Words by Martin Halo

Hoboken, NJ — The thick Northeast winter clings to the bones with the unease of a groom in a shotgun wedding. Trembling and scared the bitterness laid claim upon the Hudson River and the streets of Hoboken, NJ. For better or for worse, the arrival of spring will be just that much sweeter.

The relentlessness is no different for the artists surrounding New York City, many who are also searching for a new dawn of relevance and fame, hell-bent on the great wide-open adventure. That very sentiment was thick throughout the backroom of Maxwell’s in Hoboken. For Brandon Asraf [vox / bass] and John Tacon [drums], their resolve was infused to the breath of the muse with the grip of brick and mortar.


Bombastic collisions of drum, bass and pure unadulterated energy ignited a set of material from the bands released EPs. Tacon led with his feet, drenched in sweat and without a shirt, pulling the crowd into the heart of the groove. Modestly positioned and wearing a blue-collar jacket with a slight beard, Brandon Asraf plucked his bass and sampled his way through the cadences of “New Possibles.”

The entire vibe of the performance was cool as well. A two-piece outfit, screaming to the heavens from a DIY independent soap-box and lacing into their material with reckless determination to break through, littered the air.

An underlining dub-step groove smashed with pop-punk exuberance set the house up for “20lb,” and “185 Drop.” The tonal onslaught was filled with conception thrusts of gritty dreams yearning for dominance and glory.

Lurkers of the Asbury Park music scene and founded upon the mystique of an underground artistic collective, the spotlight of the legendary New Jersey music venue might just be the catalyst in opening up Brick + Mortar to the closely guarded and secretive world of the hipster Brooklyn underground.


TheWaster.com | Hoboken