Indonesian Junk return with a new EP of three originals and one cover. They hail from Wisconsin here in the United States and have put out a couple albums as well as past singles, a live album and an EP. This EP is not a bad place to get started if you want to get a taste of the band. Drawing inspiration from the likes of the Heartbreakers and those early bands from New York back on the 70’s with a healthy dollop of powerpop hooks, Indonesian Junk carves out their own identity to sound fresh and inspiring.
Lead track ‘When I Find You’ roars out of the speaker and finds Daniel James crooning over a cool guitar riff, and he then lays down a killer solo for good measure. This is straight forward rock designed to clear your head and celebrate life for a few minutes… assuming you are not the one he is going to beat up when he finds you. I’m always surprised more bands don’t cover early KISS songs with the excellent cover of ‘C’mon and Love Me’ sounding like they were the ones who wrote it with the attitude spilling out of James’ vocals throughout the song. Mike Mattner pounds the drums into submission, and Johnny Cyanide (bass) provides some excellent backing vocals. As the song fades out, the riff for ‘Detroit Rock City’ bubbles up for a moment and leaves me wishing the band had gone ahead and covered it too.
‘I Could Die’ opens with some nice work by Mattner to set up a midtempo song that features a slow subtle guitar riff. Unfortunately, this song lets the momentum of the first two tracks slip, and I have caught my mind wandering on this song each time I have played the EP. I think I would connect with it more in the context of an album’s worth of material. The band grab my attention back every time with the big swaggering riff and beat of ‘See the Light.’ My favorite song on the EP, this one channels all that is great with sleazy sounding rock and roll with James serving as a conduit for the likes of Thunders, Berry, and even some McCoy.
Indonesian Junk will hopefully get exposed to some new fans with this one as the EP represents a really cost effective way to start your collection if you are not already a fan. While it is not perfect, it does represent their sound really well overall with the band specializing in primal, punky, hook filled rock and roll, which their record label (Rum Bar) seem to have some innate ability to find and deliver to us.
Author: Gerald Stansbury