Sometimes you read an artists bio and think, “Hmm, this is more about what they want to sound like than what actually do.” You know the ones, rock bands who claim to be influenced by the Clash and The Foo Fighters and actually sound like the two worst songs on a Bon Jovi out takes compilation. Or a band whose references suggest the future of indie music but who sound like the songs the original Oasis drummer got the sack for writing. So when I read Josh Taerk’s genre described as a clash of Ed Sheeran hooks and Bruce Springsteen energy, I thought that if this were true, I’d eat my hat.
So, one hat later and I’m happy to admit that this time around my cynical view on modern music has been well and truly kicked to the kerb. The description on his bio is actually perfect for the vibrant blend of pop aware infectiousness and anthemic heartland rock. And if that sounds like a balancing act that would pull both down to a lowest common denominator, I am also happy to report that the opposite is true. Modern pop with a gym membership? Stadium rock for the young and hip? Why not?
What Josh seems expert at, and this is also based on listening to a few of his other songs too, is taking that bombastic nature out of the big rock machine, placing some grit and drive into pop and then lacing the two together via lyrical poeticism and deft dynamics. If pop and rock have often been at odds during their long careers then Josh is just the man to build a bridge between the two. Okay the candy-pop dance set might not like it and the army of plaid shirted blue collar rockers might not be dissuade from their singular point of view, but for music which, when done properly, reminds us that the two camps really aren’t that far apart then Josh Taerk is your go to guy.
(note to self: more seasoning when eating hats!)