Justin Roeser & The EN Council
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Justin Roeser & The EN Council

Band Rock Americana


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"Review Lost at Zero Herohill"

Now on the other side of the coin, we have Seattle's Justin Roeser. When he sent over his record telling us he heard about herohill from our post on The Sumner Brothers, I naturally assumed he’d be playing the same dark, stripped down Cash influenced tales that the Vancouver natives delivered. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Justin’s style is much more diverse and to be completely honest, all over the map. He's as likely to bust into a hip hop influenced back beat (Mankind - which takes on an almost modern Leonard Cohen feel) as he is to fill out a track with horns, toss in a surprising guitar solo or craft an atmospheric ballad (Peace). He ties the tracks together with his subdued vocals, a style that represents the rain and grey that dominates the city he call home.

As I’m sure you can imagine, with justin moving between so many styles and the juxtaposition of the past and present , there are hits and misses. Personally, I find the hazy, slow sonic explorations like Hide and more subtle efforts (the back to back American Refugee and Family are probably my favorite moments of the record - although the backing vocals on the latter sort of remind me of the old dude on Family Guy) more successful than some of the more upbeat jams (Truthful Information), but either way, Justin's creativity is leading him in a good direction.

- Herohill

"The White Blazon"

"Justin Roeser is probably the hardest working singer/songwriter I've met. He is trying to break into the Seattle music scene, and even drove to South By Southwest to distribute his debut album for free. Give the guy a break and take a listen at his MySpace. " - The City Collegian

"Review of Lost at Zero My Crazy Music Blog"

"I was watching an Elvis Costello concert the other day and as a part of his stage banter he said (and I’m really paraphrasing here) “I’ve wrote over 1,000 songs in my life and though I can be accused of many things, in all that time, I never wrote a song using the words Rock & Roll.” This comment made me laugh because I always thought it was ironic that whenever there was a song about “rocking and rolling” it inevitably didn’t seem to rock or roll.

Having this fresh in my mind Mr. Roeser started a little behind in my book when he opened his album with the words “I’m just a lonely soul playing some rock and roll”. The song that contained these words was called “Lonely Soul” and to my mind it didn’t get much better. It was your basic jangley modern folk/pop - nothing special and a little too self-absorbed.

The Justin Roeser Myspace page lists him as experimental/Elecrocustic/Folk Rock and that alone was enough to get me to at least keep listening. Lucky for both of us, I did. The second song “mankind” was a complete 180 - almost like it was from another artist. It opened with a sort of heavy smooth electronic beat, with a sort of 1990’s Bob Dylan singing over it.

As the album continued, my interested continued to be piqued by unexpected style shifts. What was especially interesting was that it seemed to have a sort of natural flow from style to style. Starting with your basic folk/rock sound, it quickly delves into more electronic and experimental sounds then through ethereal songs like “Peace” and the almost gospel song, "Why". In between all of this there’s a duo of almost, country music tracks “American Refugee” and “Family”. Finally the last song, “Rescue” seems to try and bring it all together, although to my mind, it’s kind of a dull closer.

My only complaint about the record would be that lyrically and especially vocally Justin Roeser seems to fall into a style I just hear too much of out of the Northwest. An almost monotonous disaffected singing style which is underlined all too often by white kid navel gazing in the lyrics.

That said for the most part Roeser avoids this just enough to listen to the album a few more times. I even went back and listened to the accursed opening lines again. The whole verse goes as follows:

“I’m just a lonely soul playing some rock and roll/Till my thumb bleeds and my heart breathes/Chaos in between the notes hit’s me right here/Then they disappear just like the breeze.” Such sweet words. I can almost forgive him for using the sinfully inadequate term for the music we all love." - MY CRAZY MUSIC BLOG


Justin Roeser - Lost @ Zero 2008



Formed by producer/singer/songwriter Justin Roeser after the completion of his solo album "Lost at Zero" he contacted musicians who he had worked with on prior projects or had met on tours to form an eclectic formula that has stood out to the ear. Influenced by the sounds Paul McCartney, Justin Hayward and Townes Van Zandt, the band continues making their audience return and grow for the very intimate vibe they create live. Their instrumentation sets them apart pulling in unique sounds such as accordion, vibraphone, cello and flute to accompany laid back geetars, all backed with a very solid rhythm section.