REVIEW: Journey Home – ‘Nights Like These’ EP

The ‘Nights Like These’ EP (out Friday 29th September) is the first full introduction to Journey Home as we know them now, featuring ‘Ain’t Quite A Truck’ which has already become a fan favourite over the summer. Now a four-piece with the addition of bass player James Archer, it’s a sign of huge development for the guys and most certainly a step in the right direction. Their new music will take their loyal fans by surprise, aiming for the signature Nashville tailgate party vibe with a slightly heavier, rocky edge to their sound that we haven’t experienced to date.

The title track ‘Nights Like These’ kicks things off; a straight-up, southern-tinged anthem with the electric guitar seizing prominence right from the off. I love the line “Johnny’s all the cash I’ll ever need”! It’s a care free, let-your-hair-down track that’s unapologetically cliché – “windows down”…check. “Cold one”…check. “Get our buzz on”…check. It won’t be everybody’s bag and not one for the bro-country bashers but it’s current, attention-grabbing and a powerful introduction to the new direction the guys are taking.

The quality of the production really struck me. The challenge of matching the Nashville sound has always held British artists back, but judging by Darcy’s recent EP and this Journey Home EP, the tide may be turning. Nashville producer Tommy Harden and his team have done a very slick, professional job here. You can have the greatest songs in the world but if the production’s weak you’ll get nowhere, and I think the penny’s dropped in the last year or so.

‘Just One More’ eases off on the electric guitars for a more traditionally-influenced tune with a Nashville honky-tonk vibe. The topic? Yep, you guessed it…drinking. A tale of that very familiar feeling on a Friday night when ‘Just One More’ isn’t quite enough! “I need a whiskey, a little JD, to see me to the morning light”. This one has a really cool, laid-back groove and a very catchy guitar riff that you’ll be re-playing in your head.

‘Big City Lights’, the slow-paced offering, is my favourite track on the EP and will raise eyebrows. It’s a welcome break from an otherwise party-driven, alcohol-provoking collection. This is one of the best tracks we’ve heard from the guys to date in my opinion; hearty, soulful and true to my interpretation of ‘country’…and I’m particularly loving the Kip Moore-esque soaring guitar solo. It’s a depiction of that journey home (no pun intended, seriously) after a long time away, missing a loved one. The clear stand-out for me.

See our review of ‘Ain’t Quite A Truck’ HERE

‘Memory Lane’ cranks up the volume on the electric guitars once more to complete the EP. The Cadillac Three influence is blatantly obvious with that riff…’Party Like You’ springs to mind! Another incredibly fun representation of their care-free, no-shame attitude with a few stories of, let’s say, ‘wild’ experiences in there – “we drank water from the garden hose”…say no more!

What you’ll get from this EP is, for the most part, a collection of rocking feel-good tunes tailored for those country festival after parties by the bar. It’s fun, fresh and something different for the Journey Home fans with no expense spared on the production side. A little more lyrical depth and substance wouldn’t go amiss and that’s what sets ‘Big City Lights’ apart for me, but these guys sure know how to get a party started and this gives them all the tools for some awesome live performances.

PRE-ORDER: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/nights-like-these-ep/id1270713187?app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Dan Wharton (@LifeInASong_Dan)