Hey everyone, welcome back for another episode of N.J. Racket’s Racket Radio Podcast. Joining us for Episode #2 are two are very popular artists and personalities in the New Jersey DIY scene. Max Rauch of LKFFCT and NGHTCRWLRS is not only a great artist and performer in his own right, but is a well respected engineer who has worked with some of the best artists New Jersey has to offer, and John Cozz of John Cozz and the Squirts is everybody’s favorite anti-folk turned pop-punk, amateur filmmaker, crab leg enthusiast. In our episode, Max and Cozz talk about some of their other favorite artists in the scene, irony and sincerity in their songwriting, what their grandmothers think of their music, and how none of us have read Infinite Jest.
We have some very special guests joining us for the first ever installment of N.J. Racket‘s Racket Radio podcast series. Sniffling Indie Kids is one of the most influential labels in the New Jersey independent music landscape and the three owners, Frank DeFranco, Eric Goldberg, and Joe Lanza are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people that I’ve had the privilege to know.
In this episode, Frank, Eric, and Joe talk us through the inception of the label, going back to the creation of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective, through meeting Neil Sabatino of Mint 400 Records, starting the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, and their plans for the future.
The saying goes, “I can’t define melody, per se, but I know it when I hear it.” Okay, so that isn’t at all a thing that people actually say, but it is exactly how I felt when I first heard “View From the Bleachers,” the first single from Subtitles’ fourth EP (fifth counting a 2015 split release with Cranes Are Flying) titled Modicum, out Friday, January 12 on Sniffling Indie Kids.
Subtitles is a three-piece indie alt-rock band out of Newark, NJ consisting of Russell Payan, Brian Roy, and Ben Petty (also of ManDancing), formed back in 2014. Over the past few years, the band has refined their songwriting to further evolve the storytelling that is so prevalent in their music. This is accompanied by light guitar riffs that create a soft and sweet vibe to songs that are thematically, at times, much darker than they initially seem.
About a month ago, the New Jersey indie scene was introduced to Haunt Club, comprised of Anthony Yebra, Stephen Omark, Erik Romero, and Tim Pannella. The band’s debut album, aptly titled Volume One, was jointly released by Sniffling Indie Kids and Beware, Vampire Rats, which had both released works by band members previous projects, dollys and The North American, respectively. Since the album’s release, Haunt Club has been receiving pretty wide acclaim and have shared a stage with some of the scene’s best artists, including Deal Casino, Toy Cars, Smock, Delicate Flowers, and Weakened Friends.
Well folks, looks like miracles do come true.
This one comes in the form of the trippy “Miracle Grow” music video from Spowder, off their April release, Health Palm. Spowder’s one of the local DIY bands that’s been creating a ton of buzz in the past year having released an absolute killer album on both State Champion Records and Sniffling Indie Kids, recently announced they will be playing with the Screaming Females at Monty Hall for the second straight year, were one of the headlining bands at the Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, and now approach the close of 2017 with this video for their most hard hitting track. Check it out below…
On of my biggest pet peeves is when band’s are defined in terms of other bands instead of given the credit for their own individuality and creativity. When you read things like “They sound like Green Day,” it’s usually bull shit because even Green Day doesn’t sound like Green Day anymore, but that’s a conversation for another time. Point being, I was a little ashamed of myself when I listened to Mutual Interest‘s upcoming album Better Than I Expected and immediately thought to myself “holy shit! they sound like The Smiths….sans Morrissey’s pretentiousness.” But so much that made so many people fall in love with The Smiths is present in Mutual Interest, from the jangling post-punk riffs to the melodramatic new wave tones, and if you doubt me, listen for yourself. The premiere of their single “Sunset on a Perfect Day” is streaming below.