East coast based John Brown’s Body has built a name for themselves and has been creating beautiful music by bending and molding multiple genres and turning them into something completely different, original and unique to only John Brown’s Body. Released on September 9th, Fireflies is the band’s most recent offering, delivering a sound that lives up to the JBB reputation.
JBB’s founding members Elliot Martin (lead vocals) and Tommy Benedetti (drums) are now joined by Jay Spaker (guitar / vocals), Jon Petronzio (keys), Dan Africano (bass), Sam Dechenne (trumpet), TJ Shaper (trombone), and Mike Vitale (tenor saxophone). Long time JBB collaborator Craig “Dubfader” Welsch of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant brings out the distinct elements of the JBB sound which including Martin’s supernatural harmonies and symphonic horn section.
The opening track “Who Paid Them Off” lays down the scene hard
The opening track “Who Paid Them Off” lays down the scene hard with layers of melodies and horns which are added and taken away as if they were pieces to a puzzle, building and building until a layer of dirty bass brings the song to a roaring start. The song is appropriately progressive for a first track and packs a nice punch, getting the album off to a pleasant start.
The second song, “Hard Man Fe Dead” featuring Karim Israel of Arise Roots continues with a bubbly tempo accompanied by fast beats, thumping bass drum and snappy rim clicks. The tempo rises and falls, laying the perfect foreground for the next track “High Grade,” which is very cool, hypnotic and almost trance-like, but suddenly surprises you with a funky and welcomed new voice. New to the band is the songwriting collaboration between longtime front man Elliot Martin and relative newcomer Spaker. Spaker brings new life and energy to a handful of tracks on the album and compliments Martin’s lyrical complexity and social commentary on the current state of affairs.
“Mash Them Down” closes out the album, and it opens up the dance floor. The track does what Martin has been doing since the mid 1990s; it gets people off their feet and in the groove. Martin shows many sides on this album, and if it is only a fraction of what he has been working on the past year and a half, we should all look forward to what is coming.
Look out for more groundbreaking work from JBB as they matures into one of the great bands of this generation.
Preview and download Fireflies on
- Who Paid Them Off?
- Hard Man Fe Dead (feat. Karim Israel of Arise Roots)
- High Grade
- Bad Man
- New Fashion
- Like a Queen
- Pure Fire
- Mash Them Down
John Brown’s Body – New Fashion Live @ Red Rocks
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.