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Band: Prodigal Sons

Date of show: May 26, 2016

Location: Clash Bar, Clifton NJ

Photos and Review by: Jessi Korch Photography/Jessi Korch with Dave Alvarez

With most music in the mainstream heading towards pop and synth beats, real rock music has become increasingly rare. More often than not, you’ll find it in the local scene: dingy bars, small‐time music festivals, and the tiny nooks kept as closely guarded secrets by those in‐the‐know. . The New Jersey scene is no exception, yet one band has found a way to thrive. This band goes by the name of Prodigal Sons. On their website, Prodigal Sons describe themselves as, “Blues, Grunge, Garage, and Punk an aggressive and funky sound with a side of grit.” Eclectic influences, to be sure, but they mix it together with a confidence and restraint that ensures all of the ingredients mesh perfectly.

This Paramus‐based band got off to an unconventional start in late 2013 where Dave Alvarez, guitarist and lead vocalist, met Nael Llaverias, the band’s bassist, through mutual friends during a round late night karaoke in a New York City club. A personal bond was formed that night and soon enough, John Reilly joined in on drums to round out the lineup. Each band member has brought along their own personal taste in music to add to their sound, touting influences from as diverse artists as Prince, The Roots, Jimmy Eat World, The Black Keys, and Metallica.. Upon starting out, their music was more inclined towards the blues, but the songs later became mixed with metal, pop, and whatever else they found to be harmonious.

Prodigal Sons believe in a strict format to writing their music. They start out with some solid riffs and song structure. From there, they develop bass lines, drum lines, and finally the vocal melodies. Their songs become established after a few practices. Some make it to the stage while others remain in the vault. When it comes to producing music, they are critical of themselves and their work, hoping to only put out the best music possible. The result is well put‐together, high‐energy songs and performances. Believe me, they deliver. You can hear their latest music on the EP titled, “The Cool Kids.” available now on Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

Music from their EP and beyond were performed at the Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ on Thursday, May 26th 2016. The place definitely gives off an underground vibe. The stage background has a 1960’s mod appeal and the surrounding red walls are covered in posters of music greats, such as the Ramones and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Prodigal Sons were the first band to perform, delivering a strong, full set. Dave’s guitar riffs were intense and bluesy, accompanied by a raspy, metal‐inspired voice. John provided strong beats on the drums and provided vocals to their poppier tunes. Nael delivered a smooth bass performance, feeding off the band’s energy. A personal favorite of mine is “Devil in Me.”, a song coming directly off their EP. It’s a very catchy, blues‐oriented tune with riffs you can hum on your way to work.

To listen to more Prodigal Sons, and connect, check out their links below.

Vocals, Guitar / Dave Alvarez

Background Vocals, Bass / Nael Llaverias

Drums / John Reilly

Prodigal Sons Setlist:

It’s Not Me

Warrior’s Code

Decade Under


Ride the D

Blow for Bloody Blow

Devil in Me

Darling Nikki



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