Taking a page out of Ben Fold’s songbook, Adam Rochelle brings us some good jams and solid vibes with his four- piece gang of slightly quirky and definitely creative gentlemen. The chemistry of the band comes through loud and clear and I can assume the singer/drummer brotherhood plays a commanding role.
John Smith’s Lawn plays with an intelligent brightness that never lands with both feet in pop’s end zone. Instead, it walks the sidelines and deviates through the bench to find little gems of weird that have had a stylistically rich embossing. Imagine a piano laden groove that moves between jazz progressions and just a little tango influence - it really needs to be heard to fully appreciate. These types of bands aren’t in high numbers and it’s personally satisfying to get a taste for the direction these guys are taking. Jam folk, if you will, surely has its place with Centre St.
Musically, they know where they stand and technically they hold their ground. Every track is right on the money and true to their soul without any overplaying or saturated elements. Those that have an ear for faster tunes and precision might want to stick with Dave Matthews and Umphrey’s McGee because these guys keep it relatively cool and collected despite multiple groove weaving and the temptation to really let loose. It’s that Ben Folds complex that keeps them grounded when the musicianship is obviously strong in the “get it” department.
“Nothing Yet” showcases their chops and reserve in solid balance. The lyrics are mellow and the drums get funky intermittently with a chill foundation. Then the solos take center stage starting with organ and ending with a respectable guitar session. By the end, the song has reached new heights and Centre St. is essentially operating on clinic mode. All things considered, I found that the opener, “Farm Boy” had the most pieces to the Centre St. puzzle. The chorus is very relatable and tells a story very fitting to the instrumentation. This is backyard porch swing meets living room hookah. Either way you decide to enjoy this stuff, I’m sure you’ll connect on a personal level.
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