(APRIL 10, 2006) -- A few days ago I received an email that really came as a surprise. It was the announcement that Souls' Release would be breaking up after a series of final shows ending in June.
About two years ago, I met the band through a NJ Independent Music Festival that was the brainchild of Lazlo from Blowupradio.com. The idea was to get like-minded bands and music people together in an effort to help create a thriving local music scene. After seeing Souls Release launch into their opening song that night in Sayreville, I was hooked. The band instantly became one of my favorite local acts - and somebody I felt had a really good chance to take things to the next level.
In 2004, the band released a 4-song EP entitled "Go" which made my list for top ten local releases of the year. It included the song "The Wheel" which the band lent to us for the Upstage Magazine compilation disc "Come Back To the Jersey Shore". That was one of the best songs I had heard in years until the band released its first full-length disc, "Through the Feeling" in 2005. On that disc was, "In The Morning", which was even better.
It's always a shame when bands you like break up, but as I told Nick - it's at least a little better these days when almost every band gets the chance to record something. That full-length and EP will last forever and that's much better than it was years earlier. In the 80s, few bands ever got the chance to put out albums or cassettes so when they broke up they just faded away. At least fans of Souls' Release can always pop in a CD when they feel like remembering the band.
The breakup took the band by surprise. Joshua Van Ness told the guys during a rehearsal that he wanted to leave the band. He said there were things going on that are leading him towards moving away from playing live music right now. Nobody really knows what will happen next, but it seems as though the days of Souls' Release are over. Nick has indicated that he will be playing solo acoustic shows in the near future.
So, the final show is scheduled for June 17th at Crosswoods in Garwood. Ironically, that is the same place where the band held a very successful record release party for "Through the Feeling". It's funny how things like that happen. I'll never forget Jaski's record release party at the Stone Pony. They packed the place for their party and announced they were breaking up shortly thereafter. Later I found out that the band had actually broken up before hitting the stage that night.
Here are the final seven shows for Souls' Release. If you want to see a tremendous live band filled with some great guys, don't miss these shows. They'll now move on from the "next big thing" category to "shoulda been big" - but they'll never be forgotten. Thanks for the music guys and thanks for always supporting Upstage. You will be missed.
Apr 14 2006 The Loop Lounge Passaic, NJ
Apr 20 2006 GoldHawk Hoboken, NJ
Apr 29 2006 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
May 13 2006 The Knitting Factory New York, NY
Jun 3 2006 Krogh's Sparta, NJ
Jun 10 2006 Princeton FETE Princeton, NJ
Jun 17 2006 The Crossroads Garwood, NJ
Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.