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Published: 2011/03/08
by Brandon Findlay

Jamie McLean Band
Time Of My Life EP

Rock & Roll makes for familiar bedfellows with ambition. Ambition has a gravity about itself, a magnetism that can draw the right kinds of hipness, attention, and, occasionally, funding.

So when the Jamie McLean Band decided to test the 21st century waters of crowdsourcing for an ambitious vision, they were truly heading for the deep end. Using’s “All or Nothing” bottom line, the band reached out to their network of family, friends, and fans to see if they would find enough of a kindred spirit to bring life to a year-long, 4-EP production process. With less than one day remaining before deadline, the band hit their $10,000 goal, Kickstarter collected the funds, and the first EP was digitally delivered to funders as a pre-release thank you.

Said first EP, a “studio electric” songbook, collects six fine chapters of American rock & roll under the title of the first single, an open-road anthem called “Time Of My Life” that sounds like the right kind of buddy-movie theme song. Plowing into the slightly-detuned bluesified groove of “Girl Is Mine,” McLean’s guitar is slinky, funky, and big- big, like the rest of the band. Drummer Brian Griffin and bassist Ben Mars, the latter of which makes his first official JMB album appearance, understand the alchemy of a power trio; with few overdubs, the arrangements and production allow each tom roll, low E slide, and harmony vocal to fit properly, which is refreshing, considering other contemporary options.

“Best I’ve Ever Known” and “Hurricane” bring respective and welcome touches of country and 90’s alternative to the mix, while “Best I’ve Ever Known” and “Dear Love” feature some of the album’s best turns of phrase. The closer, “Almost Home”, is the feel-good. comfort food end befitting the song set.

If you wish, look ahead to the “studio acoustic”, “covers with guests” and “live set” EP’s that will descend next- but be sure you fully enjoy this succinct yet sweet burst of properly done RnR.


There are 5 comments associated with this post

Ben Mars March 8, 2011, 15:55:37

Brandon, Thanks so much for such a flattering review! I can not thank you enough!!!! Ben Mars

Jim Griffin March 9, 2011, 09:30:04

Congratulations to Jamie, Brian, and Ben! Great Tunes . . . Great Band!

Jen C March 8, 2011, 19:40:20

What a great review for such an rockin’ band!!

Steve Kowbel March 8, 2011, 22:11:04

Loved JMB when they came through Des Moines! Thanks Brandon for the skinnie on Big Bennie and the crew…looking forward to hearing the tunes live some day soon ::

Carter March 9, 2011, 10:18:25

Very deserving review. This band should be playing MSG!!!!!!
One of the most solid trios around. Keep it up gents.

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