Age of Zero Review
“Every 10 years music has to go somewhere. 50 years from now I want people to look back on the years 2010 to 2020 and say that I was among the pioneers pushing new music to where it was supposed to go.”- Brandon Jarod
Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Brandon Jarod follows up his 2010 debut (The Crush EP) with his long awaited sophomore EP entitled The Age of Zero (2013). AoZ was released through Nicobe Records with the assistance of Bryan Adkins on drums and Tyrone Jordan on bass. This time around Brandon joins with engineer Brad Rosenberg to deliver a project potent in soulful vibes and sharp guitar riffs. Brandon wants people not to be scared, to express themselves how they want to. The 6-track EP is not only a way of living that philosophy, but a listen that’ll gain him fans outside of the local scene.
The EP opens with “Age of Zero.” This track includes narration from fellow-Virginian/”spoken wordsmith” Godchild the Omen over drum and guitar instrumentals that gradually build throughout the track with crisp vocals from Brandon as he reminisces. Throughout the last three years he has dealt with private and professional losses and we start to get glimpses of this. Brandon transitions from slow to fast-paced on tracks like “It Ain’t Safe No More” seeming like a roller coaster that comes to a sudden halt on “Voicemail”. Here we get a first-hand listen to personal sentiments from Brandon’s father about why he helps his son: “There’s no loan. There’s no payback. I do it because you’re my son.”
AoZ explores themes of race, poverty, violence and love while meshing alternative, rock and hip-hop. Some of his musical influences like Kanye West, Radiohead and Jimi Hendrix shimmer impressively, especially throughout the latter half of this EP. “Red Hearts” and “I’ll be Good” pay homage to the R&B side of Brandon’s vocal abilities. While “I Wish”, the lengthiest track on this EP clocking in a little over seven minutes, combine guitar strumming, a reverb-filled rap verse and a catchy hook.
In all, the EP is a better-produced, short and sweet look at great things to come from a talented young man.
Review by Steven Rodas of Muzik Lounge
Brandon Jarod’s The Age of Zero is currently available for download on iTunes and Amazon.
Be sure to follow Brandon Jarod on Twitter & Instagram: @BJarod
Brandon Jarod Rice was born to working class parents Randy and Patricia Rice on March 16, 1986 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A quiet, yet inquisitive child, Brandon often entertained himself with comic books, drawing and writing imaginative short stories. Though he did not come from a musical family, Brandon’s father was an avid listener of the band Parliament Funkadelic which would become the first music that Brandon remembers hearing. Seeing him constantly play air guitar on a baseball bat, Brandon’s mother Patricia built him his first guitar from a cereal box, a napkin roll and rubber bands. Unable to mimic the music he heard from the radio, Brandon soon began to play the trumpet and sing in his school choir.
Seeing the growing poverty and crime in the inner city of Millwaukee, Brandon’s father moved the family to the melting pot of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The sudden moved effected Brandon in such a way that he discontinued singing and playing trumpet for years. It wasn’t until high school that Brandon found his muse again in writing poetry and participation in cafeteria freestyles. He received his first real guitar on his 19th Christmas. A self-taught musician, Brandon practice playing guitar sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day trying to imitate the music that he heard from his radio.
Over the next 4 years Brandon would play in over 15 bands ranging from Soul, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Gospel to Blues trying to find his way though the diverse music scene of Hampton Roads. During this time, he would play alongside or open up for the likes of Jasmine Sullivan, Hezekiah, Jaguar Wright, The Clipse, The Cool Kids even touring in Amsterdam, New York and North Carolina. In a relatively short amount of time, becoming one of the most talented and in demand guitarists in the area drawing comparisons to John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix as well as Eric Clapton.It wasn’t until 2010 that Brandon decided since he couldn’t get a record deal, he would create his own label and publishing company playing the music that he wanted the play instead of the simply what he was told to play. With the release of his debut EP entitled The Crush, Brandon has established himself as an artist with a fresh sound forged from years of absorbing a wide range of musical influence and experiences.