This past Friday I caught Only Living Boy's performance at The Court Tavern in New Brunswick. Performing a 45-minute set, the Jersey-based band impressed with their ear-grabbing guitar riffs and infinite energy. In fact, I can't remember the last time I've been at a show when a band's improvisation was so captivating.
The three-piece, which consists of frontman Joe Cirotti on guitar, bassist Eric Curley and drummer Trevor Newcomb, had the room packed as they played songs from their self-titled debut release. While their alternative rock brings to mind classic 70s acts, it is perhaps no wonder that their name was inspired by Simon & Garfunkel's 1970 song "Only Living Boy in New York."
Not new to the music scene, Only Living Boy has been playing together in various forms, perhaps most familiar as Rabid Roy. About to embark on an East Coast tour, the band has shared the stage with notable acts like the New York Dolls.
Only Living Boy has a sound that stands out from other up-and-coming acts today. Niki Coate of WNTI described it best: "a combination of the psych rock inherited from their parents' vinyl and the alternative rock of their own MTV adolescence."
"My Friend," a song Cirotti said is about his dog, brings to mind the Woodstock era and guitar-centric jams of legends like Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana while "My Heart Is Burning" has an edgy, almost country rock vibe to it. Cirotti's vocals are captivating as the accompanying percussion and guitar interlude portrays his ongoing angst told within the story of the song.
Additionally, tracks like "How Lovers Have a Ball" continue to exemplify the band's versatility and timelessness. While some songs transform the listener to another era, others maintain a certain charm and relevancy, continuing to keep Only Living Boy on the cusp of a constantly changing music industry.
For more on Only Living Boy and upcoming tour dates be sure to visit their MySpace. To listen to a stream of current single, "Worthless," click here. To listen to "Homesick," click here.