Sophmore Jakes
Blind Beggar Bar & Grill
Calgary, Alberta
September 19, 2008

Those that know me know about my passion for the Indie Music industry and my even greater devotion to Canadian artists. This country I call home is just bursting with musical talent that is like none other.

Permit me to introduce you to three young men that personify that unbridled talent and determination – Ryland Moranz (guitar/vocals), Geoff Markey (bass/yelling) and Barent Goodrich (drums) – collectively known as Sophmore Jakes.

Now I must confess, I have known of the “Jakes” for sometime now, living just over two hours from their Southern Alberta hometown of Fort MacLeod, but regret not paying too much attention to their music till recently. They describe their sound as “power pop punk rock” and you can clearly hear their listed influences; Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Clash, the Police, and Blink 182.

Possessing a maturity and musical prowess way beyond their years, these guys put on a live show that pounds your senses.

On September 19th I had the pleasure to finally seeing the “Jakes” first hand. I was instantly impressed by the professionalism they displayed when we were first introduced, and that was just the beginning of my night’s surprises.

From the second these guys hit the stage, the small club filled with a booming sound that belied the number of people on stage. Ryland’s vocals are perfectly suited for the punk edge of their music, and on guitar ripped through the chords with ease. Barent, obviously taking a page from the Tommy Lee handbook, looked like a man possessed, flailing away, pounding out the beat with purpose and conviction. And then there’s Geoff. One cannot describe Geoff onstage, one simply MUST experience the pains this man goes through to draw your attention, as the music moves through his body! Suffice it to say, I was exhausted just watching him, but Sophmore Jakes, as a whole, are a feast for the senses. Your attention is constantly being drawn from one to another, all the while in disbelief at the quality of musicianship for men so young in years, but obviously not in talent and ability.

Playing a list of tracks from their self-titled, 10 track CD, as well as a handful of covers - most notable, a superb version of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me” (seriously guys, you NEED to record this!) – Their sound was solid and tight as they played well off not only each other but the crowd too. All the while showing humour and a pure joy for doing what they do.

Look out Canada!
Look out world!
Here comes Sophmore Jakes to remind us, it doesn’t matter where you come from, or how old you are, it’s all about the music and living life with a laugh and a smile.