If Tom Petty mashed with the Replacements, you would get I Am Jake Ma.
LA’s I Am Jake Ma wastes no time in pulling you in to his new EP About Time—recorded in his living room last winter with very minimal recording gear including an iRig adaptor. And with that I’ve got a track-by-track review cuz its just too damn good. Too. Damn. Good.
The first track “Something New” takes all of our quarter-life crises (ok I’m a little older than 25 but thats not the point), and wraps it up into a moment of questioning and clarity. It makes you ask what it is that you want, if you just step away from the past and get out your comfort zone. Whether you are thinking about moving to Berlin or to Greece with your new lover, or just moving to Memphis or Portland for a change, Jake Ma steps right out at punches you in your gut with his first track. It’s a wake up call.
And the whole rest of the album follows through. “Stormy Weather” is very reminiscent of Philly band Cold Fronts (which we can dig) but with some of that quintessential California garage vibes that I still strongly believe is the last of the regional differences in sounds. “Crazy” goes hard, introducing some real punk vibes to the album (this is where I stop and head bang at my desk).
By “Style Queen” it’s pretty damn obvious that I Am Jake Ma has mastered a very distinct sound. At this point each track is very different from the other, with urgent guitars and catchy but simple lyrics remaining consistent throughout.
Then you’ve got “Surf Cash” which comes at you kind of like the first track. The guitars make me want to cry; and the vocals are v. punk. Pauses to head bang again.
“I’ve got nothing to believe in, if you’d only believe in me.”
And, can we just take a moment to talk about the interlude? Am I listening to Grateful Dead or Jake Ma? Someone don’t let this moment end. Lets take a moment of silence because he just killed it.
And at end of the EP, we’ve got a very rad, very garaged cover of “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.”
Mixed and mastered by the very rad homie Steven Martinez (Pure Mids), the album features cutting and catchy guitars, proper vocals, and a big blanket of warm and cuddly Cali vibes. Take a bow I Am Jake Ma. You done did it.
“This is the kind of music I’ve wanted to make since the day I learned how to play an instrument. It’s fast, it’s melodic, it’s interesting and it’s fun to play”.