June Killing Stones
Okay so I’ve known these guys for a while. I met Jake… somewhere? a few years back. My fondest early memories are of our hash jams at Folk Fest, where Jake became like a jukebox and pumped out as many verses of songs he knew and we all played along.
I didn’t see a June Killing Stones show until maybe a year later or so. They’ve been a band for a while I think, and you can tell in their sound that they have a lot of practice under their belt.
Last time I saw them they played the Cavern, but last time I saw them they got very jammy. Mind you, I wasn’t able to stay for this whole show. At this show, they played two sets. I think it probably totaled about an hour and a half. Based solely on that, you know these guys are pretty serious about their music. They have stamina? They have a big catalog of things to play.
I’m pretty sure Jake was playing a Hendrix lick during the sound check. Despite the gentle tease, the guys played a mix of more pop-oriented rock music. They have a number of originals, many which you can find on their Bandcamp page. They played a few covers too.
Though I wasn’t able to stay, I got a good grasp of their musical talent. The guitarists, Jake and Josh, are brothers. And you can see that come through in their music. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen brothers play music before, but I swear to God they get bonus telepathy. You could see these two turn to each other and communicate wordlessly while playing, and the sounds they created during those conversations brought the whole band into check. The drum and bass keep ’em together and on time, but the connection between these guys keep the whole band tight and sound very on point.
June Killing Stones has an alternative sound that I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of. I can see how they’d appeal to people, though. They’re tight, play with mood and flavour, and have pretty creative ideas. I find I really came to appreciate Josh’s voice at this show. That’s one aspect in which I noticed growth. His vocal tone has improved in the last year a lot and I could hear the extra layer of mood and complexity that his sound brought to the show.
These guys have some real musical talent. They have a lot of practice. I know Jake well, and I know he can play some pretty ridiculous shit. They sound good now, tight, strong, but I feel like they’re limiting themselves somehow. Maybe I’m just a sucker for weird shit. But I want to hear more experiments in their tunes.
But that’s just me.