Saturday, February 25, 2012

“Calls And Responses You Can’t See”

Of all the DC based indie heroes that have come and gone – J. Robbins is my personal favorite. Today I picked up the latest offering from the mastermind behind Jawbox and Burning Airlines – Waiting For The Next End Of The World the debut full-length from his new band Channels.

Channels is a trio composed of Robbins on guitar and vocals, Janet Morgan (J.’s wife) on bass and harmony, and former Kerosene 454 drummer Darren Zentek.

Waiting… is a terrific return for Robbins to the DC music scene.

This album bares Robbins’ trademark guitar-style (albeit with a few deeper riffs than usual peppered through-out) and his vocal delivery is still as impassioned as his lyrics are poetically vague. Zentek’s drumming on this album flat-out destroys, the guy has still got it, that’s really the only way to put it. While those elements make Waiting… a truly rocking album the real highlight of the album for me is Janet Morgan’s harmonizing with both Robbins’ voice and his guitar.

Robbins’ has worked some pretty great call-and-response into his songs in the past but I would say that the harmonizing on Waiting… is some of his best. Maybe it has something to do with Robbins’ wife being his partner on this one – all those unspoken signals between a husband and wife expressed beautifully in sound – or maybe I’m just being a romantic sap. But hey, that’s what Robbins’ music does to me.

Pick up Waiting For The Next End Of The World by Channels at your local record shop.

And don’t forget to catch Channels live at the Black Cat on October 6th with Medications and Victory At Sea.

Originally published on September 27, 2006.

This was a short-lived project because J. and Janet's son was diagnosed with a rare illness shortly after this post. J. has since resurfaced with an excellent project called Office Of Future Plans.

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