Monday, March 28, 2011

End Of An Era

By Jenine Clancy

Butch Walker, the famous (yet reclusive) southern artist said it best, "if I make up my own “ism” no one can say anything or tell me what I'm doin is wrong.” Making up your own word leads to a self-defying opportunity. End of an Era, the hard rock-techno mash-up from Toms River probably would reject the words I just used to describe them, for lead Drummer Jeff S. Aka “Spags” says their music should be labeled “sex pretzel.” To defend my words, the five-piece band is unique, in that the hard driven guitar riffs and fast drum beats go well with thumps you would usually hear at a rave. Mixing heavy electronics and a hard rock sound is always something the band wanted to do since their formation in the early 2000’s. All of the members including lead singer Jeff Wallace, guitarists Jeff Brogan and Chris Matsinger, and bassist Justin Mazyk had all been in previous bands all over the Jersey Shore, but according to Spags “failed miserably.” What they took was the best part of those bands (themselves), and made a super, better band. Ironically, End of an Era was the start of something new and a name that Spags says “just sounded cool and would look good on a poster.”
Their songs get you going from the beginning. In the song “No Tomorrow,” it blasts with crunching guitars and high-pitched key boards. Wallace’s throaty, baritone voice sounds like he should be grouped into the likes of singers such as Seether, Three Days Grace and Staind. Perfect for top 40, but that is not what End of an Era is trying to attain. In their song “Malevolent Nation" the lyrics play out like an ad against America’s obsession with celebrity: “We’re not trying to sell a product/we’re not trying to sell a trend/we are not the American Idols, We don’t live in Laguna Beach.” Lauren Conrad they are not…Spags described the songs meaning: “It basically explains the band in a nutshell. Many people seem to be infatuated with pop culture and we just want them to know from the get-go that we're not the popular kids who realized they all wore the same brand of jeans and decided to start a band. We're basically a freak show. ” The boys seem like they are socially aware of what’s going on in the world and would say that is a factor, however they are doing what any band would do: “We don't consider ourselves a "political" band, per say. However, we do consider our songs to be more of a social commentary. We filter the things we see, hear, and feel in our everyday lives down into our music.”
The rigorous lifestyle of playing 8-10 shows a month took its toll on the band and they took a short break in 2010. They found themselves back in a room writing new music with everything falling back into place. The band knew they had unfinished business. The band took home first place in The Jersey Showdown in January and created a self-titled album full of eleven new songs which was released in March. As far as the future they plan to continue to tour and are headed up the east coast in
April and in the mid-west in June. You can catch them on April 1st at Station 36 in Waretown, NJ, at the Trocadero Theatre in Philly on April 23rd, Yardley Community Center in Yardley, PA May 7th, and HHVFW in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ on May 21st.
They plan to continue to tour and are headed up the east coast in April, mid-west in June and hopefully a full U.S. tour.
Check them out at

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