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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


EP Review: Homegrown rock trio MJT’s “Home”

MJT is a Long Island-based jazz-turned-alternative soul-rock trio. Above is the cover for the band’s latest EP, “Home.” PHOTO COURTESY OF MJT

Long Island’s own MJT, a trio of the Godfrey brothers David, Matt and JoJo, are back with their forthcoming, hard-hitting and electrifying EP entitled “Home.”

Since the release of their EP “The World is a Broken Toy” earlier this year, the Central Islip band has toured Long Island, performed in venues in Texas, Florida, Maryland and New York and have become even tighter songwriters. Their last EP contained great musical diversity and power, yet “Home” proves to be an attention-grabbing EP full of diverse styles such as alternative, soul, metal and progressive.

Originally a jazz band, MJT’s sound has progressed into an alternative soul-rock vibe, making crowds mosh one minute, then link arms and sing together the next. The band has released three EPs in addition to “Home” and has performed relentlessly to build up the audience which today packs bars and venues beyond just Long Island. The band can be seen mingling with friends and fans both before and after shows and makes significant efforts to connect with both individuals and crowds of people.

Throughout this EP, David’s voice moves from distorted and powerful to melodic and soothing, providing an effective medium for lyrics of personal and social inspiration. The singer and guitarist lays down heavy and energetic guitar on many of the tracks, incorporating clean and acoustic guitar on occasion. JoJo delivers a solid foundation of rhythm and force behind the drum kit with various beats ranging from a complex 6/8 groove to a fast-paced 4/4 beat. Keyboardist Matt adds beautiful synth ambiance and powerful organ keys throughout. Spanning five tracks of ambitious, diverse and meaningful music, it is certainly worthy of attention.

The EP begins with “Past. Present.,” a track with haunting vocals over mysterious synths and a mellow rhythm, which sets an eerie yet soothing tone. As the song progresses, the music and volume pick up, which add to the song’s diversity. Acoustic guitar makes an appearance to settle the mood before bursting into heavy electric guitars, adding to the variety of the song. One aspect of MJT’s music which sets them apart from others is their occasional dive into the progressive genre; a 6/8 breakdown over a complex drum beat toward the end keeps the listener on their toes.  JoJo’s forceful drums pound over David’s emotional and raspy shout, “I will keep pushing on.” Lyrically motivating and musically diverse, this song kicks off the EP on a high note.

MJT’s influence from the Foo Fighters, upbeat hard-rock titans, shines on “These Days.” A calm guitar introduces the song, providing a brief break from the heaviness of the EP’s start. JoJo’s drums and David’s guitar meld nicely as they follow each other during the pre-verse, with Matt’s keys providing peaceful ambience. An upbeat chorus carries the song pleasantly. A simple and relaxing, yet effective, guitar solo takes the track to its final chorus which closes out this melodious song.

Pounding drums kick off “Never Change,” the heaviest track on the EP. You can picture an audience headbanging and jumping to this energetic track. Distorted vocals mixed with intense music provide for a captivating and urgent, yet not overbearing, sound. Lyrics conveying a message of self-acceptance and individuality soar over intense guitar and drums. Matt’s organ keyboard provides for a nice melodic undertone, yet still adds to this track’s rushed feeling. Just when you think the song is fading, drums come back with an intense tom-tom/bass buildup. One final explosion before an abrupt ending brings the EP’s headbanger to an end. 

With its intense drum and guitar buildup, “Wanderer” is a fast-paced rocker, though not as heavy as “Never Change.”  Matt’s organ lays over the rushing guitar and double-time drums to give this simple yet catchy track a layer of depth. Leading into the album’s ballad-type outro, listeners are prepared for a beautifully relaxing exit to this musical journey.

Title track “Home” closes the EP on a soothing note. Clean guitars and vocals introduce the song, followed by harmonious backing vocals, adding a new cadence to the EP as a whole. This track contains vigorous energy, while a relaxing vibe carries this tune to its end.

“In the last year our band has had a lot of firsts after 10 years of playing,” Matt, keyboardist, said, speaking to the EP’s title. “After recording this EP and going on tour for the first time the feeling of finally being where we want to be, finally feeling at home, was too overwhelming to name this EP anything else.”

Though not yet released, keyboardist Matt said “Home” will be out later this year.

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