xtra crispy
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xtra crispy

Kent, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Kent, Ohio, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Blues




"Malcolm X Abram: Sample new releases by area talent"

“The band’s debut self-titled EP features six tracks of solid, primarily riff-based blues rock highlighted by Principe’s effective growl and some good funk-flecked guitar solos...The slow crawling blues chorus of Gone may remind some of another local blues-rock band with one less member and a lot more exposure while the thumping Hope She’s Home is one of the few “can’t wait to get off the road and back to my baby” songs that specifically mentions a commercial driver’s license. And the band gets all sentimental on the roots-rockish midtempo 505. Xtra Crispy makes solid bluesy bar rock, the kind of music that’s good for sipping beers and tapping your toes to, while you and your buddies solve the problems of the world.” - Malcolm X. Abram - ohio.com

"New releases from Buzzbin"

“Frontman Jerry Principe’s voice channels the bluesier notes of Eric Clapton with a little of Gregg Allman’s notorious growl, delivered afloat a current of John Gmerek’s funk-flecked guitar. Tony Rockich keeps cadence with splashy drums that evoke ’70s rock. The band’s first EP, a self-titled number released at Kent’s Stone Tavern in October, features six original songs that almost beg to be heard live. A little old-school country twang kicks things off with “On My Way,” and Gmerek delivers a few delicious licks of electrified riffs in “Black Cat Walkin’.” These local boys know their way around blues-rock — the smoky, sticky, who’s- gonna-drive-me-home genre that’s the aural equivalent of dive bars and beer in non-ironic cans.”
Molly Lehman - Buzzbin Magazine - Buzzbin Magazine

"LoveMuffin Palooza winds up tonight with two shows at once"

"...The trio of drums, bass and lead guitars can only be described as a wall of sound. There is no dead air with this group. You get an entire set of down to earth take no prisoners’ roots rock and roll when these guys take over the stage. This is a drinking man’s band not to say you have to be looped to listen but a couple of brews makes the experience all the better. Jerry Principle bangs the bass for the low tone foundation and growls his heart out to the crowd while John Gmerek slashes the air with his amazing guitar riffs. From the shadows, Tony Rockich drives the beat forward like he was born with four arms. Close your eyes and you hear what sounds like a dozen players. Open them and you realize that it is only three guys working themselves into a lather cranking out first rate rock and roll." - examiner.com

"Xtra Crispy - Planet X"

Xtra Crispy – Planet X – Album Review

I gotta say…there’s a great chance I am going to piss off a neighbour or two if the new album from Xtra Crispy continues to stay as crunchy as it begins. I love the description I read of this band from Akron, Ohio…it reads simply: Original Blues – Rock – Future Blues.

If someone had told me there was already future-blues available on the market TODAY…I’d’ve been sure you’d been yanking my chain…but I’m not only seeing that description with my own eyes – I’m hearing it in my own ears. Not even remotely kidding…at the outset of the beginning to Planet X, the opening song “Geronimo” just POUNDS with authority in a way that I’ll fully admit…I don’t always expect the blues to veer off into. In fact…if you were to pin a guy like me right down to the mat for an answer or two…I would have been way more likely to compare this initial stomp to the music of a band like Primus or perhaps Screaming Trees…or at the very least Mark Lanegan on his own. There’s an element of mischief & mystery in the air of the music of Xtra Crispy…for some reason this first cut really seems to play on like it knows something about the songs to come that we don’t…it was like this was the first dimension or side they were going to show us, with lots still to come.

Maybe it was as simple as a nod to a real switch into more straight-forward blues-rock to follow with “Live This Song.” Possessing the classic elements of great guitar provided by John Gmerek and a true authentic sound from the vocals of Jerry Principe…this song sounds like perhaps less of a challenge for Xtra Crispy but also terrifically refined in the sense that it’s really come out quite flawlessly. Certainly a more traditional and classic tone to this one for sure…which then led of course into the unbelievably awesome third cut called “Hope She’s Home.” Perhaps this song represents more of that ‘future-blues’ genre that’s being created before my very eardrums…

You’d be extremely hard-pressed to find a voice more paired-up and matched to the blues sound than that of Principe…the guy is just an absolute perfect fit. Tony Rockich definitely deserves a moment for the effort here on “Hope She’s Home; the guy is KILLIN it back there on the throne and making the energy come alive in the music with some wickedly innovative drumming inside these classic-riffs. Just immaculate filters on the guitar-sounds…this is one massive, massive song that delivers maximum satisfaction from the moment those boots begin to stomp the floor. It’s like the freakin’ Foo Fighters took a decided step into the world of blues-rock…Xtra Crispy takes just as few prisoners in their own aggressive & skilled approach.

A little closer back to that classic groove & rhythm combo of the up-tempo “Hot Summer Days,” and the slow, mellow & subtle psych-blues track “Gone;” both good songs in their own right but depending on how you like your blues-rock to be – you’re more than likely to like one of these tracks heading towards the middle of the album better than the other. “Hot Summer Days,” might be the song that maybe comes the most natural to them…it’s definitely a slight variation on some classic blues-rock riffs, melodies and timing. Personally I’d fall into the boat of loving “Gone” just that little bit more.

Ok. A lot more. “Gone” is just a lot more ME. Love the vocal flow & rhythm of this song, delivered expertly once again from Principe…dude is definitely the real-deal for what people are looking for in a blues sound. Great tone and confidence in this singer; he’s put in a captivating performance on every single song. He carries that style into the following cut “Goodbye;” the quintessential blues-rock sound, slowed down here in this truly warm and inviting song. Love the guitar solo from Gmerek in this tune.

A lot of people don’t realize how much an artist like Lenny Kravitz is actually steeped in blues music inside his pop-rock overcoat, but on “Hanging Tree” you’ll swear that Xtra Crispy has even borrowed his guitar! Excellent harmonies and song-writing ideas in this song…tones to die for from the guitar once again and overall just a really powerful song here on “Hanging Tree.” A little more of a lean towards the rock-edge of their impressive sound-repetoire…and I dig the way it’s all come out…sounds like a big, badass & mean-mother of a song.

The honour of longest-song goes straight to “Wave” and it’s a well-deserved honour indeed – this song deserves the extra minutes & bars. On an album full of confidence and precision-play…”Wave” still manages to stand out cresting high above the rest. Probably guitar that Gmerek could play in his sleep, but this stripped-down sound is working wonders for Xtra Crispy and really put the meat into this sandwich. Probably be a strong contender for my favourite on the album…were it not for amazing sounds still yet to come…

These three talented players LIGHT it up on the album’s title-track “Planet X” and really put some funk into their blues in this energetic & rocking track near the album’s end. Definitely a groove that once again cannot be denied; combined with the throat-ripping singing from Principe…this track really puts the work into the stereo-speakers. With an excellent breakdown just around the halfway-mark, the explosion of rock that bursts forth from the third minute will make you question which genre you feel like Xtra Crispy truly belongs to.

But as if they meant to supply both the question and the answer itself, they launch into the final song, “Whiskey Bay.” I am…such…a MASSIVE SUCKER…for melodies this pure & golden. Honestly…this final track is every bit worth the distance it takes to get to it at the very end of Planet X. Dropping a little bit of the perfection of his performance in favour of one that communicates in a more intensely raw & real feeling; Principe once again provides every reason you’d want him standing in front of that microphone in this highlight finale performance. Another dose of subtly like the knockout punch you don’t see coming – Xtra Crispy couldn’t have possibly ended off my first experience listening to their excellent music more perfectly than this.

Support Xtra Crispy at Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/xtra-crispy/122482521736 - Sleeping Bag Studios


Xtra Crispy - Xtra Crispy
Xtra Crispy - Planet X



Crispy is a Kent, Ohio based power trio consisting of blues guitar
influenced John Gmerek, heavy metal drummer Tony Rockich, and
Americana influenced singer and bass player Jerry Principe. This
self-described "future blues" rock band has a sound that
has been compared to "another local area blues-rock band with
one less member and a lot more exposure".

first full length album, Planet X, contains a mix of down-to-earth,
foot stomping rock and roll songs such as first track, "Geronimo";
to the slower, bluesy "Hot Summer Days", to the
broad-appeal American rock sound of the final track, "Whiskey

Crispy has been making the rounds in the Northeast Ohio music scene
for the last few years, playing festivals, music houses and bars.
Notably, Xtra Crispy has scored opening gigs for national acts such
as Joe Robinson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Blues Traveler.

John Gmerek and Tony Rockich are Ohio natives and no strangers to the
local music scene with decades of experience playing in several
different bands, including their time together in the band Strip in
the 1990's. Strip, which in addition to John and Tony, included
Laurie Styron and Gerard Dominick, had solid regional success with
two CD releases, radio play and an opening performance at Blossom
with The Pretenders. Singer and bass player Jerry Principe as been on
the local music scene since 2006 when he was with the Kent based
Arsenic Pilots.

was introduced to Jerry through Dave Sacchini, of former Moondog
Studios, and the two started playing acoustic guitar together
casually. Melodies and lyrics quickly came together. They soon
realized there was a strong sound developing and called on Tony to
round out the group with percussion. As a trio, Xtra Crispy brings a
powerful raw energy, infused with rich layers of sound and soul
reaching depth.

Band Members