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Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Lay It on the Line" by Ferocious Designs

By Bob Makin

originally published: 07/16/2021

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Lay It on the Line" by Ferocious Designs

Ferocious Designs, the project of Central Jersey-based singer-songwriter Brian Kelley, pictured, has dropped a video for the anthemic Peter Gabriel-like call to social justice, “Lay It on the Line,” in anticipation of a just-released five-song debut EP.

Ferocious Designs, the music project of Central Jersey-based songwriter Brian Kelley, has released the debut EP, “A Matter of Time,” featuring the single, “Lay It on the Line.” Originally released as part of Bandcamp’s Juneteenth social justice fundraiser, the Peter Gabriel-like anthemic call to arms’ statement against apathy also recently was conceptualized as a video that aims to inspire participation in Black Lives Matter and other worthwhile causes.

The five-song “A Matter of Time” features Brian out front after years of collaborating with singer-songwriter Christian Beach’s backing band and in bands throughout the ’80s & ’90s that played such venerated venues as The Green Parrot in Neptune. 

Here’s a look at the video, which features photos of Black Lives Matter rallies taken by Eugene, Ore.-based photographer David Geitgey Sierralupe: 


About “Lay It on the Line,” he said, “As a white male, I was horrified by the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 — as well as the fascist response by police during the subsequent protests. I was watching the livestreams and seeing these militarized police advancing on protesters and arresting journalists. Yet, when I went through my Facebook news feed, none of my friends were even talking about it, let alone disgusted by it all.

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“I started sharing links to the livestreams and the stories about what was going on,” Brian continued. “But most of the people who reacted either didn’t care or apparently supported an authoritarian police state, so the lyrics are essentially a call to action to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to address injustices carried out by those who are supposed to uphold the law.”

Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Follow Makin Waves on Facebook and contact Bob at



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