Fuhgawee Hunting Club Surfs The Nest


              For anyone who is unfamiliar with Sussex County, or has only passed through it, it is truly like no other place in New Jersey. You know that meme that’s like “when you think you’re from the south but you live in Pennsylvania” well it’s like that, but worse camouflage, worse pickup trucks, and nothing but mint skoal long cut everywhere. Honestly, MTV should have capitalized on this. Buckwild could have totally taken place in Sussex County and then The Jersey Shore and Buckwild could have had a cross over episode.  I’d watch that shit. Anyway, sorry for that tangent, but I just felt there needed to be some context to Sussex.

            Fuhgawee Hunting Club (FHC), Sussex’s unlikely surf rock band, released a four-track vinyl last month called Mirrors.  The songs are fast, powerful, distinct, and full of energy. My favorite song off Mirrors is 18 Wheeler, a song that touches one of the three golden topics of song writing – driving (lovers and addiction are the other two). Unlike your standard highway songs of going on a peaceful, long drive to forget about all your troubles, frontman Joe Chegwidden sings about the fear of driving on a highway filled with 18-wheelers and thinking one of them is going to run you off the road. He screams the lyrics with such intensity. I can very vividly see him getting boxed in by a bunch of trucks on route 80 and screaming THIS COMMUTE IS KILLING ME as he tries to escape.

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Salt, Pepper, Ketchup, You Already Know


I met John Cozz in the first weeks of doing N.J. Racket.  He was playing at SOLO(s) Project House in Newark, opening for The Randy Haze Trio.  I was taken aback by his set initially.  He had kind of a crazy look, which matched his crazy sound.  His voice was straining as he screamed songs about transporting heroin and potholes on 21 and going to college and his grandmother swimming in the Passaic River. He sure as fuck took us all on a ride with that set, and I for one didn’t have enough bread crumbs to find my way back home.  I caught him after the show and told him about the site.  He quickly started digging into his backpack and pulled out a copy of his first album, Fall into Place or Pieces, in a cracked CD case packed with self-made art and a stack of stickers that read “John Cozz is a no brain little prick, Stacy!”  (That’s a Fast Times at Ridgemont High reference, if anyone missed it.)

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Experiment 34 Celebrates the Release of Charismanic 2.0


I received an email a few weeks ago from Bob Makin giving N.J. Racket the heads up on a buzzing New Jersey “psycho funk” band, Experiment 34, set to release their new EP, Charismanic 2.0, on January 14 at the Asbury Park Yacht Club (APYC).  If you’re reading this, you probably know of Bob Makin, but if you don’t he’s been a local music writer since the late 80’s, writing for several medias such as The Aquarian and his own column in MyCentralJersey, Makin Waves.  He is one of the true O.G.’s of the scene and someone I have respected and been a fan of since before having started N.J. Racket. 

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Can You See The Sky From Here is the Cure for Your Childhood Trauma


               Serious Matters, from Union Beach, has burst on the scene like a battering ram through a trap house with their debut EP, Can You See The Sky From Here.  This five-piece ensemble has been together for less than a year, but they attacked this album and scene with a tenacity of a far more experienced band.  These six tracks are nonstop, full-throttle, ass kicking.  I’ve been in a neck brace for over a week from banging my head so hard listening to this album.  It was worth it.

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Exclusive Interview with dollys’ Jeff Lane


From the very first show N.J. Racket has covered, The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, to the latest and greatest show we’ve covered, The Front Bottoms Present Champagne Jam, dollys has been one of our favorite bands on the scene.  The trio of Jeff Lane, Natalie Newbold, and Erik Romero have been on a tear throughout 2016 and are looking to carry the momentum into 2017 with a new album release and upcoming east coast tour.

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask guitarist Jeff Lane some questions about the band, their performance rituals, philosophies, and future aspirations.  Jeff goes into detail about the vulnerable and “naked” feeling of performing on stage, his experiences being approached by fans and being a fan approaching other artists, and what he loved about Nirvana.

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Exclusive Interview with Hodera’s Matthew Smith


Last Sunday, Hodera headlined the Studio at Webster Hall for The Front Bottoms’ Champagne Jams.  In the days following the show, we got the opportunity to ask Hodera front man Matthew Smith some questions.  Smith talks with us about where the band came from, where it’s going, and his plans for getting it there.  He also opens up about some of the personal origins of his songs, what its like to perform them on stage for audiences that know every word, and how he keeps his head through the bands continuing success.

If you still haven’t checked out Hodera, even though we’ve told you to here and here, it’s something you really need to get on top of.

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