Occasionally, I suppose, a particularly creative and ambitious songwriter might after a moment of sudden lightning-bolt inspiration sit down and decide, “I’m going to write The Wall!” But if I were to guess, the “concepts” behind so-called “concept albums” more likely reveal themselves to the artist slowly and subconsciously – inadvertently – resolving into just the hint of a barely perceptible suggestion of a motif only after all the songs have been written rather than the other way around.
Such is the case with The Sound of Love Burning, the new concept album from Josh & The Jet Noise, the power-pop trio from the mean streets of NRH. Produced by Rebekah Elizabeth and Joe Tacke (Mean Motor Scooter, I Happy Am), TSOLB is the group’s sophomore effort and will be set loose upon the lovelorn masses this Friday.
Singer/guitarist, and resident Josh of the band Josh Reed admitted he didn’t intend to set out to write a concept album. He wrote the material for the record as he usually did with no particular common theme in mind. But as the band began contemplating the order in which the songs would appear on the album, drummer Chris Grucza discovered something interesting.
“As we narrowed down the songs we wanted to do and we started refining them further, I started noticing if you arranged the songs in a certain way, it seemed there was an emotional through-line, or an arc that we could use,” Grucza said.
Resistant at first to the idea of a thematic album –– and after much cajoling from Grucza and bassist Matt Thomas –– Reed finally not only gave in but leaned into Grucza’s vision.
“The basic idea is that every romantic relationship you’re in is the last one you’ll ever be in –– until it’s not,” Grucza explained. “By and large, all relationships follow a relatively standard pattern from initial infatuation: ‘Hey, we should see where this is going,’ to ‘Oh my god, I’m so in love,’ to ‘We’re in love but we’re kind of starting to piss each other off,’ to the complete and utter fuckery at the end of a relationship, and then to the final acceptance that it’s over, and it’s time to start the cycle all over again.”
Through the TSOLB’s eight tracks, Reed and the accompanying Jet Noise take the listener through each of these stages. The opener, “Enigma,” documents the breathless, twitter-pated intoxication of new attraction. “Then I Met You” and “Am I Getting to You” cover the meat of our vicarious lovers’ tryst before “Throwing Daggers” makes the turn downhill toward the end, which segues neatly into the emotional climax of “Hold Back.”
Once the subliminal narrative was revealed to him, Reed realized the concept wasn’t much of a stretch from where he usually resides as a songwriter.
“I’ve really always written about relationships,” he said. “Because everyone can identify with it. They’re the big experiences of anybody’s life. We carry those situations with us in an attempt to make us better people along the way. I wouldn’t have been on board [with the concept] if I didn’t feel people could relate.”
The release of The Sound of Love Burning will be celebrated with a show at MASS. Rounding out the bill are Jet Noise’s brother band Bruce Magnus, “time traveling cover band” Chancy, and perennial roots/reggae staple Pablo & The Hemphill 7.
Josh & The Jet Noise album release
7pm Fri w/Bruce Magnus, Chancy, and Pablo & The Hemphill 7 at MASS,
1002 S Main St, FW. $10 682-707-7774.