By Samuel Wigness
JONES leads the charge into a new era of blues-rock with its new EP Are You Gonna Love Me Now That I’m Dead?
Armed with the essentials – guitar solos reminiscent of early Led Zeppelin and energy surpassing that of the White Stripes and Black Keys combined – the trio refuses to be pigeon-holed into any single musical category. The intro track, “21 Megaton Bomb,” sets the tone of the high-energy EP and gives listeners fair warning of the intensity to follow.
Now That I’m Dead? emerges after years of friendship between drummer Ian Tsar, guitarist/vocalist Clayton Hagen and bassist Nick Rush, and countless road trips between Minneapolis and Chicago. The trio covers a tremendous amount of ground on the seven-song EP, poking into rockabilly on “Texas Pete” and taking crack at Johnny Cash-like gospel on “By the Moon.”
Hagen’s vocal range is stunning, as is the trio’s chemistry. They have the ability to make their three instruments sound like five, but can also unify their weapons into one musical strike. The finished product is a result of hours spent in Minbal Studios in Chicago, and while it’s obvious JONES is well-rehearsed, their sound is organic and spontaneous – especially on the final track, “Lubbock.”