So full disclosure I run a record label and I’ve come to an agreement with Blood Makes Noise to let me promote releases every week. The idea is every week I will present a playlist with some new Mint 400 Records music and what I think inspired our songwriters. This weeks playlist has singles from the last month from some of the labels scene veterans and every band is from right here in New Jersey from the shores of Asbury Park to the basements of New Brunswick to the industrial complexes of Passaic County. It must be something in the water but this weeks list is full of testosterone and kind of angry. 

We start off with Adam Bird and his project aBIRD, which was the direct follow up to the very successful project Those Mockingbirds. aBIRD was Adam’s attempt to escape the typical rock sound and incorporate electro in a way that uses modern indie pop but encapsulates the classics like New Order and Nine Inch Nails. This newest track reminds in some ways of Depeche Mode as it has electro mixed with pop and rock but has this darker element to it. It’s gothy but without being overly gothly, kind of like how The Cure escaped the “goth” label by having enough pop elements and melodies. His newest single comes off as sheik and more high fi than previous tracks. The band has definitely figure out what they are musically and how to best do that. 

The Clydes from New Brunswick NJ offer up “Modern Girl” a throwback to the 90’s and with a bit of a brit rock feel to it. This is what happens here in New Jersey, we ingest everything from the last 40 or 50 years and spit it back at you with some grit. I compared this newest track to Brian Jonestown Massacre because like BJM they take the 60’s garage rock and meld it perfectly with modern influence. Just knowing the band and working with them for a while it’s great to hear they gave guitarist Brian Johnson the room he is always asking for to just shred away. 

Reese Van Riper is like a Norse God of Thunder and that is kind of the vibe you get from note one of his newest track “Well Runs Dry”. It’s like taking the badassness of Johnny Cash and Screamin Jay Hawwkins and throwing it in a blender with Alice In Chains and The Black Keys. This track gets a little more metal than RVR has showed us before with it’s Slayer-eque solos and Glen Montouri’s monstrous drumming. A great track from a band that is not afraid to explore and push the boundaries of what they do. 

Finally this week Mike Chick of the band Yawn Mower hands in a metal song of his own “How Many In A Few”. A track that was a few years in the making and sounds like Ramstein meets Fugazi with Marilyn Manson singing, if you can imagine all of that. I compared it to the band X and their track Nausea because like Mike Chick they come from more of a punk rock background and this was their version of metal-ish riffs while retaining their sound. Although Chick doesn’t actually do the vocals on this track so it lacks a little of that dry low vocal and lyrical with we’re used to with Chick’s releases. But that’s ok, because it’s gonna melt your face and make you want to throw elbows in the pit. 


- Neil Sabatino

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