“In The Shallows” by Plato Zorba
When traveling down the Jersey Shore Middletown, NJ is never anyone’s primary destination. At best it’s a weigh station to fill your cooler with even colder ones en route to the state’s southern most vacation havens. In other words, this not where the bands play, are housed, or showcased, which is why it’s refreshing to hear such impressive compositions coming out of my home town. Plato Zorba’s brand of electric-coated Surf-Rock is the next evolutionary step of the genre, trading the reverberant twangs of their forefather’s for crunchier lightning storm productions, much like “In The Shallows.” See it played live this Thursday, January 10th, at The Stone Pony when Plato Zorba supports the legendary Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Tickets available here.
“Terrible Days” by Silent Lions
“Terrible days are here in terrible ways,” explains Dean Tartaglia in the refrain of “Terrible Days” a cut from Silent Lions debut four-track EP The Parliaments. Tartaglia, frontman of the Toldeo, Ohio-based Nerd-Rock outfit Mind Fish, inserts those well developed Pop melodies carried over from his day job into the offerings of his latest bass-laden side-project with Bikini Babes stick wielder Matt Klein. “These four songs deal heavily with new sounds, strange effects, and pretty much any weird ambition I’ve ever had that isn’t ‘radio friendly,'” explained Tartaglia via press-release. “I wanted to show my psychedelic side and get heavy.” Mission accomplished. Tarrtaglia’s prickly bass-play is smothered in distortion ad Klein’s backbeats quake the surrounding soundscape. If terrible days are in fact here, let The Parliaments heal what ails you. Download it here.
“Vaya” by Ed Tang
Asbury Park has a new acoustic guitar slinging bandit roaming its planks and his name is Ed Tang. The soloist is everything great about the likes of Chuck Ragan screaming in your face, Tim Barry lamenting of a long night on an East Brunswick sofa, and musical payments of homage to Sailor Jerry by Asbury’s own Chris Brown. All of these qualities are engrained within this songwriter and showcased alongside intense self-examination on his sophomore studio release Goodbye, Zen5, Sushi Dinner, which was produced, recorded, mixed, and engineered by Rob Blake (The Obvious) at the drummer’s SweetBeef Studio. Download the record here.
“Night Of Whiskey” by Secret Country
Upon the first spin of “Night Of Whiskey,” Secret Country’s lead single to its forthcoming LP From the Barroom to the Bedroom, the phrase “shit kickin’ spectacle” came to mind. This boot stomping, mug rattling, barroom anthem is infectious, assuming its rightful place of praise in the mind’s inner most musical alter after the first melodious bars and accompanying harmonies. The follow up to Secret Country’s debut LP, Women, Whiskey and Nightlife, is due out in record stores on January 15th but you can here it, and get your hands on it, first on January 12th when the album’s distributor, Killing Horse Records, celebrates its three-year anniversary at the lauded Hoboken music club Maxwell’s with a bill featuring TV Sound, Cicada Radio, Cold Fur, Life Eaters, The Everymen and headlined by none other than the independent Kearney, NJ label’s flagship band Secret Country. Doors for the event open at 8:30 p.m. with a $10 cover. Don’t miss it.