When you think of classic American rock, you probably think of dimly lit bars, long drives down endless highways and lots of denim. So, it seems unlikely that a new force of softly spoken Americana rock hails from Manchester right here in the UK. ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ is the first full-length album from Jerzey Street Band, named after the street in Manchester where the band first started playing together.
It is blindingly obvious right from the start of the record that the band have taken great influence from the story teller rock genre, much like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. With a total seven members, Jerzey Street Band are able to conjure up music with a vast scope of atmospherics that all complement each other into creating a gentle but pulsing folk rock beast. The band describe themselves as “a freight train runnin wild between The Eagles and The Rolling Stones“. Although musically this is most definitely the case, the album plays along more like a lazy Cadillac ride down a Nevada strip as the sun is setting rather than a hulking iron beast hurtling along at break-neck speed.
The seven members all manage to have their own fifteen seconds in the limelight throughout the album, and upon repeated listens all the subtle artistry creeps out of the woodwork allowing you to appreciate the band as individual artists as much as a finely tuned unit. ‘Reason To Speak’ is a enticing harmonica led jaunt that sounds like it should be played in the smoky back room of a bar in the deep south of America. You’re sat there, tapping your cowboy boots whilst drinking whisky on the rocks, and drunkenly eyeing the attractive Southern Belle barmaid with her check shirt knotted in the middle.
However, guitarists Neil Wrobel and Roger Crombie shine in tracks ‘Pale Blue River’ and ‘Give The Rivers Back To The Rain’. If you’re looking for face melting solos, you won’t find any here. They drift around each track, occasionally massaging their way into the foreground, but never forcing them selves upon you. After listening to Dave Wrobel‘s southern drenched vocals for a near on fifty minutes, it’s easy to forget the band are actually Mancunians.
‘Breaking Radio Silence’ probably won’t get the mass appeal their music deserves. However, if you are already a fan of laid back country rock and want fresh injection of stateside wonderment and storytelling, Jerzey Street Band are here for you. So, dust off those double denim outfits and get those boots a tapping.
Written by Steven Potter