Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

The Rogue Rock Writer, Half in the Bag, Submersed in the Scene

Archive for the ‘Division of Planes’ Category

I catch up with Plowing Mud Forever & Divison of Planes at the Delancey

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Kirk Howle, lead singer and bassist for Plowing Mud Forever, sent me an email informing me that they would be playing the Delancey in NYC with a couple other Jersey City acts: Torrential Downpour, and Division of Planes. PMF was the first band I reviewed for Rocker Tycoon all the way back in January. There’s been a whole lot of evolution for the site since my first night out on the snow. I was excited to see what Kirk, Ryan and Rollie had been upto for the last six months. So I hoped on the PATH and then took a cab across town to the Delancey. Cover was $7. Beers started at $5, this is Manhattan, so I roll with the price increase, but I don’t have to like it.

Plowing Mud Forever was already busting out songs as I rambled in. It’s been 6 months since I last saw these guys. I have to say, there’s an immediate realization that they have tightened things up. It could be the sound quality of the last place was much to be desired, but I think they really improved musically as well. I guess that’s a good thing, these fellas were just forming up at the end of last year. Kirk Howle (bass/vox), Rollie Middlenamethisweek Hatch (guitar/vox) and Ryan Stevens (drums) make up this growl rock trio. Inbetween songs they actually call out for a little heckling. Kirk says it livens things up. They have a vested grounding with bands like Faith No More and the sensibilities of Bill Hicks, with the volume of Spinal Tap. These cats will be playing a show with No Pasaran come Wednesday July 8th, so be sure to look out for that.

Next up Torrential Downpour, constructed themselves onto the stage. If I where to tell you that TD is a little loud that would be like telling you the sun is kinda hot. If I were to say that they were sort of intense that would be akin to saying Sam Kinison is a little intense. Torrential Downpour is Costa (Drums), Cece (Bass) Volpe (Guitar) Prkr (Vocals/Samples). Holy Crap! These dudes melt faces and serve them on toasted awesome with a side of IDONTEVENKNOWWHATTOSAY. Prkr uses his voice as a sample during the songs as well as vocalizing at the same time. This ain’t no cut copy paste style of rock and roll. It involves railroad spikes and ……guns that shoot railroad spikes. You don’t believe me? Well then see for yourself! It’s Armageddom without the Erhnam Djinn, this is destruction after construction!

After TD I took a minute to collect the little peices of myself off the floor and i wandered outside. After I shook off the after effects of the face melting. I snagged a bottle of Bud and prepared for Division of Planes. It’s great to catch up with these guys again. I checked up with them in April opening for WJ and the Sweet Sacrifice at the IMAC. DoP is a conspiracy oriented Political Punk style band. Simple Clash style set up, and solid music coupled with smart lyrics makes this act one of my Top Ten Bands to see in Jersey City. They invoke an early 2000’s style of New Brunswick basement era rock. You can definitely hear the post punk influences of that era and revolution rock style lyrics hearken back to the late 70’s and early 80’s but DoP really has their own style of panache. Bassist Tom Unish and Guitarist J. Johnson man the vocals while Jonathan Johansen grounds and pounds the drums. These cats make full use of the stage as well. They even played a new song right near the end of the set that I caught on tape. (Look at that folks a Rocker Tycoon exclusive!) I need to get a Rcoker Tycoon signature interview with these fellas really soon.

After the show I hitched a ride with Plowing Mud Forever back to Jersey City. Conversation got stuck on the Ren and Stimpy album that came out back in 04. Up until this point, I thought for sure I was the only human in the world that ever owned that album. In my humble opinion it was a work of pure progressive jazz novelty genius. I think PMF agrees.

Written by rockertycoon

July 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Movin and Shakin’ with Division of Planes And WJ & The Sweet Sacrifice

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“Motion creates Emotion!” I can’t claim that as my line. I got it from Ben Affleck, who got it from whoever wrote the movie Boiler Room….But the origins of that phrase are simply not important. Its a truth of the universe, if you move you’ll feel better. And There is a direct correlation between feeling good and rock music. I think it’s .87 (if you took Psych 101, you should chuckle, if you don’t chuckle, then you probably didn’t pay much attention). Right, I just went off on kind of a tangent…..sooo, OH YES! Saturday Night, I scuttled across town to see WJ and the Sweet Sacrifice. I was extremely worried that I would miss the show as I was getting out of work at 11, and WJSS was set to start up at 11. But, on my luck (which seems to be taking a turn for the positive as of late), they hadn’t started yet…..AND there was one more band left before they were to start!

I had spoken with Billy Alpha a few weeks prior about coming out for the show, he’s been really helping me out by telling people what I’m about, and that’s been opening up some doors for me. I was really looking forward to see them again since the last time was back in July of last year. Jersey City over the past few weeks has come to embrace me as their rock writer! It’s an exciting time to be a Rocker Tycoon! In fact, on that note, earlier this week Eric of Borosix (the cats behind the booking of shows for IMAC) reached out to me in appreciation for the pics and write-ups. That was mighty cool of him to do. Knowing that people give a damn about what I’m doing is half the reason I get out of bed in the morning!

Division of Planes was setting up I took a shot grabbed a beer checked my equipment and let the calm of not being at work rush over me like a warm shower. Saturday’s are long for me they start around 10am and don’t finish up til 11pm. It feels good to shake off the day with a little live music! I unclench my ass, relax for a second and then I realize I only have nine pics left on my memory card! Whats worse is because the other pics weren’t shot on my camera I can’t erase them. Remember what I was saying about good luck? Yep well that shite’s right out of the window. That’s not a whole lot of pics…But I’ve worked with less. Quality not quantity I just have to be in a little more controled. As I’m scrambling for some kind of answer, DOV gett into it.

From their very first song, Division of Planes were making use of their area! They sound like a chase scene and their body language was no different. The bassist (J. Johnson) is a one man mosh pit! The Drummer (Jonathan Johansen) is a methodical madman. Lead singer Guitarist (Tom Unish) has a rippingly catchy guitar and haunting voice! and the….wait thats it? There are only three guys in this band? It sure sounds like there’s a four or fifth member. Talk about going to 11! They played at 110% for all of their set then they were finished…. The ghosts of Sunny Day Real Estate, Boy Sets Fire and Mission of Burma look on in approval. I have seen the future, friends, and post punk is alive and well in Jersey City! After the show I picked up both of their albums and chatted it up with J. Johnson for a few minutes. Very approachable guy, more than friendly, and totally amped after his set! I haven’t seen any other shows listed on their page or myspace, hopefully they’ll update soon. I’m making a point to get out to see them again!

WJSS hit the stage like a jack rabbit on a date! WJ and the Sweet Sacrifice is William “Billy Alpha” Ferrera (guitar/vox) , Erin “Colossus of Rhodes” Conners(organ/guitar/vox), Mike Moebius (Bass) and tonight Thomas Barret of No Pasaran! was filling in as drummer for Ray James Hill. First Impression: I’m thinking I need a Cadillac, white ’89, a Deville. This is classic driving music! Not chase scene style driving music. No, the “get the fuck outta Dodge cuz your wanted by the law and your woman left you” driving music. The kind of music you play the drums on the dashboard and the bass on the steering wheel to. Route 80 twenty mph above the speed limit music! Billys pleas and groans cut right a river right into his guitar, Erin multitasks between songs going from guitars to the Rhodes, to tambourine and supplying backing vocals, the poor thing rocked out so hard you’d think she suffered a rock concussion. Mike Moebius pounded the bass in accent to Billy’s guitar, and even took a sidetrip or two for something a little more scenic! Thomas on the drums was a great substitute, you’d think he’d been playing with the Sweet Sacrifice for years. He put his nose to the grindstone, knuckled up and navigated right through the set into the encore! You can tell form the pictures there was both motion and emotion running wild during the set!

Billy and I talked for a few after the set. I asked him for an interview with the Band and Tom. They complied. I think we got something pretty special here… camera got turned on me for a second. Ignore the Hawaiian shirt, I was at a beach party. But before you go into that. I just wanted to say something about the local scene.

Things being as they are with a government in chaos and jobs going flat it’s nice to know that rock is flourishing here. I think we take it for granted up here that the local scene is as rich and significant as it is. Don’t get me wrong I love my country dearly, but it seems each time we turn a corner there’s more conniving and backhanded shady dealings going on. I say all that to say this: PROTECT YOUR SCENE! Politically speaking vote in your local elections. Jersey City’s in coming on May 12. Register for your town/ it’s not enough to just be registered in your state, if you live here, vote here! Few political concerns matter to me more than freedom of speech and the right to assemble. We need to hold those rights, the most sacred ones, on a pedestal! I think that’s something we can all agree on! I’ll step off my podium now. Please enjoy the videos and the interview!

Written by rockertycoon

April 13, 2009 at 6:58 am