Small Town Junkies just keeps getting better. Based in northeast Ohio, the band is the creation of David Stump and makes well-executed and tightly-written post-grunge Alternative Rock influenced by artists including Sublime, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Staind, and Seether. The latest STJ release, The Music Industry is Dead, is Stump’s finest effort to date. His genius is his ability to write rock and roll with emotional authenticity, not merely the proper drum and guitar sounds. Stump has a knack for making listeners of any age reconnect with how rock made them feel upon first discovery. He makes you remember the days when music mattered and defined your life and circle.
The STJ songwriting department has never been tighter or more direct in its communications than on The Music Industry is Dead. The title track opens with the lyric “The music industry is dead/I’d rather read a book instead, anyway,” a sentiment that won’t make any friends in the business but connects immediately with true music lovers burnt out on and bored with the way things are today. “The Haymaker” is a driving mid-tempo tale of standing up to a youthful bully that anyone who ever survived sixth grade can feel and the single “We Made It” will resonate with any rock and roll lifer. Stump’s vocals are gritty and emotive in that Eddie Vedder way and fit his stories of life and longing perfectly.
Listening to Small Town Junkies is a visceral experience packed with the Truth of rock and roll. In a perfect world, these songs would find a large audience and be heard blasting out of car radios on everyone’s Saturday night. Even so, The Music Industry is Dead is another great set from STJ and will appeal to anyone seeking music that comes from the soul, not a corporate meeting room. Highly recommended.
-Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com