The Austin Jones Band – Chasing The Wind – EP Review
Here’s some LUSCIOUS production and great songs from The Austin Jones Band…I’ve had my eyes and ears on this four piece band from the suburbs of Houston all the way from over here in BC, Canada for a while now…and with the release of this EP comes the confirmation that once again, those very eyes and ears of mine do not ever deceive me. Honestly…this is a brilliant set of five incredible songs that really deserve your time.
Led by their singer/guitar player Austin Jones, this entire band has chosen to expand these songs into huge anthems on this latest release. With dramatics, highs & lows and emotional tones you can find in bands like Snow Patrol or the Kings Of Leon…this music is truly massive in scope. Combined with the excellent production and time spent on these tunes, The Austin Jones Band has released a set of five immaculately-conceived pop/rock songs to make up the entirety of the Chasing The Wind EP.
Jones comes out with the title-track, “Chasing The Wind;” a quick-building opener fuelled by intensity and excellent tones. The guitars bend, the music comes in crashing in an incredibly beautiful way; as much as I like the vocals of Jones and the harmonies in his band…I would absolutely kill to see this song with a like, ten minute overhauled-extended and way-over-the-top instrumental intro during a live performance. That could just be me…and at the moment, I suppose that’s slightly irrelevant from my armchair.
The point is, these songs were born to be played out loud. Not only do they sound great here on the record, cause they do, they sound perfect – but you can also really imagine what it might be like to hear these songs in a real grandiose setting. When I hear tracks like “Come Home,” I don’t hear these guys in the bar & club circuit for long…these sounds belong echoing into massive audiences of ecstatic music-fans chanting their choruses back to them in unison. The writing, the build-up and the eventual pay-off are captivating…The Austin Jones Band is clearly swinging for the fence on this EP…and they’re connecting in all kinds of extraordinarily powerful ways.
If you can’t get that similar Snow Patrol feeling and vibe from the mid-point on the EP, “Darkness,” then you’re just not paying attention to music and your ears are broken. If you want to include the whole U2 parallel just cause of the one guitar sound, you just go right ahead…but the core of these songs comes from a very similar emotional-turmoil that encapsulates Snow Patrol’s sound. With a little more aggression, energy and convincing passion than you’ll find in much of SP’s catalogue, The Austin Jones Band could be on their way to having the edge on bands like that and quite possibly into the same limelight very soon.
“You And Me,” is another perfect example of WHY. This is an excellent, emotional track that really has some of the best vocal highlights and conviction in the performance. Great bass & drums connecting here, the guitars come out perfectly overtop, and Jones himself has found yet another completely winning flow for his vocals to fit in here. I mentioned this only a review or two ago, but the signs of a great songwriter sure points to the adaptability of those songs somehow universally to other genres…all five of these songs could find their way into another genre successfully. Jones and his crew are well-oiled machine at this point; they hit their harmonies fantastically as the sounds of the driving beat switch up the tempo towards a killer ending for this track. Bringing it all back post-breakdown, the Austin Jones Band have more than shown they can write an excellent song throughout this display of melodic-rock. Completely excellent instincts at every turn guiding this band into writing songs that last.
Lastly, as they wrap this up with “Living It Out;” Jones and the band conjure up another excellent beginning laden with swirling guitar work and one final big chorus. Jones himself brings his own vocals up to the high end of his scale, reaching for his top notes in an emotionally powerful finale.
Ok ok ok…one MORE thing…maybe a bit of a rant here…hang tight…this might get bumpy…
It’s definitely not a knock against this flawless EP…there’s truly not a single bad word or flaw I feel exists enough to point on here on this recording…no, this time my beef is with all of us. When I hear the music of the Austin Jones Band, I can hear excellent writing, big & dynamic songs that possess all the emotion that makes us capable of truly connecting with music…
…otherwise known as the opposite of what’s on the radio.
The problem that exists and lies ahead for The Austin Jones Band is that very few stations carry this kind of mid-tempo’d sound, despite what the people might truly want. That being said, sure, bands like Snow Patrol have become huge…but if you’ll look at their career with a magnifying glass, you’ll see some key song placements in other media forms, TV & movies that have helped them find the success they enjoy today in combination with their great music. So until we wake up and shake up radio to the point where I can once again consider it for something other than the emergency broadcast system and put some real music on it with a DIVERSE line-up in their mixes again, or lord forbid it, maybe even allow their DJ’s to pick the songs again…these guys might have a tough go of it despite how good they truly are.
This is one of those bands that clearly should be doing this for a living…all the right pieces are here and they’re all playing their parts perfectly. I can only hope that The Austin Jones Band is listening to the bands that have helped blaze their trail beforehand and not let themselves rely on radio to break them through. A ridiculous thought I know; but the mainstream isn’t represented through radio anymore, it’s become just pigeonholes of one facet of music pumped at you in similar style all day long…and sure, if you like one or two styles of music maybe that’s enough for ya. I think the majority of people find their favourite music today in some pretty crazy places; from the internet, to movies, to TV…but less and less frequently, the radio. And if the Austin Jones Band can strategize themselves in a similar model and get these tunes out there through some excellently placed moments in film to accompany them, believe me…it all follows back to the music…
No matter how you find them…you’ll want to keep The Austin Jones Band in your rotation. Don’t leave it up to YOUR radio either…go and get this excellent music right now.
Find out more at: http://austinjonesband.com/
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