Have you heard of Jet Black Berries? If not, you should. They were on the soundtrack to one of the most entertaining zombie movies from the 80’s, Return Of The Living Dead. Back after quite a while with ‘Postmodern Ghosts’, Jet Black Berries have put out a rock album mixed with elements of pop, punk, psychedelic, and even some southern gothic country. But can they pull all that off? Check after the jump.
Kicking off the album is ‘God With A Gun’, which starts with horror-esque pipe organs and church bells before segueing into a 90’s Gin Blossoms style verse. The song is a complete throwback to the beginnings of my musical journey, so it brought up many nostalgic emotions. Interestingly enough, the pipe organs and church bells from the beginning don’t come back which makes me wonder why they were there in the first place? All in all, it’s a great song to start the album with as it showcases what to expect.
The rest of the album has a slightly raw sound to it that only bolsters the 90’s edge. The bass holds the foundation wonderfully with a clear, round sound. Occasionally, the bass will come forward with thunderous clarity that would sound amazing on a huge system. The guitars have a generic overdriven sound. However, there is something oddly comforting about that and I enjoyed listening to them. The vocals are up front but not in your face. The drums are panned wonderfully, creating a wide spacious soundscape that demands spread out speakers or good headphones.
Another great thing about this album is that each listen yields new layers and embellishments that weren’t heard previously. I could swear that I heard a didgeridoo as well as xylophones, organs, bells, and far more. Such little surprises help make this album something worth coming back to many times. Also fun is that the lyrics have a lot of horror themes, though none are really ever “in your face” about it.
The Final Word: It feels like I’ve been transported back into the early to mid-90’s. Although there are a few weak tracks, the album as a whole is a great deal of fun and a welcome return. I hope to see a lot more from these guys.
Check out: ‘Fast, Cheap, Out Of Control’, ‘They Walk Among You’, ‘Welcome To My World’.