Juan Gomez, Jeremy King and Daniel Johnson are Joyheads. They released Earthly Powers EP. I was reading about the band and they seem to label themselves as post-punk. The first band that comes to mind when I hear that genre is Joy Division. The songs on Earthly Powers are a little too upbeat and don’t have enough dark qualities to be compared to Joy Division. The Happy Mondays are a little bit more the style of Joyheads but so are a lot of the art rock that was coming out in the mid to late ’60s.
The EP opens with “A Real Good Time” and it was the clear highlight. I was a little startled by the initial white noise and what sounds like a commercial from the ’50s. That lasts about five seconds before you are greeted with jangly guitar chords, and a rhythm section that drives the energy. The band immediately digs into a late ’60s vibe very reminiscent of The Velvet Underground. The vocalist unequivocally sounds similar to Reed with his inflection which plays into this carefree bohemian spirit. Perhaps the best part of the song is the horns. It’s a great song that is repeat worthy.
“Honesty (Hold It In)” comes closer to garage rock. The distortion on the guitar is more prominent. I was digging the verse but the chorus just pops.The band again makes very good use of horns. I loved the kind of loose party the band seems to be having towards the end.
The band ends with a song entitled “La Casa de los Santos” which sounds like a completely different band and style. It sounds more like an experimental percussion and horn heavy free- jazz piece performed by a group like The Chicago Art Ensemble. It really does very little to put an exclamation point on the vibe they were materializing with the first two songs.
I feel like a broken record saying this but cohesion and flow are important on an EP or LP. It’s especially important if a band or an artist is just coming up and hoping to build an audience. In this case the band doesn’t do anything too far removed to lose me. I would have preferred one more rock based song similar to the first two but “La Casa de los Santos” was enjoyable in and of itself.
Overall, this is very good and promising EP. It’s short and in my opinion if they build off the energy that showcased on “A Real Good Time” they should be gold. Recommended.
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