Review Summary: Jericco's debut displays a band with the ability to draw on a huge range influnces and condense them into a stunning piece of work.
Music is about bringing people together, something that anyone, no matter what background can enjoy and communicate their message through, Melbournians Jericco are a prime example of that. Who would have thought that an Israeli (bassist Roy Amar) and a Palastinian (keyboardist/sampler Fetah Sabawi) would be playing in a band together in Australia of all places. Combine this with the fact that drummer Luke Halstead is a Kiwi and you have quite a wide range of influences and styles, and it shows in the music.
Jericco play a unique style of progressive rock, extending the path current scene kings Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus have already paved by adding a strong Middle Eastern flavour to their music. On first listen, their debut self titled EP doesn’t seem like anything special, that the pieces of their music don’t seem to fit together, that there are decidedly too many influences the band are trying to fuse together. However given time, Jericco will grow into something commanding and beautiful at the same time.
Opening instrumental track “Jericco” seems upon first listen that it could have come straight off Tool’s 10,000 Days
but eventually morphs into quite a good track with Jordan Nagle’s heavy guitar riffs and Halstead’s drums taking the focus for the majority of the track. Seamlessly moving into “Always”, Jericco’s greatest asset materialises, vocalist Brent McCormick. McCormick’s soaring vocals are something to behold, moving from the baritone verses to the sweeping chorus conveying his superb lyrics, “Years of lying and self destruction, manipulation and excavation of my soul, today I resonate”
, with ease.
Jericco aren’t a band that is afraid to dabble in an array of instruments with Amar utilising the Oud (Egyptian Lute) throughout the EP, keeping their Middle Eastern influences at the forefront of their music. Add Sabawi’s samples and constantly changing keyboard tone and Jericco have managed to form something that will make them stand out in an Australian rock scene which is quickly becoming crowded.
It is first single and standout track “Sun” where the true power of Jericco rears its head with Sabawi’s keyboards and samples taking a more central role. McCormick’s once again majestic vocals and emotive lyrics combining with the rest of the band to form the kind of song that A Perfect Circle would be proud of. “Sun” is the epitome of what Jericco has done with this EP, bringing together the band’s quite varied musical background to form the perfect alternative rock song.
After the straight up emotion of “Sun”, the opening machine gun sample and likeminded guitar riffs of “Rujm (Pile of Stones)” instantly snaps the listener back into action before giving way into yet another display of McCormack’s vocal prowess in what is the heaviest song on the record bar the instrumental.
“Home (Where Did We Go Wrong)” is the final conventional song on the record and also its most progressive, where after a melancholy piano intro McCormack illustrates just that with his opening lines, “So this is goodbye, We say goodbye to you my friends”
, before moving into the distorted vocals of the chorus. However it is the guitars of Nagle that is most impressive taking a leaf out of Karnivool and Tool’s book, keeping a fast paced but somewhat lingering riff throughout the song. “Home” is also where McCormack displays all of his vocal range, moving from falsetto’s in the early verses, to the the low, distorted chorus, to the final verse where he lets loose, forcing the listener to check that it wasn’t in fact Ian Kenny or Clint Boge singing. Closer “Dahab” is another instrumental, compiled of just Amar’s picked Oud and the tribal drums of Halstead.
With the release of their debut EP, Jericco have showed that they are indeed on the fast track to the top of the Australian alternative rock pile. Somehow managing to bring together all the influences that at first didn’t seem to fit into a record that is both unique and somewhat catchy at the same time. For such a young band, this record is quite a mature release, displaying song writing skills well beyond their meagre years.
Watch out for these guys, there are great things to come from them.