by Nathan Cardiff

A crunchy country opener kicks off the debut EP from Lawrence trio Jasper. “Down The River” sets the bar high for four excellent tracks. Full of grit and guts, the band makes some great rollicking tunes to tap your beer bottle to the beat. The promise of “something better” drives the band down the river on the first song (“my liver ain’t so old & I ain’t got this past to hold”), but of course there’s no avoiding the cold ending we all succumb to. The strained vocals on “Minimum Wage” perfectly convey the exhausting work day and the chorus (“Oh I know/Oh I know”) has you shaking your head in quiet agreement.

A big change of pace on side two brings us the beautiful “Party Dress” with its lovelorn message (“You’re gonna make a big ol’ wreck outta little ol’ me”) of one night together with a fleeting hope for a future. The nearly six minute stunner “Disjointed Narrative Lovesick Cheatin’ Blues” has a sound grand enough to match its fantastic name; the wailing guitars, the cymbals crashing, the heartache in the vocals. Jasper gives us a brief and wonderful EP with their heartfelt tunes.

Favorite Track: “Down The River”

by Nathan Cardiff

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