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Band Review: Only Living Boy by Niki Coate, Freelance writer
Band Review: Only Living Boy by Niki Coate, Freelance writer Only Living Boy
Only Living Boy - "freshly redefined trio from Hackettstown, N.J. offers listeners an authentic and poignant experience."

Only Living Boy

Only Living Boy is a new band that has been together for years. Through a distinct rock sound, this freshly redefined trio from Hackettstown, N.J., offers listeners an authentic and poignant experience. With a self-titled debut released in August and tour dates scheduled throughout the fall and winter, the threesome is determined to make its mark. As a break from the road, the band played at BAR46 in Hackettstown on Wed., Nov. 26, and Sat., Nov. 29, along with Quimby Mountain Band. (Poverty Hash from Connecticut will open Wednesday.)

Lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Joe Cirotti, drummer Trevor Newcomb and bassist Eric Curley have played together in different incarnations since prepubescent basement jams. Initially forming under band name Rabid Roy, the trio played hundreds of gigs throughout New Jersey and New York. Known for their rousing live shows the band has shared bills with acts such as former Sheryl Crow guitarist and co-writer Todd Wolfe (Easton, Penn.), The Milwaukees (Jersey City, N.J.), Hero Pattern (Rockaway, N.J.) and Lionize (Silver Spring, Md.), at venues including New York City's The Knitting Factory and CBGB's, and New Jersey rock joints The Stone Pony and Clash Bar. But the guys haven't left their roots behind and have also served as a staple within their hometown music scene, hosting regular jams and helping to facilitate shows for out-of-town acts.

In 2008, the band reinvented itself as Only Living Boy, named after Simon & Garfunkle's 1970 song "Only Living Boy in New York." The change represented a significant shift in attitude, songwriting and musicianship. With newfound motivation and sound, Only Living Boy immediately began recording. In just two months, they recorded, tracked and edited the album at Cirotti's home studio. The album was mixed and mastered by producer/engineer Rich Recigno, with whom Cirotti has worked extensively as a session player in recent years.

Thanks to their hometown's suspension between the woods of Pennsylvania and the concrete of New York City, Only Living Boy's northwestern New Jersey roots help define its sound and attitude - organic with an edge. The band's unrivaled style is a combination of the psych rock inherited from their parents' vinyl and the alternative rock of their own MTV adolescence, woven together with threads of jam, blues, reggae and punk. Only Living Boy's music penetrates listeners with a raw sound that offers a provocative view through the cracks and into the guts of life.

Only Living Boy appeared at BAR46 in Hackettstown Nov. 26 and 29, 2008, along with Quimby Mountain Band. Poverty Hash from Connecticut will open Wednesday.