The debut EP by The Januariez was an incredible mix of punk infused Pac NW Rock n Roll with lyrics that provided a visceral punch to the gut of the listener. Once you got through the 11 minute, 55 second EP, it led to the question “Well, what’s next?”. As it turns out, the band (J-kNee – vox, guitar, songwriter, Tony Rivera – bass, Reno – drums) was busy recording its debut full length record with famed producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Green River). The resulting record is a stunning mix of punk and funky post-punk with a touch of the blues. J-kNee’s vocals leap out of the speakers with an equally impressive musical backing.

The three songs that appeared on their debut EP also appear here – rendering the earlier release obsolete. All three tracks (What I Could Give You, Dying Man, 16) are again standouts and benefit from Endino’s production style (clear separation of instruments, clean vocals). The vocal nuances are slightly different in these versions, but my words written about these songs earlier this year still apply – Joan Jett influenced, grungy guitar, and vocals delivered with a snarl (does that make my Joan Jett comment redundant, I wonder?). You can read my earlier review here. Stick with me though, because the newer tracks are impressive in their own right and give a well-rounded view of The Januariez over the course of the full length.

the nature of my authentic world…(album highlights)

Authentic – the title track leads off the record with a deep groove based track, J-kNee’s vocals alternating between soulful crooning and angst filled singing. The vocals hit fast and furious over the steady groove, it is a perfect opener. Key lyrics:

this is real, feel my skin underneath your hands,
shining like a southern sunrise, I’m on fire oh yeah
and the daggers don’t matter, the hooks can have their bait
it all falls away face to face
This can be all you want it to be

Ideal Love – feels like a danceable bar room jam kind of song at first with its melodic guitar picking and catchy bass. Vocals come into focus and the song becomes segues into a classic rock song. It then shifts into its more melodic interlude before shifting back to the all out rocking. “This idea of love / is only an ideal / Where do we fit in the picture?”

Moments of Knowing – has a steady post punk or No Wave bass (think The Slits) that is ridiculously catchy. The soulful vocals in tandem with guitar lines that sound straight from a Fugazi record make this track one of my favorites. You may have noticed that I really love the words in a song – I really enjoy the abstract nature of these lyrics. Key lyrics:

There is a wisdom that exists
sometimes I have a part of it
I have Moments of knowing
Something I don’t know

Song of a Lost Self – this is a moody jam, full of emotional vocals along with the perfect post punk backing. The guitar work again reminds me of Fugazi as filtered through the Pacific Northwest. The music slows down several times so that we can focus on the vocals before being washed away in the noisy – but melodic – full band assault. Key lyrics:

Look at me
I won’t run away this time
Look at me
I’ll stand my ground this time

I didn’t know what to expect with this record – sometimes a band goes into the studio to record their full length debut and lose the magic that made their early songs so special. I’m happy to say The Januariez have not only retained the magic – they’ve twisted it, manipulated it, and ultimately – they’ve bettered everything that makes them so special. You can find out more about the band via their website on the “world wide web” www.thejanuariez.com – pick up their record, you won’t be disappointed.

Verdict: Authentic Rock n Roll

For Fans of: Joan Jett, Fugazi, The Slits, Liliput, Nirvana

Tracks:

01. Authentic
02. Ideal Love
03. Dying Man
04. What I Could Give You
05. Trauma Model
06. Moments of Knowing
07. 16
08. Song of a Lost Self
09. Projector Blue
10. Shut Up and Listen

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