Last updateWed, 14 Oct 2020 1pm


Local Band Spotlight: About a Year Ago

Local Band SpotlightNewly-formed Ocean Country melodic hardcore band About a Year Ago independently released their debut EP Borrowed Time on Feb. 4. Rising from the ashes of the now-defunct Toms River-based easycore band Sick on Sunday, About a Year Ago pushes into the new decade with a sound that embodies the raw D.I.Y. essence of the New Jersey local music scene.

Borrowed Time is an emotional, three-track release which thematically revolves around relationships, both romantic and platonic. “The album deals a lot with heartbreak,” said bassist Alex Fischer. “Whether it’s with friends or relationships that have ended; it’s a coping mechanism for us.”

Borrowed Time comes out of the gate with the catchy tune ‘Rewind.’ The introductory lead guitar, courtesy of guitarist Mike Vecchio, is reminiscent of something that wouldn’t sound too out of place on Neck Deep’s Life’s Not Out to Get You. ‘Rewind’ has an infectious call-and-response chorus, as well as a pounding beatdown that allows drummer Doug Miller to let his double-bass chops shine.

‘Rewind’ is followed up with ‘Chain of Memories,’ which opens with a pounding drum beat and vocalist John D’Antona shouting a powerful refrain. ‘Chain of Memories’ offers some great classic easycore riffage courtesy of Vecchio and rhythm guitarist Robbie Gaffney. The bouncing chorus indicates that ‘Chain of Memories’ is unfiltered, fun, mosh pit material.

The third and final track on Borrowed Time is ‘Divisions.’ A mid-tempo rock and roll jam, ‘Divisions’ is the emotional powerhouse on Borrowed Time. It’s the only track on the record that offers a somber piano melody. “All I create are divisions between my family and friends,” sings D’Antona, signifying that this track is a letter written straight from the heart.

The catchy lead guitar captures the listener as the song transitions between the verses and choruses; the bridge and closing chorus of ‘Divisions’ is easily the most emotional moment on this release. D’Antona’s grizzly punk voice over the distorted, melancholy guitars makes for some powerful final seconds, but as the song ends, it feels like I’ve fallen off a cliff. Personally, I could have used more of that raw final-chorus energy, but I suppose this will leave new listeners excited for what comes next.

About a Year Ago has truly laid the groundwork for something fun and exciting with Borrowed Time. The raw production value, as well as the sometimes pitchy but undeniably powerful vocals and honest lyricism makes for a musical experience that will hopefully leave people passionately shouting the words back at the stage during future shows.

However, this is only the beginning for About a Year Ago; based on the energy that Borrowed Time has brought to the table, it’s going to be exciting to see how the band will develop, grow and change over time.

IMAGE TAKEN from About a Year Ago Facebook

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151