Although it’s long after the Christmas season, the crackerjack EP from the Butte duo KneeJürk bears listening to anytime. Jock Holmes and Russ Nelson call themselves a “semi-acoustic supersonic duo incorporating all that big-band beat.” I’d say that’s about right, considering all the sounds the two men make on their first project.
Both are schooled on their instruments, and have a lot of musical experience. Lead singer Nelson learned guitar mostly from his uncle, John Montoya, a well-known solo guitarist and singer in the Butte area. Nelson still plays in Shellshock Lullaby. Holmes was bassist/vocalist in The Max and sang and drummed for Slakkr.
They got together four years ago to play Christmas strolls, which cemented them into a band. The duo has gained popularity around southwest Montana for their dynamic live shows. Influences from bands like The Replacements and Matchbox 20, among others, run through their original songs.
Nelson plays all guitars and keys, programs computer instruments and sings all leads, with the exception of Holmes on the riotous “A John Mayer XXX-Mas.” They both sing backup, and wrote four of the songs. “All I’ll Say” is by The Max’s Kyle Brenner.
The EP is funny and zany, with sometimes cartoon-like electro-pop stylings, played with a sense of humor. The aforementioned John Mayer tribute finds Holmes thanking the artist for helping him get the girl. The story line involves Mayer titles like “Heartbreak Warfare” and “Your Body Is a Wonderland.” Ha!
“You’re a Buzzkill Mr. Grinch” speaks for itself. “Consuelo del Solsticio” is unexpected; it’s a pretty instrumental that shows off their expertise.
“Jürk (Holiday Mix),” has fuzzed-out guitars à la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, firefight arpeggios, and crashing drums. Lots of catchy riffs and abrupt stops, with “Jürk!” repeated over and over, lend to its hypnotic sound. Soon they’ll release the single, along with a music video shot at the Covellite Theatre in Butte.
Let’s hope for a full-length CD from them soon! Visit the pair on Facebook and catch one of their streaming concerts.
– Mariss McTucker