Skip to main content

Feels and Jams and Grooves OH MY with The Werks - Magic

I swear the further down this jam scene rabbit hole I fall, the more I am discovering things that I never even knew I liked. There is so much to discover once you step outside your comfort zone and it seems the further I wander from that zone, the more open my mind is to sounds, vibes, and audible journeys in general. There is just so much to discover. I have not gotten to see much of it live yet, but that is something I am working to remedy as much as possible this summer. I am delving into festivals. I am told there is no better way to truly experience this scene until you live it for a few days. For a girl used to dark and dirty New York City clubs for her music fix, this is a daunting yet deliciously exciting prospect. More on that later. I don't want to talk about camping.

Let's talk about The Werks.

Normal reviews will go into how these gents come from the great state of Ohio and are inspired by yada yada yada and I just don't really do that. Let's instead talk about the feels. I happened upon The Werks via the hubs not long ago and started dabbling in their music here and there for the last few months. I was immediately fond of the fact that despite their very rock underbelly, the songs were infused with so many other elements and flavors. The first song I checked out from them when I decided I needed to was The Answer off their 2015 album Inside a Dream. It was this beautifully melodic dance trip through a rock song. Its a song you can sing along to while you are shaking what you got with this occasional building punch to the feels. That was it. Hooked.

Fast forward to now and I am finally getting the chance to sit down and immerse myself in their new album, Magic. Magic it really, truly is. This record is a journey. It's a heavy grooving, soul reaching, poignant and romantic wandering. The writing is simply fantastic. It's a true statement of talent when a band can move your body and your mind in the same moment and that is truly what this record is. It has all the musical elements that make great songs, but there is so much soul and feel in every movement that you can't help but stop midway through a song and just feel. There are incredible bass grooves, guitar solos, drum perfection, and keys to blow your mind. The vocals are harmonious and soulful.

The song Moving On struck me right away with its steady trucking groove and really fun vibe. It has this feel of freedom and carefree joy that just permeates your skin and makes you want to hop in the car and drive anywhere. I love the percussion. I love the way all the guys each link up periodically through the song in this playful sync up that gathers and spaces and gathers again. They keys are so cool and they play games with the drums while the bass and the guitar push the whole song up to the rafters. If you are listening to this song and standing still, I really don't know what to do with you and we probably can't hang out.

I usually like to sit and work while in the process of really digesting a record. I work in finance, so I am punching numbers into a computer all day and can often be seen with my headphones on, essentially dancing in my chair. If it's filing day, forget it. I am in front of stacks and stacks of cabinets having my own private dance party. This line of work makes it easy for me to really sit and take in an album. While there is so much groove on this record, there were so many moments where I had to stop absolutely everything I was doing and just breathe in what I was feeling. I stopped typing, I looked away from my screen, and I was in it. Deep, deep in it.

I love music when it does that. It stops you in your tracks and makes you feel.

Where there are words, they are soul-stroking and full of meaning that carries you along with the vocals. Where there are no vocals, the music is carrying you through brambles of emotion that you seem to be able to feel with every pluck of a guitar string. There is a wonderful electronic element to the record infused with the keys. There are so many styles to The Werks that they cannot be easily categorized and this album is such a glowing example of that. I think that is something great about being called a "Jam Band". You are so free. I think The Werks really personify that concept with their blends of styles and ability to take you from point A to point B on so many different roads. This is a really multifaceted album from beginning to end. I can't recommend it enough.

Essential Listening:

Wide Awake - This is my new favorite song. No lie, no exaggeration. I have had it on repeat for about the last hour. Did you ever listen to a song that makes you think some sort of spirit came to you while you slept and pulled your emotions right out of your soul and then wove them into a song? That is Wide Awake. It's so soulful. The vocals on this song an beautiful too. I love that reggae groove. It's slight and gentle. Perfect. I'm obsessed.

Magic - I have often said that title tracks have their own high set of standards as they are some abstract representation of the album by their name. This song is no exception to that unspoken wrong. It's lovely and inventive. It's got a marching beat that layers with a steady groove and these harmonious vocals. This song would honestly be at home on mainstream alternative radio.

Compares to You - Whoever inspired this song is amazing. I love the temp changes in this song. It picks up from romantic and lovely to body moving grooving and trucking and then goes back again. Try and stand still. I dare you.

Pop on over to their website and you can get a full rundown of their upcoming dates and festivals including Peach and The Werk Out. They are doing a Phish after party at American Beauty in NYC during the Bakers Dozen, and that is my backyard. I am thinking I might just have to be there myself. I an officially a fan.


Popular posts from this blog

It's Almost Time for Disc Jam 2018! - UPDATED WITH SCHEDULE!

5/8 - UPDATE!!! THE SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE! (see the bottom of this post!)

I can't begin to explain how much I am eagerly awaiting Disc Jam this year.

When I found myself really, truly delving into the jam scene, it was for a lot of reasons. I was exploring music I already had a deep love for, I was exploring bands that my husband admired and helped to shape him, I was branching out in my music tastes out of my own curiosity about what I was missing, I was seeking a far more detailed understanding of the players who could go beyond a simple song and instead weave a whole story on the spot, but mostly I was seeking something much deeper for myself. I was seeking a peace that I desperately needed and just wasn't finding anywhere. 
I have always felt deeply connected to the music that I loved and while I have been writing about music for 8 years, I lost much of the connection that I used to feel. My love for the music remains strong, but as stupid as it feels to put this in words…

Digging Hard On The Heavy Pets - Strawberry Mansion

One of the things I have grown to love so much about the jam scene is just how much you can find within it. I used to be one of those people that assumed that "Jam Band" meant Grateful Dead ripoff band or tired cover band trying to do again and again what has already been done. I had no idea how many levels there were to the scene. I had no idea how many scenes existed within the scene and despite that, how inclusive it was to anyone who wanted to come inside and be a part of it. I am constantly finding something to to be excited about, and even better, to be completely taken aback by. Enter The Heavy Pets.

I was really excited when I first heard that The Heavy Pets had a new record. I won't lie and say I am any kind of long-term fan of the band because truth be told, I am still wetting my feet in their pool of awesome that has been steadily filling for about the last decade. However, over the last year more and more of their songs have been dropping into my mixes and I…

A Tribute With A Higher Purpose - Roots of Creation's Grateful Dub

I'm a ska girl who married a jam guy. We are both pig-headed, stubborn idiots who bonded over Bad Religion and Irish coffees long before we ever took off our personal blinders and truly delved into one another's "home scenes", so to speak. I have told this story many times on this blog, and it always ended with our strong desires - someday when we win the lottery and have all the money in the world for guarantees and VIP treatment - to have a massive festival to celebrate it all.

That's our lottery dream. After we buy a farm, pay for college for our kids, have a good night's sleep for the first time knowing our bills are actually all paid, we want to have a celebration of music that creates that bridge across the line few dare to toe between the jam scene and the ska scene. Now, let me clarify that this line really does not exist between musicians. The line exists in crowds. It exists between promoters. It exists to label heads. The folks to whom a scene and…