J. Page’s sound, specifically in the vocals has a comparable sound to Columbus’ own Rise and Shine. The use of guitar lines that seem drawn from the early nineties, especially during “Dying staying Here” really gives the band a timelessness to their sound that ensures that dated-ness of their music will not happen. The wall of sound present on the aforementioned “Dying Staying Here” gives a perfect backdrop for J. Page’s vocals to really show a sense of melodrama that perfectly mixes with the spirit of the rest of the track. While keeping the same sort of tempo and sound for “Personal Space Invader”, maybe moving to the indie-rock (Sloan, Pavement) of the middle part of the nineties, the vocals take on a Rise Against meets Mike Ness type of sound that still have a shred of pop influence.
The mastering on “Goodbye Chapel Hill” is solid, allowing for all sections of the band (vocals, guitar, bass and drums) to have a key part in constructing the overall sound and feel of the track. That may not seem like much of a winning point for this disc, but consider the fact that poor mastering will in essence create another album out of music a band has created, and the point really makes sense. The bass makes a grab for more of the recognizable sound during the soaring vocal-led title track. The falsetto that is achieved on the track tip-toes the line between genius and mockery, luckily landing on the genius side (as the vocalist does not maintain this style of singing for too long of a time). Stuck at the end of the disc is the masterful “Beer Me, Asswipe” which actually has some of the magic of pseudo-neighbors Against Me! (in overall sound, subject matter and “I Citizen”-like vocals).
Most bands load their best tracks towards the front section of the disc, but with this limited number of tracks and the strength of their compositions, J. Page has no choice to put such an obvious hit at the end of the disc. Time will only tell whether the band can cook up ten or so tracks with the same strength as the five on “Goodbye Chapel Hill”, but their steely exterior is enough of an indicator to be confident that they will. The mix of pop sensibility and musical versatility is a combination not often seen, and to accomplish that overall sound in a mere five tracks shows that J. Page is truly a special breed.
Top Track : Beer Me, Asswipe
J. Page – Goodbye Chapel Hill / 2005 Nice Guy / 5 Tracks / http://www.jpagerock.beetlenation.com / http://www.niceguyrecords.com / Reviewed 07 June 2005