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| 17 November 2020 | Reply

Label: Inverse Records

Release Date: September 18, 2020

Rating: 98%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I have always had a soft spot for great melodic rock.  The debut release from Finnish rockers Jo Below is no different, as this 5-track EP is killer rock and roll from top to bottom and rocks you for its sixteen minutes.  Disc opener “Russian Roulette” opens with a great pulsing guitar sound that gives the song punch and only gets better as the rhythm section adds their piece with solid cadence and a thumping bass line.  Johanna Kari’s vocals jump in and we are off and running on a killer rock track that is as much 2020 as it is 1987.  The vibe of this track gets you wrapped up and the tempo gets your foot tapping and head banging.  “Paying For More” starts up with a killer riff and a charging rhythm compliments of heavy handed drumming from Olli Vartiainen and some thumping bass lines from Jonne Lindqvist.  The vocals and music swirl perfectly in the mix.  The production and sound of this band take me back to Marion Raven’s rock releases in the early 2000’s.  “All That Is” kicks off with a chugging riff that maintains a consistent sound through the verses and some of the transition points. The vocal seems a bit restrained compared to the other track, but doesn’t veer too far off course.  The changes in the rhythm section add depth to the track.  “Bet On” is another track that reminds me heavily of the production and texture of the Marion Raven tracks.  The lead vocal, especially on the chorus are searing hot and soar in the mix.  Roni Seppänen’s guitars have a cool sound that swirls between chugging riff and tossed in nuances, giving the song punch and helping it stand out against the other tracks.  The raspy vocals that graces the end of the bridge is a fun listen as well.  Disc closer “Pleasure” features a heavy bottom sound compliments of the drums and bass that anchors the track and keeps it from running away from itself when the vocals and guitars come at you heavily through the verse.  The bridge features a cool guitar solo that is not to be missed.  I cannot wait to see what these guys do next.

Tracklisting: Russian Roulette – Paying For More – All That Is – Bet On – Pleasure

Lineup: Johanna Kari (vocals) – Roni Seppänen (guitar) – Jonne Lindqvist (bass) – Olli Vartiainen (drums)






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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