Review: Jahroots – Support This EP

Review: Jahroots – Support This EP

Jahroots – Support This EP
Track Listing:
1.) Lady (feat. Shawn Eckels & Nick Fury)
2.) Move (Feat Shawn Eckles)
3.) On The Rise (Feat. Nick Fury)
4.) Skyline
5.) Support This
6.) Truth Be Told

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: April 20th, 2012
Official Website: Jahroots Website

Group Background:
Since their debut release in 2002, Jahroots has played with a handful of Grammy award winning artists like Stephen Marley, Damian Marley and Bunny Wailer. Their song “Ganja Weed” won “Best Reggae song of 2008” by the Global Marijuana Music Awards. The band use to feature vocalist Josh Heinrichs before Heinrichs went solo with his work.

Album Review:
When I first listened to Jahroots’ new EP, Support This, I was surprised to hear how different the sound is without former lead singer, Josh Heinrichs. The soothing melodies fans are used to are replaced by a faster paced rap/hip-hop style. While still maintaining their signature blues guitar solos and hard-hitting drums, the new vocal style gives the entire project a more contemporary sound.

The first track on the album, “Lady”, sets the stage and gives us a taste of what’s to expect from the renewed Jahroots. The song starts out with a laid-back guitar solo backed by simple drums, which drops back once the first verse starts. Surrounded by wailing blues guitar solos, the spoken word hip-hop verse seems strained and does not produce the fresh, original sound I was hoping for.

“Skyline” adds some texture to the album with crunchy guitar solos and background solos interwoven through the lyrics. While I enjoyed the instrumental portions of the song, the lyrics, rather than feeling like they’ve been organically drawn from first hand experience, come across as impersonal and forced “…Aging like a fine wine, but looking like a dead tree, feeling like a slave on the first day he was set free…”.

While I applaud the group for taking a risk and venturing off into an entirely different direction, the overall album is poorly executed. Support This lacks the cohesive quality that allows the songs to not only shine on their own but to also flow into one another seamlessly. By trying so hard to find a sound that is anything but generic it seems to have pigeonholed them in the one category every band hopes to avoid.

Written & Reviewed By: Ashley Allred

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