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To give you an idea of what In.Spite.Of sounds like, think of Sublime + Incubus + Thursday + Taking Back Sunday....and some others I can't even begin to think of. They actually kind of remind me from this band from Flemington, New Jersey called Knuckle Sandwich (don't know if they're still around).

Despite the fact that I'm really not into any of the bands listed above, there's something unique about Metaphor that I can't put my finger on. It may me a whacked out combination of a bunch of unrelated bands, but it's creative as hell. The vocals have the same power as Boston's Rubikon...they're extremely firm and powerful, but they twist and turn with the instrumentals.

After five listens, this sampler is still some of the most creative material I've heard in a long time. It blends a lot of older influences with the post-hardcore and punk of today. In.Spite.Of definitely has something new, creative and diverse.


in. spite. of – “Metaphor” EP ( It’s almost impossible to stick a label on these three songs, and that’s generally a good thing. At first listen, comparisons to early 311 or the Chili Peppers’ more ballady material come to mind, but there’s quite a lot going on here. The band’s talented rhythm section and nimble-tongued lead singer have a great handle on rhythm, deftly handling hip-hop grooves (with a mild reggae inflection at times) while never losing the basic pop core of the songs. The guitars are often bathed in shimmery chorus effects, adding to the airy, summery sound, as do well-crafted touches like the catchy choruses and harmony backup vocals. The last track, “Reflection,” gets a little heavy; live, I’m guessing the riffs here come across a lot more like hardcore breakdowns. In the studio, the band retains a light touch; the track definitely rocks, but it wouldn’t offend anyone whose idea of hard rock doesn’t go much farther than Third Eye Blind. In spite of the other thousand local bands vying for attention right now, I’m keeping my eye on in.spite.of and expecting big things. – Jim Testa



This is an EP/demo(of sorts) from an up and coming band from New Jersey. With the help of superstar producer Sal Villanueva (e.g., Thursday and Taking Back Sunday), this foursome knock out three songs of rock with an indie edge. In.Spite.Of's sound is like a melding of the first wave of alternative rock with a contemporary molesting. The first track "A Metaphor for the Innocent" runs along with pedal effect guitars and trading vocals between Joe Maranzani and Davin Alson. Amongst the three this is probably the catchiest track. The second track "Replaced by Rain" is similar in structure and content, while "Reflection" contains a groove rock flair that parallel's tracks by such bands as Incubus. Given this strong EP, you should be ready to hear a lot more from these boys from NJ. -


With a charming blend of toe-tapping funk and melodious rock, New Jersey natives, in.spite.of establish their own unique island flavor with their clever hopes of attracting auxiliary interests. Besides their warm melodies, in.spite.of make their hardcore roots apparent with occasional spurts of hard-hitting guitar work and fast-paced drumbeats. With the “Metaphor” EP, in.spite.of display noticeable similarities to such renowned bands as 311 and Sublime among others from the lately prosperous fusion of reggae, punk and alternative. The three-song effort provides listeners with just a taste of what in.spite.of has to offer as well as what they have planned for the future, which is seemingly a well paved road as this quintet have 'stepped up' so to say with their sound on this release. A full-length release, with a date set for late January, will provide loyal fans with something to chew on, as well as something for prospective fans to explore.

Although an impressive release, the “Metaphor” EP merely hints on what in.spite.of has to offer. With stirring drumbeats, feel-good vocals, and rockin’ guitar riffs, the “Metaphor” EP makes for a pleasurable listen. Song-by-song, the “Metaphor” EP establishes itself as an enjoyable and structurally sound record. While it still maintains that same pleasurable quality, strikingly similar guitar intros and repetitive vocal patterns mar the release’s greatness and ultimately hold it back from what pre-concieved plateaus in.spite.of may have wanted to reach with this release. Drawbacks aside, the “Metaphor” EP proves that in.spite.of is a talented band with much to offer for the New Jersey, as well as the national, scene. -


It's hard to describe the sound of in.spite.of. Based on the band's website (, you might get the impression that they're a heavy metal band in the mold of Godsmack or Rage Against the Machine. The chunking music that plays as their webpage loads might further convince you.

But as you listen to the band's CD, "Metaphor," you realize that in.spite.of isn't nearly as hard or as heavy as Godsmack or Rage. Instead, the band's sound is closer to that of 311, Thursday or maybe even a rock band like the Spin Doctors. The songs on "Metaphor" are extremely well-written, radio-friendly, quasi-alternative rockers that would never qualify as heavy metal but might squeeze into the hard rock genre.

There's a reason that "Metaphor" brings to mind those other bands - it's all in the production. "Metaphor" was produced by Sal Villanueva, who has produced CDs by Thursday and Taking Back Sunday. Villanueva has the same success here, giving in.spite.of more than a fighting chance to get some airplay, but giving them an edge that won't turn fans of heavier music away at the same time.

Of course, it takes more than production to make a great band - it takes talent. Fortunately, in.spite.of has plenty of that.

in.spite.of: Raj Narayanan - Bass; Jeff Milstein - Drums; Davin Alson - Vocals, Guitars; Joe Maranzani - Vocals, Guitars.

For more information, check out



Yet another band that is currently (criminally) under-recognised, New Jersey's In.spite.of play an eclectic brand of melodic rock that sees them incorporate punk, funk and metal to create a highly-accomplished sound that should see them gain further notice, and will appeal to fans of Melodyssey, 311 and Cave In.

Though this EP only contains 3 songs, the promise and versatility shown by these guys is first-rate. Opener 'A Metaphor For The Innocent' immediately grabs attention with it's catchy, atmospheric funk-rock, while 'Replaced By Rain' is sure to bring Melodyssey comparisons, with it's grooving verses and riff-heavy chorus. The significant song on 'Metaphor' though, is the excellent 'Reflection'. Featuring a great contrast between the moving verses and heavier chorus (complete with background barking), it definitely brings to mind the Deftones or Prefix, and if anything is going to win over the average music fan, it would arguably be that track.

Additionally, the expert production from Sal Villaneuva (Thursday, Taking Back Sunday) only increases the enjoyment that this EP brings, as it allows In.spite.of to reach the full potential of talent that they have with them. The only real fault I can pin on them is the fact that there's only 3 tracks, so as a whole, 'Metaphor' just lacks completeness. Nevertheless, the relatively short journey that this is, is a quality one, so I can't hold that against them.

In.spite.of really do have a bright future ahead of them. Their accessibility and aptness for song-writing can only be strengths, and I couldn't recommend this EP any higher. Hopefully they can get the recognition they deserve. -


The three songs on here are hard to categorise, funky - groove (311), melodic rock, punk, and metal sums it up. Yet unknown this NJ four-piece play catchy melodic rock and will sure get some recognition sooner or later. Sal Villanuva (Thursday, Taking Back Sunday) produced this release, there are elements of taking back Sunday in here, although very minimal. Having shared the stage with like-minded and sounding bands Incubus, Godsmack and Alien ant farm. But there is no hint of nu-metal at all within these songs. I expect they will explode sooner rather than later, this has commercial rock appeal, groove laden songs with emotive vocals. -


With all of the current mediocre bands out there watering down the music scene today, it is hard to find a band with true talent and originality….but they do exist.

One example of talent is New Jersey's own in.spite.of.

in.spite.of is made up of vocals/guitarist Joe Maranzani, David Alson, vocals/guitars, Jeff Milstein, Drums and Raj Naryanan on the bass.

Their latest release of their EP Metaphor displays only a fraction of their talent and gives us a good taste of what is in store for a future full-length album.

Peppered with the sounds like that of 311, Sublime, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus and Thursday. Each song has its own versatility and individuality. Yet they still come together to make the EP well rounded. Produced by Sal Villaneuva (Taking Back Sunday and Thursday) it is not hard to see where the influence in the sound of the EP came from.

The first track and my personal favorite “A Metaphor for the Innocent” captures your attention with its contrasting lyrics and a catchy chorus that will leave you humming the song even after the CD has ended. “Replaced by Rain” and “Reflection” displays the heavier side of the band with the heavier guitar riffs and choruses.

The only complaint I have about this EP is that its way to short!

Metaphor has a universal rock sound that has the ability to please hard rock and emo fans alike. In.spite.of have a bright and promising future in store for them. With more exposure their fan base is sure to grow. There is no doubt that this band has what it takes to go all the way.


New EP - due Fall 2005
Metaphor +2 (multimedia version) - Sept 2004
Metaphor - November 2003
PromiseDefyWeRise - March 2003


Feeling a bit camera shy


in.spite.of is a band with a familiar yet uniquely identifiable sound, which separates them from the sea of young new talent. Fronted by two singers, in.spite.of is a vocally driven central New Jersey band that breathes new life into, what is considered by most, a stifled period in alternative rock, a true diamond in the rough. Having put together a strong diverse musical style and a strong fan base, the band has caught the ears of some national touring acts. They have shared the stage with the likes of Incubus, System of a Down, Godsmack, Something Corporate, Alien Ant Farm, Injected, and 2 Skinnee J’s, to name a few.

In.spite.of has also been able to draw the attention of producer Sal Villanueva whose credits include: Thursday’s "War All The Time, "Full Collapse", "Waiting" and Taking Back Sunday’s "Tell All Your Friends", to collaborate on some forthcoming recordings.

in.spite.of is managed by Nick John of Sanctuary Artist Management - Los Angeles Division (Janes Addiction, Alien Ant Farm, Slayer, Something Corporate, Destiny's Child, etc).

in.spite.of is legally represented by Ralph De Palma and Wilder Knight III of Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn LLP - New York (Aerosmith, Justin Timberlake, Staind, etc).