“About a year ago we learned how to play it our way while on a Nirvana kick and just always kept it around. It’s fun to jam on, and it surprises the audience,” says lead singer Zack Jones exclusively to PopMatters. “Plus, given Nirvana’s history of not giving a shit, we feel like we have a free pass to mess up on stage for at least one song now.”
The cover was recorded while the group was working on their new upcoming EP Lure, which is set to release on September 9, 2016. The transition from the band’s 2014 full length album Arrows and Maps is unquestionable as they try to create a sound that could resonate in Laurel Canyon, Music Row, and Greenwich Village. In order to achieve their goal, they have joined forces with legendary producer James Paul Wisner (Amy Winehouse, Dashboard Confessional) to create their upcoming EP. “Wisner pushed us extremely hard in the studio,” admits Jones. “He made us realize our potential. He showed us that our songs can always be better. We bought in and walked away with a better understanding of who we are as a band.”
Underneath the exactness of Wisner’s signature polished sound, Lure is blooming with commotion that captures the band’s vivacious dispositions. The EP’s opening track, “You Were Loved”, swells with articulate vocals and trembling, boundless guitar.
Propelled by Joey Johnson’s exuberant banjo, “When You’re Gone” slingshots Lure into an Old 97s like sound, which transcends into the following two tracks, “Bones” and “Dead Men”.
Only on the album’s smooth closer “Livin” does Gravel Kings pull away from their driven drum and bass duo of Douglas French and Aaron Teems respectively, dialing down the clamoring of their bluegrass instrument to let the honest and candid storytelling that has run the course of the album, rest softly over old west, saloon style piano.
The intricate arrangement of Wisner’s precision, Gravel Kings’ passion, and Jones’ candid storytelling creates an Americana formula flawlessly acceptable anywhere. The day Lure releases will be the start of the Gravel Kings upcoming tour throughout the Florida area.