The New Apocalypse

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (-65) as The Apocalypse

- Tony Capuano -- guitar

- Ozzie Hamilton -- drums, percussion

- Mike Meros (RIP 2007) -- keyboards

- John Shrob -- sax


   line up ? (1968-71) as The New Apocalypse

- John Garrison -- bass

- Christopher Lynch (aka Mike Meros) -- organ

- Dennis Meros -- drums (replaced Ozzie Hamilton)

- Gene Meros -- saxophone (replaced John Shrob)

Greg Novik -- guitar (replaced Tony Capuano)

- Keith Vinroe -- trumpet




- The Fabulous Newports (Greg Novik)

- Flavor (Mike Meros)

- Phil Haynes and the Inner Circle  (Mike Meros)

- Raven (Mike Meros)

- The Resumes (Greg Novik)

- Shelley's Emeralds (Gene Meros)

- Special Edition (Greg Novik)





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Stainless Soul

Company: MTA

Catalog: MT 5107

Country/State: Brooklyn Park, Maryland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 120

Price: SOLD $100.00


Hailing from the Baltimore suburb of Brooklyn Park, The Apocalypse came together in the early-1960s, making a name for themselves playing a mixture of jazz and more rock oriented instrumentals on the mid-Atlantic college and club circuit.  By 1968 the band had gone through a series of personnel changes, musical realignments and a name change - the creatively updated The New Apocalypse  Signed by the small Maryland-based ID label, they made their recording debut with a surprisingly tight and enjoyable 1968 jazz-rock single:



-1968's  'Junkshop' b/w 'Labyrinth' (ID catalog number 2614)


The single did nothing commercially and the band continued touring.  By the time the band signed with the Decca affiliated MTA Records, the line-up featured bassist John Garrison, keyboardist Christopher Lynch (replacing Mike Meros), drummer Dennis Meros, sax player Gene Meros, guitarist Greg Novik, and trumpet player Keith Vinroe.





So before going on any further, a quick work of warning - if you don't want to be disappointed, ignore any of those high prices catalog listings that tag this one  as being acid-tinged, or psychedelic.  The most psychedelic thing on 1968's "Stainless Steel" were the negative photos found on the back cover.   Produced by Bob Thompson (George Massenburg engineering), the album featured an all-instrumental set that found the band trying to find a niche for themselves amidst the public's growing indifference to Stax-styled soul; offset by rising interest in Chicago-styled horn rock.   (Okay 'Get Outta' My Life Woman' included a brief vocal segment.)  Judging by these ten instrumental tracks, these guys were clearly a talented band, capable of handling a wide array of genres.  Unfortunately, the absence of vocals put them at a significant disadvantage versus the competition.  Material like title track, '' and '' had a nice Stax-vibe, but by 1969 the collection must have already sounded dated.  That's not meant as a criticism, rather just pointing out one of the reasons the album failed to sell and is now quite hard to find.  


For what it's worth, the album's repeatedly been sampled ...  Chuck D, Cypress Hill, and scores of other acts.


"Stainless Soul" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Stainless Steel (instrumental)   (Gene Mero - Greg Novik) - 4:07  rating: *** stars

Judging by the slightly funky title track instrumental, these guys had been listening to more than their share of  Booker T. & the MGs styled southern soul.  If you liked the genre (and I'm a big fan), then the combination of Lynch's organ, Novik's guitar fills (which bore more than a passing resemblance to Steve Cropper's work) and the punchy horns made 'Stainless Steel' a pleasure, though by 1969 this must have already sounded dated.   'Course that didn't stop MTA from tapping the song as the second single.  




- 1970's 'Stainless Steel' b/w 'Last Train To Liverpool' (MTA catalog number 185)







2.) Domicela (instrumental)   (Gene Mero - Greg Novik - 2:57

'Domicela' was a bluesy number that gave sax player Gene Meros a brief shot at the spotlight.  A surprisingly enjoyable atmospheric ballad, it was actually one of my favorite performances.   r

3.) Comin' Home Baby (instrumental)   (B. Tucker - R. Dorough) - 4:09  rating: *** stars

 Maybe it was Dennis Meros' Latin-tinged percussion, or Novik's lead guitar, but  'Comin' Home Baby'  has always struck me as having a bit of Santana influence.  I've also always liked the abrupt mid-song shift where the song suddenly lunged off in a much tougher, rock oriented direction.   

4.) Junkshop (instrumental)    (Gene Mero - Greg Novik - B. Waterman) - 3:11  rating: *** stars

As mentioned above, 'Junkshop' had previously been released as their debut single.  Imagine The Young-Holt Trio with a slightly funkier edge and you'd have a feel for what this one sounded like.    

-1968's  'Junkshop' b/w 'Labyrinth' (ID catalog number 2614)

5,) Wichita Lineman (instrumental)   (Jimmy Webb) - 5:23   rating: ** stars

It took a couple of seconds for melody to kick in, but once it did, their version of Jimmy Webb's 'Wichita Lineman' was reduced to cocktail jazz status.  That's a shame since the intro section was killer.   Too bad they didn't keep down that track.   


(side 2)
1.) Watch Your Step (instrumental)   (Gene Mero - George Massenburg) - 2:47   rating: ** stars

Yeah, I know it was meant to be hip  and I'll readily admit that the opening 20 seconds was great, but 'Watch Your Step' has always sounded like a piece of throwaway music that you might have heard during a commercial break for the Dating Game.  

2.) Three Shades of Gray (instrumental)   (Greg Novik) - 3:33   rating: **** stars

Putting a jazzy edge on Novik's guitar, 'Three Shades of Gray' was actually a pretty cool number.   Once again, the unexpected shift in direction was quite nifty with Novik turning in his most impressive performance.

3.) Get Outta' My Life Woman   (Allen Toussaint) - 3:03  rating: *** stars

While it couldn't compete with Allen Toussaint original, or Albert King's classic version, these guys turned in a nice cover of 'Get Outta' My Life Woman'.   Not sure who handled it, but there was even a brief vocal on this one.  

4.) Eleanor Rigby (instrumental)   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 3:54   rating: ** stars

The first part of their 'Eleanor Rigby' gave it a Young-Holt styled jazz-soul arrangement and then the horns went into full out jazz mode.  It didn't last long and then it was back to the rote cover.   

5.) Labyrinth (instrumental)   (Greg Novik) - 4:13   rating: **** stars

The 'B' side to their 1968 single, 'Labyrinth' was also the album's most jazz-rock-ish tune.   Normally something like this wouldn't have done a great deal for me, but the twin tracked sax was actually quite impressive.  Maybe it had something to do with the classical undertones throughout the Song?  



With the album vanishing into cutout bins, the band called it quits in 1971.  



There's also a non-LP single:


- 1970's 'Last Train To Liver[ool' b/w 'Stainless Steel' (MTA catalog number 190) 








All of the Meros brothers turned their attention to sessions work, engineering and production.


Gene has a website at:


Mike suffered a fatal heart attack in December 2007.  You can find some biographical material on him at:


Novak became an in-demand sessions player, before turning his attention to advertising.  He eventually opened a restaurant in north Baltimore - Greg's Bagels.



I got this email a couple of years ago:


I'm always available to help you update/correct your listing on The New Apocalypse. Since Greg and Mike are both passed away, a lot of the task of keeping the full story up front has passed to me. Your site has the best coverage of any I've seen -- a really nice job--but there are a few rough spots.

The group really has its roots -- like so many white R&B and garage bands -- in the fraternity circuit. The original members of the Apocalypse were all students at Johns Hopkins University (class of 1968).  The band was a favorite at mixers and frat parties. As the original members moved towards graduation, Greg had to recruit new members from the class of 1970 . By 1968/1969 the Meros family began to be added replacing the Hopkins students on keys and drums. John Garrison became the lone remaining Hopkins student. The band, in all incarnations, was always shaped by Greg Novik, and this was especially the case with the New Apocalypse.

There never was a Christopher Lynch . It was simply a nick-name identity that Mike Meros assumed. Keys were always Mike Meros. Mike was a wonderful accordion player. I always remember a gig where his Hammond failed so he plugged his accordion and did the keyboard parts on it. The Meros family indeed was a great group of Brooklyn Park musicians

Greg had played in several really top notch bands in high school in DC suburbs. His band was The Resumes but at times he also played with Blaine Smith's band  The Newports, who were really popular in DC area from 1961-1967. The Newports were from Chevy Chase and even ventured as far as Waldorf MD, at the time a little Las Vegas in southern Maryland. Greg recorded with Blaine Smith in 1964 before The Apocalypse had formed

Greg's mother was a renowned classical pianist and music teacher Ylda Novik: Ylda Novik, 54, an internationally known pianist, piano teacher, music critic and editor. In addtion to teaching at her home in Chevy Chase, she had been adjunct professor at Montgomery College since 1968, and on the faculty of George Washington University since 1970. Over the years, Mrs. Novik had conducted workshops and master classes at 50 colleges and universities in 38 states in this country and in Greece, Yugoslavia, Israel, Guatemala and Japan.  She also had been convention artist for the Music Teachers National Association state conventions in 20 states.

Kindest regards,

Lew Frisch