Free and legal MP3: Uncle Roman’s Jetboat (well-built, from good parts)

Look at how many distinct moving parts “Fearless Like Yourself” puts immediately into motion: the whistle, the snaky bass line, the itchy guitar, the brisk stuttering drumbeat, the haunted-house organ, all before the singing starts.

Uncle Roman's Jetboat

“Fearless Like Yourself” – Uncle Roman’s Jetboat

Look at how many distinct moving parts “Fearless Like Yourself” puts immediately into motion: the whistle, the snaky bass line, the itchy guitar, the brisk stuttering drumbeat, the haunted-house organ, all before the singing starts. A lot of rock bands allow their collective sound to pretty much mush together, which can be its own kind of fun. But I always like it when the ear can distinguish the individual parts even as they coalesce into one compelling musical narrative, which is what is going on here quite marvelously.

Then Thomas Beecham starts singing and in this case, too, the ear is immediately hooked; he begins: “While you were out/I was going through your shit/to find something to stick on you.” A first line that surely keeps you listening. Beecham has something of Thom Yorke’s nasally twitchiness, but channels it here through a less arcane song structure than the mighty Radiohead tends these days to favor. The song moves, has hooks, and interesting sounds, and nicely connected segments. We are also treated—don’t miss it—to an honest-to-goodness guitar solo, beginning at 2:39, which is squonky and delicious.

Uncle Roman’s Jetboat is a new project that combines four-fifths of the defunct Seattle band The Kindness Kind with Beecham, who is British, and was formerly in the band The Raggedy Anns. “Fearless Like Yourself” is from the debut Uncle Roman’s Jetboat release, a six-song album entitled Floodlights in the Sunlight, which is arriving in March on Don’t Be A Lout Music. MP3 via Don’t Be A Lout. Thanks to Largehearted Boy for the lead.

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