EP Review – ‘Fools Empire’ by JSA
London-based alt rockers JSA have released their second EP, ‘Fools Empire’ and it’s a great blend of alternative styles, from punk to post-Britpop. The 3 track EP, which follows their 2019 release ‘Ghosts’, is out now via Undead Collective Records.
Title track ‘Fools Empire’ counts us in to a fast and feverish track where pounding drums and beefy bass dominate, accompanied by raucous vocals that spit out pure punkish anger in the lyrics. Live performances, if we ever get back there, are likely to cause frenzied moshing! Towards the end of the song, the mood changes and becomes more melodic, the foot off the gas a little and almost home. The style perfectly demonstrates an inner struggle and this song is contagious.
‘Orange Juice’ begins with promising chords and a deliciously deep bassline, followed by gentler and harmonious vocals which give you a feel-good warmth. This is less punk and unbelievably catchy, with clear vocals and relatable, personal lyrics. At around 2 minutes the pace perks up, lifting the whole song and moving my body in time. A simple outro of drums and vocals is very effective. Love it.
Closing the EP ‘Down & Out’ is another relevant and introspective style track, largely playful and huge fun. Think BMTH and Green Day in a pie. This is a strong track which would be great for running but beware of singing it out loud.
In all I’m really impressed with this EP, while the more punk track is not really “me” I think the songs together display a range of styles and influences. The speaking parts remind me a little of Arctic Monkeys but that’s where that comparison ends. The alt-rock content of struggle and conflict is a winning ingredient, as is the way the EP tells a story and lets you relate. I’m now off to re-listen to their first EP ‘Ghosts’…. Back in the New Year!
David Marley (Lead vocals)
Alan Smith (Guitar, vocals)
Joe Blackford (Guitar, vocals)
Tom Carnell (Bass)
Kevin Smith (Drums)
Highlights – Orange Juice
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