Engaged artists take over Rat with kinetic energy

By Kimberly Ilkowski
Review Editor

A seemingly ordinary night at the Rathskeller was turned upside-down by boisterous bands and bold beats on Friday, Oct. 3, when members of Rewind The Crisis shredded on their instruments, and Brick + Mortar made a crowd of 50 feel like 500.

The show marked the first time WTSR has ever live-streamed a CUBRat event on-air and online, letting folks in the surrounding areas feel like they were right in the action.

Opening the night was alt-rocker Rewind The Crisis of Mt. Olive, N.J.

With ambient vibes and metal-tinged guitar riffs, the band ripped through a nine-song set. Comprised of George Hildreth on drums, Jake Puzio on bass and Matthew Piserchio on guitar and vocals, the band played tracks off its self-titled 2013 debut full-length album.

Original songs like “Forte Races,” “Classics” and “Rory, Don’t Come Home” were played between various covers, including The 1975’s “Sex.”

The band is currently in the studio recording a new, five-song EP that they hope to tour sometime next year.

“This release will be our actual sound,” Hildreth said. “We’ve matured musically.”

The band is also in the final round of the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, which landed them a gig playing Uproar Festival in Camden, N.J., giving them more exposure and the chance to win more prizes.

“We love meeting fans,” Piserchio said. “It’s the best feeling becoming a band that people know instead of having to tell people to listen.”

Following Rewind The Crisis, Brick + Mortar took over the stage and demanded every single person’s attention in the Rat.

Shouting at everyone who was seated to come stand in front of the stage, even personally calling out particular people in the crowd, it was clear vocalist and guitarist Brandon Asraf and drummer John Tacon were out to make sure everyone got into the music.

The energetic Asbury Park, N.J. duo yelled to the audience, “I want you all to scream like there’s 1,000 people here,” before going into their high-energy set.

Featuring songs off their 2013 EP “Bangs,” the band played “Old Boy,” “Locked In A Cage” and “Terrible Things” — a song about using sadness to help you grow into a better person.

“Bangs,” a track featuring swirling synths, is a personal song for Asraf about not giving up in a time when everyone told him he would never do anything important or become anyone.

Last month, the band performed at Radio 104.5’s Summer Block Party for one of its biggest and best crowds alongside Grouplove, Sir Sly, Wolf Gang and Vance Joy. Despite the rainy weather, the band said fans still went totally wild.

Later this month the band is hitting the road with Vacationer for a fall tour where they are most excited to play shows out on the West Coast and reconnect with old fans.

If Brick + Mortar wants you to get anything out of its shows, it’s pure empowerment.

“You can overcome anything,” Asraf said.  “We want to be an inspiration for people and other musicians to go out there and live their dreams.”

Rewind The Crisis performs hard-rock melodies. (Photo Courtesy of Connor Meany)
Rewind The Crisis performs hard-rock melodies. (Photo Courtesy of Connor Meany)
Asraf and Tacon brings the audience to their feet. (Photo Courtesy of Connor Meany)
Asraf and Tacon brings the audience to their feet. (Photo Courtesy of Connor Meany)