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Among Criminals

- US Philadelphia, PA Rock / Punk / Reggae


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Sounds Like: State Radio, RX Bandits, The Police, Rancid

Label: none

Manager: Ryan Gaughan

Bio: Among Criminals has been working their way from the ground on their own blood and sweat. Self touring with 800 shows in 6 years with no outside help. Currently releasing 2 albums with Producer Jim Salamone (Rolling Stones, Temptations) and chuck Treece (Pearl Jam , Billy Joel).

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Among Criminals has a show on 07/29/2014 at 09:30 PM @ WHISKEY RICHARDS in Santa Barbara, CA http://www.reverbnation.com/q/4wnze0 #concert


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  • Fri

    Oct 31

    Philadelphia, PA, US | 5:00pm
    North Star Bar
    Philadelphia, PA, US
    Fri Oct 31 5:00pm


    John Brown's Body This event is 21 and over John Brown's BodyWebsiteMySpaceFacebookTwitterLinksIf youve been paying attention, youll know that Kings And Queens is a synthesis of every aspect of John Browns Bodys storied career. Its as if, after close to two decades of existence, this pioneering band has finally crafted their ultimate statement, tying together styles theyve dabbled in, paid respect to, created, or pushed forward into one tightly woven mosaic. JBBs Future Roots is now present tense. John Browns Body formed (in Boston in the mid 1990s) at a time when there wasnt what youd call a U.S. reggae scene. The American bands that played reggae were regional at best, touring little, and many were primarily cover bands of the best known Jamaican reggae. JBB was one of a handful of groups that began touring nationally and created distinctly American reggae, steeped in traditional vibes but incorporating elements from other genres. Whereas most groups tackled typical reggae themes religion and marijuana JBB acted more like an indie band, writing songs that used the vocabulary of reggae to express their own experiences. Over time, this style has become the norm. The U.S. scene has grown tremendously to the point of having two bands debut records in the Billboard Top 20 in 2012 and many in the genre point to John Browns Body as a key influence. However, this is not your typical story of an influential band doing what they did 20 years ago now trying to cash in on the movement they helped foment. Because a funny thing happened along the way for John Browns Body they evolved and grew, taking their music ever forward, and have continued to influence the scene as much today some might even say more so today than they did at the start. The bands relentless touring schedule helped pave the way for the nationwide scene, showing other bands that it was okay to be from the Northeast and still be comfortable playing in California, Hawaii, Colorado or Iowa. Early on, members of the band formed their own record label to highlight their local scene, which has since become the norm in many pockets of the scene. JBB delved deeply into dub effects from the start, incorporating elements of electronic music well before that became standard for todays bands. Yet, JBB is somehow still utterly unique within the scene, even after two decades at work, which brings us back to the record at hand. Musically and lyrically, lead singer/songwriter Elliot Martin has crafted a work that seems both self-reflective and visionary. A song like Old John Brown is obviously open to interpretation that Martin is commenting on both the man for whom the band is named after, as well as the legacy of the band itself. Musically, the song evokes riddims Burning Spear used in the 1970s, which has been an undercurrent influence on the group since the beginning, but has rarely surfaced as obviously as it does here since the bands earliest breakthrough records. The groups last full-length record, Amplify (#1 on the Billboard Reggae chart in 2008), was extremely forward-thinking, steeped in electronic effects. Last Falls JBB IN DUB EP (#1 on iTunes Reggae Chart) stripped things down to the bedrock elements of reggae. Kings And Queens utilizes the best aspects of both these records, while bringing back much more of the classic JBB sound into the mix and production. This is reinforced by working with engineer Matt Saccuccimorano, who worked on some of the bands earliest successful albums, and the involvement on numerous songs by former guitarist/keyboardist Nate Silas Richardson. Bassist Nate Edgar continues to astonish with his nimble and muscular bass lines. The bass and drums have always been at the center of Martins songwriting, but in Edgar and founding drummer Tommy Benedetti, he has found his most spectacular partners-in-crime. Martin has crafted his strongest batch of songs ever, coupled with startling horn lines written by the JBB Horns. Saying the JBB Horns are an influential bunch is no small talk, considering past alums have gone on to play for Slightly Stoopid as well as form the eclectically amazing band Rubblebucket. The most obvious touch point for the bands sound has always been classic UK reggae, especially the work of Aswad, Steel Pulse and Dennis Bovell, and that unmistakable influence permeates every track, most noticeably in the heavy drum and bass and complicated horn lines. As it was in that scene, JBBs songs are more focused on sufferation, urban realities and overcoming, with songs like Plantation, Empty Hands, and The Battle sparking protest over haunting minor chords. This is not beach resort reggae. This is reality. However, the record is by no means all gloom and doom! Songs like Shine Bright and the love song Fall On Deep both add lightness, and even in his darkest metaphors, Martin can find hope and positivity (listen to the chorus of Plantation for evidence of that). Kings And Queens is bookended by three songs (Step Inside and Invitation at the start and Searchlight at the end) that invite listeners into the live arena where this band has excelled from the beginning. Evoking sound systems from the musics origins in 1960s Jamaica as well as JBBs own powerful live show, these songs remind all listeners about the strength in numbers found in the reggae community, especially at live shows and festivals, and how John Browns Body has long been one of the greatest live acts in the genre. This record shows that John Browns Body continues to lead from the front of the pack. They look forward by looking back and find a way to invite JBB fans from all eras into their packed and sweaty tent. As the opening song says, So many people / Step inside, step inside / Come one and all / Got to make the dancehall tight.

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