Philadelphia Grand Jury – Going To The Casino EP

This Philadelphia Grand Jury EP is, on first listen, seriously short. Not one single song breaks the three-minute mark, nor does any song feature the chorus less than three times. If we were to consider the bare bones of the EP, the Philly Jays (as they are now colloquially known) could pass off as a punk band. Fast, loud, tight and punchy are all apt adjectives for this release.

The three-piece, who have enjoying a meteoric rise in the past few months (thanks partially to a live show that involves throwing guitars into the audience and destroying their backline), bring an incomparable amount of energy to the studio. The EP, self-recorded, produced and released, opens with a scream and hardly ever lets up. Going to the Casino (Tomorrow Night) is the longest track on the album, but is also the noisiest. Like a midnight ruckus that wakes the neighbours, it bangs away at drums and keyboard as the guitar is thrashed, all in time to the constant refrain of the chorus.

It doesn’t stop there. Ready To Roll, at a measly 1:56, comes complete with handclaps, tambourines and surf-rock riffs. Berkfinger’s raw nasal vocals act like a choral leader to the song’s chant. Soon enough you feel like jumping on the spot and screaming out the words as well. I’m Going to Kill You continues the trend. A story of how a man plans to kill his pushy girlfriend, the woo-hoos and heavy bassline, courtesy of MC Bad Genius, are infectious.

The final track on the EP, Pitch Shifter Blues, is very much self-explanatory. A slow jam (guitar nowhere to be seen) with duel vocals saying such incomprehensible things like “Don’t you buy that lemon/you don’t want none of this blood”, it slowly unravels towards the end.

It’s this absurd nature – coupled with skill – that, essentially, is what makes the Philly Jays so compelling to listen to. With funny band member names, ridiculous bios, musical ability and a knack for pop songwriting, they pull of screwball without descending into farce. They’re a groovy bunch, taking from decades of fast-paced pop and playing it like it was their last birthday on earth. The Going To The Casino EP is determined to leave you with a smile on your face – a mission it fulfills with flying colours.

The Going To The Casino EP is out now.