It’s not everyday that a new release feels both deeply familiar and altogether fresh, yet that is what Jeremy & The Harlequins have achieved with Into The Night, their follow up to 2015’s debut, American Dreamer. As with their first record they bring plenty of roll to accompany the rock and, fitting with frontman Jeremy Fury’s critique of contemporary indie-rock music as being “long songs with no choruses” and pop music as having “lost its human element”, there is a heavy dollop of vintage-pop to the songs collected here. From start to end, Into The Night sounds as if it was lifted from the 1950s, although there is a gloss finish and lyrical focus that stamps this as a modern concoction.
Into The Night bursts from the gates with the galloping titular track, impelled by the reverb drenched guitars of Craig Bonich and Patrick Meyer, with the rhythm section of Stevie Fury – Jeremy’s brother – and Bobby Ever matching the intensity on drums and bass respectively. Lead single, No One Cares, follows straight after, replacing the sing-along feel of Into The Night with an insistent rhythm that conjures images of teens leaping from milk-bar booths and dancing to the disapproval of their elders. If Jeremy & The Harlequins haven’t piqued your interest by this point in the album, you may as well take your bat and ball and head on home, as the stylings of the Brooklyn based quintet clearly aren’t for you.
For a band styling themselves on the ‘50s rock sound and look, it was almost unavoidable that there would be a song that would be directly compared to The King, and Rhythm Don’t Lie has a guitar phrase that waits to the last moment to veer off from being Presley’s Don’t Be Cruel. Hey, good artists borrow while great artists steal. The country inflected acoustic guitar of Drinkin’ By Myself reminds the listener of the influence folk and country had on early rock ‘n’ roll – an influence that is all too easily forgotten these days given all that rock has morphed into – and, after the first minute, the song itself evolves into the rock ‘n’ roll sound, demonstrating excellent pacing.
While it is fair to say that Jeremy & The Harlequins don’t deliver any dud tracks on Into The Night, it would be an overstatement to say that all the songs are outstanding. For Angels is an impeccable piece of rock ‘n’ roll pop, and Let Her Run is sway-along-enjoyable, but they are not songs that move the listener in either explicit or subtle ways. It is worth noting that Into The Night never strays far from the classic ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll sound – a nip and tuck here, an augmentation there, a knowing wink and nudge to be sure – a sound which had well and truly ossified by the ‘60s, and a sound which in 2016 Jeremy & The Harlequins make their own. That Into The Night’s worst tracks are merely bland and inoffensive is indicative of the group’s musical skills, and testament to their honest approach to their art.