Pinning down just what Jerkagram does is no easy task. “I never know what to tell people when they ask,” explains drummer Brent Gaines, one half of the fraternal twin duo, along with guitarist Derek. The raucous twosome is influenced by a very wide array of musical styles and philosophies, from the cacophonic yet buoyant heaviness of The Melvins to the orchestral post-rock of Explosions in the Sky to the loose jazz of Sun Ra.
Starting out exclusively as an improvisational stilted noise/free rock operation from New York, Jerkagram embarked on several tours, and came to find that their free approach was naturally gravitating towards something more foundational and song-oriented. This newfound energy for song-writing lead to the band releasing two records in 2014 — full-length “Let’s Talk About Us” and EP “Tired Old Horseshit“. Following these releases was an ambitious ten-week tour around the US, where they landed in Los Angeles, ready to tickle some more earlobes with sheepish grins.
Enter the band’s new full-length album, Outer Limbs. Recorded and mixed by Toshi Kasai (Melvins/Big Business), the record is an evolutionary refinement of their melting-pot sound. Each song has a motorik sensibility behind it and seems to grow and transition organically, yet also manages to feel unhinged and unpredictable. The interplay of sturdiness and freedom inherent in their songs, as well as the dynamics of the bludgeoning drums and ambient guitars switching roles in being the driving force behind them is what makes Jerkagram such an intriguing force — they don’t imply themselves or belong to any genre, and despite this, everything is characteristic, cohesive and thematically consistent, from the Morricone-inspired opener, “Coat of Arms,” to the frenetic yet poppy, “Cloud Builder,” to the jazz-rock closer, “Empty Gesture.”
Jerkagram plans to support the record with relentless touring in 2016, where they aim to showcase their captivating high-energy performance wherever it brings them and beyond. “Outer Limbs” will be available on CD and download on February 12th, 2016.
Listen to “Good Morning Alonzo”