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The Penguin Rocks Menu's New & Notable NJ Music 5/13/24

By Lazlo

originally published: 05/13/2024

Lazlo, founder of (an online radio station based around New Jersey artists), shines a light on some of the many new releases from NJ based musicians each week with this column. This week Lazlo takes a look at new releases by Chris Tiedemann, Cut The Kids In Half, The Ratchets, Mike Herz, Estrogents, and JD Burner. Plus a look back at "There's A Hope" by Val Emmich & The Veeries.

Chris Tiedemann - "Chemical Grudge". On "Chemical Grudge" Chris Tiedemann brings power-pop hooks to modern rock/hard rock/metal tunes. It is wonderful!

Cut The Kids In Half - "A Good Man Died". Cut The Kids In Half may be a teenage duo from Rahway, NJ that named themselves after the bridge of Radiohead's "Morning Bell", but their second single, "A Good Man Died", doesn't make me think of Radiohead. The song has their own catchy modern rock thing going on.

The Ratchets - "Swagger With Kindness". The Ratchets have always excelled at creating rock anthems. Their latest, "Swagger With Kindness", is described by the band as "encouraging self-acceptance and authenticity". The B-Side is a chilled out, percussive based remix from Strawberry Zaiquiri.

Mike Herz - "River in the Rain". "It's a tune about mindfulness and recognizing happiness when you are in it", says Mike Herz of his new single, "River in the Rain". This beautiful singer-songwriter tune was 4 minutes and 20 seconds of pure happiness for me.

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Estrogents - "Low Voltage". Estrogents showcase another side of themselves by stripping down four of their songs for bonfire acoustic versions. The EP may be called "Low Voltage", but low voltage does not mean low energy. These songs still rock.

JD Burner - "Something's off Here". JD Burner describes themselves as, "an acoustic punk comedy duo from North Cape May". Their debut EP, "Something's off Here", showcases that while their songs are witty and amusing, they take songwriting seriously, as these songs are legit.

Not New, But Memorable Corner

Val Emmich & The Veeries - "There's A Hope". Back in 2011 multi-hyphenate artist (singer-songwriter, actor, author), Val Emmich, released "Aide Memoire", his only album backed by The Veeries.

Look, to me you can't go wrong with Val's music. He writes catchy songs of varying rock/folk/pop genres, with introspective lyrics, but there is something special about the songs on "Aide Memoire". No song stands out more than the album's closing track, the epic eight and a half minute "There's A Hope".  The song slowly builds, and becomes more impassioned. Sometimes when I feel beat down, I turn to this song and it reinvigorates me.

That's all for this week.

Remember, plays these and many other New Jersey based artists on our internet radio station, so please check us out. #SupportGoodMusic - If you like any of the above artists, please purchase their music from their site. And if you would like to be part of's New & Notable, please send downloads or contact Lazlo at Lazlo-at-BlowUpRadio-dot-com. We're also on Mastodon at

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