I’ve been on something of a cassette tape acquiring binge recently, and one of my favorites of everything I’ve snagged has to be Joel Jerome's Grandes Exitos! [Vol.7], put out by the fine folks at Lolipop Records.
Around Los Angeles, Señor Jerome is something of a local legend, having helped helm the wonderfully radical indie rock group that was, Dios. In recent years though, Joel’s reputation as an astounding recording engineer, especially his work on Cherry Glazerr’s Haxel Princess and La Sera’s Hour Of The Dawn, has begun to precede his musical endeavors. However, anyone who’s seen Joel live in the past year or so, followed his Bandcamp, or picked up this smoker of a cassette knows that the guy’s chops as a songwriter and performer are still as strong as they ever were.
Grandes Exitos! [Vol. 7] sees Joel making his way through eleven tracks of new material, some covers, some originals, which traverses a wide breadth of the rock and roll genre. Yet, whether he’s delivering more intimate, acoustic numbers or fiery psychedelic marvels, all are imbued with an unbelievable amount of passion and energy which draws you back in for song after song.
The above tune, “I See The Light,” written originally by Miguel Mendez (whom I know nothing about), shows not only what a powerful player Joel is, just wait for that guitar solo, but what an intelligent interpreter of other people’s songs he is. I think it can be difficult for some folks to deliver songs written by others with the same level of heart and soul that they do with their originals. However, Joel’s commitment to this piece is so deep, it hangs together seamlessly alongside tunes that he wrote himself. In fact, initially, it was hard for me to believe this tune was written by someone else. Joel and his band’s performance of the song is so tight and fierce I just assumed it was something that had come from deep within in him.
Recently, it was announced that Joel has formed a partnership with Manimal Vinyl to get more of his material out onto physical formats, and I really can’t wait. If this is only a small sampling of what Joel Jerome is capable of, then I think we can all rest assured that we’ll be having our collective minds blown over and over by this guy in the near future.
More information on Joel can be found at his Facebook. Copies of Grandes Exitos! [Vol. 7] can be picked up via Lolipop Records.