Whatever they're putting in the water over in Ireland, it seems to be doing the trick. In the long line of new Irish blues/rock bands making their mark outside the Emerald Isle come Jaded Sun. The five-piece have been cutting their teeth on the Dublin rock circuit for the past six years, and as a result posses a tight blues/rock sound that is both reverent toward its classic rock influences, and tremendously refreshing.
Whilst lucky circumstances saw them discovered by Andrew WK guitarist Jimmy Coup and whisked off to LA to record this gem, Gypsy Trip is the sound of a band who have worked from the ground up, perfecting their craft the old fashioned way, through writing, rehearsing, and gigging relentlessly. Their '70s-esque sound is a culmination of influences; however, unlike many bands who have attempted to recreate past glories, Jaded Sun manage to stay true to their musical forefathers whilst delivering a record that is original, invigorating, and stands up well alongside classic album releases from thirty years ago.
Singer John Maher’s superb voice has been met with many comparisons to vocalists of yore, ranging from Paul Rodgers to Thunder’s Danny Bowes to Rod Stewart, and whilst all these observations have their moments of accuracy, Maher ultimately delivers an unrivaled performance that should see him recognized as one of the finest singers on the current scene.
Whilst the frontman’s vocal powers are a major selling point, he by no means carries the band alone. This is a tight, well rehearsed outfit with every player a acting out a vital part. The twin guitar attack of Eorann Stafford and Sean Gosker is essential in the band’s signature sound, and is used to great effect, particularly within solo sections. Bassist Damien Kelly and drummer Gavan Murray deserve a mention as one of the most solid, yet sympathetic, rhythm sections this writer has heard in a long time. Capable of holding down the fort one minute and blowing it up the next, they are the essential driving constant behind the glorious, soaring pandemonium created by Stafford and Gosker.
Although there are hard rocking tunes here in abundance, the band also displays a rare sense of pace and variety. "Crave" is an emotional ballad that shows where the Rod Stewart comparisons originated, whilst "Sweetness" is the nest song Aerosmith never wrote. These departures from the full blazing sound of "Breaking Through," "Crazyman," and "Positive" highlight the multi-faceted nature of Jaded Sun’s musical personality and distinguish them from many of their one-dimensional peers. This is a record that just gets better and better with each new listen, and the thought of witnessing the band playing any of these tracks in a live setting is a formidable prospect. There is no doubt that Gypsy Trip can safely be called a modern day classic that will surely stand the test of time and, if this is just the band getting started, I can’t wait to see where they end up.