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The Janks ‘The Hands Of Time’

This debut from American trio The Janks consists of a collection of rock’n’roll songs that, individually, sound quite special, but as a whole lack the necessary cohesion to be considered a down-and-out success. Nonetheless, ‘The Hands Of Time‘ is a decent debut worthy of your ears.

This album is a real mix bag of sounds and influences, encompassing all the relevant and trendy elements of 70s blues-rock and 60s pop and folk. So there are a few tracks that have a Fleet Foxes vibe about them – such as the sublime opener of the title-track – with acoustic strumming, off-kilter drum beats, and honeyed vocal harmonies. Then there are the heavier tracks, with the alt-rock of ‘Rat Racers’ and the gallop of ‘Demon Dance’ being laced with a blues and garage-rock underbelly – that, together with the wailing vocals, brings to mind the 70s hard rock of Zeppelin, delivered in a kind of Band Of Skulls way (i.e. a Jack White style – since Band Of Skulls borrowed heavily from White). There are a handful of forgettable moments, like the bluesy country-rock of ‘Dead Man’ and the quiet folk-rock of ‘Billy The Kid,’ and although the cheeky waltz of ‘Drama King’s Ball’ is interesting in its experimentation, it just doesn’t quite fit the general mould of The Janks.

All the ingredients of The Janks’ ‘The Hands Of Time’ are right – there are memorable melodies and guitar lines, the production is spot on, and the musicianship and vocals are mighty fine. It’s just that listening to the album all the way through doesn’t quite result in the desired satisfaction, as if there is something missing. And that is simply that The Janks haven’t quite got their own unique sound, and come across like a band dominated by their influences, as well as their folk and blues-rock contemporaries. That being said, I have no doubt that they will deliver fully on their sophomore album, and in the mean time most of these songs will serve to build up expectations.

Originally published by AAA Music here

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~ by cliveparisrozario on November 5, 2011.

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