Jolly Rancher is a four-piece emo rock band from Austin, Texas, comprised of Cam, Josh, Drew and Kyle. The band is releasing their four-track EP release entitled Good Neighbor.
Jolly Rancher juggles various genres combining elements of math rock, shoe gaze and post-hardcore. Multiple genres are not the only thing they balance. All four members of the band being primary songwriters are known for quickly trading instruments in the middle of live sets. The deft swapping is not only a show-stopper, it also contributes to the broad array of genres on display on the EP, as each member is able to interchangeably contribute and embrace each instrument on the EP.
Good Neighbor opens with the title track “Good Neighbor,” where numerating on the electric guitar gives off a pensive and simmering vibe. Next, the guitars ignite in a more full-on sound as the sound of bass lines, drum and percussions settle in. The guitar work is intricate.
Following is “Worst Song On The Ugliest Guitar,” where an adamant drumming beat adds to the rhythms on this song. The guitars come with a moody and melancholic vibe. The vocals come in with fervent screams. The shouts are raw and relentless.
On “Star Dawg,” deft finger-picking on the guitar gives off a complex sound that weaves in the cadence of bass lines into this rock number. The vocals are spewed out in a spoken word-like performance piece towards the start. This then segues into a chorus of vocal harmonies that layers overhead. Up next, the vocals barely register above a whisper and it is hard to discern what he is singing about, though you can really feel the melancholy permeating the vocals and coming from the somber-sounding riffs.
On the closer “Grow,” is a track that covers emo and math rock genres. Listeners will be swayed by the very ebb and flow of the music. The energy is nearly palpable. The vibe is stirring and dynamic mixed in with unrelenting screams that trace this song intermittently.
Each track on this record is unique and could stand alone on its own, and the band really exercises their diverse and versatility on these numbers. What ties them cohesively is the energy that oftentimes pervade these tracks. This EP is packed with intricate guitar work, emotionally soaring vocals and a sound that alternates between soft and aggressive at a drop of a hat. The band displays deft musicianship with on-point vocals. This was a solid effort and I look forward to seeing what’s up next for the band.
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