Know Your Enemy
Debut Album Release Show!
Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
Review and Photos by Stephen J. Moss
Know Your Enemy is a New Jersey band who just celebrated the release of their very first full length album! Andy Jansons had the opportunity to interview the band after the show. I highly recommend you check it out by going to;
Prior to this show, I had no knowledge of this band so I didn’t know what to expect from them. After seeing them perform live however, I’m definitely a fan! Not only do these guys make incredible music, they also know how to throw a kick ass album release party.
Let me give you an idea of how the night went:
The venue is called Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse in Dunellen, NJ. The atmosphere is like an old circus. There are pictures of sword swallowing artists, they have skeletons wearing pink wings, Greek mythology characters, and other side show pictures on the wall. It’s a really fun and funky place to hold a show.
Before the show started and in between each band they had a performance by the beautiful Vivi Noir who is an award winning burlesque dancer in the New Jersey / New York City area
Not only is Vivi beautiful she’s also daring. She had one act where she lay on broken bottles while a man stood on her! Don’t worry, she was unharmed!!
Vivi had multiple acts that night and each time, she killed it. After seeing her live, it’s easy to see why she is one of New Jersey’s favourite burlesque dancers.
The first band to hit the stage was Acid Cactus. They are a young New Jersey band that is a cross between Street Punk and Hardcore Punk. To date, the band only has an EP that can be found on Band Camp by clicking here (https://acidcactus.bandcamp.com/releases). It’s your typical loud, obnoxious, fast, and obscenity filled street punk. If you like bands like “The Casualties” then you should check out Acid Cactus. The song I loved was called ‘Left Lane Drivers’ because here in New Jersey, it’s illegal to drive in the left lane unless you’re passing another car. Sadly, many out of state drivers can’t read the road signs and will drive slowly in the left lane and it drives native New Jerseyans bat shit crazy! You can find out more from visiting Acid Cactus’ Facebook Page
Fear The Masses
The Second band to hit the stage was called Fear The Masses. They are from New Haven, Connecticut. Fear the Masses does a fantastic job of balancing post-hardcore metal with hip hop influences. They are in a similar boat to bands like One Minute Silence, Rage Against the Machine, and (hed) p.e. Their lyrics are politically and socially driven and they came out and instantly took control of the stage. They had tons of energy and really gave 100% on the night interacting with the fans and even giving a drumstick to one lucky girl.
My favourite song from their set-list was called ‘Make Me Your Leader’. This song is going to be on my top played playlist!
Know Your Enemy
Next was the main event, Know Your Enemy. They hit the stage with a massive roar from the crowd! This New Jersey band is one you absolutely have to check out! I got a strong “Sevendust” feeling when I was listening to them although, I never felt that Know Your Enemy were simply trying to sound like any certain band. They utilise a blend of metal and hip hop and even though that isn’t anything new, Know Your Enemy do a nice job in taking a blend of music many people are already familiar with and adding their own flair to it!
Know Your Enemy played their debut album “Root Of All Evil” in its entirety. Not only did they kill it playing their original songs, they also did some incredible cover songs taking on Tool’s ‘Hooker With A Penis” along with two Rage Against the Machine tracks.
The energy was top notch! This was their night and they owned it! Despite being a relatively new band, Know Your Enemy acted like they have played a thousand sold out football arenas in the past, they were calm, cool and collected.
This was a very special night for them in more than one way. Not only was this their debut album release party, it was also a night when the band came together with its original bass player, Robert McCann. Due to unforeseen and challenging life circumstances, Robert had to quit the band and move out of state. While Robert was dealing with his challenges, he wrote a song entitled ‘Me Instead’. This song was extremely personal and full of meaning; a very deep song not only to Robert but when Singer Fonz Rodriguez heard the song it also touched a massive nerve with him as well. ‘Me Instead’ reminded Fonz of a time when he and his wife were dealing with their own intense issues. When Know Your Enemy joined Robert on stage the band decided to play Robert’s song.
This was an extremely emotional moment for the band because it was a revisit to one of the most painful times of Fonz and Robert’s life. It was also the last time playing with Robert on stage. Before singing ‘Me Instead’, Fonz stated they would never sing this song again on tour. This was truly a special moment for all in attendance. Somehow, Fonz was able to keep himself composed and made it through the song despite its heavy meaning. He delivered it in an incredibly impressive way. I have mad respect for someone who can put themselves out there in such a vulnerable position. This shows you just how devoted Know Your Enemy is to their fans and to their music. When it comes to their songs and their stage performances, they give it all.
At the end, the band had intended to end the show with a metal cover of “Lose Yourself,” an Eminem song. The crowd, however, had other plans. When Lose Yourself was over and the band went away, the crowd erupted with chants of, “One more song!” Know Your Enemy seemed a bit surprised because when they came back on stage for an encore, lead singer Fonz Rodriguez made the comment that he thought he would end with the cover but they were so good live that people just wanted more! For the encore, they band played homage to their beginnings with some old material.
This, for sure, will be a night to remember for Know Your Enemy, as well as their fans. I personally feel honoured because this was my first time seeing them. I’m glad I was able to be part of such a special night. Currently they are unsigned. After seeing them live and hearing their album, however, I know it won’t be too long before people take notice of them in a big way. So to the band I say, remember Jersey when you’re big and famous hahahah!
My top six songs are:
01. Me Instead
03. Fooling Ourselves
05. New Energy
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Stephen Moss and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
All photographs reproduced here with kind permission from Stephen Moss