The Black Clouds
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The Black Clouds

Spring Lake, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Spring Lake, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Band Rock Alternative




"The Black Clouds - Better Days"

"...The New Jersey four-piece are loud, hard-hitting but display an organisation that has been lost in many modern forms of the rock genre....The percussiveness mixed with the precision and quality of the entire album is a testament to these men who, with a lot of determination, have managed to churn out an album completely by themselves and without any fancy cosmetics added to their sound. Better Days is prototypical rock and roll that suggests, much like its title, that the genre still has better days to come." - - Written by Daniel Davidson-Amadi

"Contemporary artists embrace earlier sounds"

"New Jersey rockers Black Clouds have been making a big splash in the DIY world, and rightfully so. The band owns its own studio, books and funds its own tours and has been rocking audiences’ worlds since 2004. ... from the scratchy guitars to the anxious vocals, every song on Better Days is a slice of grunge heaven...." - Daily Trojan

"Better Days Ahead For The Black Clouds"

"...“Better Days” shows that The Black Clouds have definitely found their voice and really know where they fit into this business called music.... If you are into the heavy side of alternative, this album is for you. This also proof that there are bands out there still producing quality music. Check them out at" - The Rag - Written by Dominic "Donnie G." Gregoria

"Critical DIY music: the folk, the mad, and the grungy"

"...Better Days is produced by the legendary John Agnello, known for producing albums for the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Turbonegro, My Midnight Creeps, Andrew WK, The Hold Steady, and Sonic Youth. Although the grunge movement in the late '80s/early '90s spawned a surplus of wannabe grunge acts, the Black Clouds authentically sound like the long-lost cousin of Nirvana, right from the distorted guitars to the hard vocals...." -

"The Black Clouds - Fray"

"...Their sound is heavy and raw, bringing it back to the way rock and metal started out. The Black Clouds have got the quintessential grungy hard rock set up: electric guitars (both rhythm and lead) on full blast, booming drawn out bass, heavy drums, and, of course, the heart-wrenching, angst-inducing vocals that make you want to clench your fists...." - Christiana Bartolini -

"Maria Mar’s Local Radar: The Black Clouds & Chemtrail"

"These guys have an awesome sound, and an even better live set...... Having energy in studio work and having energy on stage isn’t exactly the same thing. If a band has really great music, as I just stated, it clearly has impacted their live performance. Satisfying the fans is always important, and The Black Clouds do just that. They recently released a new record, which I will be featuring on Jersey Rock. Their sound has definitely matured and improved since 2009, and I love the direction they are headed in." - The Aquarian

"Adrian's Album Reviews - The Black Clouds - Wishing Well"

Formed in New Jersey circa 2004, Black Clouds play a style of rock music we'd almost thought had gone out of fashion. Noted grunge producer Jack Endino ( Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney among others ) has signed on to produce 'Wishing Well' and mighty fine it is too. Released in January 2008, I know i'm slightly behind in bringing this review to you, but 'Wishing Well' is kind of a slow burner, anyway. I've been listening to it a lot, not really thinking of how it compares to anything else, just enjoying it. What, a record reviewer listening to an album out of sheer enjoyment? I'll go off at a tangent. You can purchase this via CD Baby, The Black Clouds are attracting a growing following via numerous live dates they've played and deserve to be heard by a wider range of people than CD Baby will probably bring to them. Yes, they have a myspace page so you can listen before you buy. All the modern conveniences without any of the modern issues. What do I mean? Well, you may have heard of the phenomenon known as turning everything up so the sound bleeds through your speakers. Modern CD albums all vying for your attention by 'wopping' everything in the mix to max. It sounds horrible and Red Hot Chilli Peppers albums are ones I can immediately think of. What's worse, even reissues of things like the Led Zeppelin catalogue suffer. Have you heard their 'Mothership' compilation? Compare it to earlier CD versions of their songs. Everything is now louder yet something has been lost in the process. With Jack Endino in the studio, The Black Clouds avoid such a fate. Thus, any dramatic peaks and troughs are maintained. We can go from quiet to loud and it will actually make a difference and not just be akin to turning the volume on your speakers up and down. This is important, because it means 'Wishing Well' sounds pretty great.

If you like Nirvana or Foo Fighters, chances are you'll love 'Wishing Well'. The sound is placed firmly in the middle of 'Bleach' era Nirvana and earlier Foo Fighters records, so we still have some rawness yet also pop sensibilities are allowed to come through. We've twelve songs lasting just under forty minutes, perfect. Album closer, 'Let The Sun Shine Down' is a favourite in our house, almost tribalesque drums, superb rhythm section interplay and lots of exhilarating passion. 'Sitting In The Cold' is another highlight, great screaming a notable feature here. Many of these songs are made for decent alternative radio and TV, perhaps with a dark video. If Foo Fighters are the acceptable face of grunge for your parents, The Black Clouds perhaps can position themselves as a genuine, true alternative act. Keep those clashing drums and tight playing. Keep the screaming and the song construction. Good album, really. - Adrian Denning -

"Black Clouds are ready for a bright future"

Black Clouds are ready for a bright future

BY Stephen Bove • STAFF WRITER • May 3, 2008

As an indie stalwart working to garner professional momentum, Dan Matthews isn't about to play down his on/off relationship with lady luck.

But you'll never catch him waiting around for her.

Matthews, guitarist and lead vocalist for sludge-punk unit The Black Clouds, instead forges his successes the only way he knows how: through relentless dedication to the do-it-yourself ethic.

That commitment to DIY principle has already earned The Black Clouds a devoted local following, an opportunity to work with a legendary Seattle producer, and a near record-setting gig for the band today at Bamboozle 2008 in East Rutherford. The band is scheduled to perform at 5:30 p.m. on the festival's Linc Star stage.

"We're going into (Bamboozle) full throttle. It's definitely one of the biggest shows we've ever played; I really don't know what to expect," Matthews said. "At the very least, we're hoping that it opens some doors for us to play more festivals of this sort.

"Our ultimate goal, though, is to find a good independent label . . . but also one with enough money to do more for us than we've already been doing ourselves," he added.

The Black Clouds — including guitarist Rob Blake, bassist Chris Conner and drummer Gregg LoCascio — earned the coveted spot after emerging victorious from The Break Contest. The final round of the festival's battle of the bands took place April 19 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

This success is just the latest in what has already been a banner year for Matthews.

In January, The Black Clouds released their full-length debut, "Wishing Well," which was recorded at Blake's studio (SweetBeef Sounds in Neptune) and at Matthews' garage studio at his home in Spring Lake Heights. It was mixed in Seattle by Nirvana/Soundgarden producer Jack Endino.

"It's incredible how it all happened. I sent him an e-mail about working together on the album; he said he was booked solid, but he'd check out our songs," Matthews said.

"He eventually got back to me. He said track four reminded him of the Meat Puppets, which blew me away," he added. "And — this was about a month before Christmas — he tells me that if I'd be willing to fly out there, he'd mix it in under a week over the holiday."

In addition to Soundgarden's "Screaming Life" EP and Nirvana's "Bleach," Endino's production credits include releases by L7, Murder City Devils, Green River, Afghan Whigs, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees and Gas Huffer.

"In December (of 2006), I took whatever money I had and flew out there," Matthews said. "Jack let me crash at his house. He mixed it in four days, and gave me an amazing price — it was cheaper, even with food and airfare, for me to record out there with him than it would have been for me to record out here."

Featuring past and present members of bands such as Killer Brown, Cycle of Pain, The Golden Dawn and Sunshine Flipside, The Black Clouds has also included musicians who've moved on to projects such as The Vanities and The Johnny Strange.

Matthews is also working on a new album with his side project The Sex Zombies, which also features Matthews' girlfriend (aka Scarlet Fever) on bass and guitarist/vocalist Capt. Vic.

"We all come from this big, incestuous group that's basically been playing together since the early-'90s," Matthews said. "(The Sex Zombies) is a punk band featuring me, (Captain Vic) and my girlfriend. She had played guitar and didn't like it so much, so I bought her a bass for her birthday.

"I've got a house, a good job and a girlfriend that I love. I'm happy," Matthews said. "But I also love loud, obnoxious rock. That's my release, how I get everything out."

"Wishing Well" is currently available at Jack's Music in Red Bank, Atomic Records in Point Pleasant and Underground in Smithville.
For more information, visit on the Web. - Asbury Park Press - Stephen Bove

"Featured band on 95.9 The Rat’s Jersey Rock"

This week on Jersey Rock we're featuring a band that I feel embodies the very best of the retro sound. By that I mean that these guys have reconnected to the sound of some of the best bands of days gone by. Now it would be very easy to just go through the motions and come with a sound that smacks of, say Nirvana or Pink Floyd etc., but when a band can pull that feat off while still coming up with an original sound then they're on to something. Such is the case for The Black Clouds. The Black Clouds have managed to blend some very divergent sounds and come up with their own original sound. How divergent? Try this on for size. Some of their songs actually sound very Floydish. I'm not talking about the Waters/Gilmore Floyd, but rather the earlier Syd Barrett headed Floyd, ala The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The tune Sigh Alone is a good example. I could quite easily hear the cockney inflected vocals of Barrett on that cut. The Clouds take it a step further though and also incorporate the sounds of early Seattle into their tunes as well. Sounds crazy, I know, but The Clouds, perhaps unwittingly, have managed to sound like a melding of 1967 UFO Club era Pink Floyd with 1987 Mudhoney, and it works brilliantly! It's rock and roll alchemy at it's best! Check it out for yourself this week on Jersey Rock! - Steve Hook - 95.9 WRAT

"Badass Hall of Fame 2008 / 10 greats of '08: Killer local releases"

Badass Live Show

The Black Clouds — A throwback to the time when Layne Staley was still a god, grunge wasn’t a joke and the words “Seattle” and “punk” could still be mentioned in the same sentence. Think Tad, Blood Circus and Mudhoney, with a little “Smell the Magic”-era L7 thrown for some extra juice. The band’s latest, “Wishing Well,” is available at

- / The Asbury Park Press

"Black Clouds Endorsement"

The Black Cloud Endorsement
Posted 3/25/2008 4:15 PM EDT on Asbury Park Press

The Break Contest -- the official battle of the bands competition for Bamboozle 2008 -- rages on full-tilt with shows Saturday and Sunday at The Stone Pony.

And while I’m an admitted stooge to the grimy catharthis of the Pacific Northwest’s late 80’s brand of sludgy, distorted punk rock, it’s still fair to say that the one band most deserving of that coveted spot on the two-day festival’s main stage is the alt-grunge encomium known as The Black Clouds.

The Black Clouds’ unfiltered, unpretentious brand of heavy, cathartic garage rock, though realized in 2004 in and around Spring Lake, could just have easily have come straight from the banks of Puget Sound, circa 1989.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Dan Matthews, guitarist Marcelino Garcia, bassist Chris Connor and drummer/vocalist Gregg LoCascio know that a proper homage -- the band’s collective influences include Leadbelly, The Stooges, The Melvins, L7, Soundgarden and Bikini Kill --- can quickly slip into knock-off or parody (see Nickelback) if not manuevered with utmost caution.

In January, the band issued its latest, the self-financed, self-produced full-length "Wishing Well.’’ The album was mixed and mastered by Seattle producer Jack Endino, who’s credits include recordings by Nirvana ("Bleach"), Soundgarden ("Screaming Life"), Green River ("Dry as a Bone"), Mudhoney ("Superfuzz Bigmuff," "March to Fuzz"), Gas Huffer ("The Rest of Us"), Hot Hot Heat ("Make Up the Breakdown") and Screaming Trees ("Buzz Factory").

Check them out at on the Web.

Other local bands to keep your eye on include Saturday performers Vextion (Farmingdale), The Eyes of the Assailed (Colts Neck), No Fold (Point Pleasant) and Apocket Bleu (Atlantic City).

Sunday, come out and support area acts A Man’s All (Brick), Cobwebs & Strange (Howell), Can You Keep a Secret (Asbury Park), Polluted Seeds (Brick), Belafonte (Jackson), Comeback Season (Matawan), Authors (Manahawkin) and Rawr Rawr Dinosaur (Marlboro).

Following the final round of competition, which is slated for April 19 at The Stone Pony, some 20 bands will be selected as winners and rewarded with a spot on the Linc Star Stage at Bamboozle 2008, along with a grand prize winner who will earn a set on the festival’s main stage.

Performers scheduled for Bamboozle 2008 include The Bouncing Souls, Snoop Dogg, Bret Michaels, Coheed and Cambria, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Phantom Planet, MXPX, Saves The Day, Mindless Self Indulgence, Anti-Flag, Chiodus, Pepper, Less Than Jake, Thrice, Senses Fail, The Starting Line, Finch, The Audition, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Streetlight Manifesto.

Doors open at noon both days. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. For more information, visit on the Web. - Asbury Park Press


"Dead Flowers" (EP) - 2005
          - Released in 2005
          - Produced and Recorded by Dan Matthews and Rob Blake
          - Mixed and Mastered by Joe DiMaio

"Wishing Well" (LP) - 2008
          - Released in 2008
          - Produced and Recorded by Dan Matthews and Rob Blake
          - Mixed and Mastered by Jack Endino

"Better Days" (LP) - 2012
          - Released in 2012
          - Produced and Recorded by Dan Matthews and Rob Blake
          - Mixed by John Agnello
          - Mastered by Scott Hull

"After All" (LP) - 2018
          - Produced by Jack Endino & Dan Matthews at Studio 606 (Foo Fighters Private Studio)
          - Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Jack Endino at Soundhouse, Seattle



The Black Clouds are an independent American rock band 

from central New Jersey.  They are currently finishing their 

new record "After All".  With legendary Seattle rock producer 

Jack Endino at the helm, "After All" was recorded at the Foo 

Fighters' Studio 606 in LA through the the Sound City Neve 

Console, then mixed and mastered at Soundhouse in Seattle.


Comprising of guitarist/vocalist Dan Matthews, guitarist Neil 

Hayes, bassist Gary Moses and drummer Cory King, The Black 

Clouds have maintained a D.I.Y. stance since their formation in  

late 2004.  Self-produced, recorded and funded, the band’s debut 

LP “Wishing Well” (2008) was also mixed and mastered by Seattle’s 

Jack Endino.  The Black Clouds played Bamboozle in 2008,  

followed with a US tour in 2009 in support of "Wishing Well", which 

saw them hitting 25 shows  
in 30 days. Another tour – again funded 

and booked entirely by the band -- followed in 2010, when

they hit the road for SXSW and back. 



The Black Clouds attack was leaner and louder with their 2012 release 

of their second record,  
“Better Days.” Once again produced, recorded, 

and funded entirely by the band, “Better Days” was  
recorded over the 

period of one month and mixed by yet another alternative rock legend, 

John Agnello.  
The album abides by three driving principles: Play loud. 

Play hard.  Leave every post-modern music trend  
quivering in the 

dust, and it scores with a bullet. 


Better Days was followed by a completely self-funded  
and booked US 

tour in 2014. 

The Black Clouds’ grueling commitment to touring has 

paid off, as the band plays every live show like  
it’s their last one 

standing. And “After All” pulls off the near-impossible feat of ensnaring 

the band’s  
blood-and-spit stage fury in a way few modern bands could

even strive for, let alone achieve. 


For more information about The Black Clouds, please visit

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