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Local band Fiscal Cliff stands on edge of musical greatness

Breaking into the New Brunswick underground music scene in a self-described “bluesy indie” explosion of sound is the Jersey City and Hoboken based band, Fiscal Cliff.

Now composed of members Carlos Perez, an Arts and Sciences sophomore, Mike Prussack, a New York University first-year, Manny Ray, a William Paterson junior, and Luis Garrido, a first-year student in the Rutgers School of Engineering, Fiscal Cliff was not always as refined as it is today.

Instead, the band rose like a phoenix, evolving from the ashes of a previous band in which Prussack and Garrido contributed their creativity and musical talent. When the previous band dissolved, Prussack and Garrido recruited Perez, Fiscal Cliff’s current guitarist and vocalist, and Ray, the band’s resident drummer.

As with all new creations comes the necessity of a name, especially one unique enough to garner attention in a world buzzing with aspiring bands. When asked if the name “Fiscal Cliff” held any sort of special significance, Garrido chuckled, but denied the existence of such profound meaning.

Reflecting on the potential humor and influence found in current events, Garrido said “The US budget was relevant in the news when we were trying to pick a name. ‘Fiscal Cliff’ really started as an ironic joke, but before you knew it, it stuck.”

While the name “Fiscal Cliff” itself rolls off the tongue with a fluidity that entices listeners, the musicality of the band is furthered by its contemporary, yet unique sound.

Like most music fans, the members of Fiscal Cliff are inspired by their respective favorite bands, yet emphasize the priority of maintaining an original, authentic sound.

Garrido describes the band’s current success in sound as a “bluesy indie” one.

“Basically,” Garrido says, “we want to be the illegitimate love child of Dr. Dog, Ben Howard, and Delta Spirit.”

Fans of such artists, and curious listeners alike can sample Fiscal Cliff’s work on their website, fcliff.bandcamp.com, where two releases are available for download. In the meantime, the band is focusing on the production of its next release, a full length album possibly due this summer.

Despite its desire to put out an album, Fiscal Cliff remains committed to playing as many shows as possible. Fiscal Cliff once struggled to book shows, recalling the start of their musical venture at the end of high school, when venues often refused to host the band regardless of music quality, due to age restrictions.

“We took things into our own hands and homes,” Garrido reminisced, “and hosted shows in our living rooms, basements, churches –– pretty much anywhere, so that our friends and ourselves would have a place to perform, and have a good time.”

Today, the band aims to build upon its past, and expand its reach in the future, especially in New Brunswick.

“We are trying to work our way into the New Brunswick basement scene, since there are so many great bands and musicians, and we want to be a part of that incredible atmosphere,” notes Garrido.

You can see Fiscal Cliff appear live in New Brunswick on March 2nd, in Montclair on March 8th, in Ramapo on March 27th and again at Rutgers University on April 18th and 25th for Rutgers Day. For more information on Fiscal Cliff, future performances and musical announcements, you can visit them at www.facebook.com/FiscalCliffNJ, or find them on Instagram at @FiscalCliffNJ.

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