The Judge Band

The Judge Band

Written by: PP on 21/01/2011 19:54:53

Tim Shanks (The Judge) is a Detroit, Michigan based songwriter behind the moniker The Judge Band, a classic rock outfit that attempts to live two eras at once on their self-titled full length. On one hand, Shanks & co write big, traditional rock anthems that recall the 70s and partly the 80s, with bands like Journey, Boston and so forth coming to mind, only in a slightly rawer and more southern, barbecue flavored format.

That version of The Judge Band can be heard in songs like "Goodbye", which are entirely decent arena rockers that wouldn't make sense in a small pub/club environment.

The other side of The Judge Band wants to pursue the commercial success of mainstream hard rock bands like Nickelback, Default, Hinder and so forth. This is audible in songs like "William's Song", which is straight outta the back catalogue of any of those mentioned bands with its crunchy, distorted chorus guitars and quiet, semi-acoustically driven verses. A standard verse/chorus/verse/bridge/chorus approach to songwriting applies here.

The positive thing is that I'm a sucker for the latter. I've always enjoyed the simple, but yet catchy songs of Nickelback and Hinder, even if the scene police is around the corner to arrest me for that statement. At the same time, however, the intrusion of classic rock, or even annoying southern-flavored rock portions on a song like "The Judge" makes this band sound like Kid Rock at best. If you like Kid Rock, you're pretty much a redneck, let me tell you that much, even if he has written a couple of noteworthy singles during his career (which by now is in shambles anyway).

So my advise to Mr Shanks is to figure out which one of the two he wants to do. Does he want to be like Nickelback, Hinder, et, al and go for the easy buck, or does he want to make a fool out of himself by sounding like Kid Rock? Neither a particularly attractive choice, I might add, but given the relatively catchy choruses present on "The Judge Band", the latter could be a wiser career choice.


Download: Goodbye, William's Song
For the fans of: Kid Rock, Nickelback, Hinder
Listen: Official website

Release date 2010
16 Second Stare Records

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