Springfield Brewing Company has apparently become a genre of music; that’s the only summary I can find for egg-shaker/electric-acoustic pop–complete with Jack Johnson covers. While Greene Coast’s crowd might be pretty disappointed when the band doesn’t throw in a cover of Dave Matthews, Journal shows some higher aspirations than Springfield’s average interpretation of bar band.
At first listen, I started casting it off as jammy noodling, but, as the album progresses, it becomes apparent how deliberate each stroke is. These are legitimate musicians here. Dalton Wilson, a man with a few jazz bands under his belt (not to mention This Rocket House), is seamless in tightening the band into a well-oiled machine.
John Paul Chapman lets us know immediately in the 30-second, instrumental opening track how he likes his guitar riffs: 16 notes bouncing around pentatonic scales and jazz chords. That’s not say it isn’t effective at times, but it can get a little tedious in building the right melody.
When the guitar takes a back seat, the album lets its woodwind section shine. While the flute and saxophone give the album quite the adult contemporary feel, I like anything that makes me think of Paul Simon or Chuck Mangione. In the end, it the musicianship behind these pop songs that keeps me listening.
Choice Spin: “1 or 7”