'Off the Hook' launches this weekend.

Acoustic, shredtastic, flamenco rock duo Citrus Jam are coming to play a bunch of shows in Adelaide, and launch their second album, Off the Hook at The Grace Emily.

The Melbourne band have also got dates booked at The Crown and Sceptre, The Exeter, as well as some planned busking in the Mall, in the lead up to the Grace launch

Carmen and Ben causing chaos. Photo by Michael Reynolds.

The unique sound of the instrumental, flamenco, metalcore band has changed slightly since its inception, which Ben [aka Citrus] says he’s looking forward to showing audiences.

“We’ve been getting the album all together for about nine months now, so we’re excited to get out and play it with the new line up,” he says.

“I’ve gone back to rhythm guitar, and Carmen (violin) has taken on a lead role for the duo now. So she’s taken over the lead melodies and I’m taking over the percussion element. It’s a bit more stripped back, more textured, and more powerful.”

Off the Hook! is the second release from Citrus Jam, with their debut album, Citrus Jam Presents Tropical Acoustic Metal with Ultimate Pirate Shred being released only a year ago.

Teamed with Carmen [aka Scorpius], Ben reckons the sound has changed in between time, but audiences can still expect their usual musical chaos.

'Off the Hook' launches this weekend.
‘Off the Hook’ launches this weekend.

“We’ll still have the chaos, and whatnot, in regards to the energy of the show, but it’s a lot more upbeat and a lot groovier. It’s a bit more mature and has evolved to a more refined sound, compared to the chaos we used to do. I’m playing rhythm and percussion now, so I’ve taken a step back. It’s fun, upbeat and energetic though,” he says.

With a number of dates booked in Adelaide, Citrus Jam are happy to be riding back into town, where Ben says he feels at home, and has a certain affiliation with the music scene.

“Adelaide has a very nice, relaxed vibe. It’s nice to get away from Melbourne; but also, Adelaide is the first state I travelled to, outside of Victoria, for music stuff. It has a sentimental connection for me. We’ve done quite a few tours there now. I enjoy it a lot. It’s good catching up with people and doing a few shows. We’ve got a few shows we’re doing in a three or four day stint, but the main one is the launch at The Grace Emily,” he says.

The Grace Emily gig to launch Off the Hook, will be supported by Adelaide band, Gorilla Jones, who describe their sound as soul/jazz/New Orleans/Kung Fu.

Ben says, although the pairing was accidental, the two unique musical flavours will blend well together.

“The dates were booked out when I looked at booking the launch, but I was told to get in touch with Gorilla Jones because our music would really work together. They were keen to get on board, so we’re supporting them for their main show, and we’re launching at the same time, so we’re doubling up, which is kind of cool,” he says.

To drum up some interest in the gigs, Citrus Jam will be taking their music to the streets and serenading the people of Rundle Mall.

“We’ll be busking Thursday and Friday afternoon to put the word out for our shows. Plus, we enjoy playing, and it’s a really fun way to rehearse!” Ben says.

And while you might throw a couple of dollars into a guitar case if you happen upon them in the Mall, their gigs at Adelaide venues are all free of charge.

Citrus Jam will be busking in the Mall, as well as playing several gigs around town. Photo by Michael Reynolds.

“All of our gigs are 100% free entry,” Ben says. “We try to stay away from doing ticketed events if we can, unless we’re doing a big show. But we haven’t got a huge following in Adelaide, so to get numbers through the door is a bit tricky. We offer the show free and make it easy for everyone so they can enjoy the night more.”

The album they’re launching Off the Hook is a nine-track recording offering instrumental songs with nautical names, which Ben says is about getting back to basics and taking the weight of the world off your shoulders.

“The theme behind the album is, it’s all instrumental based, and it’s about learning to stress less, to relax and enjoy more. The music is also about giving everyone their own canvas to interpret it however they want to, because it’s instrumental,” he says.

“I couldn’t pick the best song on Off the Hook! Because they all have their own different vibe, but if you’re looking for a good vibe, I’d recommend ‘Lobster Regurgitator’ which is the first single. That’ll give you a good indication of what we’re about, but they all have their own individual stories.”

Citrus Jam will play Thursday 16th July at Crown and Sceptre, Friday 17th July at The Exeter Hotel, a sneaky set at The Whitmore on Saturday 18th from 3-6pm, and then the main event later that night at The Grace Emily with doors open from 9pm.

11722108_616086185161637_2094123690579535644_oPlaying with Citrus Jam on Saturday night are Gorilla Jones, who are very keen to join the party and share the stage with the pirate shredders.

“The musicianship is top notch with Citrus Jam,” says Gorilla Jones front man, Cane. “I’ve been so impressed with their material. I’m really looking forward to seeing them for the first time, and would encourage everyone to get on Bandcamp and buy their album; and while you’re there, buy Jones’ debut album Third in the First World as well!”

Check out both bands this weekend if you’re looking for a unique, entertaining and impressive musical experience.

By Libby Parker
Story originally published in BSide Magazine