Over the last couple of years New Jersey has emerged as a breeding ground for young rock bands. The state that is known primarily for being not-quite New York and not-quite Philadelphia is gaining a musical identity all its own. With The Boss and Bon Jovi, still carrying the flag for more than two decades, there are more than a few bands poised to take it and run.
Thursday, who really hit the big time last year, are capturing fans with their hardcore/emo sound. Their most recent full length Full Collapse is perforated with heavy moments and a surprising dose of emotion and intelligence. They followed that up with a mostly live EP to fulfill their contract with Victory records, before signing with Island records. The EP, Five Stories Falling would seem a run-of-the-mill live sample, until you get to the studio track that closes it called "Jet Black New Year." This song achieves a sense of urgency and beauty that hasn't been felt on any prior song from Thursday. Now as their fans await the next album, War All the Time, they have been treated to a preview song on the band's website (For the Workforce, Drowning). When the full album comes out this fall, come back for a full review!
Taking Back Sunday also hail from New Jersey and were also signed to Victory Records. They are on the Vans Warped tour this summer, sharing their emo/punk sound. TBS have more of a playful sound and lyrics, but they keep it interesting with the contrast of two singers. They have spent the year touring in support of their album Tell All Your Friends. Look for something new from them this winter.