Imagine, if you will, the complete antithesis of much of the modern mainstream rock market. A band that fuses raw rock instrumentals and intense grungey vocals that have you immediately hooked.
Los Angeles band Javelina – prounounced Hav, not Jav – do all of that and more with their infectious brand of post-punk meets desert grunge meets alternative rock. The band was founded in 2018 by frontman Jason Knight and drummer Georgios Moustakas, with bassist Jeff Duck joining them recently.
They just released Bring On The End, which has modern-day flavours of the rawness of early Nirvana – think School from their Bleach album. It opens up with stabbing guitars that pick up with heavier drums and continue under laid-back vocals, then explode into more intense vocals and a darting little guitar riff with increasingly driving drums.
That explodes into a big intoxicating chorus of shouty vocals and heavy grungey guitars and drums. It drops back into a verse that gradually builds up again into another heavy chorus, which gives way to a cheeky little bass solo. Then repeats of “We ain’t no Barbie and Ken” – see what we mean about School? – build us up to one last blast of the chorus. Give it a listen here:
Also on the EP is the delicious Queen Elizabeth Will Scorch The Earth, which has so many overtones of Nirvana’s Scentless Apprentice that it can’t have been unintentional. It’s raw, heavy and we love it.
The track kicks off with ascending guitar riff that drops into low-tuned guitars followed by little high-pitched blitzes. Vocals are answered by the low-tuned guitar chords, then higher-pitched ascending guitars are answered by cool heavier guitars under intense high-pitched vocals. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with frontman Jason to find out more about this intriguing band. Read on below:
GR: Who are Javelina?
JK: “I’m originally from Atlanta, GA, Geo is originally from Athens, Greece, and Jeff is originally from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Geo and I were introduced by the infamous Barry Squire then went through a year or so of bouncing around different bassists. Mainly trying to find someone who liked the same music, had the same taste and wasn’t so serious about it.
“For context, it wasn’t like we got all these great bassists and we just couldn’t get on, like personality conflicts. It was mainly just musical differences, stuff like that. We finally met Jeff, and we just all vibed really well together. And then it was like, ‘Javelina!'”
GR: You just released Bring On The End. What should people be expecting from the song?
JK: “Bring On the End is the second song on our debut EP called Fair All Youth, and it’s kind of the complete antithesis of a lot of mainstream alt rock right now; its raw, visceral and intense. Strung out threads of sonic codependency that weave together the feeling of holding on to something tightly but then also completely letting go and setting it on fire. Life has a lot of different angles and sides and we wanted to shine a light on a less commercial version of Barbie and Ken.”
GR: Sounds awesome! How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
JK: “Our sound is a combination of dark slithering grooves, hypnotic primal riffs, driving drumbeats, and introspective lyrics that bath the listener in elements of punk, psychedelia, 70’s heavy metal, new wave, and alt-folk and invokes names like Nirvana, the Pixies, Black Sabbath, and Kyuss while they’re transported to a scene somewhere between hell-raising harmonic revolution and a dark lullaby drenched in overdrive.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
JK: “I think at the core, there is a strong need to release something from inside. To just get a thought in your head out into sound. Thoughts about the world, things you’re dealing with, things you want to say, etc…
“Music is like a sixth sense of expression or communication. That’s what’s so cool about it. You don’t have to explain yourself. You can play for someone, and all of the sudden you both are locked and understanding each other without conversation. That energy, or connection, or whatever it is is what inspires us to write music. That’s the vibe we hope for with the crowd at our live shows. Sharing that moment. Bouncing energy back and forth. Super rad.
“When it comes to themes and topics, we’re kind of all over the board. We have a song about a woman with misophonia…”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
JK: “The bands I mentioned above are some of our strongest influences, with the additional mention of Soundgarden, Dream Theater, REM, and The Melvins.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020? New music, new gigs, recording etc…
JK: “We just released out debut EP and we have a lot of unrecorded music, and we look toward a full album in the fall of ’20.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
JK: “Our music can be found through all major digital platforms. For tour dates, news, etc, please check out our website at javelinamusic.com.”