Jerzey Street Band - Breaking Radio Silence
When faced with a Manchurian classic American rock band, it's not hard to feel a little wary. When you think of Americana rock you'd imagine a smoky dimly lit bar, cowboy boots and lots of denim in an almost desert setting and yet Manchester based Jerzey Street Band do it from the comfort of their hometown and deliver their debut album Breaking Radio Silence
It's clear to understand where the band gain their influences from, as the album clearly does justice to the works of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles and others, just to name a few. With a bigger line-up than most, clocking in at seven members, Jerzey Street Band are able to create music that involves a vast scope of atmospherics that all complement each other into creating a gentle but pulsing rock beast.
As an album, Breaking Radio Silence is one of the strongest albums of 2012, paired with that it also gives the impression that the band enjoyed making it, which in some cases is an element that's been forgotten, whereas now bands seem to make the album to get out on tour. The pure thrill of recording and being in the studio isn't lost throughout this album. The sounds aren't pushed, the album gives off that laid back impression that makes everything seem so natural and it's so easy to tap your foot to with simple, yet melodic beats, that get right under your skin.
It's a great example of some great musicianship, staying true to the roots of blues/rock in some sense with impressive vocals courtesy of vocalist Dave Wrobel. Opener Pale Blue River kicks off the album nicely, showing us just the perfect example of those soothing vocals paired with some crashing guitars that create a nice burst of energy similar to that of Skynyrd. Nonetheless, if you're looking for face melting guitar solos there aren't any here, they drift through each track but never actually force themselves upon you.
Haigy's Girl and Give the Rivers Back to the Rain reveal just how versatile Wrobel is as a vocalist, in some cases his Springsteen styled voice creates the very definition of their sound and yet it doesn't quite define his voice which seems to twist and bend into all kinds of melodic style perfect for the sound of the album as well as doing justice to their influences.
It's a shame really that by the time you've bopped your head and tapped your foot to the first half of the album, that the second half just kind of loses it. The strongest tracks sit at the beginning of the album and it feels like whatever inspiration the band were leaning on had trickled out in the first set of amazing tracks. Wasting Time just appears to be a weak filler track that doesn't seem to belong on an album quite like this one whilst Broadway & W.57th is a tad dull and generic which seems to be quite a letdown after such an impressive start.
Breaking Radio Silence probably won't get the mass appeal their music deserves, however, if you are a fan of laid back country rock and want a fresh injection of stateside wonderment and storytelling, Jerzey Street Band are for you. It's an album that deserves dusting off the double denim, putting on those cowboy boots and driving down some long sandy highway into what seems like no-where.