Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

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

Archive for the ‘No Pasaran’ Category

Rocker Tycoon Day: No Pasaran pics from BCSR

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Written by rockertycoon

May 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Recapping 2011: A Year of Singles

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Every year I do some kinda recap about how I spent my year musically. This year I entrenched myself quite deeply into the local music scene. I think its funny now when people ask me what I do the first thing that comes out of my mouth is that I’m a music blogger. Saying that used to inspire a great deal of poserism in me. I was a pretender, just trying to figure out if I could hold a readers attention. Almost three years later and hear I am watching Flash Gordon, and figuring out which tracks were the best I’d heard this year. People actually value my opinion and as laughable as that still seems to me, I’m humbled by your unwavering fealthy to local music and to you tolerance for my coverage. So here they are 10 songs I rocked out to this year, in no particular order.

Sun Tea in the House of Atreus by Hushmoney

Hailing from Detroit, Hushmoney isn’t exactly local. No matter they rock out(and it’s my blog so nah)! Sort of a mix of Epic Metal and Dance Rock. Think Everytime I Die meets Cobra Starship.. Catchy though, The Breakdown is fucking rad as shit! Listen to that lead guitar! And its free so how about you get on that!

Arizona – Black Water

Yea yea I know this Track has been out for a while. But 2011 was the year I really, started listening to Black Water. After a meeting with Adam Copeland that went sorta strange (My Bad) at the end of 2010. I booked BW with Ben Franklin at Lucky 7. Although I had apparently seen them in 2009 at Automata Chino.  Anyhow, I really got into these guys in 2011 and this song “Arizona” is one of my favs.  Back in April, I asked Copeland about the inspiration for the song… about what incident it referred to. “A fictional one. Its a reverse terrorism fantasy tale of an American whose homeland (AZ) is invaded and fights back” He told me.  It’s an intense concept and the song is just as wild.

Eat People by Deep Pockets

I saw these guys at a show in the middle of the year.  And I can’t get this song out of my head.  That guitar riff is stuck in there. Seeing them live I gotta say their mid song banter rivals that of The Press’s Mike Henry.

Teamwork by Ben Franklin

In 2009 this song was my first impression of Billy Gray as well as Ben Franklin.  In early 2011 it was released through Killing Horse Records as a B-side on the Urgency EP.  What a timely song, though it’s loosely rooted in a true story, the Newburgh Four, I think the chorus really should be the new recruiting jingle for the US military.  “Serve your country.  Do us some good, it’ll get you off the street.  Keep the fear alive keep the threat alive keep the population undercontrol.”  Just listen to the thing, otherwise I’ll have to write out the whole damn thing out.

What Would Lou Reed Do – I Am The Heat

2011 was the year I moved to Brooklyn.  I moved for several reasons some good (To embed myself into the Brooklyn Indie Scene a bit more) some not so good (I’d worked at every bar in Jersey City).  One of the Bands that really took me under their wing was I Am The Heat.  No song embodies these guys better than What Would Lou Reed Do.  This song reminds me of the end of Wayne’s World when Crucial Taunt is playing to get Mr. Big to give them a record contract.  It’s chaotic raucous and fun.  That’s how I think of I Am The Heat.

Actual/Ideal – No Pasaran!

Truthfully I can’t pick one song off Porter In The Making that I like better than the others.  It’s a faceblast furnace of rock!  The whole album should be listened to over and over again while sharpening knifes.  One thing I can say with impunity about this band in that their recordings hold up just as well as their live shows.  Be sure to catch them at the Killing Horse Records 2nd Anniversary show at Maxwells this Friday Jan 6th at Maxwells.  It’ll be the last time to catch them before they go on hiatus from Live shows (hopefully for just a bit).

Retrograding the Masses – Holy City Zoo

What the fuck can I say about Holy City Zoo that I haven’t already.  I’ll keep it simple, they belt it out and they wail!  I know this is a curveball for the band (they think that Mark your Path is my favorite).  Part of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective HCZ is crazy supportive of the local scene as well.  Traveling far and wide to help spread the good word of underground music.  I haven’t seen this much positivity in a scene since I started doing this blog.


This song has heart.  It’s a little dark and little depressing but damn I just can’t get enough of it.  It’s like a catharsis to the rest of the Imposter EP.  Perfectly placed.  I hear tell KIlling Horse is looking to release this on Vinyl!

Lady Abortion – Cinema Cinema

Talk about a wall of noise!  First off the video is great!  EV and Paul are animals!  This song is like combining Motorhead and the Rocketeer!  And Live?  Fuck, I’ve seen these guys play their hearts out for like 3 hours.  Thats fortitude!  The whole Shoot the Freak EP is like a night in county jail, that is to say you should experience it with your eyes and ears at the ready.  You’ll be surprised, but at least you’ll be ready.

International – Lost Gloves

I have slept of these guys for WAAAAY too long.  The album has been on my ipod since just a little before Brick City Sound Riot and this song jumped out at me the other day.  The intro is great the melodic backing vocals contrast the main vocals perfectly.  Importantly you can dance to this!  The chorus just makes me feel like this song should be used in a commercial or as the intro to a sitcom.


The First Time I Killed Someone – Wyldlife

My favorite song off the much celebrated LP.  These cats are in store for big things mark my words.  The story behind this song is kind of great as well.  Back in 2009 Dave Feldman, was looking for a lil extra money.  He tried his hand working as a cook at Lucky 7 with me… it didn’t take.  (Dave Feldman doesn’t cook burgers he sings rock n roll.)  Well, the guy that got his job also got his room in his apartment.  I’m not sure of the exact details, but this song is a lil murder fantasy about his old roommate.  You’re a dark dude Dave, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I had a terrible time narrowing this list down, but I firmly believe that ten is a good cut off and I couldn’t even stick to that.  That said, here are some other excellent songs I loves this year.  I listened to them on the train or while I was writing, friends passed them around, and they are all on my playlist at home.

Unprofessional – Nico Blues

Maps – Front Bottoms

Co-Workers – Meet Pause

Big Boss Little Boss – The Press

PBR Song – The Porchistas

Carter (Daniel, You See?) – They Had Faces Then

Club Sedition – Meltdowns

Location – Nikki Sue & the Bad News

Brick City Bios: No Pasaran!

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Jersey’s post hardcore heroes Eric Mason, Thomas Barret and Romel Espinel are No Pasaran.  Veterans of the local scene, they specialize in no nonsense clenched fisted political rock.  In a recent interview with Jersey Beat’s Jim Testa Romel was quoted, “We’ve always felt like we speak for the downtrodden, for the disenfranchised.”  There’s no better way to express it, aside from when they’re playing.  They just put out an EP “Porter in the Making” through Killing Horse Records give it a look!

Written by rockertycoon

September 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Killing Horse Records One Year Anniversary Show

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Friday Nights have become a night I normally work. I’ve taken over a bar in Jersey City, and that’s a bunch of fun, but it means that I’m busier working lately than I am getting out for shows. I say all that to say this, when Mike Sylvia of Killing Horse Records hit me up to come out for the KHR one year Anniversary Party I had to accept. I changed my schedule around and made sure I was off for what was sure to be a night built with me in mind. The line-up looked killer: Ben Franklin, No Pasaran!, Invisible Lines, and Secret Country. Couple that with the fact that in the two plus years I’ve taken over the mantle of Rocker Tycoon (The day an old wizard in a cave had me utter the magical words FUCK YEA!) I’ve never been to Maxwell’s in Hoboken. I know, lecture me if you must, laugh at my ignorance, but it’s been my mission to cover rock in places that the coverage is most needed. Hoboken is covered quite widely. That said, Killing Horse deserves a post over at RT, so here it is. Photos and words… all in one spot for your rocking convenience. I’ll keep this simple and give you my thoughts as I wrote them at the show.

If Minor Threat‘s Ian Mackaye did drugs you’d have something close to Ben Franklin. Punk anthems, slow jams but mostly strong catchy rock. You can’t help but sing along to. Recently they added Adam Copeland (Guitar, Vox) of Black Water fame. Billy(Vox, Guitar) Eddie(Vox, Bass) and Sarah (Drums, Vox) There’s a lot more happening here, and it still throbs and pulses. Some new songs made their way into the set. I can’t wait til Urgency comes out. Title track is an evolved Ben Franklin. They ended the set with their classic history tale Fren Banklin, always a crowd fav. It was likely the best version of the song I heard to date… I might write a verse for them to include, or maybe just storm the stage and grab a mic and talk about Ben Franklin’s important role in the Maniac Mansion sequel Day of the Tentacle.

No Pasaran! should really be called We Don’t Waste No Fucking Time. They barely slowed down in-between songs to get the lead out. Eric (Guitar/Bass, Vox) Tom (Drums) and Romel (Vox,Guitar) are a well oiled machine. They are on a mission, like Arnold in the Predator: to kill it. And kill it they do. It’s no bullshit basement rock at it’s most striped down and raw. They pummel striked through their set squeezing in every thing they could. You gotta respect that, even the second they stopped to switch around a few things was filled with Eric’s pen-ultimate middle set talk, “Uhh… Witty Banter, Inside Joke and Shout out to friends.” One thing I totally love about these guys is that they are here to rock. They don’t even halt for applause.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: Invisible Lines is driving music. Long stretch getting it done 80’s movie montage driving music. To what end probably to kill vampires or fight the high school bully… it doesn’t really matter. This band makes the journey the most important part of the movie. Being a Buddhist, this concept totally appeals to me. And makes me feel like the Road Warrior (who is securely not a Buddhist, if you’ve seen the films, to which I’m pretty sure the Passion of Christ is a prequel).  But I digress, their e.p. Wise Up has been recieving some serious buzz, I emplore you to get your hands on it.

Inbetween sets I spent my time bullshitting with Adam Copeland and Gonul Askoy (Gonul & What Army). The topics ranged from brown liquor, Dr. Who and Karaoke. Beers were drained and the Secret Country loaded in. Full on Country get-up big band style. There was plenty hooting and haltering. Yan Izquierdo (Violin/Mandolin) Joe Hart (Lead Guitar/Vocals/Trumpet) Tim Siegle (Bass) Eric Mason (Guitar/Lead Vocals) Jay Monaco  (Acoustic Guitar/Lead Vocals/Harmonica/Tambourine/Ukulele) Matt Siegle (Drums/Vocals) make up the band.  That’s a lot of rock on one stage… I couldn’t imagine having to be their roadie.

Written by rockertycoon

January 18, 2011 at 7:55 am

Killkenny Alehouse w/No Pasaran and The Invisible Lines

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Saturday June 13th, 8pm. I bust out the door of my job and hightail it directly to the PATH. I went from the PATH to a cab outside of Newark Penn Station, to 27 Central Ave. Kilkenny Alehouse. Jennifer Schwartz had put together another show, which by all indications promised to be killer.

I walked in as Sons where making their moves on the stage. This outrageous growl punk band played about five songs after I walked in. They were unchecked aggression. John (vocals) was prone to manic episodes as well as one depressive moment when he sobbed on stage. I overheard that during their first show (this being their second) he was dressed in a Santa outfit so that made the sobbing a little more disturbing. I heard influences of Minor Threat from Matt,Brian (guitar) and Butch (drums). If I could describe Sons without having your hear them, imagine One Handed Scissor by At the Drive In, during the chorus, but the entire time! It was harsh, brutal and more raw that than a maki combo. The band is still working on its name however and they may change it in the near future.

Invisible Lines
made their mark next. They are Alan (Guitar, Bass)
Greg (Guitar, Bass, Drum Machine) Michael (Drums)William (Guitar, Bass, Vocals). A sort of Conspiracy Surf Rock group. IL brought some sick energy! Songs like Do Not Be Phased that started with a prelude on the drums and guitars are the harbingers of a serious driving song. That’s if you drive in the Demolition Derby! It’s a great thing coming out for a show and seeing a band you’ve never even heard of before that just rocks your mind away. After the show I caught up with Will. It seems IL will be recording a new album soon I personally can’t wait to get my grimy paws on it.

Andy Borsz and Sara Cavic are Slasher Risk. It’s extremely hard to put into words what happened in the next 20 mins. Suffice it to say that if music was sex, this is the craziest exhibition I’ve ever seen. Andy played the Guitar while writhing on the ground then dropped it and jumped on to the drums while Sara manipulated sounds on the guitar. They traded off from playing guitar to drums messing with the speakers. It was about as close to performance art as a rock show can get.

Reeling from what I had just witnessed on stage I took a moment of refuge in a bottle of Budweiser. Chatted it up with some folks. These show have become a serious social event for rockers in Brick City and areas surrounding. Each time there are brand new faces and some old reliables as well.

Jennifer Schwartz of Una Pong and Ryan Havers of the Vontons took my attention away from my elixir. There was to be a guitar Toss-off. Jen vs Ryan in an all out no holds barred battle royal of guitar/wits/ and shit-talking. The guitar finesse was on par the tossing was well received, I have to say the shit talking was much to be desired. I heard ZERO your momma jokes and a very low amount of cursing.

Here’s a quick lesson in History. No Pasaran: propaganda slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. It was most famously used during the Battle of Verdun in World War I by French General Robert Nivelle. “¡No pasarán!” became an international anti-fascist slogan.(wikipedia) Ok lessons concluded. Now since you have a little background, Its easy to conclude that with a name at that level of concept the band itself must breathe lightning and smoke thunder. Well if that was your assumption True Believer , then you ain’t just whistling Dixie! No Pasaran is Eric Mason (Bass, Vox) Tom Barret (Drums) and Romel Espinel (Guitar, Vox). This Clash style set up is a full force post punk band. Think Husker-Du meets Mission of Burma, with a dash of Boy Sets Fire. It’s heavy and its thrashing. They beat you over the head with guitar and bass and rip the carpet right out from underneath you with the drums. I highly suggest you make sure you see these guys the next time they get out for a show, which I believe is going to be The Groove on Grove on July 8th. In fact, say hi if you make it out. I’ll be there. I ALMOST FORGOT TO MENTION, Eric decided to chug a good 3/4 of a bottle of Heine’s Famous Malt Vinegar. There are pictures, it was not the most intense event of the night but it definitely punctuated the evening.

Drunken Sufis
complete the line-up with some resolute Political Psycho Punk. Billy Delerioso takes the low end. Slinky keeps the beat. Renzo rounds out the band on Guitar. Billy and Renzo the share responsibility of vocals. DS Started off at 90 mph, and remained reckless for their whole set. It was part message part farce and all fun. They took full advantage of the ample room in the hall and came out into the crowd screaming! When they finished up I was pretty positive I couldn’t handle anymore rock for the night.

Jen offered me a ride back to the PATH. I’m never one to make my life more difficult so of course I accepted. We bullshitted about music, and what we were trying to achieve in the last five years, and how those paths always lead back to music someway or another. Relationships and what not, y’know the stuff you bullshit with a good friend at 2am on your way to the PATH. I got to the station and wouldn’t you know it the train showed up right as I got to the platform. Everything seems like it’s falling into place for the Rocker Tycoon these days.

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June 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Friday Night Riot with Frankie and His Fingers, and friends

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I know most of you would be shocked to find this out, but there are some Friday nights when I’m at a loss for what to do. Sure, I mean of course I’m gonna go out a watch a band. That’s a given. But I like to have a friend come with. As it turns out I’m also a last minute kind of guy. These two things don’t always mesh well. Not everyone I know just waits by the phone for me to give them a buzz and grace them with my presence. And as sad as that is, sometimes it’s nice to just go off on my own and not have to entertain, or worry if anyone else is having fun. I check the tubes to see who’s playing out at IMAC tonight, and its a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of! Four Bands….. at least one has to have the stuff! And for $6 it’s certainly worth a gamble. I check out the band’s myspace pages for a audible appetizer. The First band to really set me off was Frankie and His Fingers. It’s 8pm, the bands start at 9pm so I guess I better wash the taste of happy hour out of my mouth, and off my body. And I should change too. Damn going out is much more of an ordeal when you fall asleep after drinking through lunch.

Thirty minutes later, I’m clean, dressed, shaved and feeling like a new man. Definitely ready to rock it. Now I spend the next twenty minutes wandering around my house looking for my other Chuck Taylor All-star, like a defunct king of Iolcus. Of course it turns out to be in the last place I’d ever look….. on the television. Hell of a place to put your shoe after happy hour. With my second shoe, found and a touch of the weird feeling, I make a break for IMAC. After spending my last three Fridays hanging out here and shooting the bands, it’s starting to really feel like home. They know what I drink, smiles and chit chat are exchanged friendly nods and wave fly across the room. Most excitingly they’ve started waiving my entry fee as a member of the press. Yes, I know! I said before that I’d rather the band get the money. I’m no hypocrite, it means I’m going to use that money to buy merch and EPs. I can always use a new tee shirt!

The first band, Binky Bianca, was just finishing up. I caught a few of their songs. If I had been a touch more conscious of the locale of my footwear I’d have caught their whole set. They had a great little country rock thing going on I snagged a video of them and a few pictures. Maybe its me, but it seems like there’s a resurgence or Country influenced rock and roll taking back the smaller venues lately. I’ll be the first to admit I’m much more in love with the past than I am the present, but it’s bands like this that are really warming me up to today’s music scene. FAHF set up. They played most if not all of their EP. Which is available for free download on their myspace page (Look under their blogs, well worth the price. I’d say you’re losing money not picking these up). They rounded third and busted right into a cover of Bullet with Butterfly Wings by the Smashing Pumpkins, which was unconventional and really well executed. Frank(vox, guitar) was a consummate front man. Jumping about and rocking the stage. He used every inch of his space, and even some of Adam’s (bass), who really grounded Frank’s pleas and exclamations with solid backing. Samantha’s work on the drum was classic rock with a great use of accents. She really went to work on the solos. And before I was quite ready for them to be finished…they pulled out with Hell Broke Loose.

The crowd was charged up as Eastern Anchors hit the stage. It was really hard to classify this band. They have a serious New Brunswick basement sound, and you can get a real feel for surf rock influence as well. I mean don’t get me wrong it worked well. I felt like I was 22 hanging out in a Hamilton street basement. Anytime a band can bring me back to days of pounding my fist in a sweaty basement to post-hardcore music in hopes of meeting a cool girl or just moshing in areas that are far too tight to be slam-dancing in, that’s a great thing. I got this great video of them rocking out to Tectonics. The sound is great. I’m starting to get a better idea for how to work the camera. Sometimes on the job training is the best kind. So they finished up their set to thundering applause and an anticipation for more kick to the teeth rock!

No Pasaran! Burst on to the stage. These three cats had more energy that this place could really handle. Eric Mason(vox, and guitar/bass) kicked into top gear right from the start with stage antics and serious motion. I didn’t even mention his singing or playing which were beyond erratic and panicky. Romel Espinel (vox, guitar)kept a lower profile, but was no less kick ass, a perfect compliment to Eric’s over the top hijinks. Tom Barrett (drums) ripped his kit a new one.
Inbetween Eric’s manic vocals and Romel’s more melodic backings they would bust out into an intrustmental episode. The whole thing was intense, punchy, and positively punk. I felt young again. Well younger than I am at least. And just like all those basement shows I used to frequent in my youth, I went home a sweaty drunken mess, alone, my ears ringing and my body bereft of all energy.

Written by rockertycoon

March 31, 2009 at 9:22 pm