Above The Weather

Leroy Justice

Elm City Music, 2013

http://leroyjustice.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/14/2013

Leroy Justice is actually a band, not a person. Well, it is a person, a friend of a relative of a band member, but the Leroy Justice we're talking about is five guys from Pennsylvania and New York who play a warm, soulful version of Americana that borrows heavily from classic rock and jam band sounds. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The songs here are not so surprisingly very guitar focused. From the acrobatic bluegrass finger picking on “Up On The Mountain” that leads into louder classic rock feelings to the brazen guitar solos to the almost radio friendly vibe on “Blue Eyed Blues,” there is a lot of greatness from the six string. “Watch Him Fall” takes a break from the guitar wailing and is somewhat like a Neil Young song with vocal harmonies. “Before I Die” is the most jam band based, eight minutes that meshes hard rock with psyche rock.  Surprisingly, “A New Island” starts off with pianos before shifting into varied textures, showing a whole lot of versatility and changing up the pace well.

Where the band really shines are the tracks that start off more calm before erupting into mammoth sized, gritty, rock explosions. Tracks like the percussion heavy "Heroine," the organ friendly "So Long," or the extremely soothing "Two Trees" are perfect examples, illustrating meticulous songwriting. All the way through, frontman Jason Gallagher relays universal stories as the tightly knit rhythm section further complements the fantastic music the comprises all ten tracks.

The blues, prog, classic, and even indie rock all come together here for an album that will easily restore faith in anyone who feels rock 'n' roll has become predictable or even worse, boring. Top-notch songwriting, memorable riffs, and plenty of piano and organ bits make Above The Weather one of the year's best. Fans of The Black Crowes, Old 97s, Ryan Adams, or even Tom Petty, listen up.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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