Jersey Beat Music Fanzine

BIG UPS – Two Parts Together (Exploding in Sound Records)

Brooklyn boys Big Ups gave me some serious whiplash with their latest album; it wasn’t at all a bad thing though. With huge raging highs and ultra-tight lows, Two Parts Together feels like exactly that. Huge dynamic shifts can be messy, but these guys know exactly what they are doing, and execute it with incredible precision. Joe Galarraga delivers furious, tearing vocals, but balances the aggression with melancholic, stoically spoken lows that add to the powerful dynamic swings felt throughout the album. Amar Lal brings soft singing licks, and enormous, jagged riffs with his guitar, while Brendan Finn crashes in all the right places on the drums. Tie it all together with Carlos Salguero on the bass, piling on a heaviness that makes you feel the weight in Galarraga’s words. Aggressive and earnest, Big Ups sound like they’re working through some stuff in their third release, but it’s an emotional display that you’ll want to experience.

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER – Rebound (Frenchkiss Records)

Rebound is an album that took a few spins to really click. On the first listen, I was fairly unenthused by the soft, dreamy indie vibes. But given some time to really palate Eleanor Friedberger’s fourth solo release, I found a hidden trove of catchy vocal hooks and intriguing sounds that I glossed over initially. Spacy synth permeates every track, paired with Friedberger’s ethereal vocals creates a very smooth and soft listening experience, that jolts you periodically with unorthodox melodies and the occasional upbeat groove to snap you back from the dream-like atmosphere of the album. Friedberger creates a hypnotic, sometimes haunting sound that really shines through the small things. For me, it was all in the details with this album, finding more to appreciate each time around. Some albums truly rip, but Rebound is a soft-spoken treasure that still knows how to slip in a bouncy, ear-catching hook with finesse.


Digital Criminals are the first band I’ve ever heard from Wales, and I’d say they made a hell of an impression. It’s not often a band caters to my love for both crushing riffs and grooves that leave you powerless but to dance, but Digital Criminals deliver exactly that in a tight four-song EP appropriately titled Hell Yeah. I was admittedly put off by the heavy stadium rock feel, but by the end of the title track I was fully ready to belt out the chorus to every song. It’s not a reinvention of the wheel, but this EP sounds like unapologetically having the best time of your life. Emily Bates brings anthemic power to every track with her huge vocals, while Dan Fry delivers a barrage of earthshattering guitar riffs that ease off just enough to allow some room to breathe. There is just enough pop in this rock to make it irresistibly catchy and accessible, but it maintains an authenticity that is so often lost in production of this level. End to end, this EP will make you want to dance, bang your head, and holler out a great big hell fuckin’ yeah, so buckle in and have some fun.

The LLC - Television Music (

I had never seen the Chris Gethard Show, but I can say I’m a big fan after hearing their house band, the LLC. The band recently released an album, titled Television Music, collecting the songs they have written for the show, and it made me feel as though this band is one of the reasons cable TV is still surviving. Listening through the album just made me want to go outside and ride my bike in the sun with no particular destination in mind. It’s already the soundtrack to my summer, and it’s still spring. Their Bandcamp bills them as “the greatest house band in public access history”, and I full heartedly agree with that endorsement. Television Music hits you with endlessly catchy vocal hooks, courtesy of Hallie Bulleit, laid over amazingly fun, bouncy garage-pop. Bulleit’s voice delivers a sugar rush directly to your ears with a perfect blend of lighthearted and earnest lyrics that are just too much fun to listen to. From the breakneck punk rock charge of Swimming, to the synth-infused garage-pop punch of Hey!, this album takes you on a ride that I just can’t get enough of. 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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