The Jolly Rogers are a indie folk trio of sorts hailing from Texas in the United States. Playing catchy indie pop in the vein of Animal Collective and Sufjan Stevens. The band state that they aren't a pirate band, their name simply stems from the fact that they like pirates. With two releases and a growing internet fanbase, The Jolly Rogers are set for big things.
The Jolly Rogers
Greg Barkley - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Daniel Hoxmeier - Guitars, Keyboards, Percussion, Sampling, Programming
Joel Calvin - Drums, Keyboards, Percussion
The Jolly Rogers' debut was released to friends of the band and given out to audience members at shows in a CD-R format. From this, the band gained a small local following, which is currently growing through word of mouth. Setting out to make fun and catchy music, The Jolly Rogers recorded this self titled release in a bedroom with a few microphones. Using an inventive array of instruments, entire songs are often constructed with little more than an acoustic guitar, vocals and percussion (hand claps, tapping, stomping of feet etc). Other songs feature a full band with catchy keyboard riffs, extra instruments and backing vocals. The folky, innocent and playful sound is most similar to Animal Collective, the difference being that The Jolly Rogers take the wierdness out of that sound and make it into a fun and clever sound that is hard not to like. The album's lyrics are fun and often silly. There are many catchy lines scattered throughout, most notably "we were the perfect pawns" from "The Pirate's Anthem" or "I don't even care" from "The Party Punch". With lines like "I always peek on Jackie next door" (from "Poor Me"), it would be easy to dismiss The Jolly Rogers as silly or even ridiculous; if the music wasn't so damn good.
If there's anything to criticise about this album, it's the fact that The Jolly Rogers don't really sound like they've totally found their sound yet. While the first three tracks are very similar (and are easily the best tracks on the record) and show the band's sort of signature sound, the rest of the tracks show a wide range of sounds. "Zombies" is a shoegaze esque track while "The Bloodthirsty" is simply strange, making it hard to draw a comparison to something else. "The Bike, Sir" is simply the most ridiculous and fun song under 1 minute ever created. If The Jolly Rogers were to have all of their songs in a similar style to the first three tracks on the album, it would certainly make for a more consistant record. However, perhaps this would make the record less fun and less of a breath of fresh air. Other than this, the only downfall of the record is the length. While a current issue with indie records is having too much material, The Jolly Rogers' debut would have benefited from an extra 10 minutes or so. Because the disc doesn't flow like many albums that benefit from a short length, it would have been nice to have more material on the disc.
With an insanely fun, catchy and quirky sound, as well as a building fanbase, it's only a matter of time before The Jolly Rogers become the next big thing in the indie scene. This is the first of two excellent records that The Jolly Rogers (who are changing their name to Oh No! Oh My!) have released. This album can currently be purchased as a CD-R copy from the band's website (www.thejollyrogers.org), along with the band's new album for just $2 US. Start practicing your "I knew them first" line.
Contains some of the catchiest songs ever written
A new and unique sound
Album is avaliable for just $2
Could be more focused
FINAL RATING: 4/5