Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: Jerzey Street Band “Jerzey Street Band” [EP]

It is understandable why you might think this band is from New Jersey, but they’re actually from the other side of the pond: Manchester, England. However, the band members were raised on the soulful American sounds of the Counting Crows, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Jerzey Street Band (JSB) manage to tightly pack all of these influences into the five songs gracing their self-titled EP out this May.

Formed by JSB front-man Dave Wrobel, the band characterizes their sound as a “freight train rock band…an Americana band with one eye firmly fixed on an ambitious wide-screen future and one eye on a glorious historical musical heritage.” And there is more of a connection to Jersey than being influenced by The Boss. The band’s 7-piece line up supported the likes of New Jersey legends Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Alabama 3, Sandi Thom and Jon Allen before recording this EP at the start of 2009.

These five tunes show superior craftsmanship in both structure and delivery, with thought-provoking lyrics and tuneful melodies. The vocals and musical style straddle the more melodic side of early Wilco with the grit of Son Volt. The first single, “Wasting Time” is an atypically sparse acoustic number that sounds more like a demo and doesn’t grab me as immediately as the sizzling rocker “Cold Feet” or mesmerizing ballad “Give The Rivers Back To The Rain”. “Rebels” is another highlight – an upbeat rocker infused with harmonica and harmonies that leave a lasting impression.

Jerzey Street Band on MySpace.

Listen to “Cold Feet”