Sunday, November 6, 2016

[ Album Review ] Jared Mancuso - Superdope

Artist: Jared Mancuso
Album: Superdope

Jared Mancuso reignites rock n' roll with his incredible album "Superdope". Combining high energy party romps, tender 50's surf rock vibes, and throwbacks to blues, and early pop, Superdope easily puts Mancuso in a genre all his own. Set to be released November 15th, you can check out the first single "Roll Over" on Soundcloud.


Roll Over – like a Molotov Cocktail thrown into a pile of fireworks, Superdope gets right in your face with funky, grungy electric guitar, crunchy riffs and warm arranged backup vocals. “Go on, roll over now” Explosive energy circulates around a tight, locked in rhythm section. Building throughout the song is the intense Led Zeppelin feel, and Weezer vibes. Electric guitars play in perfect synchronicity with each other. "You can make threats, I'm not the kind of person you can scare". Calm, cool and collected lyrics combat with the vibrant rock beat, like those fleeting heated moments in an argument. Sometimes things go much smoother when you Roll over and give in. 

La De Da – a fun, tongue in cheek tune about people who seem to just let themselves be miserable. People can get hung up in bad relationships, or wanting companionship, when they haven't found how to even make themselves happy. With a jaunty chorus of La de da dee da’s, as if to say they’re ignoring the things they could do to be living a better life. By the end of the song you might find yourself arm and arm with your best buddy at the bar, Guinness's in hand, and a round of whiskey shots on the way.

The F_ck – (personal favorite)  Awesome. Catchy,  “I dive right in, then I quickly start to sink” “What the F_ck am I supposed to do?!”  This song brings on the hard questions...what am I going to do with my life, should I move across the country,  should I try to find myself, or should I stay put and keep hitting the pavement? “Ain’t got the words, because this pen’s running out of ink” The bridge builds in intensity with Ooh’s and crashing drum fills, melodic shredding guitars, harmonies so godly you might have to tie your shoes to your chair. “It could be I’m not good enough to make it” a refreshing dose of self awareness, Mancuso digs deep to understand what might be holding him back when it comes to commercial success in the music industry. This song, and this entire album exceeds genre boundaries, shows character, and exposes the raw talent, tenacity, and songwriting mastery that comprises Jared Mancuso's sound.

Would You – slows down for a minute “I’ve got these brand new shoes and I’m walking away from you” “you left your laundry here, come and get it when I’m not around”… breakups are never easy, someone you used to be so into is now the one person you hope to avoid at the grocery store. Beach boys vibes, 50’s surf rock pull you in like a slow crashing wave. The little bit of slap-back echo on Mancuso’s voice sends cool chills into the mix. The harmonized guitar solo paints a vivid image of a dark stormy beach, with simple drum beats keeping everything centered.“Now would you let it go?” Continually impressed by the focus on songwriting, and keeping it in the forefront. With a band that has the capacity to blow the roof off a warehouse , they know exactly when to hold back and put the song first. 

Superdope – The title track of Mancuso’s new project is your next party anthem. Quick-paced lyrics and smooth falsetto. “Put your hands up for the superdope party” Beastie Boys meets the Black Keys. A winning combination of rock n' roll with a fun hip hop feel. They really dig their teeth in at the bridge, the groove gets heavy and the lead guitars scream and wail in perfect harmony. Only to exceed themselves at the last moments with an explosive, edge of your seat ending. 

Mayday (Instrumental) –  This is not your typical album ballad, this is a high speed car chase on the open freeway at night. Beefy, thick guitars, wild crashing drums, and what sounds to be piano ripping it like Jerry Lee Lewis playing Great Balls of Fire. Each member taking turns adding to this complex rock n’roll layer cake that makes it impossible to sit still. Mayday makes your standard rock 4 piece sound like the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Rest of Our Lives – Vocals styling reminiscent of Weezer, and The Avett Brothers really allow the lyrics to shine on this track. Sweet  harmonies and hot electric guitars go back and forth to tell a story of a love in the works. “I thought we’d be together for the rest of our lives” In the age of online dating, and hook up apps, it may seem like an impossible sea of love to navigate. You might have one of the best first dates of your life, only to never hear from that person again. Or the opposite, you may have had a terrible time, only to find that person is now sending you love notes in the mail and showing up at your work. Either way, it's these things a listener can really connect to with Mancuso's music. Songs about the everyday struggles of dating and pursuing love. “…I can’t believe we met last week. I can prove to you that my love never dies…if only you would take a second date”. 

Drive Me Crazy – smooth fuzz guitar, shaker percussion, falsetto vocal doubling set the vintage, old-time recording feel of this track. Transcending from Modern rock to earlier styles of rock n’ roll with all the style and flair of Motown producers back in the 50's. The groove gets deep and muddy like hot fudge. The drum tom and snare are deep and dark toned. Like the love that dragged you so deep underground that you’ll never find a clean escape. “You know that you drive me crazy, and I know it’s all the things you do to me” A toxic, yet working relationship. As artists I think we all find ourselves in some crazy relationships, ever on the prowl for our next muse.

The Other Side – bright, fun, upbeat, full of energy; The Other Side is stumbling onto a beach party, and getting handed cold beers and Austin style street tacos. Gang vocals in the chorus bring out the tenaciousness in Mancuso's voice. “Need a ride to the other side” “ba da ba” surf vibes meets hard driving classic rock. “if you’re too cool for school, then you’re really never gonna make it”. I Showing up to a scene “fly as hell” ready to meet girls, and dance, and see how crazy a night can get. Bring the party over to the other side (the next morning). 

Water – (personal favorite) the closing track to Superdope starts off with acoustic guitar, vocals similar to Anthony Kiedis, and the warm expressive feel of Neutral Milk Hotel. Perfectly panned harmonies, and acoustic guitar solo that warms your spirit like a fresh pot of coffee after a long night. “through the surf and sound, make my way back home” A nice throwback to this entire album, a work inspired by the simple effectiveness of early rock n roll bands and recordings, combined with all the party vibes of bands like The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Black Keys, and Weezer. As the song progresses the ooh La la’s build as the snare rolls back in, claps, and unique piano tones join as it all fades away, like the waves retracting back to the sea. 

Superdope is set to be released November 15, 2016. You can get you're copy right here:

Upcoming Shows

11/06/16  -  Bourbon & Branch   -   Philadelphia, PA   -   DETAILS
11/17/16  -  The Bowery Electric ALBUM RELEASE PARTY  - New York, NY

11/19/16  -  Maxwell's on Main   -   Doylestown, PA   

Watch the video for “Roll Over”