At first listen, “Elementary” seems true to its name.
Brothers Mark and Pierre Jax form the Jax Bros, and “Elementary” is their first studio album, Mark Jax said.
Mark Jax, a former school teacher who sometimes performs in the 109, describes the music as indie rock. However, mid-cities folk might also suffice.
The first track, “Exit Interview,” comes through as an unscripted grasp for meaning that is never quite reached. The song, Mark Jax said, is about students leaving alternative school.
“It's the last conversation they have with me,” he said.
After a unbridled start, the vibe evens out, and Jax’s husky voice blends with a rhythm that keeps things rolling. However, his voice doesn’t stay low. Throughout the CD, listeners are onboard for a veering tour of highs and lows along with acoustic sounds reminiscent of classic folk rock. A bit of Spanish-style drums also ring in the mix.
Shortly into the album, a crisp, clear and true sound emerges.
Jax sings of being “a real small boat in a raging sea,” northern winds blowing and a hospital stay that left him “scared shitless.”
Mark Jax has listened to a lot of Bob Dylan, he said, and was heavily influenced by Dave Matthews.
Dylan’s influence does make an appearance in the album along with a lot of other stuff. The music is a somewhat eclectic mix that at times teeters on the abstract.
Crafted like puzzle sections, the album’s lyrics were written by Mark Jax. “Elementary” was completed after Jax gave up his position as a school teacher.
“It was kind of an end to a chapter,” he said.
For more information, visit http://jaxbrosmusic.com/ .