Old James – Speak Volumes
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Towards the end of 2016, my good friend/contributor Taylor put a really exciting band on my radar. After telling me numerous times how much she loved this Canadian trio called Old James I finally caved in and right off the bat I was floored by their 2014 self-titled EP. Old James finally delivered the goods in a huge way in 2017 with the release of their debut full-length album, Speak Volumes and this album more than lives up to its title.
Kicking things off with “Don’t Put it On Me” was a great move because this song is everything that is great about hard rock music. It’s gritty, it’s groovy, and the voice of singer/bassist Brian Stephenson is the thing that makes a great rock n’ roll front man. Stephenson’s attitude and emotion come through loud and clear with his expressive, soulful, and natural voice. “Words as Weapons” is without a doubt a shining moment for him but to pick just one “shining moment” on this album that outshines the other is damn near impossible. “Master Imploder” was a real facemelter sounding like the bastard child of Van Halen and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the closing title track left me wanting more and then going in for another round.
Sometimes it’s hard to put to words just how fucking great a band is. Old James is one of those bands that you just have to hear to believe. It’s not hard music to get into. It’s chockfull of melody, great vocals, groove, and stratospheric guitar playing. Old James is the real fucking deal and if Speak Volumes is any indication of what lies ahead, Old James is going to have a long, fruitful, and kick ass life. Bring it on, Old James… bring it on.