GAR FRANCIS-Shine On

gf1Over a year after its release, I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the Gar Francis EP, Shine On forwarded to me by New Jersey indie label, Bongo Boy Records. With reckless abandon, and much anticipation, I sat back, strapped myself in, and turned up the volume.

The title track, “Shine On“, both rhythmic and haunting, contains elements of psychadelica and Jersey garage rock. Gar’s vocals, somewhere between Tom Waits and Bowie, are perfectly gritty and raw. The guitar riff is way cool, the lead solo is wonderfully 1960’s, and the hook, unforgettable. “1985“, a prototypical Asbury Park anthem, delivers more outstanding vocals and a way cool harmonica part. The melody rocks, and I swear I hear some Joe Strummer woven into the fabric of the music. There is perfectly placed guitar picking, and the song has a great 60s garage rock feel to it. With some of the coolest lyric I have heard in a very long time, “Was I off somewhere, or just too high? Did I miss the signs, hiding there in your eyes? Back in 1985?”, this song kills.  The rhythm and blues tune, “Blue Cadillac“, shines with a sound that at times reminds me of Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes. A wonderful track, complete with twangy guitars. The great guitar riff and harmonies of “Tragedy” drives this incredible song through the  wonderful Beatlesque chorus. The album closes with “I’m Still Alive“, a great rock song with a punk edge.

gf2Shine On never lets up. It rocks from start to finish, grabbing you by the throat with the very first note, and never letting go. The songs are exceptional.  Each one superbly crafted, and played with passion and grit. And why not? It’s what Gar does!  To nail the sound, Gar recruited the rhythm section of The Doughboys for this album.  How cool is that?

The work is filled with 1960’s references, smoothly blended into East Coast garage rock. There is cool, and there is Gar Francis cool. Shine On is Gar Francis, being Gar Francis. And that is cool. Way cool. Gar Francis cool.

You can check out Shine On and all of Gar’s music at: http://www.garfrancis.com/ or:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com/

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https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

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