NJ Band To Follow - Shark Club

Shark Club is a band that I didn’t know I needed in my life until I heard them. Everything about them and their music screams authenticity, honesty, and innocence in a peculiar way that is reminiscent of childhood memories. The band has been hard at work in 2016 releasing arguably their strongest set of songs in their latest EP Michigan a little over 2 months ago. On top of that, they have also recently released a cover of Slaughter Beach, Dog’s song “Monsters” which you can listen to below!

Shark Club consists of guitarists/singer songwriters Jake Britton and Russel Cerminaro, bassist Eric Ciparis, and newest member, David Juro on the drums. With influences from bands such as Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms, the band strikes a perfect balance between nostalgia and innovation while crafting a sound that is all their own. The name Shark Club, just like the members of band, comes from simple beginnings. One day Britton approached Cerminaro with a song he had written which they later recorded. They quickly realized the potential behind their music, recruited additional members, Ciparis and Juro, and began practicing in Cerminaro’s basement. That practice space was decorated with an odd painting of a pink shark wearing sunglasses.

Right below the shark, the painting read “shark club.”

The band has released 2 full length albums and 1 EP. Their latest full length effort, Michigan, is the band’s most collaborative project with each member contributing to every song on the record equally, and it definitely shows. Michigan captures everything that is fun and exciting about Shark Club and puts it on full display in a neatly polished package that just makes listeners feel good. 
You can check out the tracklisting for Michigan right here!

Michigan Tracklist:
1. In Your Eyes
2. Aim For The Heart 03:11
3. Paper Bag Funeral 03:20
4. In Time 02:30
5. Mint 04:18
6. Weathered 03:09
7. Yosemite 02:18
8. Blue Whale 03:43
9. God Walks on 45th Street 03:38
10. Midnight 03:25
11. Tomorrow 04:44
12. Quilt

Just like their recorded music, Shark Club’s live shows are just as fun and inviting. Even before they set foot on the stage, the members of the band make it a priority to go around and engage audience members by asking random questions that are guaranteed to take you by surprise. When they finally do take the stage, you better believe their shows will be filled with infectious music and good vibes. “If our high energy songs and scrumptious breakdowns don’t get you pumped, I’m not sure what will.”

Unfortunately Shark Club has no set shows in place at this moment. The members are at school until winter break rolls around when they will be back at the grind recording the dozens of songs they have amassed since their last record. 

If you have never heard of Shark Club before, then now is the perfect opportunity to join the club (pun fully intended). You’ll be treated to wonderfully benevolent music that will make you feel happy in the most innate way while still bringing energy and intensity. Michigan is an awesome, feel-good record that I highly recommend. Check out Shark Club’s social media links below and keep your eyes and ears peeled for even more new music and show dates.

Shark Club:  Facebook // Soundcloud // Bandcamp // YouTube

NJ Band To Follow - The Fifth Down

There are countless reasons I would defend New Jersey, and I'm adding The Fifth Down to my list.

Self-proclaimed indie-punk group, The Fifth Down, is one of my newest discoveries in the New Jersey local scene - and to be honest, thank goodness. 

After a supposed failed attempt as a Ska band in High School (Ska was in then, right?) the original members, Elias Kotsis (keys/vocals), Bobby Lussier (guitar/vocals), Kyle Murphy (lead vocals/guitar), and Ethan Wagner (bass) were joined by George Ford (drums), Dylan Levine (guitar/vocals) to begin their project in a new direction - of the indie punk variety.

If you're looking for a reference, you can think of bands like The Front Bottoms, Brand New, and The Wonder Years. 

The Fifth Down has been busy! Of course, why wouldn't they be. They're really good. Back in 2013, The Fifth Down released their self-recorded debut EP, A Reason to Celebrate. All of which using material dating as far back as eighth grade. I've listened to the EP, it's pretty rad - you can get it on iTunes. 

They're currently working on their upcoming full-length, More Than Just Your Own Kind. The band says that this LP is focused on "the story of growing out of one’s home to explore more genuine, organic relationships and what is needed to sustain them." More Than Just Your Own Kind will be released on June 3rd, 2016, and you should totally check back on The Hook because we're stoked to be reviewing it!

The Fifth Down also recently just shared their track, "Canada Dry," from More Than Just Your Own Kind! The guys premiered it with SIMGE on May 16th in preparation for the June 3rd release! You can check out "Canada Dry," streaming on Bandcamp, and you can also purchase the track - so you should be doing all of these things, right now.

And from me to you, I've been listening to More Than Just Your Own Kind, and you should be pumped. Obviously, we're going to be talking more about it on our review of the album, but here's a sneak peek: really stellar emotional lyrics, the best track titles I've ever encountered, and a soundtrack that's going to be your summer anthem.

I mean, what I admire most about them is how really relaxed their music feels. It's reminiscent of some of my old favorites, early 2000 jams. Also, there's a song called "Gas Station Sushi," which is gross and great. I don't know, maybe I don't know much about the indie-punk music scene, or I'm just ready for NJ to represent - but The Fifth Down is definitely representing. The Fifth Down is exciting. The Fifth Down and their music has a lifelong fan in me, I'm gonna be real. 

That's right, you heard it here: The Fifth Down is your new windows down, going to the beach, eating pb&j dudes. Listen to them in your backyard (I did), in your car (I did), while eating a banana with peanut butter on it (did that, too) - point is, just check these guys out. 

Check back here for an album review of More Than Just Your Own Kind in June - and a show review later that month as well!

As always, head over to their social media, take a listen to "Canada Dry," tell them your favorite color, why you can't eat pickles anymore - about your experiences with sushi from sketchy places. Just check it!

The Fifth Down: Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram