Front Porch Step



by joshieboy12345 USER (18 Reviews)
January 14th, 2014 | 182 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A man and his guitar crafts one of the most emotional and lyrically brilliant albums of the year.

Front Porch Step is the name given for Jake Mcelfresh’s solo project. With his debut full-length, Jake is able to write 11 consistently great songs that deal with life’s problems. Love and loss seems to be what his life has been all about.

The first thing noticeable in the songs is the brutal honesty portrayed in the fantastic lyrics and Jake’s engaging voice. His emotion in bringing his words to life for the listener is a joy to behold as he gives his everything in each song. Angels and Demons really gets the album going with the first few lines of lyrics setting the tone. None more so than: ‘’I think l could die a thousand deaths and still turn out just fine if l could see your face ever y day of my life’’ The pure emotion and honesty in each song really drives the point home that Jake is a frustrated man unsure of what his future has in store for him.

In ‘’Drown’’ he sings of a lost love, and how he’s mentally drowning. A highlight of the album which contains clever lyrics: ‘’Well i’m so tired of the rain, falling softly on the ground, just enough to get my feet wet, but not enough to let me drown’’ Drown also contains a very clever Johnny Cash reference which is really well done. My absolute highlight of this album is ‘’If I Tremble’’ a truly brilliant song where Jake sings of a woman who means the world to him, and wonders how someone so brilliant, could be so torn apart. The chorus is my favourite part of the album:
‘’If I Tremble at the sight of you, it’s not because i’m cold, it’s because i’m staring at the girl l want to love me when i’m old’’

The pure honesty and emotion conveyed in each song is really what makes this a brilliant album. The guitar playing is also soft and really sets the tone for each song. Upbeat songs like ‘’Run Away’’ and ‘’ Island of the Misfit Boy’’ contain some aggressive guitar playing, while the more sombre songs are soft, and well put together. ‘’Private Fears in Public Places’’ contains an aggressive gravelly voice, but he follows it up with a really nice high to end the verse. His voice is versatile and he adapts his different tones to each song really well.

Another brilliant part to this album is its variety. Jake adapts difference facets to each song to make them unique. Songs like ‘’Lullaby’’ and ‘’Run Away’’ are so different to every other song on the album and are great in their own way. Lullaby is sung in a softer tone, while Run Away is more upbeat and a stronger voice is used. His adaptability to each song is what really sets him apart from other artists.

Album closer ‘’I Won’t Say That I’m Okay’’ is one of the most emotional, yet beautiful songs I’ve ever listened too. A ballad for Jake’s grandmother who has passed away recently and contains a spoken passage at the end which really drives home the emotional side of the song. A song that my words don’t do any justice to.

There are no real brilliant guitar passages, but there doesn’t need to be, as Jake’s voice is so engaging. The guitar is an important facet to the sound, but there are times of the album where you are solely focused on the voice, and the guitar just sets a brilliant tone to each song. His conveying of lyrics and how he is able to say what he wants to say to his audience, and how the listener can interpret the lyrics and compare them to a part of their life is something really special. The relateability of the lyrics is another strong element to this album that cannot be ignored. I’m sure many of us can relate to some of the truly great lyrics Jake has penned down.

My words don’t really do justice to this brilliant acoustic album. I was blown away at how on first listen Jake seems to take a simplistic take on life, but with each listen, the song gets more complicated and its ability to take the listener on a unique journey into the confides of his mind and how you can relate those lyrics to a facet of our own lives.

Listen to this album with an open mind, and you may just find that Jake has put out 11 songs that we can all cherish and say: ‘’I know how he feels’’.

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user ratings (98)
other reviews of this album
Vansact (4.5)
Heartfelt indie-folk that balances nicely between clever and meaningful lyrics...

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 14th 2014


Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

A longish review, but l had to describe my high rating as best as possible. I found this guy on

YouTube the other night and really loved what l heard. It gets even better the more you listen too.

Try it out.

Digging: Polaris (AUS) - The Mortal Coil

January 14th 2014


sounds cool i'll check it.

January 14th 2014


this album is cool. but "if i tremble" is awkward and dumb tbh.

January 14th 2014


Really dig this, reminds me of Dashboard Confessional

January 14th 2014


Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

this is actually a really bad album hth

January 14th 2014


Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Cheers for the feedback dudes.

January 27th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

Such a great album. hope this guy keeps at at.

February 12th 2014


Drown is by far the best track on the album imo, the rest just dont stand up to it. I didn't really enjoy the slower songs and would have preferred a lower tuning/tone for every song. But the lyrics are good throughout I agree.

February 13th 2014


Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

If l Tremble and the last song tie Drown for me. But yeah, Drown is a great tune.

May 5th 2014


Album Rating: 2.5

I think some parts of this album are pretty awkward/melodramatic but other than that it's pretty good.

I was really digging this a couple months ago.

May 29th 2014


Saw this dude at Bled Fest because my friends wanted to watch him. He was painfully boring and not that great to me, but all the kids were eating it up.

May 29th 2014


And what's with his stupid Candian-sounding accent or whatever. You'd swear he's from Canada by the way he sings, but he's from Ohio.

June 18th 2014


Awesome music. On Drown his voice reminds me at times of Tom Delonge.

July 7th 2014


Album Rating: 1.5

"I think some parts of this album are pretty awkward/melodramatic"

Honestly I felt like it was the entire album. I just couldn't take anything seriously. Sounded like a guy who thought every small negative thing that happened to him was the end of the world.

July 7th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Me and Mr. Lucifer were both unaware that the soul that I sold him had long belonged to youuuu

July 7th 2014


Album Rating: 2.5


Understandable. To be honest I can't even really listen to this anymore. I found some of the songs/hooks to be catchy but there's just nothing that makes me want to listen to this anymore.

September 6th 2014


Album Rating: 1.0

god damn the vocals are fucking terrible

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

October 16th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

I fail to see how this is lyrically brilliant... He seems to subscribe to the Deryck Whibley theory of songwriting - If in doubt make it rhyme (no matter how bad or awkward it sounds).

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

October 19th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

opinion hur de hur hur. i like it.

October 22nd 2014


Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty catchy but the lyrics ruin it for me at times

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