Ours Ballet the Boxer 1 Album Review
On Ballet the Boxer 1, Ours comfortably reaches back to their mid-90’s hard rock sound, and more intriguingly hearkens back a few decades to the raw powerful rock of the late 70’s. The resultant release is a creative and refreshing mix of passionate rock with a comfortable, pure feeling, too often absent from today’s new rock releases. It’s refreshing rock music coupled with poignant lyrics.
Although Ours has been together for almost two decades, this is only their fourth full-length album. The band has seen significant personnel changes over the years but maintain their cohesiveness and consistency mainly through the presence of frontman Jimmy Gnecco who remains the one constant.
It’s in the juxtaposition of the two key terms in the title, Ballet and Boxer, that you understand what Gnecco is trying to capture in his writing. “I feel like we are in a time where we are divided more than ever as people,” writes Gnecco. “We are all fighting for our lives out of survival, and this fight is necessary, but I am trying to not lose sight of this.”
Ours is pure American rock and roll, and that’s never more evident than in the lead-off track, “Pretty Pain.” The song is a muscly rocker featuring powerful drums and a clever guitar riff. Gnecco offers “And I am at my best then; I’m lying at your feet. Am i just like the rest there? My pretty pain.” It’s heady honest stuff and a fantastic accent to the addictive musical arrangement. Gnecco’s multi-octave range is featured throughout the album, but absolutely sparkles on “Pretty Pain.”
“Coming For You,” actually reminds me a bit of the New Jersey rock scene for a few decades back, no surprise as the L.A. based band actually started in the Garden State. The guitar riff reminds me a bit of Springsteen’s “Adam Raised A Cain” and are perfectly complemented by Gnecco’s vocals. Other highlights include the tenderly introspective “Devil” and the bouncy rocker “Sing.” The latter is the most likely hit on the album and is simply a blast to listen to; again powered by hard-driving drums, Gnecco’s versatile voice and slick guitar.
The production throughout the album takes more of a minimalist approach. It works well, as it helps focus on the raw emotion of Gnecco’s vocals and the pure music that drives the songs. It’s an album that ebbs and flows, spotlighting the band’s versatility, but also finding a few mediocre offerings. In the end, it’s a RARA’s recommended buy. Check it out below on iTunes, and let us know what you think.