Story and photos by John Posada
Intense Men's intense but fun musical mishmosh
Intense Men is an instrumental experimental rock quartet
from New Jersey consisting of members of grind jazz legends
Mothguts and dance/prog party rockers No Use For Humans,
with Mike Noordzy on contra alto clarinet, Chris "Sparky"
Carratello on guitar, Steve Honoshowsky on bass, and Ben
Ross on drums.
Intense Men was formed in 2010 when punk promoter Jacko
Monahan was trying to book Mothguts for a Brighton Bar show
but one of the guys couldn't make it. Clarinetist Mike Noordzy
suggested they slap a band together and play an improvised
set. As Sparky Carratello had just moved back to NJ and
was looking to play the guitar, one thing led to another
and Intense Men was formed. The band was named by New Jersey
jazz legend Mike Heady, perhaps the Intensest Man to ever
Seeing them at The Saint in Asbury Park and having never
heard of them before, I didn't know what to expect. Now
I know what to expect, but I still cannot explain it. The
best I can do is to say they incorporate metal, grindcore,
and noise with free-jazz and modern classical and they alternate
through all of these styles every minute they are on stage.
Predictable, they are not.
However, in spite of their inherently high levels of intensity,
these guys are having fun and because they are, you are.
One minute Sparky is manipulating every string and knob
on his guitar like a surgical instrument and the next he
is at the bottom of a pile of the band's musicians, all
still playing their parts. They maintain a sense of humor
that keeps their music in the rarely realized grey area
between artsy pretentiousness and musical comedy.
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 25 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.