Written by Elise Olmstead

Touting a claim to fame as a “preferred performers for Merry Pranksters gatherings,” you know that rock fusion band JoJo Stella is a little bit eclectic.  Their muscular sound borders more blues than jam, harkening to a People’s Blues of Richmond “what are these punk rockers doing at my hippie festival” double take at first listen.  Hard, fast, and without abandon is how these guys come out of the gate, making me feel as if I’m stumbling towards a stage in a smoky bar.

JoJo Stella was established 2014 and will be releasing their six track album The Zen & The Art on January 26, 2019. The band is from Toledo, OH, and consists of Dan Konold on drums, Christopher Lee Metchis on vocals and guitar, and David Morris on bass.  I have to admit that I was impressed by their unique sound, since they come from Ohio I assumed they would be heavier on the jam, but they definitely lean closer to rock. Christopher’s vocals remind me somewhat of Bradley Nowell’s (Sublime) lending to a casual cool tone in all of the songs, though sometimes he reminds me more of the vocals of Robert Plant depending on the song.

I find their sound to be largely experimental, the songs serving more as stepping stones than individual stories, serving as vehicles for edgy lyrics like “Many men are martyrs, with the markings of a fake messiah -Crucified in the words they sang, Jah Sittin’ right beside ya”.  The first track “Tear Me Down,” sets the tone, then the lazily lilting “Song Blue,” theaterically striking “Save Me,” and lyrically rich “Holy Grail” all leads up to the Zeppelin-esque unraveling of the last two title tracks “Zen and the Art Pt 1” and “Zen and the Art Pt 2.”  Though the album is short it certainly packs a punch, pre-order your copy now on their website jojostella.com.

To download, ‘The Zen & The Art’:
-Go to https://www.jojostella.com
-Scroll down to where it asks if you have a download code
-Use the code (exactly as displayed): JMWCH-JS2019!
-Click the now revealed download link below our music player.