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Exemption has definitely caught my ear. The band is very tight, writes great melodies, and combines a hodge podge of musical influences ranging from The Beatles to Boris. The musicianship of this band is stellar and is evidenced on their newest CD "Public Cemetery Party". These guys have been playing since they were in their early teens and now have progressed into this huge groove inspired progressive psychedelic rock monster. The music somehow manages to sooth you and punish you at the same time, either way this band is one that shows tremendous promise. Go listen to their CD now, it is being streamed for free on their Bandcamp page. - HeavyPlanet.net

Holy Shit, This Band Is The Balls - by Johnny Marszalkowski

Exemption hails from Long Island, New York. They are a progressive rock band that covers a lot of bases, such as; metal riffs, jam/groove riffs, pop hooks, and of course... noodling.
If this band sounds as cool live as they do on the CD Public Cemetery Party (Likely--> http://youtu.be/tzuIteiGmsM ), then these guys are a pretty big deal for an unsigned band.
Buy their album on iTunes for <$9… Or, if you're a cheap-ass, at least buy my two favorite songs: Mutating Skulls (http://tinyurl.com/35mhxxs) and Hyperspiral (http://tinyurl.com/23d8l5n).

Click this link for a google search of their stuff --> http://tinyurl.com/2a6t4wo - Karma Review Magazine

Exemption, from New York, is a band with which Ultimate-Guitar.com has some familiarity. Featured nearly three years ago, Exemption has released a lot of new material since The Rabbit Hole (reviewed here) in April, 2007. Exemption plays their own stimulating range of progressive rock, influence perhaps by Tool, Pantera, and Johnny Cash. There is also quite an accentuated groove to the band’s music, and this is even more pronounced on the band’s latest release, Public Cemetery Party (October 2010). The latest release is like the Muse that the United States hasn’t yet produced. Most notable on songs such as White Animal and Mutating Skulls, Exemption has added English suave to their eclectic musical mix that should serve the band well. The industrialised metal-dominated sound of The Rabbit Hole has been post-modernised since 2007, and this exciting three-piece should work harder than ever to capitalise on their precocious talents to secure some more serious airtime. Tom, Nick, and Lee deserve your support, and I certainly wouldn’t be featuring the band for a second time, were Public Cemetery Party not so scrupulously presented and performed.

UG Opinion: Exemption is one of the bands that I still consider to be a gem of this column. I still listen to The Rabbit Hole, and I’m only too glad to hear more accessible tunes from this three-piece, whose guitarist—Nick Lee—remains one of my favourite musicians of recent times. - Ultimate-Guitar.com

"The progressive driving guitar riffs, spacey arena quality and the bands ability to switch up the sound on a dime makes for a great record." - House of A&R

"...their energetic repertoire that has been shaking the foundations of local venues in the Brooklyn area, has been bottled up and released on nine rip-roaring tracks." - Chybucca Sounds

"If you’re looking to expand your musical horizons, this album will definitely do the trick, you are opening an endless bag of goodies." - TheBuzzOnNY.com

Public Cemetery Party Review

It’s Halloween season, just the right time for some bloody stoner rock. Taking a look at the cover art of Exemption’s Public Cemetery Party, I’d say we have a soundtrack for the dead bodies, shaving cream, and all out party that is late October 2010. Here’s the Australian Chicks first CD review, venturing though PCP track by track:

Hyperspiral- The first track starts off with a riff familiar to dedicated Exemption fans. Personally, I’ve been waiting a long time indeed to hear Nick Lee’s screaming alongside a powerful vocal performance by lead vocalist Tom Moran. This song really stomps out any doubts you may have had that Exemption is too much chaos to handle on a recording. The added psychedelic modulations make this song one of my personal favorites. Ending on a gang vocal repeated enough times to raise suspense, I’m most definitely ready to move further into the Public Cemetery Party.

Blood Heaven- The musicianship of all three members is most highly accented in this, my personal favorite four minutes of the album. The introduction of moving guitar, powerful bass, and stylistically precise drums welcomes the listener to really pay attention to the dramatic song this will turn into. Lyrically graphic, Tom captures some of the darkest love scenes that climax in a chorus that pulls back, but only enough to save you from going insane. The ending bit contains such an aesthetic quality that takes any dark thoughts from the lyrics and makes them truly beautiful. This connection between each part of the song really ties together why fans love Exemption so much.

Mutating Skulls- This song pulls you in fast and hard! The guitar tone especially gives this song that kiss of purity that allows anyone listening to fall head first into the world of PCP. Gang vocals are perfect for audiences to yell along with and really feel like a part of the band during a live performance. The solo that ends the song really takes care of making sure this party is alive.

Hounds of Sound- Right away, something in the album has changed. Beauty has been sacrificed for fear. Nick and Tom both give incredibly emotional vocal performances. This is the type of urgency and suspenseful sound that all good metal bands need in an album. If you’re itching to hurt your friends at a live performance, here’s your song. After a track this horrifying, you’ll be lucky if your friends are still in the venue.

Godzilla- A controlled, heavy sound and excellent drumming by Ray Marte keeps this song while Tom’s vocals really express a certain tiring cry that follows Hounds of Sounds perfectly. After a few listens, this is my least favorite track. This however, is a testament to how much I love the album. This is a very technical and well produced and performed song. The end of the song pulls the poor, blood covered Hounds of Sound victim back into the pit for some more PCP.

White Animal- Now that the bloodbath is over, the party goers are finally ready to continue with the fun. This song something I look forward to every time I hear Godzilla ending. Tom’s vocal prowess really shines hear while Nick and Ray show that they don’t need to be rocking as loud as they can to make you enjoy Exemption. The lyrics are superb angst that can speak to any scene of music listeners who all seek to improve their lives through shear effort. I’d also like to mention how much I love the solo, as it restores my faith that more music resembling the artistic aesthetic of the first three tracks is to come.

Birds- My hunch was right, and there’s still more beauty to be found in the twisted, eerie song, Birds. One of Exemption’s most prominent skills is their ability to retain heavy themes with twists of blues and psychedelic vibes that are too right-feeling to be accidental. Birds reminds me that these guys know exactly what they’re doing. The track is lengthy, but the spooky motion of each instrument really ease you through to a place where you could have been listening to this CD for about twenty minutes to several days. Tom’s moaning toward the end really makes me feel like I’ve just woken up in a cemetery (in case anyone is curious to know that feeling, this track is for you).

Cold Bodies- This track gives the façade of an ending. It’s an epic, triumphant song that really wakes up the dead of the Public Cemetery Party. This supernatural theme allows any spectator of this party to marvel at the scene as if they were a police officer looking down on Woodstock. Congratulations Exemption, this CD is more than worth the time and effort you all put in.

Tasted by Love- Wait, it’s not over??? The supernatural psychedelic beauty of PCP culminates so sweetly in this one track. This is the track where the before mentioned spectator joins the Cold Bodies and the Hounds of Sound and in Mutating their Skulls in a Hyperspiral of Blood Heaven, to be sacrificed and combined into the Cemetery, dragging the Birds, Godzilla, and any White Animal left in the audience after the song. A tremendous maelstrom of emotion and power finishes the listener off, leaving them a part of something incredible, an experienced soul ready for what‘s to come, and a poor victim addicted to PCP.

This review of Exemption’s latest album Public Cemetery Party was written by Paul Weyer; Co-founder of Australian Chicks Productions. - lovelucid.tumblr.com

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
The three of us started out in a band called Unatoned with our good friend Anthony Lopardo who now works with Ray producing music out of Killingsworth Studios on Long Island where we our now recording our new album. Nowadays, we each have our own music that is separate from the band but for the most part we have always been concentrating on Exemption. Our “early years” are way too early to even count.

Favorite venues to play:
In New York City we have had probably our best shows at Santos Party House and The Bitter End. We also really like Fat Baby and in Brooklyn there is Matchless and Don Pedro. Anywhere a show can be free or cheap and easy for our friends to attend is our favorite venue. It is unfortunate that many venues on Long Island are closing these days, but if any band reading is looking to play there we would probably suggest Broadway or Sinclair’s. The Downtown was at one time the best place to pay but it’s long gone now.

Musical influences:
I’ll try my best to speak for everybody… Mastodon probably had the biggest influence on our newest material. Many others, including: Pantera, Sabbath, Allman Brothers, Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, Down, Clutch, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Mars Volta, SRV, B.B. King, Beatles, Dylan, Nick Drake, Neil Young, Slayer, Pink Floyd, Boris, The Bronx, Pelican, Torche, RHCP, The Clash, The Ramones, The Misfits, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Velvet Underground, Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest, Daniel Johnston, Fleet Foxes, Jesu, Meshuggah, Pig Destroyer, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Gov’t Mule, High On Fire, Creedence, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Bongzilla, Weedeater …we love all music.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
We are near completion of our new album!
Keep an eye on our pages for the release show to be announced soon!

Myspace: myspace.com/exemption
Facebook: facebook.com/exemption
Youtube: Here are a lot of our videos. Search around for more!
CD Baby: CDBaby.com/artist/exemption
Photo credit: Alli Murphy

Where can we buy your music?
We have our first full-length, 2007’s “The Rabbit Hole” as well as our 2009 EP “Harmony of the Spheres” available on iTunes and CDBaby. Of course you can also pick up either release as well as shirts and stickers at any Exemption show! Come say hi we love meeting new people!
Upcoming Shows:

Tuesday, August 3
with Praetorian & Battlesteer
$5 admission
Cameo (at The Loving Cup)
93 North 6th St.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY
Sunday, August 8
"Hell in Hell's Kitchen"
w/ Bot, Aqua Cherry, and more
Port 41
335 W. 41st St. (Between 8th & 9th Ave.)
New York, NY

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live in NYC.
Last July I got an e-mail that seemed very random asking us to play Santos Party House for a benefit show, which of course we agreed to do. What we wound up playing was a fashion show and we actually had girls running the “catwalk” while we were playing, modeling new designers. It was really cool but a little surreal. The guy ordering the girls around was intense and hilarious, he was not messing around and if they screwed up he just lost it and went jumping and pacing around the room. Between bands they were blaring Britney Spears and Sean Paul (often the same song repeating) and after a few beers our singer Tom snuck up to the DJ booth above the stage and threw our EP in the CD player. We got to about the third song before somebody realized what was happening and shut us down.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Being from Long Island, as we grew up playing shows, we would often get suckered into the pay-to-play thing. While sometimes an opportunity that presents itself in that manner seems impossible to refuse, no band should have to lay our their own money to some promoter just to prove something. Even though sometimes it seems like the best shows are under the control of the greedy, there are always gonna be people out their who are really supporting the bands and trying to help rather than taking advantage of kids. If you can’t find these people, then try your best to build your own scene up with your friends. This community should be based around a shared love of music not money, don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.

Can you recommend any other local act we should feature on MurphGuide?
Vision Through Sound is a great band from the same town as us who have been at it even longer than us. They have been through a lot and changed a lot over the last few years but they are a really strong unit right now and busting their asses. They’re about to release a new album and tour and they are definitely worth checking out.

Thanks, Nick. - Murphguide.blogspot.com

Since forming in 2003, New York’s Exemption has brought the heavy and bludgeoned all in its path. This 2007 release is full of punishing grooves, slicing riffs, and tons of melody.

As soon as this 11 track, 73 minute album begins, the listener is in for an entertaining ride. This is very heavy stuff, but with a great sense of melody and with lots of great riffs. At times, the band almost comes across as a more metallic Alice in Chains. This comparison is very evident on the second track, “Tiempo Cura Tiempo Mata.” But these guys are not stuck on one sound, there is variety, and it is a cohesive variety. There are multiple tempo changes throughout this release. The lead work of guitarist Nick Lee is very tasty and economical also. This guy can shred, but he does so with finesse and ease.

This is sure to quench many a hard rocker's thirst. These guys can write some amazing songs. There is something for everyone in this release - riffs, melody, and memorable songs. - StonerRock.com

Unsigned bands do tend to be a little erratic, as I discovered in my hunt for unsigned talent after January’s article. I was astonished at the feedback it received, and both the criticism and the praise was taken on board as I set out in choosing the bands that feature below. Understandably, many readers wished to see a greater number of bands, not to mention a wider range of musical genres on show. Thank you to anyone who contributed to my search for talented unsigned bands; it would be valued if you could keep the feedback coming this month. Your private messages and comments are much appreciated, and I just hope that, together we can all learn to appreciate music of all genres over the course of this monthly column. Exemption is a band that embraces a variety of influences, ranging from Sex Pistols, to Pantera to Johnny Cash. These guys don’t just list a host of influences; the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding in this case is the band’s recent album, "Rabbit Hole," an explosive album. Exemption breaks genre barriers down, particularly on Swing Darling, which includes a sonic surprise halfway through the track, when what sounds like a Steve Jones influenced guitar solo transpires to become a technically adept legato masterpiece. There is no doubt that these guys can play, and credit must go to the energies of Nicky, the solitary guitarist, who, fills out the sound admirably. I personally have a thing for 3-piece bands, and Exemption proves to be no, erm, exemption to the rule. Tom, Nicky and Ray have taken great pleasure in playing live with legendary bands such as the Misfits, and long may they continue. With such credentials, it can only be a matter of time before a band as talented as this is signed to a Record Label. Versatility is fast becoming a vital element of the evolving music industry. The fact is that there is only so much more generic music that the market can put up with; it is arguably saturated, and a band like Exemption could help to change that. Exemption have somehow uncovered that sweet spot that enables the band to epitomise the precise, yet raw sound that only very few three-pieces have captured over the years. This band does New York’s divine musical dynasty proud, and is paramount to this article because of the experimentation the band undertakes on songs like Chunderpuss, while still maintaining the band’s 'sound’: A band that all should aspire to emulate. - Ultimate-Guitar.com

In a music industry so dominated by ‘who you know’ or ‘how much you’re willing to pay’ to get your band ahead of the rest just for that slim as hell chance at all-out ‘rock n roll glory’, it’s so goddamn refreshing to hear something so well produced by three young dudes who aren’t even old enough to drink legally. Exemption is the closest thing I have ever heard to Led Zeppelin, Cream and Soundgarden tied into one in all my years of music listening. And so I ask myself, “How can they not even be twenty-one and be this good?”
With Tom on vocals, bass & piano, Nicky on guitars, anchored down by Ray on drums, accordion and Ocarina, the album’s opener ‘Hot Sauce’ sounds like something Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Page and Ginger Baker may have produced in their own side project. The spine-breaking riff used in the latter part of the song with Tom’s prophetic desperate screams makes you think that quite possibly you’ve stumbled onto the bastard children of The Beatles.
Track numero deuce ‘Tiempo Cura, Tiempo Mata’ has that old Van Halen charm in its solidly grooving, eclectic opener that goes into a full face-kicking jam. We are only met with more retro feel with track three’s sprawling Hendrix-esque “Hellion Ardor” and then spun around one-hundred eighty degrees with the thrashing ‘Honey Glazed Lucifer’. With rich, Helmet-sounding vocals and an inspired, speeding drum assault, it’s almost scary to think how good these youngsters would sound if they actually were allowed into a pro studio with a name producer attached to their uncanny songwriting prowess.
The next set of tracks ‘Chunderpuss’, ‘Josephina’ and ‘Holy Hand Grenade’ give you more than you bargained for with more blues/metal fused into the landscape then one can imagine for only a three piece group, bordering on the likes of sonic bravado that even Jack White himself would beam proudly at. Rounding out with the distorted and hyper-fuzzed out ‘Bear Foot’ and ‘Swing Darling’, it’s safe to say that this band is not catering to the formulaic rules that most heavy music acts adhere too and that’s why I think they are so compelling.
Visit Exemption on MySpace
But The Album On CDBaby:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/exemption - The Metal Den


"The Rabbit Hole" - April 20, 2007
Available on iTunes, Cdbaby.com/artist/exemption

"Harmony of the Spheres EP" - August 4th, 2009
Available on iTunes, Cdbaby.com/artist/exemption

"Dinosaurs in Vietnam Comp II: Crude Oil" - June 20th, 2010
New song "Mutating Skulls" featured.
www.dinosaursinvietnam.com - free download
soundcloud.com/exemption/mutating-skulls - free download/stream
exemption.bandcamp.com - free download/stream

"Public Cemetery Party" - October 27th, 2010
Just about to be completed. CD release show 10/27/10 at Mulcahy's of Wantagh. More Mp3's coming soon.
Features "Mutating Skulls" as well.



Long Island, New York’s Exemption has done more than mature their sound on their sophomore full-length, and third self-released disc, Public Cemetery Party. Their music has evolved into something beyond genres and sub-genres. Each of the nine tracks not only differs uniquely from one another but sets the band far apart from the current trends of today’s rock and metal bands. The songs are a kaleidoscope of musical styles: thick stoner metal mudslides slam head on into psychedelic landscapes; anthemic pop hooks give way to fiery surf-rock riffs, and crusty blues jams become violent exercises in aggressive funk. The first track “Hyperspiral” is a perfect example of this, moving seamlessly from Mastodon & Torche-esque riffage to euphoric melodies and hooks reminiscent of Rubber Soul. The influence of The Beatles is felt strongly throughout the disc, and singer/bassist Tom Moran even references Lennon’s influence in “Hyperspiral,” with the line “Love and instant karma’s not so simple now.” Like Torche, Exemption is not afraid to combine spine-cracking heaviness with bubbly pop-hook sweetness to create moods not often tapped into by new bands. Public Cemetery Party goes on to demonstrate the power trio’s skills as musicians. Their progressive side has earned them comparisons to The Mars Volta, Rush, and King Crimson, but this musical ability combined with their sense of humor at times is more in the vein of Frank Zappa . “Blood Heaven,” “Godzilla” and “Tasted By Love” demonstrate how incredibly drummer Ray Marte can be polyrhythmic over just about anything, often moving from common time to 9 and 7, and with fills that will have any drummer rewinding again and again. Guitarist/vocalist Nick Lee’s riffs and solos are a constant battle between good and evil, brutal and beautiful that rarely let up on taking the listener to new places. Finally, Tom Moran’s bass playing sticks the trio together like glue and his vocal melodies show that this band is no longer struggling to find their own sound but have forged their own over six years of hard work, dedication, and following their guts. This album has been almost a year in the making and the band is confident that it will turn some heads.

Exemption has been around since 2004, when its three members met in middle school. They have just completed their third album, "Public Cemetery Party," at Killingsworth Studios and released it October '10. This album is now available along with 2007's The Rabbit Hole" and 2009's "Harmony of the Spheres EP" on iTunes and cdbaby.com/artist/exemption (and at shows of course). They play mostly in the NYC/LI/Brooklyn area, have played down the east coast, and wherever else they can.

“Featured on multiple occasions in this column, the three-piece from New York deserves your vote for being one of the most consistently excellent hard rock bands to be releasing music without record label affiliation today.”
-Ultimate-Guitar.com’s Unsigned Talent of 2010 Column

"The band is very tight, writes great melodies, and combines a hodge podge of musical influences ranging from The Beatles to Boris. The musicianship of this band is stellar and is evidenced on their newest CD "Public Cemetery Party".
-Heavy Planet.net “Band to Burn One To Column 12/12/10”

"If you’re looking to expand your musical horizons, this album will definitely do the trick, you are opening an endless bag of goodies."
- The Buzz on NY.com review of "Public Cemetery Party"

"...their energetic repertoire that has been shaking the foundations of local venues in the Brooklyn area, has been bottled up and released on nine rip-roaring tracks."
- Chybucca Sounds review of "Public Cemetery Party"

"The progressive driving guitar riffs, spacey arena quality and the bands ability to switch up the sound on a dime makes for a great record."
- House of A&R review of "Public Cemetery Party"

"...A tremendous maelstrom of emotion and power finishes the listener off, leaving them a part of something incredible, an experienced soul ready for what‘s to come, and a poor victim addicted to PCP."
- Love Lucid/Australian Chicks Productions review of "Public Cemetery Party"

Recommended if you enjoy any of the following: Black Sabbath, Pantera, Clutch, Down, Led Zeppelin, The Mars Volta, Slayer, Mastodon, Radiohead, The Bronx, Corrosion of Conformity, Pelican, Jimi Hendrix, Nick Drake, The Melvins, Between the Buried and Me, and hot sauce.