The founding members of Redlands, California based band Beady Jay can trace their roots back in 2006 when two of its members, Jerry Whiting and Kyle Ramos, got together for a short-lived act called Left Hand. After jamming together whenever they could and getting distracted by this thing called life, the two reconnected musically in late 2017. Picking up where they left off, the two bandmates recruited a couple of new players – Luis Bautista who’s on vocals and guitar and Alex Lemus on bass. Kyle Ramos also plays guitar and sings, while Jerry Whiting lays down beats with drums and percussion. The self-titled EP Beady Jay was recorded, mixed and mastered at Room 9 Recording Studio in Redlands and is heavily influenced by ‘90s-era grunge.
To start things off “Career Politician” is lyrically a social commentary. Musically, it’s part grunge, reggae/funk and all heavy, crunchy guitars with a few quotes at the end from who else? – the politicians who decided to make politics their career. Midway, the band switches gears with a faster and frenzied beat and an equally kick ass, screaming guitar solo. A fantastic beginning indeed!
“Standoff” is for all those who can’t get enough of zombies “Runaway” should quench your thirst for – brains! Guitars are biting and pulsating, in a melodic metal kind of way. I thought the band’s sound had a fresher take – more like a harder edged Franz Ferdinand or The Killers, rather than grunge from 25 years ago. The shortest track “Don’t Want to Be” bolts out of the door with a much faster rhythm, in a post-punk/thrash rock style.
“Forgotten Eulogy” starts off nice with a mellow vibe and beautiful sounding guitar chords and then comes the fury of guitar distortion after the first verse. Lyrically, the song is about the anxieties of self-reflection and musically it seemed to have a more traditional grunge genre approach. It kind of reminded me of Alice in Chains’ “Rooster” – but I think Beady Jay offers more than just straight grunge. I would say slacker/sludge metal are thrown in here and perhaps some hallmarks of the darker metal concepts that Sabbath or Dio did are in here as well. “Liberation” seems to be just about that, a breaking away from a bad relationship – “I want to rip you from my heart tonight – let me sleep tonight.” I thought the guitar solo was fantastic, and for some reason, the solo and the group’s overall style of playing reminded me of Carlos Santana. Only heavier. Maybe you can hear it too?
In the end, Beady Jay offers a variety of styles and sounds, plenty of great guitar action and solid rhythms on their self-titled debut.
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