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Jay Clark Band – Turning It Up – Album Review

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On their latest record the Jay Clark Band is roaring with finessed country-rock, and boy do they know how to throw a party. Boasting loud energy more than anything, their record is a dynamic slice of rural life, and is a sure-fire way to get a weekend going.

Throwing a deep grit on their blues-rock, “Turning It Up” starts the album on a pounding country-tinged party song. Catchy and full of entrancing drum fills, they’re certainly playing to crowd energy with the pop writing here. This said the overt lyricism of the track may be a little too basic for some. “On My Way” grinds with cutting riffs as they slip into deeper explorations of relationship politics, as they seek to rise above their emotional troubles. Filtering their triumphant energy into the soaring choruses, the track hits its emotional mark a lot stronger here.

“Won’t Let You Down” goes right into stadium rock, sweeping in the dynamic showboating of Guns N’ Roses in the best way possible. Even if there is a bit of a derivative bit of writing across several songs here, the band finds their unique voice in their energy and hints of more personal lyricism. “Backroads” on this note will really only serve the country crowd, as its lyrics and overall tone are clearly written with an audience in mind. Subverting their rock a bit on “A Storm Is Coming,” the dense production and clever sound work makes the whole track feel even more massive.

The latter half of the record offers up some more takes on their rock and country, getting the most distorted and raucous on “Loud.” “Coming Back To You” shows some more personal lyricism than the rest of the record offers, on another of the slow rock tracks. While melodically samey, “Hometown” actually has some powerful and poignant lyricism of hometown realities, especially as they cut right to their characters.

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Owen Maxwell