November 2, 2009

Jones Street Station - In Verses (2009)

I'm on the fence with Jones Street Station. On one hand, they write catchy country rock that's immediately accessible. I liked the casual back porch harmonies and banjo right away. On the other hand, the music is scrubbed clean in places where it could use more riffs and grit. The final chorus on the pretty "Evergreen" hints that the lyrics might sound better as a guttural howl. On "The Just Keep Disappearing on Me", it's apparent that the soaring yet gravely voice was made for southern rock. A couple songs start slow, but build up to anthemic country rockers featuring a wailing harmonica. I love the punk group shout along at the end of "Neville", while"Winter Waltz" reminds me of the Band and features some soulful country vocals. But overall, they stop short of letting loose and as a result the album sounds a bit tame. They clearly are accomplished musicians, so maybe they need to be seen live.