Are they pop? Yes. Folk? Sure. Rock? Yeah, they have a little of that too. Guitar twangs and folky drum beats blend cooly with harmonic voices and tactile lyrics to give The Janks a sound reminiscent of the Beatles and Queen, while putting them in equal company with The Lumineers and Grouplove. This eclectic mix of genres makes this band sound so dynamic on record, and they’re simply fantastic live.
Photos courtesy of: Randyll Wendl
The Janks — comprised of guitarist and vocalist brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed, drummer Leon LeDoux, and bassist Paul Inder — found their musical footing here in Los Angeles. They recorded their latest album, Hands of Time, released September 27, 2011, in a small studio in Glendale, and the driving sound and organic composition flows freely from track to track.
“Can’t Give Up,” a song about keeping your eyes open to future experiences, could fit perfectly on a road trip mix CD, while “Demon Dance” forces the listener to pause and question the band’s true identity as the track’s hard guitar riffs and smashing drums could easily be found next to a Van Halen album. Then there is the song “Drama King’s Ball,” which would make Jack White giddy. These seemingly unrelated genres blend perfectly on this one album, and The Janks know how to execute their eclectic style well.
The Janks are best served live and have performed at The Silverlake Lounge, the Troubadour, and the Bootleg Theater amongst other venues. On New Year’s Eve, I was able to experience the power of a live Janks’ performance firsthand at O’Brien’s on Main St. downtown, and I fully appreciated the juxtaposed nature of a folk/rock/blues band performing in an Irish pub. Their charisma and unapologetic joy for playing music comes through in full force during their shows.
The Janks are currently recording their next collection of songs in a little studio in Glendale, a perfectly quaint location to produce such a unique and organic sound.
The Janks Upcoming Shows:
01/31 – La Cave in Costa Mesa
02/01 – O’Brien’s
02/07 – Pomona College
02/09 – The Bootleg Theater
02/14 – The Spare Room
02/19 – The Piano Bar
02/21 – O’Brien’s
For more information: