GENTLEMAN JESSE: Self-titled: CD

There’s a lot to say for records that smolder all the way through. Hip sways. Deep nods, slight sneers, the feeling that you want to snap your fingers, even though you rarely think of such things. Gentleman Jesse isn’t blathering, blistering, or putting the listener’s face up to a belt sander. Nor is the trio powdering up diphenhydramine hydrochloride and blowing clouds of it to the audience. This is no snooze-fest. They take a route that’s much more perilous, where each instrument has to take its turn being load bearing so the songs don’t buckle from being constructed by fluff or effects pedals. And when it’s an instrument’s time to shine; bright tones, crisp lines, decipherable lyrics, and more than just a little bit of dazzle all the way through. It takes me back to bands like Eater and The Saints; bands that didn’t quite fit into the “natural order of things” when they were around, but their audio legacies are undeniable. The impeccable pacing also heavily reminds me of The Exploding Hearts, but in more of a Merseybeat, instead of Elvis Costello-ish, way. I hate hearing this record end. Fantastic.

 –todd (Douchemaster)