Review: Jason Sweeney – ‘Unknown Direction’ EP

With Scottish rockers, The King Lot, on hiatus, vocalist/bassist Jason Sweeney has been concentrating on his impressive solo material as well as running one of the best, interactive Facebook pages around. New EP ‘Unknown Direction’ is available now and for the measly sum of £6, you get five tracks of feel-good, uptempo music tailor-made for the Summer.

The title track kicks the party off with an impressive guitar tone from Scott Hannah that fills the room before the trademark Jason Sweeney bottom-end bass boom announces its arrival. Strong, catchy vocal melodies from Mr. Sweeney on a hooky, infectious track that lives on for some time after it fades out. The standard of playing is top-notch, especially the guitar work from Scott Hannah, and it’s great to hear a fiery guitar solo so loud and clear. The lengthy note that Sweeney holds as the song fades out is superb, and this fine slice of melodic rock is a great way to kick off the EP.

Recorded as a tribute to the rock scene and the “fantastic people” that belong to it, ‘This Is My Tribe’ features some towering melodies throughout its four minutes and there are moments (the guitar melodies, and drum sound in particular) where the track sounds like a ballsier, faster offshoot of John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’. That same call-to-arms spirit, with a Bon Jovi-ish catchy chorus that hits the spot time after time. A grower of a track which although you will be discovering for the first time, it’s as if you have been listening to it for years. At the core of ‘My Wasted Heart’, you will find killer, simple power chords, instant sing-a-long moments, and eargasms aplenty. One of those uptempo tracks that burrow deep into the listener’s psyche, only to pop out at any given time. It’s a damn few feel-good minutes perfect for the open road with the top down and the wind blowing in your hair. It’s also a heartache song, which becomes all the more apparent when you pay attention to the lyrics and you realise that you’re eavesdropping on an argument or the fallout from one. You might even have experience of some of the phrases used yourself? Good fun though, great vocals, and those power chords – scorchio!

‘She’s A Fighter’ has quite a significant Jon Bon Jovi influence throughout, both with Bon Jovi and his solo material, although the soaring hooks, melodies, and some of the guitar licks wouldn’t sound out of place on a modern Country Rock playlist. The chorus is simple and catchy as hell. A real earworm moment. The piano-driven ‘Watch This Grow’ ends the EP on a softer note and highlights the lighter side to Sweeney’s music. For most of the four minutes, it’s just Jason with a piano as accompaniment, the listener is waiting for the band to explode into action (as is the norm with a ballad), but instead of a by-the-numbers ballad, Jason pulls the rug out from under the listener’s feet with the introduction of lush female backing vocal harmonies. Totally unexpected and the perfect way to bring this enjoyable EP to its conclusion.

Buy direct from Jason, and the big man will sign it for you, can’t say fairer than that, eh?

Review – Dave

Spotify – Jason Sweeney


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