Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Janks “Hands of Time”

Sprouted Records
Certainly unique
  • The Janks have ambition in spades. They have great ability, and they have imagination. This epic is an attempt to step beyond the norms and incorporate some new influences into that pleasant, harmonic Fleet Foxes kind of Americana.
  • And so it takes inspiration predominantly from two giants of late 60s/ early 70s music: the Californian sound of harmonic country-pop and the growlier, and less fashionable sound of prog. Both styles were rather good at the pursuit of “money and sex”, as ‘Rat Racers’ would have it, and both also vulnerable to moments of self indulgence. But in other respects, they’re not natural bedfellows. The Janks make a really good effort to create something from these, and other parts, and the ambition is laudable.
    Stand out tracks are the weighty ‘Dead Man’, a bit of Californian grunge-folk, but at times, the record drags: as the first half ends, there’s a ballad too many before they kick out again. The desire for story-telling starts to wear by the end of the record so it’s hard to treat tracks like ‘child prodigy’ as serious rather than comic.
    It feels like a stricter, meaner producer might have done some weeding, for the greater good of the record. This is not the finished product, but the next album by The Janks would be one to look out for.
  • Lynne Pettinger

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