Two-piece garage/blues rock bands weren’t all that popular prior The White Stripes. Since then bands like Japandroids and The Black Keys to name a few have risen to success. This has spawned a copious amount of bands attempting a similar style. Enter Jonathan Granger and the Lost Souls who is comprised of Jonathan Granger and David Ray. The band's first release Never Alone is back to basic blues/rock hybrid that Jack White already perfected over a decade ago. To argue that it’s anything much more than that would untrue. Loud, distorted guitars over just as loud drums are the formula they impose on the three songs.
The songs on Never Alone aren’t badly written or executed but the band’s similarities to both The White Stripes and The Black Keys are undisputable. At the end of the day not many bands will want to compete with either of those bands. Jack White is one of the best rock singers since Robert Plant; if you’re going to compare apples to apples you will lose.
In their own right Jonathan Granger and the Lost Souls are solid musicians. That being said it was unfortunate the recordings veered on the raw side of lo-fi. I know exactly the sound they were going for but they weren't able to achieve it with their recording equipment. The songs have little separation, and Granger vocals sounded like he was singing in the room next to you rather than in the room with you.
The first song “Waste dump” which feeds the blues/garage tropes the most of the three is overall a damn good song. It took a couple of spins but I thought the vocals were catchy and infectious. “Overboard” is a decent song but ends up being a distorted mess because of the recording quality. I could barely hear or more importantly feel the drums even with my low-end subs in full effect. The most original song of the three songs was “Diamonds and fire.” It’s more subdued than the other songs but also more effective in a number of ways.
Jonathan Granger and the Lost Souls have some skill; they just need some tweaking. There is nothing wrong with being a garage blues/rock band. That being said you have to bring an X-factor to the table, which listeners can grasp onto and remember. If you don’t your music will most likely be swept into the ether. There is some type of music that works with lo-fi; garage/blues rock isn’t one of them. You need to feel the hit of the bass drum and pick scrap against the guitar string. My advice is to save up your pennies to hit up a professional studio or befriend an engineer who will record you for free.
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