Review Summary: Nice to see you too, Jericco.
In Australia, given the ridiculous amount of bands in the alternative rock scene trying to make it, to be successful, you need something that makes you stand out. Sydonia have it with their huge percussion sound, Twelve Foot Ninja have it with their sudden genre changes mid song andMammal had it with Ezekiel Ox’s enthralling stage presence. For Jericco, it is the large Middle Eastern influences that set them apart from the lesser bands, combining it easily with outstandingly written alternative rock music. Nice to See You
, the band’s second EP sees Jericco streamline their sound while managing to retain their trademark Middle Eastern influences that were so apparent on their debut.
The big name supports that Jericco have been playing since the release of their debut (Karnivool and Mammal) seem to have helped the band quite a bit in terms of song writing. Where the debut was great for how raw and passionate it sounded, Nice to See You
succeeds in that the band sound much, much tighter, while still keeping the obvious passion for their craft found on their debut. ‘Cause and Effect,’ essentially written about the importance of music, is a testament to this. While first single ‘Nice to See You’ sees drummer Luke Halstead at his very best, leading the rest of the band through one of the best song’s they’ve written.
Most notably, on the Jericco’s debut it was vocalist Brent McCormick that was the focus of the great majority of the music, something which is unsurprising upon hearing him sing. On Nice to See You
though, there are an increased number of moments where McCormick takes a back seat, allowing the other members to come to the fore. In particular, Fetah Sabawi’s keyboard lines on opener ‘No Solution, No Problem’ and the rhythm section on ‘B Song’ spring to mind.
On Nice to See You
, there is a much more prominent use of keyboards compared to the band’s debut. This is due to the fact that Sabawi only joined the band half way through the recording process of the first release. The more liberal use of keyboards has benefited the band’s sound greatly, filling out the songs better and also providing a great contrast with the more jagged sound of Nagle and Amar. The best example of this can be found on opener ‘No Solution, No Problem,’ particularly the intro’s opening keys. Not only does Sabawi contribute with keyboard, but his backing vocals are also of note, possessing just as good a voice as McCormick. In fact, one of the best moments on the record is the intro of ‘Promises Made of Glass,’ with Sabawi providing a very Middle Eastern influenced vocal line.
There are a great number of moments throughout the record’s 22 minutes in which the band’s Middle Eastern influences shine through, further enabled by Sabawi and Amar’s heritage. In particular, the opening few bars of ‘Promises Made of Glass’ could just have easily been heard on a street corner in Israel, before exploding into an excellent melodic rock song. Taking traditional Middle Eastern sounds and turning them into hard rock music isn’t something that one would expect to work, but Jericco pull it off easily without making it sound gimmicky. As with their debut, the best moment on Nice to See You
is saved till last. ‘B Song’ is by far and away the best song the band has ever written. The opening twangs of Amar’s oud segue perfectly into Nagle’s jagged guitar riff. Displaying the more progressive side of the band, ‘B Song’ shows Jericco have improved in leaps and bounds.
The release of Nice To See You
has seen Jericco improve tenfold, becoming much tighter as a band while also improving on their already great song writing. In what is an already ridiculously overcrowded scene, it is pretty hard to wade through all the crap to find some decent bands that are diverting from the traditional Karnivool/Cog/Butterfly Effect formula. Nice To See You
shows that Jericco are one of those decent bands, don’t pass them up.