Ashbury Keys “Do You Know Who You Are” EP
The Texas trio, Ashbury Keys has taken a page from British bands like Coldplay and U2 giving the title track “Do You Know Who You Are” a rich, stadium sized sound. The EP then goes through a logical sequence of events; get the girl, lose the girl (because your a terrible guy) and wallow in self pity. “Hey Girl” is a pleasing melody and character study about a girl “posting her photos while cruising around” with a rich guitar rhythm in the chorus.
“Terrible Guy” is a interesting rocker, with lyrics mentioning all the vices he has and “Goodbye” is a power ballad that continues our story where he repeats the apologies to end up with a “Lonely Sunday.” This final ballad starts slow and builds up to a bombastic approach (again the comparison to early U2 works here). While the concept here doesn’t exactly break new ground, the guitar work is impressive as always. The Ashbury Keys continue to be a band to keep your eye on.
Jigsaw Seen “Old Man Reverb”
Veteran LA indie band Jigsaw Seen returns with an excellent new LP. On the opening track “Let There Be Reverb,” guitarist Jonathan Lea lets the guitar hook lead and singer Dennis Davison helps guide us along. The influences are from classic bands of the early 70’s blended with their own distinct sound. The next track “Idiots with Guitars” is truly Jigsaw Seen at its finest, like late-era Hollies combining the melody with a sophisticated bridge.
“Understand” is another single with terrific composition and execution. “We Women” is a fast-paced rocker with the fuzz guitar riff and blazing solo between the main verses. The psyche-pop “Madame Whirligig” uses the mellotron to good dreamy effect, and it blends into “Hercules and Sylvia” with orchestral interludes similar to The Moody Blues. The songs are both familiar sounding and highly creative, with a few curves thrown in (like the semi-Western theme “Abide”). Highly Recommended.