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May 192014

by Bruce Zimmerman
May 2014

The Jellybricks are back bigger than ever… When we last heard from The Jellybricks in 2012, they had released the very stong EP “Suckers” and their song Rock and Roll Suicide was named by Little Steven Van Zant as Underground Garage’s “Coolest Song in the World.” Their newest full length album is called “Youngstown Tune-Up.” Two singles have been culled from the album so far, About the Weekend and Hate Speaker. About the Weekend was personally selected by Little Steven to play on his Underground Garage Satellite Radio program. This song was subsequently named the “Coolest Song in the World” in the beginning of February coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Hate Speaker was added into rotation on Underground Garage and 20 other rock stations in the US and Europe (Manchester UK and Marseilles FR).

Firstly “Youngstown Tune-Up” is a Power Pop Tour de Force. Secondly it is damn good. This record has more hooks than my uncle’s tackle box on opening day. The first single About the Weekend is about as close to a perfect Pop Tune as you can get. With a wink and a nod to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, it is just over 3 minutes of sweetness. Hate Speaker is truly a song written about the world of social media. We all have had “friends” on Facebook and Twitter who have tried our patience with their opinions on everything under the sun. This song actually comes out and says what we have all wanted to say from time to time. “No one wants to hear you now, you are on your own, you are all alone.”This is done in such a way that you can’t help but tap your foot and say yes please.

The album as a whole is well crafted and has influences far and wide. The production is not heavy handed. The vocals are up front and the harmonies are well placed in the mix. The musicianship and guitar work by Larry Kennedy and Bryce Connor is on whole solid. Garrick Chow and Tommy Kristich are a well oiled rhythm section with the bass lines purposeful and the drumming authoritative. There are 14 total tracks on the release with no filler front to back. The opener Not Too Old hits home with this reviewer as a mantra for living life to the fullest or a wake up call to those who do not. Probably Me is song about one sided relationships and a chorus that will stick with you long after the song is over and the album has been put to bed. You may find yourself humming this sucker in the shower the next morning. I’ll Go Mine is a Tommy Kristich original that proves the drummer can in fact sing! The closing track Call It a Day is a Garrick Chow song that is change of pace ballad. This is a really finely executed collection of songs. Hey Timothy Leary said Turn On, Tune Up, and Drop Out…right?…Well maybe not, but you can still turn on “Youngstown Tune-Up” you will not be disappointed.

The Jellybricks are Larry Kennedy Guitar, Vox, Bryce Connor Guitar, Vox, Garrick Chow Bass, Vox, and Tommy Kristich on Drums and Vox. The songs were crafted primarily by Kennedy and Connor with Kristich writing one song and Chow co-writing three tunes.


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