10 Local NJ Bands You Need To Listen To

10 Local NJ Bands You Need To Listen To

Local New Jersey music is way too awesome to be ignored, and these 10 bands are just some of the many that you need to check out.
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New Jersey has given us countless creative and innovative musicians over the past century, and it doesn’t end with the ones you hear on the radio. New Jersey’s local music scene is flooded with talented musicians whose skills are hardly surpassed by those who sell out arenas. Anyone who is active in the local music scene knows that there are tons of bands that deserve to be on a list like this one, but for the sake of brevity, this list only includes 10 of them.

1. Motor Heart Man

This talented Hillsborough-based two-piece is inspired by a range of incredible musicians from Kurt Cobain to Jimi Hendrix, and it shows in their tunes. Each track from "Somehow Something" and "The Two Demo" is distinctive, but all of them are gritty and raw and filled with a the sort of outstanding instrumentation intersections that you’d expect from professional artists much older than these guys.

2. Feeny


This indie rock trio has just released their newest self-funded album "No Beauty in Routine" following 2012’s "Winter of our Disconnect." The tracks, along with their live performances, show how dynamic their skills are, ranging from mellow, melodic tunes to wildly energetic tracks. They’re a blast to see live, bringing an unparalleled amount of energy to each venue they play at.

3. Jean Pool


These four guys from Jefferson really know how to rock. Their style extends over a number of genres, with roots firmly grounded in punk rock and blues. Back in November, they released their own EP, "Wet," with six diverse tracks that are vigorous and intense. Their dexterous abilities really show in each one of their songs, and this is another band that’s a lot of fun live.

4. The Double Negatives


The Double Negatives consists of five talented guys out of Manasquan. They’ve fluently mixed good old fashioned rock and roll with a bit of experimental psychedelia. They recently released their own demo with five catchy tracks that exemplify the wide range of skills these guys possess. From the vocals to the original melodies, this is another group you won’t want to skip over.


5. Pixel Face


This Bridgewater-based group is barely a year old, but it sounds like they’ve been playing together for years. They mostly play video game and anime song covers with a rock and roll style, which sounds a bit oddball—because it is—but they make it work really well. Their instrumentals are enthralling, and the band is very skilled, making their shows lively and immensely entertaining.


6. Rocky Catanese & The Chapter

Rocky Catanese & The Chapter is a tight-sounding band. Their more complex arrangements, harmonies, and melodies work really well; their power ballads and more upbeat tunes are all equally enjoyable. These five guys from New Brunswick have released one really cool album so far, titled "New Day/Old Night," and they always put on great shows live.


7. PA Angelo

This is another rock trio, proudly calling themselves “junk rock,” but their sound is much tighter than that genre would suggest. Based out of Flemington, these three guys have really developed their own unique sound, drawing from influences in rock and roll and punk rock. PA Angelo can go from mellow to aggressive swiftly and fluently, making them another awesome act to see live.


8. Molly Rhythm


Molly Rhythm is a very talented hard rock/ska punk band from the Trenton-Philly area. They craft great melodies and catchy beats, and their two female vocalists are definitely a highlight. Their music is very energetic, electrifying every show they play. They have a bunch of cool songs, and they also have their own sweet website where you can learn more about the band and their music.


9. City Limits


This is another New Brunswick group. City Limits is a downright awesome punk rock group. Though some punk groups in local scenes across the country tend to be a little more heavy-handed, sometimes making them a bit harder to listen to, these four guys are very talented and always craft great melodies.


10. Tula Vera


This Montclair-based group consists of 3 guys playing guitar, bass and drums, and another very talented female vocalist who is responsible for the band’s lyrics. They consider themselves a garage rock group, but you can tell they’ve got some roots in blues as well. They have their own unique sound, and each one of their songs differs from the last, making them a really cool local band you need to check out.



Cover Image Credit: Patrick Lombardi

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?

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Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

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Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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