Sunday, 10 May 2015

Review: Jeronimo - Jeronimo EP [2015]


    Back in December, I went to a show at the Koro to see three bands I had never heard of before. One of them was the young band Jeronimo. I was impressed by these guys' rock riffs and energy that I even put them on the first Punkalovich show, which unfortunately they had to pull out of because of personal issues. The band are back on track again and released their long awaited self titled EP.

   Opening track, Aircraft Boneyard, starts off heavy and quite epic. Drummer Itamar's spacious fills over guitar feedback followed by a tribal rhythm tell us that we're expecting something big. We're then hit with a cool riff that leads us into full throttle mode similar to the likes of Kyuss et al. I definitely remember this as one of the ones I liked when I saw them. The chorus is catchy and will have you singing "THEY'LL BRING YOU DOWN" along with them. However, the song feels like it is a little bit longer than it needs to be. The mid-section and solo in particular feel like they could have been cut short. It is all well-played, though. Next track, Scratch, has that similar hard hitting feel. The opening riff is reminiscent of something you might hear in a Disturbed song. Don't get me wrong...the song itself sounds nothing like Disturbed. That's just the best comparison I can come up with for that riff. The song itself is pretty rocking but the vocals bug me a tiny bit. I'm not expecting Israeli bands to sound exactly like American or British bands but when an accent is a little bit too strong, it can throw me off a little bit. Guitarists and vocalists Auriya and Yonatan share singing duties throughout the record and it's at the beginning of this track that the Israeli accent really shines through. 
    Torch Torture takes the tempo down a bit. Compared to the first two tracks, it has more of a Alt. Rock vibe. It slowly dawned on me that it sounds a little bit like Kool Thing (Sonic Youth) only a fair bit slower. What really sticks out on this track, possibly due to the weird mixing of the EP in general, is the bass playing. Throughout the song, and especially in the chorus, bassist Eilon does some pretty crazy runs which sound great. The track really picks up near the end when the band turn up the volume a bit more for a heavy instrumental section before rocking out on the final chorus. Next track Jeronimo is, I guess, almost meant to be the band's theme song. This is definitely one of the main songs that got people moving at their shows (when there were people). It runs on a bit of a repetitive riff throughout a good part of it but we do get a break in the song which builds to a continuous proclamation of "JERONIMO".
   Stabbing Sound comes across as something heavily influenced by the British Invasion of the 60s. It has a simple yet rocking main riff and a catchy chorus. Final track Zero Kills' riff has Queens Of The Stone Age written all over it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. With Auriya's raw vocals, the song takes on a more grunge feel. There is some wonderful musicianship all round from the middle part right up to the end. 

    As I already knew from their live shows, Jeronimo are very competent musicians but some of the songs sometimes feel like their lacking something. It could be because of the accents, the tempo being too slow on some tracks, or how certain instruments and vocals sound too high or even too low in the mix...but whatever it is, the EP is still enjoyable. In a way, the flaws do give it a raw quality. The overall subject matter of the EP is still a little bit lost on me, however that doesn't necessarily spoil the enjoyment. Musically, Aircraft Boneyard is my favourite, with the emotional chorus of "You feel OK" and instrumental finish on Zero Kills making it the stand out track.


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