The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior

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A case study in less-is-more, Philly rockers Alright Junior keep things contained to the time-honored rock and roll elements — guitar, bass, drums, voice — and in the process, they sound massive.

Maybe it’s the way the stringed instruments interact, with ample space carved out in arrangement and tone for each to howl. Maybe it’s the way drums are methodically paced, coming in at just the right moment with just the right amount of force to elevate the fray. The band’s emotive, heavy rock hits any number of touchstones, from Queens of the Stone Age and Soundgarden, to less-remembered artists of the modern rock era like Our Lady Peace and Remy Zero. Performed live in WXPN studios recently, it sounds particularly badass.

The band is comprised of singer-guitarist Jace Miller, bassist Jamie Victor and drummer Mike Fraclose, and last year it released its second EP, Inhibition. The songs are loud and punchy enough that your metalhead friends will headbang in assent, but it’s also incredibly emotional, thanks in no small part to Miller’s powerful-yet-vulnerable singing. He’s a big Radiohead fan — I once saw Alright Junior rock a solid cover of “The Bends” in concert — and racing across octaves, Miller’s voice unpacks feelings of isolation, betrayal, and psychic damage, as well as feelings of devotion and hope.

Below, watch them perform “Into The Sun” from Inhibition during their Key Studio Session, and stream the entire performance via Soundcloud. To catch Alright Junior in concert, carve out some time on December 1st — they’ll play Kung Fu Necktie to support Philly friends Andorra at their album release party. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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