Jeremiah Freed – Slowburn (CD)

Playing a style of rock that is aurally similar to Hilljack and 38 Special, Jeremiah Freed are not afraid to get down and dirty with their instruments. Able to consolidate a band’s worth of instruments and vocals into one tight formation, a track like “Reflect Your Light” is a lumbering beast, with drums and bass pulling the low end while the lead guitar and vocals pull the high. “Reflect Your Light” shows the band as individuals who are not afraid to delve into the depths of guitar wankery, being able to include a solo of length without losing anything from the rest of the band. “Lost in Today” shows the band living in a number of very different time period – reaching individuals in the present, as well as the Seattle alt-metal of the late eighties and early nineties. Pulling a Chris Cornell meets Warrant style of vocals during “Lost in Today”, Joe has the ability to create a vocal style, that while similar to the aforementioned vocalist, is all eir’s own.

The title track, the first track to begin to strive for the status of rock and roll epic, really falls into place as one of these mini-concerts, delineated into various movements, yet ultimately strung together by the omnipresence of guitars. “Leave Me Where I Lay” is another track that is firmly grounded in the early nineties, and makes decent use of multi-layered vocals to provide more of a presence to the track. Technical virtuosity is the key to Jeremiah Freed, but the lush recording on “Slowburn” doesn’t hurt their case in any way. Not content to ride the same track through their entire disc, “Do My Best” is much more laid back than any of its brethren on “Slowburn”, looking even farther back, an ideologically similar track to early Lynyrd Skynyrd, specifically “Tuesday’s Gone”.

With all of the revivals of Detroit and NYC rock happening in popular music, it really is only a small matter of time until Jeremiah Freed is given their chance at the big time. Universal Records, I feel, will regret ever letting go of the band. “Slowburn” is a CD that has the rare ability to go and sound just as compelling as a live recording, without stage-talk and much better recording. All I know is that the Jeremiah Freed CD will go right among my rock CDs, right between Corrosion of Conformity’s “Deliverance” and Warrant’s “Dog Eat Dog”.

Rating: 7.3/10

Top Track: Reflect Your Light, Rolling Backwards

Jeremiah Freed – Slowburn / 13 Tracks / 2003 Gravsite Music / http://www.jeremiahfreed.com/ http://www.planetverge.com / 25 April 2004

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