Review: Jeremiah Freed

Jeremiah Freed
(Universal Records)

Jeremiah Freed is a five-member ensemble hailing from Portland, Maine.  Their self-titled debut album demonstrates a heavy classic rock influence (“Wait For Me”) but also displays a fondness for the flashy guitar parts and “Monster Ballads” style (“Again”) that made hair bands from the 80’s so gosh darned cool.  Most selections from “Jeremiah Freed” would fit in just fine on modern rock radio, as even at their heaviest, the songs remain smoothly melodic, sounding something like a cross between Lifehouse and Live.  Singer Joe Smith can be astonishingly good (“Reasons”) but can also slip into a grating breathiness (“Ginger,” “Eyes. Life. Change.”).  Fortunately for Smith, guitarists Jake Roche and Nick Goodale are always there to bail him out; it’s their work that really holds the album together.  At the end of the day, “Jeremiah Freed” is a pretty fair album for the first time out.