The Janks are brothers, Zack and Dylan Zmed, and their best friend Garth Herberg. Originating from Los Angeles, this group of young and talented musicians infuse rock styles from the 60s and 70s into the modern world of folk.
This band have gained rapid critical acclaim and have even been compared to Neil Young and Wilco. Not bad for a band that are only just about to release their debut album.
Taking inspiration from the timeless 60s and 70s rock sound that Zack is so fond of alongside Garth’s compositions, The Janks have produced a record full of timeless sounds, influential styles and lyrically solid songs.
While the beginning of the album starts off slow and acoustically focused by the time Rat Racers bursts through the speakers, the break is more than welcomed.
Rat Racers is much more experimental than the previous tracks. With screeching, high pitched and slightly Robert Plant-esque vocals, it’s a great rock song filled with dynamic changes, captivating vocals and some of the most influential sounds I’ve heard in a long time. Separation From Your Body is another fantastic experimental track.
From Rat Racers onwards, the album turns into what sounds like a 70s rock record. Before Rat Racers though, songs like Hands Of Time, Dead Man and Don’t Hide Your Eyes bring out the folk elements in their music. They are strong, easy to listen to acoustic based songs. Dylan’s vocals are spot on in bringing forward that old 60s and 70s folk feel. He has that rock star quality in his voice that just makes things tick.
Dylan (vocals, guitar, keys, percussion) explains why the structure of the record works this way: “The album is like musical theatre.
“The first half develops the plot of a young boy who comes from a broken home, while the second reflects the visceral intensity of growing up from separated roots. At the end, we see there’s possibility for change.”
With the record stretching from slow acoustic songs to heavier rock influenced tracks and finally back to slow and reflective songs such as When I Was A Kid and Get Outta Town, it does feel like a journey listening to this album. Going from down beat to ecstatic and back again brings the record to life and lets it hit home. This record tells a story and one that everyone should listen to.
Hands Of Time is released in the UK on 7 November. Watch the video for Dean Man below: