Matheson Checks Out the Groove Rock of Stealing Jane

Just recently, I came upon a band from New York that grabbed my attention. Their name is Stealing Jane.  The reason they caught my ear wasn’t because they reminded me of someone. On the contrary as it was because they didn’t sound like everyone else out there. 

The music industry has always been known for pushing the latest thing. But it also has a tendency to take a sure thing and run it into the ground. There are always hundreds of bands out there that are trying to get noticed at any given point. And if you follow the latest trend in the music scene, you seem to have a better chance of being signed. This, however, creates a situation where everyone starts to sound the same. Every band starts to sound like every other band; which creates a style or trend in the industry, but also starts to make the music played on the radio sound monotonous and boring.

Because of the trends that make music predictable and boring, it is always refreshing to come across a band like Stealing Jane, a band from the north shore of Long Island, New York. The eight-member band has created a style that incorporates rock, pop, R&B, even a little ska into its sound. Their style has been christened “groove rock,” a good way of describing what they sound like.

Stealing Jane came together in 2001 under the moniker of HyJinX. A few changes later and the band became known as Stealing Jane in 2007. Today, the band consists of eight members: Bryce Larsen on lead vocals/guitar, Pat Iannelli on sax/vocals, Andrew Mericle on trumpet/vocals, Brian Bunce on bass/vocals, Matt Giordano on guitar/vocals, Dave Calzone on trombone/vocals, Jesse Sears on keyboard/guitar, and Will Tully on drums/percussion.

Together, the eight-man band has a style that definitely is not something that can be grouped together with everything else out there right now. It is this unique sound that the band has put onto their debut release, 2007’s Say Something. The release contains six songs that help define what the band is all about. The band creates their musical blend by combining rock, pop, R&B, and ska. What results is a sound that changes from one track to the next while still having a similar feel throughout the tracks.

The Say Something EP from Stealing Jane contains six songs that help define what the band is all about. The release begins with the track “Outside,” a track that features a strong Rock and Roll vibe to the music. While the addition of the horns on the track would indicate a form of Ska, the track has more of a Rock and Roll groove to it. “Outside” is a strong track and helps kick off the album with plenty of energy. You could easily imagine the track getting plenty of play on any Hot A/C radio station alongside bands like Sugar Ray or No Doubt.

Along with rock, pop, R&B, and ska, the disc also contains more than a few traces of Latin flavor.  Nowhere is that obvious than on the track “Better Things”. The track’s musical direction blends Rock and Roll with a little Latin flavor to create a track that would feel right at home following a track from the likes of Ricky Martin. In fact, you could imagine “Better Things” in the same setlist as Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca”.

Another shining moment of the release is the song “More,” another moment where the band combines their musical blend with some Latin flavor. In fact, lead singer handles the Spanish lyrics of the track with ease. The track has a strong, driving feel to the music and ends up being another track that would end up getting a lot of play if given the chance.

Along with “More,” the rest of the Say Something EP could easily find its way onto radio station formats. The strongest tracks on the album include Outside and the acoustic-based track of Take It Easy, a track that slows things down but still creates a groove that is rather infectious. But the whole CD is definitely worth listening to.

Stealing Jane is currently excited about a video they just made. The video is for the single Outside and will be available for viewing in the near future.

With the band’s “groove rock” style, Long Island’s Stealing Jane has their own sound and their own way of making music. With a lot of today’s music sounding bland and unexciting, Stealing Jane needs to be in your music collection.

You can find the band by going to their website @ www.stealingjane.com. Also find them on MySpace @ www.myspace.com/stealingjane.

Matheson Kamin

STEALING JANE: Say Something