Jersey Beat Music Fanzine

Intense Men's intense but fun musical mishmosh

Story and photos by John Posada

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 live.

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.

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