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“Enemy Within” by Jeff Carlson Band

The Las Vegas music scene is overflowing with talent at the moment, and among the underground’s best rock acts currently putting sin city on the map, the Jeff Carlson Band has won the lion’s share of my interest this June with their new single “Enemy Within.” A lead cut from their album Yesterday’s Gone, “Enemy Within” has the kind of cutting-edge cohesion that a lot of critics have feared dead in rock these last few years. Nothing is coming between the players in this band, and if this is par for what they have coming our way in the future, listeners everywhere need to take note of their existence. 

Unlike a lot of their peers in Los Angeles and Seattle, the Jeff Carlson Band (or the JCB for short) don’t seem very interested in digging into retro aesthetics with their sound, specifically with regards to the melodic elements of their music. Fear not; you aren’t about to press play on “Enemy Within” just to encounter some sound-alike or, even worse yet, a band deluding themselves into thinking that the throaty post-grunge harmonies they’re sporting are original or even slightly personal. No, this is sleaze-free rock, and it’s ironically coming from a corner of America too often associated with grime. 

Carlson’s powerhouse vocal doesn’t overshadow any of the other parts within the track, and despite the crunchiness of the guitars, he seems more than well-matched with the provocative tonal giants he’s being made to stand beside in “Enemy Within.” If he was intimidated by what his fellow guitarist Robbie Wolfe was putting out in the studio, you’d never know it by the flawless manner in which he connects his voice to Todd Turgeon’s beat and Cory Kay’s stellar bassline, both of which make the foundation of this single as solid as steel. 

None of these players sound like they’re competing with one another for the spotlight, but rather influencing the core narrative of the song through their unique lash added to this at times violent orgy of overdrive. They’re holding back only when it makes the hook easier for us to accept at face value, and given that they aren’t being put up to this performance by some majorly well-bankrolled corporate power, their emotions are never put in check between the start and finish lines of this single’s development. Critics like myself are noticing immediately, as will fans of a more refined rock sound overall. 

I definitely can see these guys blowing up the southwest underground and ascending to a national level of attention in the next couple of years, and if you’re not already spinning “Enemy Within” this season, you should make a point of checking it out over the next month. Its chest-pounding groove and riff-driven sting have kept me more than satisfied as a rocker as the heat has been turned up across the country lately, and if you love the machismo of awesome melodic hard rock, I’ve got a feeling it’s going to have the same effect on you. 

Mindy McCall

The music of Jeff Carlson Band has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

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