A heavier than usual haze hovered within the the already dimly lit dwellings of the Boardwalk’s premiere ten-pin penthouse and music locale, Asbury Lanes, on Wednesday night. It could have been mood lighting set intentionally and artfully to accompany the the Danish silent film, Leaves From Satan’s Book (1921), rolling behind the drum throne, however, more likely, the shadows were brought about by the evening’s headliner, the darkest bottle of sauce on the rack, Ocean Grove’s own Black Wine.
This Punk-Rock concoction, bred from a recently departed legendary triumvirate of Garden State Rock acts, is more explosive than a book of matches and a bottle of petrol in the frost bitten mitts of General Vyacheslav Molotov.
The band’s six-string savant, Jeff Schroeck, must have performed a pre-set staple gun session, fastening the optical frames he wore to his head, because any normal pair of glasses would have launched into the face of some unsuspecting innocent in the first row with the amount of hyperactive head banging he dealt out amidst charred guitar solos.
Black Wine’s mop-topped guitar maestro might be better known by his former stage-name Jeff Erg, lead guitarist of the the now defunct Punk-Rock three-piece The Ergs! that disbanded in 2008 after a cherished eight-year career that saw tours with such Garden State greats as The Bouncing Souls and The Gaslight Anthem.
Plucking the bass in this, dare I dub it, supergroup, is J. Nixon, once a member of Hunchback, who acts as the sludge to Schroeck’s fire-water, while Miranda Taylor ties it all together from atop her throne, her rock-candy vocals, honed as a member of the very recently retired Full Of Fancy, featured on several tracks.
There was a time not too long ago when all three members of Black Wine were part of a royal court, Kings and Queen of New Brunswick basement dwellers everywhere while affiliated with their aforementioned groups. And for more than a year, on the strength of its self-titled 2010 debut full-length, put out by Don Giovanni Records, Black Wine has proved its constituent’s beloved pasts are not gone, but live on with every riotous live show and raucous record, including its most recent release, a three track seven-inch named Dark Energy, which features a cover of Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath.”
The pair of Dark Energy originals, released in December and available at Don Giovanni Records’ online store, had spotlights thrust upon them during last night’s set as they were two of only three tracks that were recognizable. “Pick At Pieces,” “Yr Light,” and “Tornado” were the only songs played that could be located within Black Wine’s catalogue, and a few moments ago, Taylor told me why.
“Those were all off our new record,” she disclosed. “We started tracking last weekend and are continuing to track this weekend at Hunt Studios…that’s why you couldn’t find them anywhere.”
So, there you have it. No other details are known at this time, but, Black Wine does have a new release in the works and it’s coming sooner rather than later.
You can hear some of these new tunes when Black Wine is in the area again on April 22nd at the PLP Log Cabin in Toms River with a stacked lineup that includes The Dead Milkmen’s front-man Joe Jack Talcum, possibly performing songs from the iconic Punk act’s 2011 LP The King In Yellow, the band’s first full-length release since 1995, as well as local favorites Mirrors And Wires and Mister Snake, and Shellshag from Brooklyn.
Black Wine Setlist:
- Pick At Pieces
- Ocean Skin (New)
- Favorites (New)
- Yr Light
- Ice Ball (New)
- End Of Days (New)
- Freedom Of Choice (Devo)
- May Crowning (New)
More Black Wine Photos And Video: