The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Talented Local Bands

Tired of walking around campus aimlessly on Friday nights in search of something to do? Have you finally found the scene at Gantry’s to be beyond stale?

There is a solution that has been known to save people’s lives and change them for the better, leaving a trail of memories, ringing ears and broken guitars in the process.

Local music has come an incredibly long way over the past few years. Being within minutes of New York City provides a great opportunity for those with even the most eclectic and specific tastes to find something that will interest them. Driven by raw emotion, heart felt lyrics, electric energy and pure originality, the local music scene can easily become a hardcore addiction. Meeting some of the most amazing and interesting people in the business as well as cheap entrance fees (shows only cost a mere $5-10 to get into, depending on the venue) are an added bonus.

One can also find a show to go to any night of the week. There are hundreds of bands in the area that could easily blow away any of the bands that make up today’s mainstream radio circuit. When all is said and done, however, there stand three bands that have the power to revolutionize music as we have come to know it.

Slushpuppy

Over the past few years, women have made gigantic strides in the rock and roll industry, gaining tremendous momentum and strength. Slushpuppy is fronted by a woman, and she is one tough, no-nonsense chick.

Slushpuppy hails from New Jersey and has already received nominations for Best Rock Act and Best Lead Vocalist at the annual Asbury Music Awards. The ever-powerful singer/guitarist Dawn Botti can scream with the best of them and vocalize better than most. She says the fact that she is female is “both a blessing and a curse.”

In 2002, Slushpuppy released a self-titled three-song EP. It begins with the blistering “Second Chance,” which is highlighted by a thunderous bass line, clear as day vocals and a gritty edge. It has the perfect formula for a hit single, especially with the standout line “If you don’t free your heart, then you really have nowhere to start.” “Beyond the Blue” contains bluntly honest lyrics and genuine vocals. Botti’s voice soars over the skillfully-placed guitar riffs. “Deeper Down” is a seemingly autobiographical tale with a sly, sexy style that is both poetic and aggressive at the same time.

Slushpuppy is great for girls in search of empowerment and guys who just like to rock. They play NYC’s Downtime on Oct. 11. Check out www.slushpuppyrocks.com for more information.

Come Down

When common music leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and you become ready to look beyond the norm and venture into another land of music that is virtually way before its time, look toward Come Down, who will graciously be your guides.

This Long Island based band mixes melodic somber vocals with creamy instrumentals that are just right. Their music allows the listener to lose themselves and journey into the unknown of their deepest thoughts. Come Down plays atmospheric rock at its finest and composes music that appears effortlessly brilliant.

In 2001, the band released their five-song “Sender” EP, which has gotten a great deal of attention for its well-polished sound and semi-industrialized vibe due to the addition of a well-welcomed drum machine. “Synesthesia,” the opening track, has a bridge that swirls together perfectly placed drumming and experimental guitars. “I Drive with Closed Eyes” is the seven-minute opus that has baffling sincerity and calm, soothing beats. The standout track, however, is “Everyone with Guitars,” which takes the listener on a melodic trip only to end with the line “this is a sarcasm song.”

The band is in the mixing process of its new EP “Whose Side are You on Anyway,” which will come out next month. The title track and first single shows that the band has grown over the past year, showcasing a much deeper and fuller sound using guitars that don’t sound like guitars, but rather like odd pieces of art. Vocally, it’s flawless and, with the addition of a keyboard, the piece flows naturally.

Come Down’s next show is Oct. 20 at Backstreet Blues. For more information check out www.come-down.net.

This Years Model

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best live local band is This Years Model. Led by charismatic front-man Darrin Tarulli, this Long Island-based quartet gets down to the basics of rock and roll. Their music is raw and electric, so intense and utterly original that searching for the right descriptive words for their sound will drive one insane.

This Years Model released a self-titled, three-song EP in 2001. From start to finish it keeps the listener’s head continuously bobbing with its creative verses, climaxing choruses and bridges that take the song over the edge into a new realm of genius. “Burning Sensation” is one of the band’s more melodic, slower songs, filled with groovy guitar riffs and well-written lyrics. “This lifestyle isn’t for me” is the line that the song revolves around and was, in fact, one of the inspirations for the video the band filmed for the song this past March. “Handmade Promise” is a headache-pounding drum anthem, while “The Longest Day” is driven by a signature bass riff, gut-wrenching screams and a very entertaining cowbell.

The band is set to record a follow-up this fall. They have, however, played a handful of new songs live, which are nothing short of amazing. “Homesick” is also on the slower side, yet has a fullness to keep one moving and showcases Tarulli’s wide-vocal range. “Firecracker” is self-explanatory and ends with Tarulli making obscure shrieks into the microphone, while the catchiness of “Heart Attack” further displays the band’s ability to write good music.

This Years Model hits Kenny’s Castaways on Bleecker Street in NYC on Oct. 16. For more information go to www.thisyearsmodel.net.

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