EDITOR'S NOTE: In the following article, Bobby Olivier states that Glycerine Queens is the "only remaining all-girl group at the Pony" in the Break Contest for Bamboozle. Please note that Short Lived Affair, an all girl band, also made the semi-finals and will play at the Stone Pony on the same day in March.
While Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus may be the ones topping most high-school girls' playlists, not all music-loving teens have fallen for Top-40 glitz and glamour.
The Glycerine Queens, a four-piece, all-high-school-aged female hard-rock band fronted by 15-year-old guitarist and lead vocalist Cynthia Rittenbach, of Howell, is driven by the riffs of Led Zeppelin more so than anything on popular radio today.
"Why would you listen to Justin Bieber?" Rittenbach asked. "I find it really annoying."
The group's preference for classic rockers Joan Jett and Jimi Hendrix has landed the girls in the Stone Pony's semi-finals of the Break Contest, a multi-venue, round-based Battle of the Bands with the winning group taking the stage at Bamboozle Festival 2011.
As the only remaining all-girl group at the Pony - one of six venues participating in the contest that spans New Jersey, New York and Connecticut - The Glycerine Queens will perform for a shot to move to the next round on March 12.
On stage, the band sticks to classic covers by another teenage girl rock group, The Runaways, as well as The Donnas, Kiss, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones as well as a few originals.
Although they will be recording their first studio demos at Metro Music in Wall in late February, The Glycerine Queens already have plenty of music digitally captured due to Rittenbach's interest in audio production.
"If the whole music thing doesn't work out, I really like recording in a recording studio," she said. "I'm pretty good with computers."
The group finds time to practice in drummer Jen Amoscato's Neptune garage on weekends and has become handy with a portable microphone, a USB cord and Apple's Garage Band software, Rittenbach added.
The band formed in July 2010 after Rittenbach met Amoscato at a workshop in Neptune discovered through her guitar lessons. Amoscato knew lead guitarist Kayla Smith, of Peapack, and bassist Kayla Cervone, of Red Bank, and after viewing a few YouTube videos Rittenbach had recorded, the group decided to collaborate.
Regarding winning the Break Contest, the band's front-woman says that because they are not terribly interested in rubbing elbows with pop-punk bands that are not within their genre, playing at Bamboozle is not at the top of The Glycerine Queens' priority list.
"It's just another gig for us," said Rittenbach of the Break Contest.
The band has performed at the Stone Pony, as well as Asbury's The Saint and Neptune City Day this past summer.
Rittenbach noted the Pony's history as an eye-catcher while under the spotlights.
"At the Stone Pony you see all of those other guitars of the people who have played there, it's really cool," she said. "It's amazing."
Once the Break Contest is sung and done, The Glycerine Queens plan to continue working on their debut album and prepare for future gigs.