Jerry Woods – Clearly EP (2014)

Give a big welcome to Jerry Woods, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Illinois whose EP, Clearly (jerry-woods.com) is so fetching you’ll be hitting the repeat button over and over and over again. A rather unusual twist is applied to this recording — as the first seven tunes are in stereo, where the remaining seven offerings, which are actually the same songs, are in mono.

A burly fizz of power pop fills the air on “Espresso,” which vents what a drag it is working the day job and needing a fix of caffeine to make it right. Hives of stinging hooks frame the song, and the guitars soar with velocity. The title track of the disc, enhanced by a burst of soulful choruses, proves to be just as rocking and direct.

Energized by streams of swooping rhythms and a spot of gloss and glamour, “Invincible” is garbed in nifty new wave wear, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talking About You” reels and rattles with cocky exuberance, and the racing brace of “Until We Meet Again” features Jerry Woods’ gnarly riffing chained tight against an equally swaggering arrangement.

Located in the acoustic corner, there’s the aptly coined “Black” that’s haunting, frail and bleak, and “Whatever Happened To Your Long Black Hair Victoria,” an icy psychedelic sermon crawling and trawling with the type of liquid formations associated with Pink Floyd and John Lennon’s early solo efforts.

Jerry Woods’ phrasing and inflection, which mirror moments ranging from the latter-day Beatles to David Bowie to Todd Rundgren to Billy Idol, are lively and commanding. Traction and momentum are other attractive aspects engraved in the music, which efficiently bridges the gap between pop and hard rock.
Classic sounds revamped with insight, Clearly promises satisfaction on every level. You’ve passed the audition, Jerry, so let’s hear more!

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson