Jamie Porter Band - MMXXI
Album review by; The Dark Cookie
Here I am sitting listening to Jamie Porter Band, MMXX! (2021 for the uninitiated in Roman Numerals) in late November, the weekend when the weather said “Hi! You know it's winter, right?”. More layers and the heating went on, hang the expense! And dang it, the music takes me back to warmer times. My first thoughts are there is a summery vibe to the songs, and not just to “The Sound Of Summer”. But then I realise it isn’t just a summery vibe, as that brings to mind a perhaps a certain level of shallowness, and this album is not shallow. It is uplifting, bags of positivity, but not vacuous or shallow, it is good rock music, played incredibly well, and that lifts the soul.
Before I get too deep in the hyperbole, let me tell you a bit about the Jamie Porter Band. In the classic Blues Rock power trio mold, the JPB consist of Jamie and Danny Porter and the odd drummer over the years, not at Spinal Tap levels for drummer through-out, and none that too my knowledge has exploded. The seat currently filled by Jason for their touring band. Danny also contributing some drums on the album. This is their latest release, their 3rd long player, including their “Live and Unplugged” set, plus a few of earlier EP's/singles, so their craft is well and truly honed by this point.
Opening track “Ready For Action” will immediately tack you back to the west coast LA 80’s vibe. Not bad for a group of Brits from the North West of this United Kingdom. The vibe (yes that word again) and swagger and sheer catchiness of this will get up and bopping, cold beer in one hand, the other arm round the waist of your girl, singing along with the chorus. Great way to start an album.
“I Can’t Stop Loving You” keeps the pace going, but with a deeper Blues Rock feel. The guitars have a crunchier tone, but the track is still upbeat. “Lay It On Me” keeps that same up vibe (I know!), which is made dirty by some filthy guitar!
“Where We Belong” is built on a suitable chunky, yet simple riff, but the vocal performances here by Jamie and Danny work so well, it gives the song real texture. And when the uplifting chorus kicks in it really lifts the spirit, and again what a solo!
Which brings us to the Ballad. “Save Me” is a plaintive song, perhaps it could have become a little formulaic save for a few things, the power of the song especially the almost spoken vocals and the sheer wave of power of the chorus, and of course a blistering Jamie solo.
“You Can’t Bring Me Down” is a punchy rocker, which at points reminds me of Neil Young in feisty rocker mode. Again, a simple song delivered with gusto and self-belief, it’s gonna keep me “Rockin’ In The Free World” for sure!
Then we have a couple of songs which can only be described as summery and positive. Both “Everything You Do” and “Sound Of The Summer” can only leave you feeling enlightened and happy. As Wayward Sons said “this is the feel-good hit of the summer”. Only Jamie and the gang have produced TWO feel good hits of the summer and way beyond. I defy you to not have your spirits lifted by this duo of fabulous songs, from their catchy choruses to the blistering guitars or the rocking tempo the back-line give the songs, they simply work.
As tough as the previous two would be to follow, they do with “The Last Train”, and whilst different in feel, we are still on the positivity train. This one has is a heavy country blues with attitude. Interestingly though building in a load of the 80s staple Woah Woah Woahs for good measure. And the “W” word leads us into the final song “Touch The Sky” and throughout, but not in a crass way, or just built for the crowd to sing along to at gigs (although no doubt that will happen), it just adds texture and an up-beat - and I promise the last use of the V-word, vibe, to a fantastic, happy, positive way to finish an album.
This album has been a pleasure to review. It is a great example of the power of music to help lift the soul. I will be coming back to this album time and time again for that reason, oh and the fact the music is damn fine! There is only one score I can give this!
5 out of 5
Jamie Porter - vocals, guitar
Danny Porter - bass, vocals, keys & drums
Jason Edmunds - drums
Social Media Links;
1.Ready For Action
2.I Can’t Stop Loving You
3.Lay It On Me
4.Where We Belong
5. Save Me
6. You Can’t Bring Me Down
7. Everything You Do
8. Sound Of The Summer
9. The Last Train
10. Touch The Sky