Jersey Beat's staff list their favorite releases of the year. Read them all here or check out each list separately.

  • Jim Testa
  • Paul Silver
  • Richard Quinlan
  • James Damion
  • Mark Hughson

  • "Chew A Little Ice," one of the standout tracks from Damfino's 2022 album "Skywriting By Word Of Mouth," comes alive thanks to this animation by Wyatt O'Connell. The song is by Damfino's Joe Merklee and Joel Bachrach. Enjoy the video, then check out the album at
    damfino.bandcamp.com.




    As the year comes to an end, Paul keeps finding 2022 releases to get excited about, including albums from Bad Wires, Can Kicker, Jonathan Francis, Gaffer, the Smug Brothers and Thousandaire. He also reviews new music from American Thrills, Tim Barry, Dumbskull, Eszter Balint, the supergroup collaboration of Jim Keltner, Mike Watt, and Mike Baggetta, Omni of Halos, The Raging Nathans, Rejection Pact, S.C.A.B., and Street Diamons. Paul also reviews Bring The Hoax, The Darts, Maggie Cubillos, Nightmarathons, Sic Waiting, David Woodard, Martha, Rest Easy, Sarah & The Safe Word, old reliables Vista Blue, and Chicago's veteran punk trio Vortis.

    Read Paul's column here...




    James did some Bandcamp surfing and came up with new releases from Fake News and the Gatherers, hardcore lookbacks from Urban Waste and Verbal Assult, The Gatherers, the excellent new release from the reunited D.C. post-core band Soulside, Jive Bomb, Outer World, Rough Ageand Ett Etko. Then James boards the nostalgia train for reissues from some of Hardcore's seminal bands, including NYHC's Major Conflict, LA's Circlons, Long Island's Koyo, WV's Lincoln, and Florida's Morning Again. James got some new vinyl and shares his thoughts on Chicago's Vortis, Battlebeats, Cyclo Sonic, and Bart & The Brats from Big Neck Records and the latest from thrash crossover flamethrowers Municipal Waste.


    Read James' column here...


    Rich reviews new albums from Fucked Up, Abduction, Soul Dissolution and Humans Etcetera, a live album from Anthrophobia and new releases from Travels With Brindle, Celebration Summer, Iceage, Mycelia, and Pineid. Also check out his reviews of Seventh Storm, Wolfbrigade, Epitaph Records' Flatliners, Boston's Kal Marks, and Philly's Prosper Or Perish, doesn't really dig the yachtrock of Dawes, and dishes the new Screeching Weasel album, as well as Sentient Horror, GWAR!, Bashford, Future Kill, The Handcuffs, Nightslaves, Savage Republic, Society 1, Temple of Void, Tim Kasher, Abraham, and Long Island's Jane Lee Hooker.

    Read Rich's column here....

    My Chemical Romance emerged from the fabled Jersey all-ages scene at the beginning of the 21st Century, becoming MTV fixtures and international superstars before flaming out and breaking up in 2013. Now they're back, and when their tour hit New Jersey, Jersey Beat's Deb Draisin wasn't going to miss it. Read her review and check out her photos here...


    Haley & The Crushers play a vivacious brand of upbeat punk and pop with a bit of metal for crunch, and the big, bright, ebullient personality of Haley Cain at its center. Jersey Beat's Deb Draisin sat down with Haley to dish about life, rock, and (sigh)drummers.


    Read Deb's interview here...


    Leslie Snyder reviews some fascinating new indie-pop releases including the second album from NJ teen Juniper, Push Puppets, the Airport 77's, Graham Repuski, I Love Rich, Damfino, and Normal Zac.


    Read Leslie's reviews here...


    Richard X. Heyman has been a force in the Greater New York music scene since helping to form the Doughboys back in the mid-60's. He's been a sideman to superstars, a solo artist, and rocked with the reunited Doughboys since 2000. Now he's about to release a new album. Jersey Beat's Deb Draisin caught up with this indefatigable rock 'n' roll lifer.

    Read Deb's interview here...



    15-year old Kjersti Long may not have a lot of experience in the dating world yet, but her catchy new single "Boys In Jersey" shows wisdom beyond her years, as well as a healthy sense of humor and a great ear for melody. Thanks to our friends at Hip Video for passing this along.




    Deb Draisin interviews musician/songwriter/producer/sound engineer Paul Roessler, who was there at the beginning of the Los Angeles punk scene and continues to make important contributions to the world of indie rock.

    Read Deb's interview here...


    Mark "Bort" Hughson reviews the new album from Screeching Weasel, a new literary-themed EP from Vista Blue, and lots more stuff including Maladukados, Long Drag, Buglite, and a bizarre compilation of songs from a prank call website. Also, reviews of Black Midi, School Of X, John Savage's Alternate History of Electronic Music, and another comp of video game music.

    Read Mark's column here...



    Jersey Beat's James Damion talks to Ralph Malanga about his new band Cathedral Ceilings, his other band Stuyvesant, his long association with Dromedary Records, and the ins and outs of being a staple of the Jersey rock scene for three decades.

    Read James' interview here....




    When Tim Sommer was a student at NYU, he hosted Noise: The Show, which turned a generation of listeners (including your editor)onto obscure early hardcore bands like Flux of Pink Indians and Even Worse. A few years later, Tim had an A&R job at Alantic Records and talked his boss into signing four South Carolina frat boys with the unlikely name Hootie & The Blowfish. Now, nearly 30 years later, Tim has written the definitive story of that band and its generation-defining album cracked rear view, along with an unsparing look at the record industry of that era.

    Read Jim Testa's review here...


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    Editor Jim Testa reviews new releases from cartoonist turned musician David Heatley, longtime fave Kevin Devine, NH's New Norde, NYC's Lovechild, South Jersey's the dt's, Montclair's Roy Orbitron, NYC's Super User Friendly, and the UK's Curse Of Lono.

    Read Jim's reviews here...

    Jersey Beat's Rich Quinlan chats with Tracy Hightop, the veteran lead guitarist of Long Island blues powerhouse Jane Lee Hooker.

    Read Rich's interview here....


    James Damion speaks with Michele Cruz Gonzales, the outspoken author, activist, teacher, public speaker and onetime drummer of the groundbreaking East Band band Spitboy. They talk about her music career, feminism, and much more.

    Read James' interview here...





    Jon D'Amore is a Jersey guy who headed to Hollywood to work in music as well as television and film, but he's also the author of six books. The latest, George & Me, combines scifi with American history in a unique way. Jon talks to editor Jim Testa about his books, his process, and offers some advice for aspiring writers.

    Read Jim's interview here...



    James Damion interviews teacher and author Nancy Barile about her new memoir I’m Not Holding Your Coat: My Bruised-And-All Memoir of Punk Rock Rebellion. Nancy reminisces about coming of age in the punk and hardcore scene and how that influenced her as a person and a teacher.

    Read James' interview here...

    It's that time of year again when Jersey Beat's staff shares their favorites albums, EP's, and singles. Check out the lists from Paul Silver, Rich Quinlan, Jim Testa, James Damion, and Mark Hughson.


    Check out our staff's top picks here.


    Jersey Beat's Grady Trexler talks with Jarrett Dougherty of New Jersey's Screaming Females about the interactive tour archive he's compiled, as well as the how the trio survived the pandemic and the Screamales' approach to keeping their band DIY and independent.

    Read Grady's interview here...



    Jersey Beat's newest reporter Grady Trexler catches up with Rob Romano to chat about his new project Chico Romano, his longstanding band Professor Caveman, and the state of the New Brunswick music scene.


    Read Grady's interview here...


    Tris McCall presents another video culled from his ongoing project "McCall's Alamanac," which features songs, stories, and tour guides inspired by cities in our fifty states. Today, Jersey Beat premieres the video for "On Indian Schools," representing Phoenix, Arizona.
    For more, visit McCall's Almanac.com.


    Ricky Rochelle is a drummer, singer, songwriter, and now a newlywed and solo artist. We caught up with the veteran pop-punker to talk about his new release "Unleash The Demos," Ramonescore, and post-covid life on his native Long Island


    Read Jim Testa's interview here...



    You may recognize Michael Kelly’s name from the album credits on releases from Ash Williams or Matt Caskitt & The Breaks. But Kelly has a solo project too, under the name Buckley’s Angel. Begun around 2015 as a solo acoustic folk-pop-punk effort, Buckley’s Angel has evolved over time, with Kelly recruiting some friends to record full-band songs. Now Buckley’s Angel are announcing their upcoming debut EP, “Pinnacle Room,” due out in August via Paper Street Cuts. Jersey Beat is proud to present the premiere of the first video single from the EP, “Exit Culture.” - Paul Silver

    Deb Draisin interviews Lizzie Edwards, the scintillating frontperson of NYC's Lizzie & The Makers.

    Read Deb's interview here...



    Legendary folk-rock guru Peter Stampfel illustrates the history of pop music in the 20th Century the only way he knows how - by picking and playing a favorite tune from each of the century's 100 years. The project is called Peter Stampfel's 20th Century In 100 Songs, available now in a CD box set, digital download, or stream. Editor Jiim Testa caught up with Peter in COVID lockdown to talk about this magnum opus and the other many projects this busy octagenarian has in the works.

    Read Jim Testa's review here...


    James Damion talks with Pete Tabbot of Vision about his life in the NJ hardcore scene, his career as an educator and health officer, and his work on the City Gardens documentary, Riot On The Dance Floor.

    Read James' interview here...



    The first thing Jersey Beat's James Damion did when he moved to Seattle several years ago was find all the good record stores. One of his favorites is Singles Going Steady, manned by Byron Wilson. In this interview, Byron talks about the store, his experiences growing up near Gilman Street, his love of cooking, and his band The Expendables.

    Read James' interview here...




    James Damion talks to Pete Martinez, owner and proprietor of New Jersey's only drum shop, The Drum Den in Hoboken. Pete talks about following his passion, playing in bands, and what you'll find at his unique store.

    Read James' interview here...





    The Happy Fits - Calvin, Ross, and Luke - started playing together for fun in the summer before they started college, back in their hometown of Pittstown, New Jersey. Five years later, these up-and-coming, tour-seasoned, full-time musicians will be releasing their much-anticipated sophore album, What Could Be Better, at the end of August. Jim Testa talked to the exciting young trio about their music, their passionate singalong fan base, their early DIY touring, and how to be a band in 2020.

    Read Jim's interview here...



    Joe Darone first grabbed Jersey Beat's attention as the teenaged drummer of The Fiendz, but these days he's best known for the experimentalist Suit of Lights. With a new album on the horizon, Joe chatted with Jersey Beat's James Damion about his long career in both music and graphic arts, his approach to music, and what might come next.

    Read James' interview here....




    New Jersey lost one of its finest bands when The Everymen disbanded in 2017 and frontman Michael VM relocated to North Carolina with his family. Jersey Beat's James Damion catches up with Mike to talk about living in the South, remembering the Everymen, and looking at what comes next in his career.

    Read James' interview here...



    Jersey Beat's Rich Quinlan was so moved by the latest EP from Gdansk, Poland's Trupa Trupa that he contacted the band and interviewed lead singer/guitarist Grzegorz Kwiatkowski. Here, Kwiatkowski talks about his band's process, his denunciation of Holocaust deniers, and the realities of being a rock band in Poland.

    Read Rich's interview here...


    Photo by Kevin Durkin

    Bloomfield, NJ's Joy Cleaner has been one of the happiest surprises of 2019, emerging (with their second album, You're So Jaded) as one of the state's most promising punk bands. Andrew Merclean caught up with the trio to talk about the band, the new album, and the future. Read his interview here...




    Amy Rigby has long been one of our favorite singer-songwriters. Now she's one of our favorite authors too, with the publication of Girl To City: A Memoir, the story of her life from a young girl worshipping Elton John on the radio through the tumultuous NYC club scene of the 70's, to the release of her debut solo album in the Nineties.

    Read Jim Testa's story here...



    Jersey Beat's James Damion interviews Steven DiLodovico, one of the partners in DiWulf Publishing, the startup that brought us the oral history of City Gardens. Steve talks about other projects in the hopper, how he became a publisher and why he loves doing it, and shares some personal information about his battle with Crohn's Disease.

    Read James' interview here...


    Jamie Frey interviews the legendary Mike Watt, currently promoting the release of Ring Spiel '95, a live album recorded on the Ball Hog?Or Tugboat tour in 1995. Watt talks about how the album came out, the remarkable Ring Spiel touring band (which included Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and Pat Smear,) and his role in punk rock history. This is Jersey Beat's fifth interview with the irascible, effusive, and totally original Mike Watt, and we can't wait till the next one. Read Jamie's interview here... And read Rich Quinlan's review of Mike Watt's Ring Spiel '95 here...


    It's been eight years since the Ergs! disbanded and almost ten since their last full-length album, so Mikey Erg's first solo album Tentative Decisions arrives with with a lot of expectations. Happily, Mikey delivers on all fronts, with a more mature but still passionate rendering of his trademark pop-punk, complete with crunchy sonic guitars and punchy drums, melodic basslines and emphatic vocals delivered in Mikey's trademark nasal yowl. Read Jersey Beat's reviews here...

     

    JerseyBeat.com 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.


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     


     
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