Out of Montclair, The Planet You describes their music as “hyperbolic jazzmo,” and their eponymous LP comes across as the love child of free jazz and post-punk. With a fresh, improvised feel and clever track titles like “yloponoM” and “Posilutely,” this is clearly a band that loves what they do and would never think of making music as work.
Thanksgiving Eve turned out to be a fitting occasion to have a show featuring six of Northern Jersey’s acclaimed bands – Sunflower, LKFFCT, Whiner, Trü, Smock, and Shred Flintstone, gathering to celebrate Tyler Curtis’ birthday. Though some groups have been around longer than others (scene veterans LKFFCT, for instance, are somewhat of a collective “father figure” at this point), all of these musicians have been supporting each other for years, as well as the whole music scene of the greater Montclair area.
Back in July, Montclair-based band Electric Sensei released their first official EP, Chaotic Good. These three familiar tracks were first heard by the public off the Mr. Pink/Electric Sensei split released back in November. Remixed and remastered, the tracks are cleaner yet dirtier than before and marketed with beautifully badass artwork by Bobby Kirner.
The band draws influence from acts like Queens of the Stone Age, Mr. Bungle, Ween, and System of a Down, while creating a theatrically frightening stage personality. Electric Sensei crafts an image of a mad scientist in who’s experiments are badass rock music.
This week, Travis Love Benson will be wrapping up their “Lil’ Love Tour 2017” with shows on Wednesday April 5, at The Meatlocker in Montclair, and Thursday April 6, at Clifton’s Clash Bar NPR Benefit show, giving you two, count ‘em, two chances to check them out. The anti-folk, folk-punk Travis Love Benson released the EP From Butterflies to Moths (FBtM) on March 25, featuring a mix of original recordings as well as covers of Yo! The Moon! and Girlpool.
Guys! Rosey Bengal is back! At last! Two years after their eponymous EP came out and months after their most recent single, they have released the eagerly-awaited, full-length Junk Mail with Sniffling Indie Kids and Mint 400. It’s kind of the Chinese Democracy of NJ indie rock. But now it’s here! And Junk Mail is well worth the wait.
This album achieves a full, complex sound without coming off as crowded. Featuring two songs off their EP as well as their 2016 single, “Freedom in the Air” (which we premiered back in December!), it’s both driving and languid, polished and tight with just the right amount of distortion, measured but reserving plenty of space for solos. I was hooked from the first seconds of pedal-heavy picking and distortion on “Black Sedan,” and the rest of the album definitely holds up.
The band Apparus formed in Montclair way back in 2012, and now, five years after their formation and two years after their breakup in 2015, we have been gifted with one more single, titled “The Crown,” to torture us all with thoughts of what could have been and longing for what we have lost. In the three years the band was active, they spawned a full length album, aptly titled The Album, and a 7-track EP, also aptly titled Apparus EP. “The Crown,” though released for the first time in 2017, was first conceived by guitarist Ben Petty (ManDancing) about 10 years ago (I don’t want to tell you what I was doing 10 years ago), and throughout that time has been rewritten and reworked by the band until it has reached this point of perfection.