The near-end of 2017 has me looking over my shoulder fondly at two releases that unequivocally stand head and shoulders above all other new music I heard this year. Interestingly, neither Kevin Max’s SERVE SOMEBODY or EP1, the debut project from Blank Books (brothers Aaron and Jesse Sprinkle), are full length releases, but, instead, EPs that inject strong past-tense rock influences with invigorated relevance.
Max’s SERVE SOMEBODY, an outright cover project, breathes new air into the lungs of rock classics by the likes of Bob Dylan, U2, Larry Norman, and Rich Mullins with an impressive level of aptitude that may cause the listener, in some cases, to distance themselves from the original versions of songs covered in favor of Max’s new cover versions (e.g., dc Talk’s “Red Letters”).
EP1 by Blank Books, on the other hand, delivers six original songs that combine the delicate pop vocals and arrangement sensibilities of Aaron Sprinkle with the stellar drumming prowess of his brother Jesse and the most endearing qualities of low-tuned 90’s guitar grunge. It’s punchy guitar-pop that soars like a bird while simultaneously grunting and moving with the weight and force of a rhino.
Both releases are just enough to wet the appetite of listeners for what is hopefully on the horizon in 2018: full length releases from both Kevin Max and Blank Books. But, don’t let these two solid releases pass you by as you wait for the full-length projects to come. Both SERVE SOMEBODY and EP1 are good enough to play on a loop without even realizing that you just listened to the same song a few minutes prior.
Purchase SERVE SOMEBODY