Hearing Aide: Earphorik “The Boondock Sessions”

Midwestern quartet Earphorik delivers their sophomore album, The Boondock Sessions with a recognizable “live show” sound. Their signature smorgasbord of musical influences are brought to life throughout the one-take recording which was mixed and produced by none other than Jake Cinninger (Umphrey’s McGee) and Jim Leep at Boondock Studios.

From the earliest notes of the album, “The Great Break” creates a slow build reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Speak to Me/Breathe” which greets the listener with intrigue and excitement for what’s to come. The opening track teeters on the edge of twelve minutes of genre explorations and highlights everything from funk to jam with a touch of ska. In the second track “Root One,” Austin Robinson (guitar/vocals) and Chris Treesh (guitar/vocals) sing the lyrics “Love it ’til you want it some more” and where the first ‘root’ song of the album ends another begins with “Root Too.” As the first instrumental track of the album, “Root Too” initially focuses on Nolan Opper (bass) and Ryan Moreno (drums) and their tag team bass-drum introduction. Earphorik fans new and old will dive right into this track as Jake Cinninger, normally melting faces with his stellar guitar magic, takes to the organ and adds that extra “umph” that the song needed.

“Flush” clocks in as the longest song of the album and delivers a gritty, dark and raging jam that could lead to some serious head banging and onstage instrument dismantling during a live performance. Walls have oddly become an important topic for a certain politician party over the past several months, and “Over the Walls” reminds us that, “We just can’t seem to get this under control.” Cinninger reprises his role on keys for this track, making it one of the more sought after pieces on the album for a first time Earphorik listener. “Drift” which is heavily reggae influenced unexpectedly leads to “Kerputley,” which sounds like an entirely different genre, but spares no quality of talent.

The instrumental conclusion to The Boondock Sessions, “Ashrob I” and “II” delivers the sonic exclamation point that many jam rock albums attempt to achieve. Each member of the band gets their time to shine during the closing tracks as they once again showcase their diversity and bring something to the table for everyone. This album is as eclectic as Forrest Gump’s work resume and similar to a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

Key Tracks: The Great Break, Drift, Root Too