients,
as well as Austin metal outfit Funeralbloom.
He also reviews NJ hard-rock quartet Killed
The Fixtion, then checks out the new release
from Calla frontman Aurelio Valle,
which he calls "a raspily-produced, demented
half hour of really out-there, yet elegant music."
Eli also reviews No No: A Dockumentary, a
documentary film about the life of pitcher Dock Ellis,
as well as the latest album from NJ emo rockers Sleep
In.. He also dives headfirst into the new
release from The Hold Steady, the
Brooklyn band's first since 2010's disappointing Heaven
Is Whenever, and the new release from NJ's
Trophy Scars, a concept album of sorts with
a mythical theme.. Read his review here...
What's new at Iris Records? Stephen Gritzan
reviews new releases from Honduras, Gillian, and young
NJ singer/songwriter Brett Steinberg. Read Stephen's
Chicago punk rock has no greater godfather than Marc
Ruvolo, from bands like No Empathy through his landmark
punk label Johann's Face to his sci fi/fantasy book
store, Bucket O'Blood. Now Marc is back with a solo
acoustic EP, and Tony B. reviews it here...
is an independently published music fanzine
covering punk, alternative, ska, techno and garage
music, focusing on New Jersey and the Tri-State
area. For the past 30 years, the Jersey Beat music
fanzine has been the authority on the latest upcoming
bands and a resource for all those interested in
rock and roll.