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CD Reviews:  Review of Slow Burn by Jeremiah Freed

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When this young band from Maine put out their self-titled debut on Universal Records in 2002, I was one of the folks who jumped on the bandwagon. Jeremiah Freed had some great songs, and lead singer Joe Smith had a powerful rock voice that cut through like a jackhammer. Unfortunately, they fell victim to the major label numbers game, and the band was unceremoniously dropped by Universal. Fast-forward to November 2003, and the release of Slow Burn, the band’s self-released sophomore effort. Unfortunately, this record doesn’t even come close to the magic of their debut.

“Ride On” is a riff-laden rock anthem that brings to mind Aerosmith or the Black Crowes, but isn’t particularly memorable. Same with the next few tracks, “Peace and War” and “Reflect Your Light.” “Lost in Today” and “Rolling Backwards” both have catchy choruses, and maybe resemble the music from their first release more than anything on here. The title track is a “slow burn” all right, slowly burning a trail out of my head. The guitars on “Sweet Girl” are haunting, ala Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused,” but the similarity ends there. “Do My Best” is an acoustic-based song that is the most melodic of this bunch. 

I’m a songwriter myself, and I hate to put anyone’s work down. But I couldn’t help but think as I was listening to this that these guys can do so much better. I know, because I’ve heard them do it before. Jeremiah Freed might be a great live band, because the musicianship is certainly there as they are talented players beyond their ages. But aside from that, they’ve taken a mighty swing and missed with Slow Burn. Hopefully, it’s just a sophomore jinx. 

~Mike Farley 

other Jeremiah Freed reviews:
Jeremiah Freed
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