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Artist: Eli Young Band
Label: Carnival Recording Company
Length: 12 tracks/44 minutes

There are so many bands in America that live a life of a regional band, rarely seeing exposure outside of their surroundings. Every once and a while, a band catches the ear of a record label executive and they’ll get their chance at stardom. Such is the story of the Eli Young Band. To set things straight for the uninformed, Eli Young is not one person, but a moniker comprised of frontman Mike Eli and guitarist James Young, drummer Chris Thompson,  and bassist Jon Jones. Hailing from Denton, TX, just north of Dallas, this quartet shows explosive potential in the market of alt-country rock.

Twelve songs of romance, heartbreak, and growing up make up this album. What makes Level a great album are its relatable lyrics and catchy melodies.  “Everything is You” speaks of being reminded of lost relationships in a way that many can associate with. “Small Town Kid” is a great anthem for living the simple life.

Musically, Eli Young Band would most closely compare to Sister Hazel with a more of a blues/country edge. EYB succeeds in the slower jams like “When it Rains” or “Everything is You” but absolutely soars on “So Close Now” and “That’s the Way.” James Young puts his touch on every track with classic blues licks that harkens Stevie Ray Vaughn or Lenny Kravitz.

Fans of catchy and thoughtful pop/rock with an alt-country twist will thoroughly enjoy this album. While Level tends to country influences, there is enough here to appeal to all sorts of listeners. Don’t pass up this band on its way to the top. You’ll be sorry if you do.

Zach Delph 05/12/2005



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