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Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative




"The Janks - Hands Of Time"

"New American rock with some serious promise. There's flecks of White Stripes in here and heaps of talent. More please." - Blokely, Music We Like (UK)

"Cargo Collective November"

An eclectic album that merges 4 decades of rock into a newly crafted sound. Gritty rock, to folk, to exploding orchestrated theatrics – These LA boys are an addictive adrenalin rush from beginning to end. - Cargo Records

"The Janks - Hands Of Time"

"The title track of Hands of Time by The Janks is a country-infused acoustic number, with ascending vocals and descending instrumentals that create an infectiously woozy effect. There are some lovely percussive delays on Billy the Kid that give this ballad a lackadaisical charm. Dead Man is a slow-burner that begins as a quiet confessional and escalates to a country rock anthem via military drums and exquisite melodies delivered by rough-hewn voices. That military snare is back for Demon Dance which has a stronger rock edge and some soaring electric guitar licks. If you like the alt-folk-country-rock of Band of Horses then you might find Hands of Time by The Janks a bit of a sizzler." - The Whiteboard project (UK)

"Ring Masters Review - The Janks, Hands Of Time"

Hands Of Time the debut album from Los Angeles based band The Janks is ear catching and attention grabbing as well as intriguing and ultimately with a little extra attention for full appreciation very enjoyable. The band has been gaining strong acclaim and support for their varied and surprising sounds in their homeland, with the album hitting worldwide that eager following is sure to grow and quickly.

Since forming in 2009 the band, made up of brothers Zack and Dylan Zmed and best friend Garth Herberg , has worked hard and intently on their eclectic rock/folk sounds and striking an identity in peoples thoughts with local shows and gigs across the US. Hands Of Time was recorded throughout 2010, the final fourteen tracks emerging from 30 prospective songs to give the release a vibrant and emotive substance as well as an air of unpredictability. In the words of Dylan Zmed upon the release “The album is like musical theatre, the first half develops the plot of a young boy who comes from a broken home, while the second reflects the visceral intensity of growing up from separated roots. At the end, we see there’s possibility for change” and though it is not as obvious as one imagines that is the overall sense one gets as the songs deliver their essences.

The album opens softly with the title track. Jangly melodies and smooth harmonies ooze from the song and its story telling as engaging guitars play eagerly around an intermittent teasing lure of a carnival hook. This leads into the country folk of ‘Billy The Kid’ and the following ‘Dead Man’. Both songs shuffle along with emotive elegance, delicate harmonies, and concise arrangements. Though soft sounds are in abundance there is a darker element lyrically that lines the songs behind the mellow beauty though it is not until further into the album that musically the tone also changes.

It is with the second half of Hands Of Time and ‘Rat Racers’ that distinct variations and enterprising sounds erupt out. This song after a soft slow start bursts into a reggae pulse and schizophrenic array of electrified sweet cacophony. Though the album to this point has been solid and more than agreeable it is from this point the release lights up. ‘Separation From Your Body’ is a good rock/folk song in the vein of Steely Dan and brings all the elements of the band’s songwriting into the open. Melodic and harmonious with an engaging discordant tension the song is one of the more memorable and powerful.

The electric scuzz of ‘Demon Dance’ and the lively dementia of the brilliant bouncy folk driven ‘Drama King’s Ball’ both raise the temperature wonderfully, the trio wasting no time by taking it easy on the intrigue and mystique of what is coming next. What is to follow is two again mesmeric tracks in the brief and addictive carnivalesque instrumental ‘Adolescence’ and ‘Child Prodigy’ a song that gives its own kind of rock opera inspired by the likes of Queen.

The album closes as it started with a couple of soft harmonic ballads which are impressive in their construction and sound but do feel as does the opening half of the release, like a drop in levels against the middle excitement. The album is ambitious and overall achieves its intentions admirably and at times wonderfully and for fans of the likes of Flaming Lips or Fleet Foxes this is a must investigate release.

Released on Cargo Records, Hands of Time is fresh and enterprisingly different, despite a little inconsistency though some of that can be put down to personal taste rather than quality. The Janks are without doubt a band to watch closely and their debut an album one to listen to often as each play reveals a little more of its depth and great enterprise. - Wordpress (UK)

"Tomorrows Headline Acts"

"Los Angeles band The Janks have turned in a fine debut of Avett Brothers - tinged guitar pop full of sparkling melody and texture, from the shimmering Hands Of Time, through brutal Demon Dance to the stomp of Adolescence. An engaging winner!" - The Word Magazine (UK)

"The Janks - Hands Of Time"

At 14 songs this is a long record in which you must invest a good hour of your time, which for you busy capitalist types is undoubtedly a waste of money as they say, so you will go about your chaotic life, but when you get to that breaking point where you just need a sit down, run a bath with lots of bubbles, and pour a glass of wine or a strong alcoholic drink of your choosing then this is the album you should be putting on.

The sound of The Janks is slow and unfurling it beckons you closer from a safe distance eventually enveloping you in the layers and quilted textures of history. Yes Hand Of Time is a debut album and the band only formed in 2009, but this isn’t new by any means—which isn’t meant as an insult—this is staple music that’s undergone some of that famous L.A Surgery. It’s Folk and Americana wrapped in radio-friendly Rock riffs, it’s traditionally southern American music designed for British listeners as they replicate the finer moments of Coldplay and Travis’s 12 Memories.

‘Rat Racers’ is a perfect example of this facelift The Janks have given to their genre; it starts off with the ethereal howling of a lone voice before 70’s riffs and screeching vocals transform the song as if a man were turning lycanthrope. It’s a strange track that seems to be in a world of its own, without the rest of the record you wouldn’t dream of calling this Folk, but if the last 60 seconds of this track are indebted to anyone then it’s Neil Young more so than Led Zep.
Zack and Dylan Zmed and best friend Garth Herberg are the three young men responsible for this delightful new record and they are, it must be said, easily some of the most instantly likeable new talents around. They seamlessly mould modern electronic drum fills, sharp guitar work, and complicated piano concertos to create a record with life unto itself. ‘Demon Dance’ is a theatrical Rock song that recalls the twisted throaty vocals of Wolfmother, while ‘Drama King’s Ball’ and ‘Child Prodigy’ has Freddie Mercury Pomp trickling down its overdone face. The more you listen the more bizarre and difficult it becomes to put this record in a box instead you find yourself whizzed off to a different non-planetary location at every turn.

Like the mighty Wilco, clearly a great influence on the boys, The Janks are unafraid of experimenting with form and instrumentation and Hands Of Time becomes all the more visceral for this. If all cinema was like Hedwig and the Angry Inch (a film I recommend to you all) then this would be the most cinematic album on earth, it is by all accounts a modern day Rock opera, a concept album, and a pleasure to listen to. As not enough albums do these days it tells a story, ‘When I Was A Kid’ is weighed down with its melancholy, while the finale track offers hope and redemption; it’s an acoustic number with minor chords left to resonate in their plucky emotion, but it’s always on the cusp of bursting into a Hurts style Pop masterpiece as Dylan purrs, “If you had any sense you’d get out of town, hit the ground running and never look back, say goodbye to your old life start anew.” In contrast with the second half of Hands Of Time the opening of the record is bursting with rustic charm, men weeping, brushing drums as guitars whisper to you like bed time lullabies. ‘Billy The Kid’ is a grumbling track that manages to create air out of treacle. Like good folk should be its natural and stuck in a state it doesn’t fully comprehend. ‘Dead Man’ takes these stilted emotions on a road-trip through Nashville via Venice Beach. It’s this clear yet smooth split which makes The Janks as good as they are. This isn’t just a brilliant debut album; it’s a brilliant album and ought to do wonders for the grass roots revival we’re crying out for.

The Janks are already making waves in the states and if Coldplay’s booking agent, who has just signed the band, has anything to do with it then they will be just as big, if not bigger over here, so go and get your wine and bath now before the water runs dry.
- Altsounds

"Today's opinion formers predict tomorrow's headline acts"

Los Angeles band The Janks have turned in a fine debut of Avett Brothers - tinged guitar pop full of sparkling melody and texture, from the shimmering Hands Of Time, through brutal Demon Dance to the stomp of Adolescence. An engaging winner! - The Word Magazine (UK)

"The Janks"

With a stellar debut album out right now, LA’s emotive folk outfit The Janks took 5 minutes to answer our Q&A. Their amazing clip for ‘Dead Man’ is sure to jank at anyone’s soul. We can’t recommend the album enough, in the mean-time, get a background on the band below. - The Orange Press (Australia)

"The Janks - Hands Of Time"

With their debut album, The Janks manage to gives two different sides of the same coin. When you flip it, you might get heads, the softer, more upbeat side, full of beautiful harmonies and quiet acoustic guitars accompanied by playful, melodic piano parts. Flip it again and you might get tails, the side that comes at your ears like a bat out of hell, assaulting them with heavy beats, foreboding keys, and distressful lyrics. But no matter what side of the coin you get, you're glad that you get to keep it in your pocket.
- Music Baeble

"The Janks - Hands Of Time"

The Fleet Foxes/Avett Brothers rural rock thing is, of course, a delight but sometimes there's a place for a little picaresque pizzazz too. Los Angeles-based trio The Janks take the eternal verities of handmade folk rock whiskey harmonies, gnarly instruments, melodic reveries, a whiff of mountain air and add dashes of both good humour and spectacle. The world of The Janks is a big old rock and roll hoedown to which even the pastiest Brit is invited. You're in for ecstatic meditations in the mould of The Band, nifty little love songs, processional rock laments and all the joy a proper band who can actually play their instruments can afford. "The album is like musical theatre," confesses Dylan Zmed. "It's hard to predict what's going to happen next from song to song," adds brother Zack. The siblings and fellow Jank and best friend Garth Herbeg all sing and play guitar, contributing to a welcoming travelling-show vibe. On their Facebook page they list their interests as "Ancient Greece, verdant gardens, wine and women". Welcome, one and all, to Club Zmed. - The Word Magazine (UK)

"The Janks' new album 'Hands Of Time' is brilliant"

I’ve heard that the measure of good art is how much the critics are inspired to write on it. If this is true, then The Jank’s debut album, The Hands Of Time, is a Picasso. Each track is elusive and manipulative. As soon as you think its Queen, they throw Neil Young at you. You think your hearing 60’s pop and then a carousel comes in.

This is what all good bands do. They transcend comparisons. There’s 60’s and 70’s pop, Neil Young, Ryan Adams, The Blues, The Who, and a whole slew of other stuff in here, but its well hid underneath the bands own twisted chops. They make the music their own and eventually develop their personal mode of music. They draw the listener in with familiar sounds and then wring their hearts with innovation.

The title track, “Hands of time,” starts off the album with a carousel spinning around a Queen-like melody and pop-roots guitar before erupting into a psychedelic masterpiece. It exists on a plane all its own. Before you know it, Hands of Time, has sunk into you and you’re living in that magical space created by epic albums. That space where you go when Dark Side of The Moon is playing or Blonde On Blonde.

The next few tracks float through psychedelic-sixties-pot-smoke—but before you know it your being attacked by atomic blues. “Demon Dance” is an all out attack on the world with a thumping beat, strung-out guitar and the tenacity of a cocaine binge. It’s like a Jack White stomping the shit off Exhile On Main Street‘s shoes.

The album is not always as innovative as the aforementioned tracks, but even songs like “Echo Whispers” which have a recognizable familiarity, hold their own like folk standards. The tracks are well composed and deep sonically. Nothing feels cliché and even the few tracks that come up a little flat would be welcome on any other bands album.

The only real flaw that the album has–if you can call it a flaw–is the fact that it unevenly disperses the up-tempo and slower songs throughout the album. The slower songs seem to be coupled together to much in the beginning and the up-temp at the end. This is a valid complaint for a listener looking to hear the album front to back. But even inspite of that small flaw, this is the most refreshing album to come out of the ever widening indie-scene in a while. There are so many bands and so little time to listen. Make it a priority to listen to this one. They are worth it. - Static Media

"The Janks release debut album Hands Of Time"

"The band, composed of Zmed brothers Zack and Dylan with pal Garth Herberg, formed in 2009 and easily won converts with their visceral combination of theatrical vocal lines, dynamic melodies and an electrifying live performance. To date, the trio has remained an exclusively western U.S. phenomena with local critics describing the band’s sound as “eclectic and can be compared to the likes of great acts such as The White Stripes, The Shins and Queen” (In This Week) and “a show for real classic rock ‘n’ roll lovers. Think Led Zeppelin…” (Idaho Mountain Express) “Hands of Time is like musical theatre,” explains Dylan Zmed. Zach Zmed continues, “It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen next from song to song. There’s a duality to the record. The material spans night and day on a variety of levels. Some of the music and subject matter is really heavy and dark, while some of it is soft and light. " - Type 3 Media

"A grand adventure through The Janks Hands Of Time"

"I don’t like the word “epic” — it’s worn and pedestrian and often misused in much the way “incredible” and “awesome” are. But it’s wrong to blame the words. People’s inability to use them correctly neuters them in times when it’s the exact word needed to convey the properties of a particular item. So this is my problem: Epic is the word to describe Hands of Time, the latest release by Los Angeles’ The Janks, but I fear using it makes me the boy who cried wolf. “Epic,” I can hear you say, “how many times have I heard that before? Is it awesome too?” Let me explain. Epics are long and grand and adventurous, primed to elicit certain glories of the past. Checking in at 14 songs in 53 minutes (long), Hands of Time evokes Queen, Steely Dan, Radiohead and The Veils (grand, past) while employing elements of Americana, classic rock, reggae and blues (adventurous). It’s unlike any musical stew I’ve ever heard. - Stereo Subversion

"The Janks - Hands Of Time"

It's a pretty good bet that when an album is titled Hands Of Time that there won't be a lot of upbeat and joyous music involved, and the notion holds true for about half of this debut from the Janks. The album opens with a couple of melancholy singer-songwriter style tunes in "Hands Of Time" and "Billy The Kid," singer Zack Zmed sounding not quite defeated but resigned to the fact that life is what life is and it ain't so great at the moment. "Dead Man," though, wipes the pallor away; the song's subject matter is obviously dark but Zmed and his brother; Dylan, mesh so flawlessly with bright harmony vocals that there's no way the song is going to come off depressed.

A few cuts later the album takes an unexpected left turn as the brothers break loose with a big production; "Rat Racers" is a perfectly-crafted, 70's-influenced mid tempo rocker with scathing guitar parts, great harmonies and an occasional reggae beat that sounds like a Supertramp / 10CC mash-up. The difference from the album's first few songs is so drastic that it's almost like there's a different group at work for this portion of the album, but that's all just part of getting to know The Janks; clearly there are far more layers here than can be appreciated with just a couple listens. - Campus Circle Magazine

"Ears Wide Open"

L.A. rockers the Janks have stuffed a whole lot of rock history into their sack full of tunes “Hands of Time” (out Sept. 27) — so much, in fact, their debut album threatens to split at the seams. Classic rock, sprawling glam-tinged arrangements, shimmering balladry, blues stomps, lovingly twangy folk: The Janks’ principals, brothers Zack and Dylan Zmed along with Garth Herberg, cover a lot of geography in their meditations on youth and its waning. “Dead Man,” with its Sin City chorus, may be what the Janks do best, but the blues blast “Demon Dance,” the classic rock freakout in “Rat Racers” and the slow burner “Billy the Kid” reveal an admirable range in a bunch of guys who aren’t afraid to experiment. - Buzz Bands LA

"The Janks Prep Rustic-Flavored Debut in September"

"The Janks are somewhat of a deceiving band. After listening to a couple of the band's gritty rock songs, a listener might think that the band members are three Nashville-bred men. Then, after moving on to another track and hearing the characteristics that made a band like Queen so likable, a listener might think that the band members are well over 40. However, none of that is true. In reality, the Janks is from Los Angeles and the band members are young and just well-versed in classic rock. The band is made up of brothers Zack and Dylan Zmed and friend Garth Herberg. Other than recalling Queen with their emotional wails and ostentatious precense, the members keep it fresh with harmonies, akin to folk contemporaries Fleet Foxes, and guitar work comparable to My Morning Jacket and the White Stripes. The themes range from folky campfire songs to booming orchestrated theatrics. " - The Deli NYC

"The Janks - Hands Of Time"

"Radiohead, Queen, a bit of Hendrix and a heavy dose of 60s and 70s rock: The Janks are reminiscent of them all, yet able to remain a totally different breed of sound. With the release of their first full length album, Hands of Time, the Los Angeles born trio has crafted a brilliant debut, worthy of the comparisons they’ve garnered and then some. Each song is a masterpiece, full of nearly tangible emotion and stellar riffs that left me breathless…or perhaps it was more that I was emotional and the music was superb. In either case, the track “Dead Man” had me weeping in my seat, much to the discomfort of my fellow McDonald’s patrons, while “Drama King’s Ball,” had me stomping my feet. In short, The Janks are a joy to listen to, and while I have successfully sidestepped the frothing at the mouth insistence that you run and purchase this album immediately, I will insinuate that it is highly recommended you do." - Innocent Words Magazine

"American Sociology, Boobs, and The Janks"

The Unknown Theater is exactly that. A hole in the wall with sheet metal for a door. Worn Persian carpets, century old red velvet couches, and rickety wooden chairs are thrown all along the main hall. The last time I was here - "she" - was on my lap and I was extremely drunk. Now I sit here on this century old red plush velvet couch and write empty love letters to you while waiting for the first band to go on.

The bassist from the Atma just approaches me and asks,

"Hey man - you got any rolling papers?"
I'm in the right spot indeed and this review is getting derailed by a spliff. The age old plush red velvet couches are alive as the bands usher in their guitar cases. The crowd which formed outside is now filling the empty space in the room. Some chick brought a holla-hoop with her. A pink and purple holla-hoop. No joke - this should be fun.
Old school feel good cocaine inspired Fleetwood Mac is pumping in the distance and a hundred conversations mix together in what becomes an unintelligible murmur. This is "human interaction." You thought you where getting a concert review and so far you have:

- A brief history of my seemingly non existent love life and...
- Philosophy hour highlighting American Sociology

Here is something you might enjoy... a picture of boobs.

Now that I have your attention again: The first act is indeed the Janks. The Unknown Theater is normally a playhouse and tonight the stage is set to look like a backyard poolside sceen. The stage gets dark and blue flood lights stream down from above. Everyone in the crowd is either too stoned to noticed or too scared to display excitement. It's still "American Sociology Hour." Sorry, no more bitter tangents on American Sociology - I promise.

The Janks look like a 5 piece neighborhood rock jam band stuck in that 70's show. The lead singer steps to the mic and greets everyone on this glorious day celebrating love,

"I hope no one gets a venereal disease."
The band immediately takes off into an extremely tight rendition of " Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." I told you they where straight of of Berkeley. Zack Zmed, the leadsinger, displays a tasteful vocal pallet that lends itself to high falsetto notes. The keyboard player, Garth Herberg, has a great feel for simplicity and embodies a quirky spirit. During the lead in to the second tune Zmed takes a brief pause and then asks the crowd if they have a Tambourine. The miracle of the night is that someone actually has one.
The next song, "You're Gonna Die," is a Jeff Buckley inspired fast paced 12 bars blues stroll down a southern bend toward hells' playground. Clouds of light pour in from the side of the stage and give a spotlight to Zmed and his dynamic vocal display. Dreamy soft melodies are carried by a solid rhythm section. They have an indie vibe that doesn't drift into the category of emo but stays in the heart felt arena of new age soul. Well placed slide guitar gives the band a comfortable sound of maturity and sophistication. "Get out of town" tells the crowd that they can be anything, anyone, and even themselves. At times the Janks are reminiscent of Bob Dylan in his All Along the Watchtower days.

In the middle of their set the girl I saw in the main hall with the holla-hoop gets on stage and puts on a display of hip moving goodness I wish you all could see. The Janks close the set by Zmed offering what he envisions to be a song couples enjoy as a first dance tune at their wedding. The Janks are still young at heart and are finding their way to a tighter set list - their music and sound is established and refined well beyond their years. - Budzlist

"Moody Moments at the Canyon"

" The guys yield impressive results in the grand baroque pop tradition alongside groups such as Wilco and Pernice Brothers. They also manage tinges of California cowboy, the blues,'60s and '70s pop, and even take cues from veteran folk-rockers such as Neil Young."
- - The Acorn (Apr 16, 0009)


Delicate Mouthfeels LP
Demon Dance EP
Hands Of Time LP



"The album is like musical theatre," says The Janks' Dylan Zmed [Vocals, Guitar, Keys, Percussion] of his band's forthcoming release Hands of Time. "The first half develops the plot of a young boy who comes from a broken home, while the second reflects the visceral intensity of growing up from separated roots. At the end, we see there's possibility for change."

The Janks offer a change for rock 'n' roll on Hands of Time. On songs like the title track and "Dead Man," guitars careen with an elegant impulsiveness, while vocal harmonies rise and fall seamlessly, evoking a myriad of feelings to tell this cohesive story. The Janks sound like Pete Townshend going on a bender with Dean Ween, and that's what makes Hands of Time come to life. The band principals—Zack Zmed [Vocals, Guitar, Keys], Garth Herberg [Guitar, Keys], and Dylan Zmed—give listeners a front row seat at their "theatre".

The Janks came together in Los Angeles in 2009. They gigged around locally and began developing a following. They've toured all over the U.S. Cultivating their sound, forging an identity that was unequivocally theirs. Elements of Garth's compositions creep into the sound, while Zack's reverence for timeless '60s and '70s rock melds with an appreciation that runs the gamut —from The Kinks, Led Zeppelin and Queen to The White Stripes, Fleet Foxes, Radiohead, and Ween. Everything simply set the stage for Hands Of Time though.

The Janks recorded Hands Of Time throughout 2010, whittling down 30 prospective songs into one consistent and succinct vision. Zack sums up their sound on the new album. "It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen next from song to song”. There's a duality to the record. The material spans night and day on a variety of levels. Some of the music and subject matter is really heavy and dark, while some of it is soft and light”.

"In a way, the song Hands Of Time is a subtle overture," reveals Zack. "It's a reflection over a person's life, what happened to his parents' relationship, and everything he's gone through. It encompasses how imagination essentially died when he had to grow up and become a man. The record explores a lot of different areas. This is simply one of its faces, and it balances the other themes out."

Accompanying "Hands Of Time" is an explosive music video by acclaimed film director Gary Lundgren. It brings viewers closer into the ethereal edge of the band. Lundgren also lensed an equally engaging video for "Dead Man." Other songs like, Rat Racers, Demon Dance and Drama King’s Ball showcase the heaver songs on the record and serves as the gateway to the darker side of the band.

The press has also embraced the band. Flagstaff Live writes, "The Janks may be young but their solid grasp of Americana rock blended with '60s-influenced pop has garnered comparison's to artists like Neil Young and Wilco." Meanwhile, The Deli says, "Brings the '60s back to give it a sort of facelift, all sans the self-entitlement."

"If parts of this record get stuck in people's heads when they wake up, we'll feel successful," concludes Garth. "The music has been in our heads for way too long. It's time for someone else to appreciate it."— (Rick Florino, March 2011)