Faith In Jane sets a new standard with their latest album Axe To Oak.
In only ten years Faith In Jane is already releasing their eighth album. Pretty amazing. The trio from Maryland – Dan Mize (guitar, vocals), Brendan Winston (bass), and Alex Llewellyn (drums) – play psychedelic rock on a heavy, grungy plane. Expect extended jams and musical journeys into the unknown.
The first song on the album is the nine-minute exploration “Whiskey Mountain Breakdown.” They are starting off with their trump card – this song is amazing. I have always been a fan of the longform heavy music creations, and this one has to go into the queue for heavy rotation. The song has a pounding pulse and is at the same time beautifully lyrical. Mize’s voice is perfect for this manner of music and his guitar work flows and rages.
“She Moved Through The Fair” comes next, and it is a somewhat contemporary arrangement of a traditional ballad. It is surprising to hear and it fits perfectly in between the opening epic and the following song that challenges first in endurance and ingenuity, “Enter Her Light.” A bit slower in its opening bars, “Enter Her Light” casts a darker shadow with its sinister tones than do the preceding songs. The lilting moments, having a different context here, carry a distinct message and sentiment.
Side two features more radio-friendly lengths in its tracks while maintaining the established sense of peregrination, despite the apparent contradiction. “Heavy Drinker” has a noticeably weighted fuzz and it is indeed a good song to sit down and drink to. I can verify that with personal experience. “How Many Ships Sail In The Forest?” is an unusual piece in that its pace is particularly slow while its length is the shortest on the set. Perhaps that is only notable to me. The guitar is amazing in this instrumental song, as is accompanying bass line.
“Axe To Oak” and “The Seeker” are a natural pair. The former has a heavy groove while the latter is more laid back and very much in the grunge dimension with a big flourish at the end. One seems to flow into the other, and it works in both directions. These two songs are a great way to wrap up an incredible album. Highly recommended.
Axe To Oak is out now through Grimoire Records. Links below.
Band photo by Caroline Winston.
Faith In Jane website, https://www.faithinjane.com/
Grimoire Records, http://www.grimoirerecords.com/
© Wayne Edwards