Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Stereo | Jared Scharff and the Royals

It was my brother who explained to me what "emo" meant. In fact, he even had it as part of his screen name way back when (we won't embarrass him with the actual details of the complete name, although that would be fun). I remember the first time he played Saves The Day for me and I wanted to memorize every word to every song so I could scream the words alongside him. Such bonding, we had.

The point is I got a CD from NYC based singer/songwriter Jared Scharff and the Royals last week and I'm digging it. It's a little less emo and a little more rock guitar driven. Songs like "Shoot to Kill" really let his musicianship shine. But with lyrics like "the film is aging, the picture's almost lost, totally fading, I keep it in my grip to remind me of a time in my life" along with those snarky vocals in "Stereo", I think that my brother would approve. It's a strange combination of genres that is a hard feat to pull off well. "Full Speed" goes from a quiet riff to an obnoxious chorus that pounds on quite effectively. "Gift For You" is the same. Scharff toys and explores with dynamics and pace while keeping his focus (a melody) simple. "Stereo" is aching to be a hit, but that doesn't mean you should stick up your indie nose just yet.

Jared Scharff wrote and played every instrument on his self-released "The Coast EP." Originally part of a band on RCA Records, Scharff quit to pursue his own music full-time with the Royals, and doing so quite well. They just recently became one of Pure Volume's "pure picks" and are currently the #2 most downloaded unsigned artist.

In all sincerity, don't think he's a complete emo-centric dashboard boy. He's not. Labeled as a "guitar god" by some of his fans, he was recently featured on Fender.com, where they said "Ah, but the spirit of the age is alive and well in Jared Scharff, a young New York City singer/songwriter to whom the phrase guitar hero both matters and applies. He’s a Radiohead-era guy with a Cream-era sensibility, and he’s on a personal crusade to ensure that the concept of the guitar hero marches on." Not too shabby. Read the entire article here.

No upcoming shows just yet but you can purchase "The Coast EP" here.

  • Jared Scharff and the Royals - Stereo


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