EP REVIEW: Jaded Mary - Self Titled
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"vintage Seattle sound"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Genre: Alternative Rock, Jam Band, Hard Rock
Seattle based 4 piece band Jaded Mary just released their latest self titled 5 song EP in 2012. Reading from their bio: The music of Jaded Mary is a reflection of their diverse influences, rare chemistry and exceptional musicianship. The pursuit of their creative vision produces a unique and relevant sound that challenges the boundaries of musical creativity. TEB has lived, composed and performed in many different musical worlds. His technique is heavily influenced by the various genres he has extensively studied. He exercises his knowledge by exploring new melodic realms on electric guitar, harp guitar and various other stringed instruments. Band members include:Leif Wagner (drums), Jamal (bass), Tim Bertsch (guitar), David James (vocals).
The EP kicks things off with rocking "Bo Peep" an impressive intro piece that dishes out solid low end groove, with driving rock rhythms against mean sounding guitar, Infectious vocal hooks and harmonies from James. Track 2 “Culumiater” serves-up another strong piece combining hooky Seattle guitar groove intro with dynamic vocal passion and flowing rock rhythm that methodically flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Lines” dishes out a slamming jam band ditty with amazing solo guitar licks, mesmerizing rhythm section and dynamic vocal delivery that leads you head first into a grand slam chorus. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Shinedown and even Soundgarden to Silverchair. The music has everything you would expect from a 4 piece Alternative Rock standard – great low end rock grooves, driving distorted guitar rhythms with a mind blowing solo’s, catchy melodic vocals and a few well-placed harmonies layered along the way. This band really clicks on al cylinders and delivers many tight grooves – testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. Production value pulls out all the stops delivering rock solid low end frequencies and crystal clear high end clarity. Now turning our attention over to James: as for his vocal style and overall delivery he is world class. He brings some serious vocal mojo to the table and at times reminds me of a lot of the legendary Eddie Vedder. He takes many impressive vocal risks throughout the CD indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. His falsetto is to die for and his overall vocal phrasing and delivery is extremely melodic, creative, entertaining and at times powerful. As the CD slowly unfolds James reveals more and more of his musical personality to you, and its obvious he is a marquee vocal talent. From my personal favorite “Flood” to trippy “Periphrey” this EP like this has something for just about everyone.
Track 1 feels like an incomplete statement to me and the subsequent fade out feels somewhat forced. Track 3 and 5 are winded statements and tend to drag you to the finish line. Some of the aforementioned is typical of a classic Jam Band musical foundation. It’s fair to say vocalist James is walking a fine line sounding more like Eddie Vedder than Eddie Vedder on some tracks. Weather it’s by design or incidental, this approach can be a knife that cuts both ways insofar as marketability. I also typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full length release is a more complete snapshot to judge an artist or band by at any given point in time.
This latest 5 song EP teaser by Jaded Mary proves this 4 piece is a force to be reckoned with around the Seattle area and beyond. The guitar has bite, the bass and drums have serious low end groove, the songs are all unique musical experiences, and the overall production value is rock solid. Make no bones about it Jaded Mary brings to the table the vintage Seattle sound that millions just can’t get enough of. Jaded Mary is an accomplished 4 piece unit (writing and playing). They also bring to the table a lot of musical variety via this impressive 5 song catalogue. All in all it makes for a deadly combination so bring on the full length.