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coverpic flag US - Georgia - Full Moon 238 - 01/24/16

Jo RB Jones
Jo RB Jones
Loud Baby Sounds

This self-titled album is the Athens quartet Jo RB Jones' first one (released by cassette label Loud Baby Sounds). Even though the album was launched almost half a year ago, let's have a look and listen at/to it, shall we?

Jo RB Jones (pronounced Joe-Arby-Jones - from now JRBJ) are songwriter Rebecca Jones on guitar/vocals, guitar player (and Jones' spouse?) Michael Wright, bassist Henry Barbe, and drummer Glenn Reece. Additional players count keyboardist Nick Bradfield and violinist John Kiran Fernandes (of the legendary Olivia Tremor Control and the fab Circulatory System). JRBJ tag their musical pop mixture to be some 'pop-indie-gazey-rock', or 'psychpopfolkgaze'. They play right up indie-pop alley, yes, but there is a soft and gentle sounding folk-vibe (almost Country-tinted) to some of their songs. They make me recall another GA band (Atlanta, that is) from way back to the early 90s, Magnapop, or even the legendary Athens band from the late 70s/early 80s, Pylon (go check out their smashing 1980 debut Gyrate... Hey, Pylon's lead singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay and guitar player Randall Bewley are also members of the Elephant 6 related combo Supercluster). Except JRBJ keep away from the frantic drive (at times) of the mentioned bands.

This seven song long mini-album is indeed a charming release. From the opening "Sum Sun", which is about the toughness and trouble it can be sometimes facing a new day. Trouble ballads, love ballads - with a sting. "Frolic (Ur the One)" has a Pavement slack in its melody (and guitar lines/solo), making it a joyful expression of love. Neat. "To Tongues" (sic - or: should it be "Two Tongues"...?) is another super-cool song about the aches of life and love. "Tew" follows the jangly charm path (again Pavement comes to mind). As does the folk-country twang of "Condensed". The closing track "Arrows" makes (along with the other 6 songs) this album a little pop gem of great charms. I will keep an eye and ear open for future release from Jo RB Jones.

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