Youth Brigade claims that old punks don’t die, they just cash in. I’m not really all that old, but I think they might just be right. As with any mildly tormenting life event worth its salt, there are many stages. There’s denial, (“These new Doc Martens hurt my back. No of course it’s not just my sciatica!”), there’s confusion, (“What is an Antiserum and why is it playing Warped Tour?”) and then there’s anger, (“Damnit Danzig! Just stop it!’). But every now and then there’s a light in the dark. Believe it or not, that light comes from New Jersey.
As front man for Jersey favorite’s, The Scandals, Jared Hart provides the perfect vocals for the classic, hard hitting, guitar driven punk the Bayonne boys supply. They’ve been chosen as Red Bull Sound Select featured artists and for good reason. They’re high energy, they’re catchy and added bonus, they’re nice dudes who will drink with you after the show. Personally, I’ve seen them play more times than I can count and I’ve never been disapointed. However, it’s when Hart steps away from the rest of the band that I’m truly blown away.
Admittedly, I’ve always been drawn to the gruff, rocky vocalists. I don’t know it’s the way they deliver lyrics, or if I just think they could make my grocery list sound appealing. Either way, be it Erik Petersen, Ben Nicols, Chuck Ragan or Bruce Springsteen, If you sound like you need to spit, I’m probably swooning over your music. (Gross, right?). Hart is no exception to that rule. Actually, he blows that rule out of the water. This dudes voice is absolutely immense. Sure, when he’s playing with The Scandals he holds his own. But I swear, give the man an acoustic guitar and a microphone and you won’t miss the rest of the band at all. Somehow, through some sort of sorcery he manages to produce this huge sound that puts the typically simple lyrics of The Scandal’s songs into a whole other light. When was the last time the acoustic version of a song made you more pumped than the amped version? Jared Hart does it each and every time.
While it seems Jared and the boys are enjoying being back in the tristate area after coming home from their first European tour, I can’t stress enough just how awesome they are. If you have a chance to catch a show, solo or not, do it. If you can’t get to a show then find the boys on Facebook, Bandcamp or at Redbullsoundselect.com. Just get out there and purchase a CD, buy concert tickets, and support some incredible music.
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