Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Judge - Tell It To The Judge

The Judge began life in Granite City, Illinois. After the band’s initial incarnation as Unfallen – with Jarrett on guitar and Anderson on drums – the duo quickly became a trio for a period, touring music venues across the St. Louis area, with new member Kevin Jones taking up bass and vocal duties. Increasingly influenced by the Britannic rock majesty of groups such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, along with that unshakeable ‘band of brothers’ mentality’ in 2013, the trio finally discovered the missing piece of a puzzle with the addition of their very own, enigmatic, front man, Tyler Swope.
As a criminally young quartet happily graduating from the riffs of old, Jarrett and Anderson started to uncover a new wave of hard rock acts occupying radio waves and record store shelves. Music by the likes of Graveyard and Kadavar helped inspire The Judge to develop their own special breed of slow burning psychedelia and sonic stew of traditional classic rock’n’roll with heavy backroom blues.
From inception, to release of the full length debut took some time.  When I spoke with the band in December last year, they told me they were pretty much finished on the follow up a mere 6 months after the debuts release; The Judge buzz with an energy and drive that runs through their songs, they're born of a joy and love of what they create and they certainly aren’t going to let the grass grow under their feet.
Of the songs featured, ‘Empty Halls’ opens the record with majestic Rock’N’Roll swagger and launches into an infectious riff and groove. The cool run continues with more bluesy, hard rock roadhouse belters 'From the Mountain', 'Strange Ways' and 'Changing World'.
'Islands' and 'High Flyin' are a little heavier and slower in pace, but no less a great match to the other tracks in tone. The remaining 2 tracks on the record 'Darkest Days and Parade of Sin' continue to power the LP forward, guaranteeing the album never runs out of steam. The record is drenched in beautiful nostalgic nods and ballsy tones from start to finish and delivered joyously; stylistically there are nods to rocks royalty and the sound of 70s resonates throughout, yet still managing to hold its own, as a modern hard rock record.

‘Tell it to The Judge’ hasn't failed to make me happy every single time I listen to it; brilliant music played by a band that clearly love what they’re doing and want share it with a wider audience. What more can you ask for? Kudos again to label Ripple Music for releasing the bands second album and once more ensuring that such great work is out in the great wide open for all to discover and enjoy.
Expect to see this on Atom Heart Mutha's end of year lists and I can't wait to hear album number 3.

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