I feel somewhat apprehensive about putting Gentleman Jesse & His Men into the “little known music” category, if only because I don’t imagine that they’ll remain obscure for very long. The Atlanta band released their first self-titled album just recently, and it’s a real gem. Following in the steps of their fellow Atlantans the Black Lips and King Khan & The Shrines, frontman Jesse Smith and his band assume the aesthetic of garage rock, but rather than mining the rich rock history of the 60’s, Gentleman Jesse relies much more heavily on 70’s power pop references such as Nick Lowe.
One band that this group shares an immediate sonic kinship to is the Exploding Hearts, a band to which I devoted one of my other Little Known Music Corner posts. The Exploding Hearts also had an affinity for 70’s power-pop, although they devoted more of their sound to the punk kinetics of the Buzzcocks than Gentleman Jesse, who seems content to wander more in the sugary sweet power-pop range.
This is an extremely fun record, and if you liked the Exploding Hearts (I’m looking at you, Jill), then you definitely need to check these guys out.