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Mainlining Rock

I am genre-less here. In the old days, I would have called First Story Jumper mainstream rock, but what do you call it today when it seems that either every album has its own classification or is thrown under a one-size-fits-all umbrella? I would compare First Story Jumper to , but the more effort I put behind that band and its fine but ignored EP The Signal the more they are ignored, which I am beginning to take personally. Good music, and really good music, deserves a better fate than a one way trip into oblivion and I will do my damnedest to prevent that from happening, though I wonder sometimes if maybe the music world does not deserve the mediocre handouts of what is left of the old music business. I thank the gods for the indies and, positive guy that I am, I slog on.

And the slogging is great these days. Take First Story Jumper. I admit I shrugged my shoulders the first time through this CD, hearing what I thought might be more of the same, but that has only reinforced my take on first impressions (which is that they aren't worth a shit, something I learned from a small handful of love-at-first-sights turned fatal attractions). More of the same? If these guys are more of the same, give me more, that's what I say. More full-on production, more excellent musicianship, more extremely well written songs and more first class vocals which prove once again that quality, when it comes, trumps all.

I have to tell you, I love the smell of great music (and coffee) in the morning and more than a few have been jump-started by these guys. Jump-started with solid wall-of-sound future classics, in my mind at least, because sure as hell I will be sitting somewhere in the distant future, if I have one, and a track from First Story Jumper will pop into my head uninvited but not unwelcome and remind me that I am, indeed, still alive. In my head and maybe in reality I will play air drums and strum air guitar and sing beneath my breath in an off-key way and I will hear the music I am hearing this very moment and am learning to appreciate more with each listen because these guys are quickly jumping from musicians I compare to others to the musicians I will use as comparison. They set the bar that high.

And I get high when I hear them. I find myself air-drumming Waste Time, singing ...and I'd like to waste time/'cause he's no friend of mine along with the band, and can't help moving to Wheel, the mid-tempo downbeat unrelenting beneath majestic chorus, and dancing on the inside to the Rare Earth-ish, smooth-but-crunchy Daylight. B-Side is becoming my anthem (...and I'm the one who let it slide/living my life on the B-side), perfect for a guy who remembers what a real B-side is, and at times my philosophy is perfectly encapsulated in Grace Drive Thru because, like it or not, there are times when you have no control.

Look. You know and I know that words mean very little when it comes to music and that music means little unless we give it a chance. Below, I am posting a video on the making of this album. Keep in mind that this was very early in the process, that the music was being laid down as it was being filmed. Watch the video and listen to the rough tracks, then head to and hear the final mixes. I tell you, in my head, these guys are as big as maybe U2 and Coldplay and Vampire Weekend are in yours. I know because the past few weeks, when I hear certain songs, I think of these guys first. Somehow, they have become a yardstick for quality, if only for a short time. Some may think that a little extreme, having been brainwashed by a superstar-struck media. All I can say is I don't care who it is, I only care how it sounds and First Story Jumper sounds great. You can quote me.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.

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