NJ doesn't get a lot of play when it comes to talking seriously about the U.S. We're at the butt of every joke involving New York, The Jersey Shore pretty much destroyed our reputation (the majority weren't actually from NJ. Just to be clear, that's what tourists look like. Real Jerseyians are much cooler), and with the closing of some of our iconic venues, our music scene is shrinking.
I mean, yeah, we have corruption in our government, and, let's be honest, Central to North NJ is the best part. (Nobody ever goes further south than that...thankfully). But one thing we do have that no other state in the U.S. has been able to give even half of is a little thing called Jersey Rock.
Okay, it's not exactly a word in the Oxford Dictionary as far as I know, and trust me I'm too lazy to find out, but it's out there, and it's all around us.
Jon Bon Jovi came out of Sayreville and Springsteen from Long Branch, and outside of the classic, brilliant works of those artists, My Chemical Romance (who had a couple of kind-of-bad-ass records) came out of Belleville, and The Gaslight Anthem (who we'll talk about in a second), out of New Brunswick.
Despite our shrinking music scene around here, I still firmly believe that we have the majority of great music being produced right here.
The New Royalty, Autobiography Of Man, Time Will Tell - all Jersey-born bands, all incredibly great and deserve to be signed immediately.
But what this article is really about, is to ask ourselves if Jersey rock is sort of on the decline. The aforementioned three bands are between the genres of pop-punk, pop-rock, and hardcore; not exactly "Jersey Rock" material when you look at our shared past.
Thankfully, there's some hope. While not everyone who's been inspired by Springsteen and the like, has been able to produce a great influenced record that doesn't sound like rehashed garbage, The Gaslight Anthem has been able to create some really memorable work from The '59 Sound to Handwritten to name a couple of our favorites.
Thankfully, the band announced some time ago that they'll be putting out a new record in 2014, and with this information coming to light, we thought we'd share another reason to love this great state.
The unnamed record was announced in July, and is said to have been inspired by No Code by Pearl Jam, so you could only imagine what they've got up their sleeves for us this year.
Keep on the lookout for leaks, new news, and the latest and greatest of the great state of Rock 'N' Roll music, and here's to hoping that 2014 will be filled with less pop bull, and more hard edged, hard fighting music with attitude and real influence.