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The Judge – Tell It To The Judge

The Judge
Tell It To The Judge
by Angelis Beth Thorny at 08 November 2017, 1:36 AM

This Illinois based band was born when guitarist Dylan Jarrett and drummer Evan Anderson (UNFALLEN, THE RIPPER) having worked together previously, they came to form a two-man band under the name of THE JUDGE. Upon THE RIPPER's early splitting. Later, the band would recruit bassist Kevin Jones and vocalist Tyler Swope. As a band they soon began to record a demo and play local gigs impressing the crowds with their 60's tinted Prog Hard Rock.

Their first album titled “Tell It To The Judge” is kaleidoscopic, the perfect fusion between 60's groovy Hard Rock, psychedelia atmosphere and the deep bass and dark mid-tempos of Stoners Rock and Doom. Trippy and easy to the ear the album starts with “Empty Halls”. This song is great to begin revisit the sludge wild sound of the 60's which THE JUDGE emphasizes conceptually and in the progression of their music a clear RUSH influence and the sober straightforwardness in the late drumming style of Ginger Baker (CREAM) accompanied by a more persistent and provocative guitar riffing grant the song's uninterrupted drive which Tyler's voice garnishes effortlessly.

Islands”, however good the stage with which the album started is, I knew as this song began to play that it would be my favourite. The moods it transmits are as wide as its length, being one of the longest songs it jumps from wavy guitar riffs accompanied by clashy cymbals and drum grooves that at times shift to sludge slowed-down passages a la Moody Blues. It would serve as milestone for the band to finally preform lengthily, channeling what to me, would be the truest essence of THE JUDGE: a jamming experience that stays with you through the journey back to Woodstock. The vocals that are always clean, escalate from the ballad low tones up to the highest where Swope let his hair down towards a perceptible gloomier change that would stay present until: “Darkest Daze”, not to be confused with “Purple Haze”, this track is vibrant. Cloaked in an occult aura it would have the only manic-depressive drum solo in the entire album.

Having heard this band for the first time, I was hoping a more cosmically trippy hearing experience, even that of an experimental, mystic-leaning Indie Rock, not to "judge" a record by its cover would be adequate to say. Their music isn't perhaps as psychedelic and devilish as that of BIGELF's but in conclusion they are just precisely good at what they do. Not all the song's enjoyed the same uniqueness of those I remarked, but the fact that each musician is individually accomplished makes the nine tracked “Tell It To The Judge” an album which strength relies in its execution. Tyler Swope's vocal range could easily fit songs of a greater vocal complexity, this might be the one thing that made me rethink why after several listens it became too dense and a bit generic. Still said, I believe THE JUDGE would be playing on my stereo the next time I road trip.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Empty Halls
2. From The Mountain
3. Strange Ways
4. Changing World
5. Islands
6. Go On Home
7. High Flyin'
8. Darkest Daze
9. Parade Of Sin
Dylan Jarrett – Guitar
Evan Anderson – Drums
Tyler Swipe – Vocals
Kevin Jones – Bass
Record Label: Ripple Music


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Edited 10 June 2023

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