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On Saturday April 30th, The Black Clouds sold-out the iconic Asbury Park music venue know as The Saint. The loud and rowdy crowd gathered early, eagerly anticipating to be blown away by their heroes.  Once underway, The Black Clouds began raging so hard the capacity crowd whipped into a frenetic mosh pit while the bands intense sound literally shook the walls of  The Saint to their core.  And no wonder, the hard heavy sounds of the band could be heard for blocks in all directions.

Formed in 2004 on the Jersey Shore, The Black Clouds have been serving up a mixture of hard rock, grunge, punk, and heavy metal, for almost 20 years and have cultivated a sound unlike any other out there. They bring a '90s rock vibe with a modern twist, ushering their music into new territories. I have to say, the songwriting skills of founding member and frontman Dan Matthews mixed in with the rest of the band's musical chops are what separates them from the rest. The band hits hard, but also has melodic choruses and harmonies scattered into their aggressive edgy sound. 

The original lineup included Dan Matthews on guitar and vocals, Rob Blake on guitar and vocals, Cory King on Drums and vocals, and Gary Moses on Bass. As we know bands go through lineup changes and with a couple of albums under their belt, Rob and Gary have moved on. Joining Dan and Cory in the current lineup is Neil Hayes on guitar, Dyland McLarnon on bass and vocals, and a new addition Rudy Meier on guitar and keyboard. Unfortunately, Cory broke his foot recently and while he is on the mend, Bob Paulos is now filling in for Cory on drums. Bob is in another band with Dan and his wife Jamie called Shut Up. Wishing Cory a speedy recovery, cant wait to see him back behind the set on stage where he belongs!

Each member of the band brings this no fucks given attitude to their playing, a rarity nowadays with cookie-cutter bands all sounding the same. These guys play with passion, and grit, and send the audience on a wild roller coaster. If you like down and dirty rock and roll this is your new favorite band. Their rock star personas and earth-shattering guitar sounds are exactly what you need after a long week at the office and need to blow off some steam, in the mosh pit.

The band has been working on their fourth studio album and the first from the band since 2017. The concept of the new album came from the forced isolation of the Covid 19 Pandemic. Not only being isolated in day-to-day life but also not being able to rock on stage for their fans, and trying to see the light into a brighter future. Long time friend of the band and a New Jersey native artist now living in upstate New York, Mike Lach has just put the final touches on the album cover, so stoked to see it when the album is released soon. 

The new album is called Time Never Stops and its a hard-charging rock, shot through with swirling psychedelia, enduring hooks, and sophisticated vocals. “It’s a motivational record, but it’s also honest and dark,” says Matthews. “This was the first record where I wrote so collaboratively. Dylan and I found our writing meshed really well— we love to mix the harmony with the heavy. We’re huge fans of Seattle bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden, but also the Beatles and the Beach Boys.”  Credit -

The Black Clouds has paid their dues, touring the country, playing for raucous crowds from coast to coast. Putting the work in the studio, writing new material, keeping up with the times, but never losing themselves. Staying true to their sound and their fans. These guys live by their own rules, and live by their own code,  Play Loud…….Play hard…….and leave every post-modern music trend quivering in the dust….

Check out the band's website for all the info on their new album, and upcoming shows. These guys bring the ruckus, if you are looking for some heavy hard rock and roll The Black Clouds got you covered!


Matthew Lang

Photojournalist - New Jersey

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