The Jay Vons - The Word
Out now via La Castanya Records.
The gentlemen who enjoy a fine slice, a fine libation, and an even finer haircut are known as The Jay Vons. The Word showcases how this rhythmic tour-de-force blends their love for ‘60s rock and soul with a deftness born from decades of obsessive record collecting and delivered by countless hours of writing and performing. The lead single, “The Word,” is a veritable blueprint for The Jay Vons’ sound: spooky organ, undeniable groove, tasteful guitar, forlorn lyrics, all seasoned generously with handclaps and percussion. Just imagine if The Brothers of Soul (Bridges, Knight, Eaton) produced a session by The Young Rascals and you’re getting warm. “Night (Was Stealing from the Sun)” picks up the tempo with a fervor reminiscent of The Jam at their best — punchy drums and sweet harmonies transform this earnest tale of a misaligned affection into a dance-friendly feast for the soul. “Changing Seasons” finds the band dialing it back a bit, settling into a breezy, mid-tempo groove. The string arrangement and soft, pleading vocal give way to an explosive, anthemic chorus whose hook-heavy horn line enriches the melody, creating a perfect piece of mid-sixties pop. Other highlights include: the gorgeous ballad, “Never Take Me Back”; the full-throttle assault of “Keep On Moving”; and the flute-kissed hit “Did You See Her.” This album is an exercise in how to channel the past without ever being trite. This is no facsimile. This is The Jay Vons.