Words by Jon Coen
"Avalanche" by The Scandals
Any tight pant kid with his perfectly tousled hair can tell you how many friends his band has online, trying so hard to be more ironic than the last band. These acts may mention their punk leanings when it's convenient, when they think it might get a few more Instagram followers. But it's rare to find an up and coming band these days that simply embraces heart-on-sleeve punk rock, the entire ethics of anti-fashion, hard work and hardscrabble tour life. It's even more rare to find a band from Bayonne, New Jersey. But that's The Scandals (not to be confused with the Japanese ska band of the same name) the four-piece that bring the passion of traditional East Coast punk to basements and fire halls everywhere. They're not using punk as a springboard or a way to reach a larger audience who will love them for a day. It's about the long haul for Jared Hart, Sean Carney, Anthony Iarossi, and Paulie Yeremko. These Jersey kids are embracing everything about the world of underground music. The most recent offering, Trenchknife, a four-song EP, was produced by Bouncing Soul's legendary guitarist Pete Stienkopf and mastered by Steven Egerton of Descendents fame. That's the kind of legacy The Scandals look to uphold. The anthemic Avalanche has become a fan favorite, usually saved for the encore to tear down the house. Hart puts every ounce of energy into the band, occasional acoustic performances of Scandals songs, and recently recorded an acoustic split with Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem. They recently opened for the Gaslight Anthem at Red Bull's Sound Select show at Irving Plaza, NYC. Next up is Upstart Fest at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on September 15 and opening for A Wilhelm Scream at Asbury Lanes on November 16. And they don't wear scarves.