Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Home Grown Head is a indie band influenced by jazz that has been covering songs and creating music as a group for several years. Their self-titled EP Home Grown Head was released in June of 2016, and while the album does contain one cover, the remainder of the tracks are originals, and the latter half of the album was recorded live.
The album begins with arguably the best track on the entire record. “The Times” opens with an ultra-catchy drum beat that continues throughout the song, giving the track a relentlessly upbeat swing. Sections of horned instruments accompany guitars and bass to create a solidly jazzy soundscape, and Drew Cercone’s smooth vocals layer effortlessly atop the instrumentation.
“Prudence Train” continues in the same vein as the album’s opener with additional vocal harmonies giving the sound of the song a wider, fuller presence. The energy in this song is slightly muted at the beginning of the song, but the band’s swinging style is maintained throughout the dynamic crescendo of the tune that builds to an energetic climax at the end.
Home Grown Head demonstrates their ability to embody several styles in “Born Blues,” an aptly named song that is infused with rock and blues elements. Guitars, vocals and percussion are prominent in most of the song, although horn solos do provide a contrasting sound within the song. “Things I Need” returns to the band’s jazzy roots, featuring a danceable beat alongside catchy guitar riffs and trumpet melodies.
Minor chording does not detract from the upbeat energy in “Reaction,” a swaying bluesy anthem that highlights Cercone’s vocals as he effortlessly sings rhythmically and melodically, bringing a unique energy to the song. The final song on the album is a combination between the band’s original song “What We’ve Done” and a cover of Ben Scales’s “Garden Song,” harkening back to the band’s days of being a cover band. Overall, Home Grown Head EP is a testament to the innumerable ways in which this band has grown musically since then, and exhibits the maturity and vision of a band wise beyond their years.
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