It’s been 3 years, 9 months and 29 days since Philadelphia Grand Jury broke up. During their one quick visit to South Africa a few years ago, they established their firm, high position on my list of best live acts I’ve seen. They were exciting, dramatic, punk-rock, emo with a touch of shoegaze, all rock-and-rolled into one. Two years later, the band broke up, frontman Berkfinger moved to Berlin and started a side project called Feelings, and the “Philly Jays” were over. But now they’re back. And to celebrate their reunion and upcoming album, they dropped a new single titled “Crashing and Burning pt II”.
They’ve only released one album previously – 2009’s Hope is for Hopers, swapped out original drummer Dan W Sweat for Susie Dreamboat (of I heart Hiroshima), and disbanded soon after. In 2013 Berkfinger got Dan W Sweat and MC Bad Genius to join him on a tour of Australia as Feelings, and it looks like that’s where the reunion started. The original trio played a bunch of shows to raise money to record a new album, and recorded in a 10 day stint in Berkfinger’s “Golden Retriever Studios” in Berlin.
The band says that “most of the tracks were recorded live within 30 minutes of being written and there is no editing, no computer trickery”, and that “if Berkfinger couldn’t sing it perfectly in tune, then it stayed out of tune.”
Ironically, Crashing and Burning pt II got me very excited for more Philly Jays, but its core message seems to be “Don’t let yourself get too excited!” But even though they might not want my money, and they don’t want to let me down, I’m sure their upcoming album (titled Summer of Doom, apparently) will live up to my expectations.
Philadelphia Grand Jury is an Indie Rock band from Sydney, Australia. Philadelphia Grand Jury make and release their own records, on their own terms, scraping together whatever tools they can find, and they aren’t leaving until you pay attention. Their next album, Summer of doom, will be released on 2 October 2015.