Dollar Store Riot

Dollar Store Riot

 Maplewood, New Jersey, USA

Dollar Store Riot makes a humble but determined effort to create a sound blending melody with gigantic walls of noise and distortion that has been described as reminiscent of Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr., U2 and My Bloody Valentine with a touch of the Clash thrown in.


Dollar Store Riot

Once upon a time, four former New Yorkers transplanted themselves in the sleepy Jersey suburbs where child-friendly jam bands and cover acts smothered the music scene with competent predictability.

Brian Boehm (bass/vocals), with his Melvin’s sensibilities, and Paul Haley (guitar/vocals), with his Hardcore and Brit/Power Pop pedigree, came together seeking something more.

But when Brian and Paul got together for the first time, Brian had his doubts.

“I opened the door and Paul was standing there in a ‘Sick of It All!’ t-shirt,” recalls Brian. “Then he began playing Stone Roses covers on his acoustic and I knew there was hope.”

Will Kramer (drums) and Paul stumbled upon each other at a PTA wine and cheese event. They didn’t see exactly eye-to-eye on politics, but they found common ground in their musical interests.

Will, too, liked his alternative rock simple, loud, and scrappy, a result of spending his high school and college years watching the Del Fuegos, Dogmatics, and Mission of Burma in Boston, and Nirvana and Beat Happening in Olympia, Washington.

Soon the three boys gathered in Will’s basement, where three songs quickly came to life: “Smile (Once In A While), “Most Likely from Ohio,” and “It Must Be Tuesday.” A couple of band name changes later, Dollar Store Riot exhaled its first collective breath.

The music was coming together but something was amiss with the vocals.

As luck would have it, Brian and Thea had kids in the same class and one thing led to another when Thea and Brian’s wife started talking about the Sex Pistols at a first grade gingerbread cookie party.

A singer/song writer and self-described “metalhead” whose tastes range from Alice in Chains to Alanis Morrisette, Thea brought powerful vocals and additional guitar licks that gave Dollar Store Riot the extra boost it was looking for.

Over the last five years, the band has managed to consistently play shows in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey while holding down the responsibilities of jobs, families, and suburban lawn care.

Dollar Store Riot continues to play live shows and plans to release a new 5 song EP, set to be released in Spring 2016.

You can hear some previous recordings on the music page at

Thea Kearney - Vocals/Guitars

Paul Haley - Guitar/Vocals

John Ramsburg - Bass Guitar

Will Kramer - Drums

Former Members:  Brian Boehm - Bass/Vocals