Craig FuYoung has been my favorite social commentator on modern existence ever since I first read along to “Generica” by The Degenerics. His way of organizing his thoughts backed by the strong emotion in his voice comes with great conviction and leaves a strong impact. When I discovered he assumed lyric writing and vocal duties in a new project, I immediately bought the album before even listening. I was that confident that I would enjoy his new band, Plastic Cross. Right, I was. Lyrically, “Grayscale Rainbows” picks up right where the last Degenerics EP left off (if there was something in between that and this please let me know!), except this time Craig is even more to the point and more sarcastic than ever, yet still maintains a strong sense of imagery. Each song’s message is clear and ties into the overall concept of a drone-heavy future that could very well be now. The 18 track album delves directly into what I love about hardcore/punk while remaining refreshing and interesting. Melodic guitar lines drive the urgent songs backed by bass lines that venture off the root. Not every song has a chorus, but each offers standout parts. They take risks in tempos and structures with guitar tone that’s often as wet as the Dead Kennedys. This time around, Craig screams/sings in a lower register than what we’re used to in The Degenerics and Kamikaze, but it still sounds like him and if you weren’t sure, read along! Stream 3 of the songs below and purchase the whole LP from Don Giovanni.
Sadly, Hackettstown’s Boy Things will no longer grace us with their beautiful music but I’m sure (and hope) we’ll see new projects surface by members of the band soon. We are extremely happy that we played a small role in the release of their 7″ EP “Equations,” which you can download/stream/purchase here:
They posted this statement:
Boy Things is no more. We had a really great time writing music and performing together, but now it is time for all of us to move on with our lives. This band started as five friends playing board games and screwing around during the summers. We have released three eps; two digital and one 7 inch, and played a whole bunch of shows within the tri-state area.
We hope that our music has inspired other indie bands out there. Our story just goes to show that with the help of your friends, fans, the internet, and local music community, you can really make a difference in ways that you never thought were possible! Many thanks to our Facebook fans, Twitter followers, bandcamp, the Indie Rock Playlist, YouTube, Blogger friends, and college radio for making us known on a national and international level. A special thanks to Brad Tiedemann, Greg Giarritta, Kristin Field, Margarita Star, Jeff Lambert, Joe Dimeck and Paul Cherch for all giving us advice, time, and or money to get our music out to people in NJ. Had it not been for you guys as fans and most of all friends, we would not have gone as far as we had.
We will now be offering all our music as pay what you want, so feel free to download Equations for free now. Also, if anyone wants to buy a t-shirt, vinyl, poster, or sticker, email us and we can try to get it to you. This has certainly been one big roller coaster ride — probably most like the Talon at Dorney Park — but it was still enjoyable. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun! Keep your eye out for us in the future. Maybe you’ll see one of us in a new project one day. Just don’t forget what we’ve always said since the beginning–
Let’s Do Boy Things!
Eric Dryburgh (drums)
Vince Rickey (bass)
Beth Hansen (main vocals)
Adam Cumiskey (guitar)
Matt Nguyen (guitar 2, vocals 2; summer 2012 – present)
Blake What was his last name anyway? (synth, vocals 2; summer 2009 – summer 2012)”
Would you look at that form? Perfect. This dude just couldn’t stop the music that engulfed him as he hopped, stomped, and paced around the Tuscan Cafe’s scratched hardwood floors on Friday night in Warwick, NY. Casey Roberston tested his slick photography skills and got the timing just right to snap him at the peak of this particular launch during Polaroids‘ set. You never heard Polaroids? You might want to if you like high energy, hardcore/pop-punk with multiple singers, each adding their own unique influence to the sound. I immediately think of Faded Grey during Tom’s rhythmic yelling over the single note, ever-moving guitar melodies. I love seeing bands where every member knows the words and sings along. Polaroids does that. You can tell each of them is just as passionate about the music as the next and it’s not one of those bands driven by one sole and lonely member. Listen to/download their full length below. If you’d like to submit photos for the “Punk Jumps” section just send the picture, the band, and a little about it to firstname.lastname@example.org
The 3 debut songs from basement rockers Late Night Beers could not have come on a better day- it’s raining lightly before an imminent storm and nothing really happened during the 12 or so hours I’ve been awake that warrants intense bliss, or even a subtle smile at all. Well, nothing except maybe hearing these three carefully constructed and organized tunes from friends. The EP starts off miserably, in the best possible way, sharing qualities with Low’s “I Could Live in Hope,” with minimal drumming, clean guitars and low/smooth/space-effected vocals. It gradually builds into a more rock driven crescendo with the next two songs…the guitars only distorting as Tyler and Eddie strum harder- pretty organic if you ask me. You should probably grab some headphones, sit by a window or on a porch and watch the rain come down as you listen to these tracks on repeat from now until nightfall…Oh wait, it’s already dark. Put it on anyway and let these Morrissey-like vocals sing you to sleep. You don’t even have to leave this page, just look and click below!
When I’m not playing music or working, I like to get out and do stuff in the woods…nothing crazy, I just like being outside on a nice day away from the things that normally surround me. This usually manifests itself through day hikes, lake trips, river walks, hanging out on scenic overlooks or anything similar. It typically acts as an escape from “the grind” and allows me to indulge in something that’s not music. I basically separate the two. I have woods-shit on one side and music on the other, I love both, but rarely do they cross paths physically (though it has happened. Rawest venue ring a bell?). Kevin Carafa effectively took aspects of both realms and forced them to play chicken. In this game, neither side “won.” They collided, resulting in his masterpiece, appropriately titled “The Mountain.” With this collection of 5 songs Kevin leads us on a journey beginning at the base of a mountain where he redefines “earth-tones” as we peer up at the challenge that awaits. We’re soon met with adversity as a musical storm erupts, but we forge on and begin the ascent, regardless. The atmosphere he creates with multiple bass tracks and tasteful drumming build into the “ascent” with vocals sharing tones and style from Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. At this point, the “no turning back” cliche reigns true and gets us to the peak where we have time to relax and reflect. At the top, Kevin provided the perfect soundscape for us, returning to the bass and drums that set the tone at the beginning of our trek. An obvious Om, influence can be heard in the carefully constructed rhythms and droning bass. When it’s time for “The Descent” we feel accomplished, but we know we have to climb down just as we climbed up. We’re reminded of the difficult path home that Kevin illustrates through more tense bass ‘n drums paired with a vocal melody similar to something that can be found on Tool‘s “Lateralus.” So we begin…Kevin guides us down the mountain to another crescendo filled with distorted bass and pounding drums. Now, Kevin does not exactly suggest that we survive this long/strenuous journey. ”The Mountain” ends on a cliffhanger with the lyric “…and if we die, remember that time was with us.” With “Himalaya: The Mountain” Kevin Carafa overcame the challenge of writing a cohesive concept album that makes perfect sense, and leaves you guessing/wanting more without coming off as cheesy, pretentious or ill-executed. Listen/download below! He has it set with “The Ascent” as the featured track, but I suggest listening to it from start to finish.
Four Fingers may never break up, but they maintain a relatively inactive presence. However, their guitarist (Jeff) still actively plays in North Jersey’s Michael Ironside: a witty alternative/dance duo backed by a boombox. They released their 2nd full length, “Top Shelf Hooch” on May 25th as a follow up to their 2012 release, “Gelatin Moon.” I don’t know how they can keep such straight faces in this video, but they do and it works. Watch the video and peep the cover art below!
When not maiming his precious forehead with the mic, Mike, vocalist of north jersey hardcore/punk band, Gnar Life, spends more time airborne than grounded. I think I’ve seen more pictures of this dude soaring than straight chillin’. On top of that, he and his band show great support and passion for NJ Hardcore. I played one show with these guys and attended another that they opened. At both shows, most (if not all) of the members stayed and watched every band, sang what they knew, and danced respectively. It is safe to say that they are a rarity, at least at the shows I have been playing/attending. Anyway, without further ado…Gnar Life. Be sure to listen to their full length which so gallantly reminds us that you don’t have to be serious all the time.