Mike "The Situation" from MTV's Jersey Shore.

I’m totally kidding. The Situation isn’t even from New Jersey. That show is extremely entertaining however. This is all erroneous. Or is it?

What I would like to talk about, however, is the state of New Jersey’s music scene. Now, just to be forewarned, I haven’t done my research, and this is merely for recommendations.

Now, when it comes to the “scene”, the three most recognizable bands from my great state of NJ are The Early November, Hidden In Plain View, and My Chemical Romance. Both Hidden In Plain View and My Chemical Romance are from North Jersey, and most South Jersians, like myself, tend to be biased against North Jersey (see: MTV’s Jersey Shore). While My Chemical Romance is still doing their thing, writing new music after 2006’s concept, The Black Parade, it seems for the time being that they have dropped off the map (however, I am excited for whatever they release in the near future). It also doesn’t help North Jersey’s cause that Hidden In Plain View broke up in 2007 . The Northern Jersey music scene has seemingly fizzled away into nothingness.

So what became of the South Jersey music scene? In May of 2007, legendary pop-punk emo band the Early November decided to call it a day. Amidst reunion rumors, lead singer Ace Enders has tried to stay relevant by releasing his solo albums, including I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business, The Secret Wars, and 2009’s When I Hit The Ground. These albums, and Ace himself, have seen moderate success, yet South Jersey hasn’t felt the same impact from Ace’s solo stuff compared to The Early November. So, in the two years since The Early November’s departure, who has answered the calls to save South Jersey? For me, two bands come to mind.

Awesomeness in a 3 song EP

In my honest opinion, Man Overboard is the best band to come out of South Jersey in the wake of TEN’s break up. They’re what pop punk should be; intelligent, and catchy as fuck. “Love Your Friends, Die Laughing”, which is found on their Hung Up On Nothing EP, is South Jersey’s equivalent to Brand New’s “Soco¬†Amaretto¬†Lime”. They’re currently on tour after releasing a 7″ split with Transit. I recommend that you readers start listening to this band, because I predict that they’re gonna be big.

Now, time for me to unveil my master plan for this blog post. I would like to introduce everyone to a band that holds a very special place in my heart. If I could have your undivided attention, may I present to you, my band: Hand Me Down Buick.

That kid with the glasses is soo handsome.

After 2007’s The Greater The Risk, which was produced by John Naclerio (who produced My Chemical Romance), mixed by Rob Freeman (guitarist of Hidden In Plain View (omg, this post just came around full circle!)), and mastered by the guy from The Ataris, whose name escapes me, Hand Me Down Buick went on a short hiatus, which was due in part of three of the members leaving. This left Kenny (center) and James (farthest right) looking for new members to continue the Hand Me Down Buick legacy. Answering those calls were Frank Sacco (far left) and Erik Grasso (next to Frank), who both happen to be Hammonton natives, aka, The Early November’s hometown. Oh, the parallels don’t stop there, kids. Frank is good friends with the members of Man Overboard. Anyway, also answering the calls were keyboardist Holly Capozzoli, and drummer Max D’Aulerio (yours truly). We wrote new songs, and decided to record with John Naclerio, and our four songs can be found here. It makes me proud to be a part of this band. I’m extremely happy with how things turned out, how they’re going, and the reaction so far. Tim Hardie and David Pritchard, who are now co-writers for this blog, are both very critical of music. Tim loves the songs, and David said they weren’t bad (and when you get to know David, and his musical tastes, you’ll recognize that “not bad” is actually a huge compliment). So, readers of The Decomposed Blog, I wanna know your thoughts. Listen to the songs, and leave feedback. If you love it, awesome! If you didn’t, hey, that’s ok! I value all of your opinions highly.

So, to reiterate everything… North Jersey is quickly becoming irrelevant. The guido infestation is invading the music. South Jersey is making up for it. I’m in a band. The end.