Maybe it’s the way the stringed instruments interact, with ample space carved out in arrangement and tone for each to howl. Maybe it’s the way drums are methodically paced, coming in at just the right moment with just the right amount of force to elevate the fray. The band’s emotive, heavy rock hits any number of touchstones, from Queens of the Stone Age and Soundgarden, to less-remembered artists of the modern rock era like Our Lady Peace and Remy Zero. Performed live in WXPN studios recently, it sounds particularly badass.
The band is comprised of singer-guitarist Jace Miller, bassist Jamie Victor and drummer Mike Fraclose, and last year it released its second EP, Inhibition. The songs are loud and punchy enough that your metalhead friends will headbang in assent, but it’s also incredibly emotional, thanks in no small part to Miller’s powerful-yet-vulnerable singing. He’s a big Radiohead fan — I once saw Alright Junior rock a solid cover of “The Bends” in concert — and racing across octaves, Miller’s voice unpacks feelings of isolation, betrayal, and psychic damage, as well as feelings of devotion and hope.
Below, watch them perform “Into The Sun” from Inhibition during their Key Studio Session, and stream the entire performance via Soundcloud. To catch Alright Junior in concert, carve out some time on December 1st — they’ll play Kung Fu Necktie to support Philly friends Andorra at their album release party. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.”
- John Vettese, WXPN, The Key
“If you’re one of the 90s kids on my Facebook feed mourning the death of the golden era of rock music, you’re just not looking in the right places. Red-blooded alt-rock is alive and well, and Philadelphia’s Alright Junior is a prime example of that. Inhibition is the extended play follow-up to long player Amusia, and for fans of the genre, it’s pure, uninhibited ear-candy.
From the first syllable of opening track “Over You Over Me”, you know Inhibition is all about. If minor keys, heartbreak, and loud/soft dynamics aren’t your thing, then just turn around now. If they are, though, then there’s a lot for you to like here. “Out at Sea” is a lively, Queens of the Stone Age-esque rocker, while “Hold On To My Breath Again” and “Into The Sun” are spacious, slow burning rockers that bloom in the back half. The highlight of the set is definitely “In Pain”, which condenses all the hard-rocking attitude of the EP into a battle cry of “I’m in pain!”
Inhibition is available for streaming and purchase now via Alright Junior’s Bandcamp. If you want to catch the band live and support a good cause while you’re doing it, you can catch them on November 25th at Ortileb’s for their Chords For A Cure fundraiser. For three years running, the event has raised money for the Histiocystosis Association, featuring a variety of artists performing in a special, unplugged format.”
- Chad Snyder, WXPN, The Key
WMMR’s Markus In The Darkus on the new Alright Junior EP (2016)
“Thanks to Jace Miller for giving me a chance to listen to Inhibition ahead of it’s release date. This is a band you should check out. Alright Junior knows how to write songs. Their music is emotional, moving and pulls you in right away. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Alright Junior for a few years now and it’s been great watching them become stronger with every release. The chemistry of the band is very apparent in the new album. Hold On To My Breath Again really stood out to me.”
- Markus In The Darkus, WMMR
“only a handful of bands in philly have become household names. Alright Junior is one of them. they’ve opened Radio1045 Birthday Shows, Block Parties and a handful of Live at 5’s… they’ve been making music for years and continue to release consistently. they’re like a fine wine that just keeps getting better with age. if you’ve never heard the name before, remember it. one of my all time favorite bands in our area and i am still shocked they’re unsigned. someone please sign this band.
their new EP “Inhibition” is due out October 1st. 5 brand new songs, one of which you can listen to below. The first single “Over You Over Me” meshes a Queens Of The Stone Age, Incubus sound that alt rock fans like me are still longing for. Alright Junior is the answer-
AND PLEASE Join them at their EP Release Party October 1st at Connie’s Ric Rac!”
- Jessie Sabella, Radio 104.5
Connecting to Philadelphia Indie band Alright Junior (2013)
“We are genuine to a fault and our live show captures every bit of that,” said Jace Miller in a recent email interview. Miller is the lead singer and guitarist for Philadelphia Indie band Alright Junior. “It’s knowing that every word you sing, every note you play and every drum that you hit is laying your entire self out there for what it really is. The time you are on stage and pouring your everything out to each and every person in attendance is a feeling you can’t get from anything else in existence. Being as pure as can be makes it very difficult to even look the folks in the front row right in the eyes, so you make it a point and that connection is remarkable.”
The band members, Jace Miller (lead vocal/lead guitar), Mike Fraclose (drums/backing vocal) and Greg Jovanovich (bass) cite a variety of musical influences ranging from classic rock to current Indie musicians and everything in between. Out of those musical influences, the band members singled out a few musicians they admire. Fraclose admires Bruce Springsteen for being one of the hardest working men in the business. He admires Dave Grohl for the same reason and adds he “goes after his dreams and ideas and makes them happen.”
Miller also admires Grohl as well as Michael Stipe, Thom Yorke, Mike Patton, Billy Corgan and Kurt Cobain and said “There is something about the way that they carry (or carried) themselves, and all in different ways, something that speaks to you. It stems from a very genuine place.” Jovanovich names David Lee Roth “because he’s the consummate showman. Two things missing from Jace’s frontman repertoire: splits and high kicks.”
As far as what they want fans to get from their music, Fraclose said “A sense that rock music is still very much alive and well. We all grew up during a great time for rock (the 90s). We want others to be infected with the rock bug we have had since we started listening to music. If we can remind others that it only takes a few buddies, a couple of instruments and a desire to rock to start a band, then we are doing pretty well.”
It’s important for Indie bands to work together and support one another, but it doesn’t always work out that way. “Everyone in the game is trying to get the best opportunities and make the most out of every situation, all while trying to get closer to what we, as artists, think it means to create,” said Jovanovich. “The best motivation is a challenge, and you can’t be challenged by someone you don’t respect. You’re going to look to the people who haven’t been total douches, and that works both ways.”
“The music scene in Philadelphia comes with an incredible history and we have seen a lot in the past years,” said Miller. “With that said, I feel this Philly scene holds something very special – VERY special. Something you can’t quite put into words. I would like to see the world putting a little attention into the gems that are sprinkled throughout the city of brotherly love. They started to, indeed, but I believe that time has come, in a much larger scale. This city deserves it. The people are real.”
A lot of bands have a cool story behind their names, but for Alright Junior it goes beyond a story. “Alright Junior is more of an attitude encompassing an entirety of emotions that started and continue to drive this band’s mentality,” said the band members.
The Indie band is currently working on a new CD titled “Amusia” and is hoping to have it released in August. The band initially started out as a four piece and this will be their first CD as a trio. “We couldn’t be more excited to get this new material out to everyone,” said Miller. “It really has been a special transitional period in a way for us and there is a lot put into this record capturing a certain something. We started recording the album on April 22 at Strange Weather in Brooklyn, NY with engineer/producer Bogdan Hernik, who has invested a lot of himself into it and the camaraderie of that relationship has spoken for itself. We see how the project is transpiring and it has been absolutely inspiring every step of the way.”
They have a special benefit show scheduled in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 17 at the Theatre of Living Arts. The show is a benefit for Musicopia, a non-profit organization that brings educational music enrichment programs to schools and communities throughout the Delaware Valley.
Indie music fans can check out Alright Junior on their official site, Facebook, You Tube and Twitter. Their first CD, “Eudaemonic” as well as EPs and singles are available on iTunes.
KAT COFFIN, INDIE MUSIC EXAMINER – Link to interview/article
This song is outstanding. After I read your bio, I was expecting quite a lot and you lived up to it. I can certainly hear your influences (and I’d add Dave Grohl to the list), but you really sound very much like yourselves. The vocalist is tremendous. He’s got a unique style and a unique voice and has definite vocal chops. He’s dynamic, expressive and emotive, true to the lyrics. But really, each band member is a superior musician in his own right. The playing was aggressive and confident and gave the song a lot of drive.
Alright Junior – “Fish vs. Ambulance” The music has that great sense of urgency energy to it that I love to feel and hear. I think the song is well written. I like the vocals and the entire delivery. I’m not sure what the universal message is in this song. These guys need to keep at it. I think they’re on to something. The songs make me wonder what a live show is like. They’d have to blow it out with a tight, raw and energy driven set with a lot of excitement to carry over these songs.
I would describe Alright Junior as beautiful melodies, mixed with thought provoking lyrics, tied together by the threads of tangled guitars being dragged about by the rhythms of an incendiary drummer.
With all the showmanship in the form of shooting fire, acrobatics, confetti and backup dancers, it’s easy to forget what concerts are truly supposed to be about. I think I missed the memo informing the world that what constitutes a good show these days is how naked a band gets on stage or what rap song they cover.
So it was extremely refreshing to attend local band Alright Junior’s CD release show last Thursday, Sept. 24.
The Khyber (Second & Chestnut sts.) is one of the best places in the city to hit up if you want to see what it truly means to be an artist. Sure, the Old City haunt gets a couple of high profile bands coming through every now and again. But it’s the local shows that will really blow you away; tonight was no different.
When the darlings of the night, Alright Junior took the stage, the small Khyber floor seemed to flood with people out of nowhere. There was an immediate surge of energy that radiated from the faces in the crowd and bounced back from the members of AJ; the fans were out in full force.
In a town as tough on its music scene as it is on its sports teams, it was nice to see loyalty and love are still alive and kicking when it comes to non-commercial acts. So much so that AJ has even received regular spin of their track “Fish vs. Ambulance” on Radio 104.5!
This was a special night for the guys from AJ. Having released their new EP, Our Temporary Everything back in July, tonight saw the official release show for the five song disc.
AJ plays with a Nirvana-esque sincerity and purpose. Perfectly gelled, bassist Greg Jovanovich and drummer Mike Fraclose kept the adrenaline high while guitarist Steve DeMeo provided an insane amount of “wow” moments throughout the set.
Singer Jace Miller (whose vocals fall somewhere between a richer Gavin Rossdale and less intense Serj Tankian) had his own moments—jumping into the crowd to gain that much sought after band-to-crowd closeness or hoping on a guitar to add a little more to DeMeo’s rifts.
In addition to hitting all the major points from Our Temporary Everything (such as my personal favorite, “Balance”) the band made sure to play choice selections from their first CD, Eudaemonic, like “Better Off” and “Feeding the Frenzy.”
If you have any idea of how rock music is supposed to be played, you will truly appreciate Alright Junior
After Murderhouse’s brooding set, Philly favorites Alright Junior take the stage. A post-grunge act with a touch of emo, Alright Junior offer beautifully-arranged frenetic rock songs, doused with passion and finished off with a heavy dose of head thrashing.
Lead singer Jace Miller is a born performer, and gestures frantically, grabs the microphone for dear life, and at one point even dives into the audience, almost knocking over an unsuspecting spectator. The entire band is all over the stage, thrashing harder than any band I’ve seen. I’m struck by the comparison of children on a Moonbounce.
If you know me, you know that on the list of things you’re not likely to hear me say, “I just heard a great rock album!” ranks pretty high. Likewise, “I just saw an amazing alternative rock show!” is not a sentence I’m prone to utter.
Now, it’s not that I don’t like rock, it’s just that, well, for lack of a better explanation, that’s not my jam. Minus the rare occasions I decide to indulge my inner jam-band-loving-folk-fest-goer or vibe with some soulful singer-songwriters, if I’m listening to music, I’m listening to rap. This means that when I do actually switch up my music selection for a rock group, I’m really into what I’m hearing. And from the second I borrowed Alright Junior’s debut CD, Eudaemonic, from a friend, that’s exactly where I was. I wasn’t trying to trade in their drum beats for some bass, and that’s because I loved what I was listening to.
Sometimes I get attached to an artist’s CD, go to their concert, and feel I’ve been let down when their live performance doesn’t measure up. This was definitely not the case with Alright Junior. I was already having fun halfway through their soundcheck, and from the second they started playing, to the end of their set, I was hooked and entertained.
I feel like I should be commenting specifically on their lyrics, or the work of individual artists, but one of the things I liked most about Alright Junior was how well everything came together. These guys know their music and they’re in tune with what’s going on with everyone else on stage, which results in a performance that just works. They’re having a good time, they’re doing great work, and this means that the audience just gets to really enjoy what’s they’re hearing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: go listen to their CD. You’ll like it. And then you’ll want to know when they’re playing again – so, you’ll be happy to discover they play in the area often. And you’ll be even happier once you get yourself to their next show.
From start to finish, this rock outfit is an intense tour de force. You can always feel the energy behind their music, even during the slower songs. The guitar riffs pick you up and cast you into the front row of a packed concert. Each listen of the album unveils something that you haven’t heard before. Alright Junior is definitely a breath of fresh air and their music offers little repetition. You can definitely hear the talent radiating through the band’s music. Jace Miller and Steve DeMeo provide powerhouse guitar chords, Greg J’s bass is pulse-pounding, and Mike Fraclose never misses a beat on the drums. This album is absolutely recommended.