Ted Hajnasiewicz (vocals/guitars/bass), Paul Gordhamer (drums/vocals) and Mark Ganje (guitars) are HebbaJebba. The trio recently released a self-titled album Hebba Jebba. We at Divide and Conquer have reviewed a number of releases from Hajnasiewicz and they do mention this release was a little different. “As opposed to all the other albums, where Ted is the ultimate shaper of sound, this one was more a collective. Ted wrote the songs, but Paul and Mark shaped them with their style infecting the sound. It's much ‘heavier’ than most of Ted's stuff, which is kinda cool. A true rock and roll record.”
The album starts with the melodic and Americana infused “Goin’ Down to Watertown” which is a great opener. It’s upbeat and definitely feels like a good way to start your day to and in fact some of the lyrics fit with this kind of experience. In addition to the heartfelt vocals there’s some notable instrumental work.
“Farmer’s Daughter” is a little more dynamic overall. It starts with palm muted guitar and vocals. The drums come in with a big 4/4 beat and the song explodes in the memorable chorus which got stuck in my head after the first listen.
“Eight Years” is a soulful ballad. There's an earthy organ sprinkling notes on top of warm guitar distortion. The guitar solo absolutely soars in the middle of the song. “Some Day You’ll Understand” is a change in energy and emotion which is much more intimate and melancholy. I love steel guitar with the slide and this song has a near perfect accompaniment. It ends with just vocals and is emotionally powerful.
The energy basically reverses on “It’s On You” where the band is full on rock mode but still holding on to the Americana foundation. “Paradise Lane” is sort of a middle of the road song. There’s a lot of space here and I thought the vocal harmonies worked really well because of how they were mixed. Last up is the title track “HebbaJebba.” There’a a killer groove on this song and it felt like a proper send off to a great album.
Hajnasiewicz has found some musicians who were able to take his ideas to new heights. It’s a satisfying listen with robust, dynamic songs because of the band's chemistry. Recommended.
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