Jones Beach Bring Some Cool, Reverb-Drenched Surf Sounds to Bushwick
Jake Jones is a one-man surf band, at least on record. He’s sort of the Elliott Smith of surf, not in the sense that he’s ripping off Badfinger or George Harrison (or Elliott Smith, for that matter), but because he plays all the instruments himself, in this case just guitar multitracks and drums. His surf rock project, coyly titled Jones Beach, has a couple of eps up for free download at Bandcamp that you should grab if surf music is your thing. Jones Beach – presumably with at least one other person in the group at this point – also have a Bushwick show coming up on December 13 at around 9 in the back room at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan St. just a couple of blocks from the Morgan Ave. L train.
The longer of the two ep’s is The Craze, and it’s pretty consistent all the way through. Jones likes the upbeat, major-key side of surf. The production is on the tinny, trebly side, which kind of makes sense since there’s no bass, just guitars and drums, and Jones has the reverb tank set to stun. His songwriting is distinctive and original: while he likes the classics, particularly the Ventures, it’s hard to think of anybody who’s writing this kind of stuff these days. Jones keeps it simple: he’s got a classic pop sensibility, likes to play on the beat and favors a clean, uncluttered guitar tone. The strongest tracks are Burn Out, a strutting, staccato Ventures-style two-chord space-surf vamp; Revenge, which unlike what the title would imply, isn’t horror surf or even minor-key but instead has hints of Orbison pop; Poison, with echoes of loping desert rock; and Fun Fun Fun, the most Link Wray-influenced track here, with some neat call-and-response between a couple of the guitar tracks.
The Lonely Boy ep has just three song: the title cut, Lemon Drop and the JB Shuffle. The first gets a really psychedelic echo effect going, with what sounds like a repeaterbox on the rhythm track: it’s the coolest song of all the Bandcamp tunes. The other two tracks surf up oldschool soul vamps. That back room at Pine Box is closed off from the rest of the bar, and the big meat-market scene that you have to muscle through to get back there tends to be oblivious to the fact that the place has music at all. But this band will probably draw an awful lot of people back there once the crowd hears what’s going on.