Music to Strip By – Evil Jake

Music to Strip By – CD Review

Don’t believe it for a second. There is nothing evil about this band. Nothing, not one thing, on Evil Jake’s latest EP, “Music to Strip By” feels threatening, malicious or even slightly creepy.

In fact, the songs seem to revel in their congeniality and accessibility. The musicianship evident, Evil Jake plays pop rock with a rockabilly sensibility.

Though recorded in one day for less than $500, “Music to Strip By” sounds professional and polished. Though, admirable, this polished quality also does the band an unintended disservice. Evil Jake, for all their talent, lacks a certain je ne sais pas.

Evil Jake

The band’s music in “Music to Strip By” is missing the swagger and attitude of The Strokes and the energy and power of The Living End. In passing, one could almost mistake one of their songs for a commercial jingle.

So, it’s no surprise that the band has already appeared in a commercial. Despite what they may lack, however, Evil Jake harkens back to the days when rock and roll was fresh and fun, and it is exactly these qualities needed in commercial radio today.

Be My Ex-Girlfriend

Listening to Evil Jake’s other album Be My Ex-Girlfriend, it comes as no surprise that the trios music is featured in a Mountain Dew commercial and an upcoming movie starring Jack Black.

Hell, they even have a celebrity endorsement in the eye-pleasing form of Lucy Lui. Amidst the current soundscape of dour metal, gilded pop and mall punk, Evil Jake separate themselves from the pack, though.

evil jake review

These three goofballs with tongues planted firmly in cheek play good time rock n roll. Sure, vocalist/guitarist Mike Jacobs sings about heartbreak in many songs, but the music that he, bassist David Leatherwood and drummer Paul Campanella play is undeniably and unapologetically fun. Almost any of the albums 13 tracks could be the theme song for your favorite television sit-com. If you take that as a negative comment, however, try not clapping at that certain part of the Friends song.

All Evil Jake seem to want is for you to remember what is was like when rock got everybody all shook up. In the closing track Smile, Jacobs nicely asks you to try when he sings Let me prove to you that all Im gonna do is make you smile. Sometimes, that’s all you want from a song.

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