Monday, April 11, 2011

Jounce Pounces To Meet In The Middle

JounceBreaking the childhood star stigma isn't always easy. The success rate is relatively low, with many of them attempting to overcompensate in whatever role they're cast. Amazingly, however, that doesn't seem to be a problem for Danny Tamberelli.

Nobody remembers him as an 11-year-old in the quirky Nickelodeon show “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” Nowadays, they only know him as the bassist for Jounce, an alternative rock band that came together after he, Matt DeSteno (guitar), and Joe Ciarallo (drums) graduated from college in the spring of 2004. All three contribute vocals, with Tamberelli being the most powerful of the three and often billed as the frontman. (Guest Marco Benevento also plays with the band on keys.)

“I’m passionate about acting, but this is what I was doing in the dressing room even then,” says Tamberelli of his love for playing music. “It’s cool to do both, but music has always been my primary outlet.”

Despite some old connections, Jounce didn't hit the road looking for any favors. Like any emerging band, they played hundreds of shows across the eastern United States as the opening act for bigger bands. They've produced two notable albums since, but none has as much rawness as Meet Me In The Middle, an EP released by the evanescent GreenFence Records.

Recorded at Site Y in Brooklyn, New York, mixed by Bob Suede (Richie Havens) and mastered by Marco Centola (Dawes, Kiddusi), the EP features five tracks with Precipitation opening it up with grungy vocals and a growling guitar. The sound capitalizes on Who Hates The Office, a hit from their album These Things.

Precipitation isn't the only track that strikes the right chords. Jounce has winners with all five, although Heat Of The Moment doesn't have as much vocal richness as the other tracks. But you might as well own all five on the EP, which includes The Heart Is Attached (a Miracle Legion cover).

If you wonder why the principal three play so effortlessly together, it's because they've been together since the 8th grade. Originally, they started with a jazz band and then kept reinventing themselves throughout high school and during breaks at college. They rely heavily on word of mouth, seldom using Tamberelli's other successes for fear of being billed as a novelty act.

"I’m proud of what I did, but the band is a group effort that we have all put blood, sweat and tears," Tamberelli told Buzzginder two years ago. "Jounce is only 1/4th me, so it’s not the way we promote."

They really don't have to. The music speaks for itself, even if the band has been mostly ignored by mainstream reviewers because of their grassroots focus. Watch for them on tour from time to time on the East Coast. We hope to see them out West some time in the near future too.

Meet Me In The Middle By Jounce Pounces At 8.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Sure, Jounce sounds like some other bands that have gone by the wayside, but the sound is one that is easily missed among today's lineups. With Meet Me In The Middle, Jounce proves how much Tamberelli has matured as a singer as well as the instrumental prowess of his bandmates. Around here, they come highly recommended.

Meet Me In The Middle is available for download on iTunes. You can also find These Things on Amazon or download some of their sophomore album from iTunes as well.
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