Fueled by cheap red wine, late nights turned early mornings, and sideline social observations, Jori and the PUSH are Northwest rock. They’ve been making music together for over fifteen years and the sheer talent that these four friends possess is undeniably represented on their 2012 album release, The Heart Is Wise. As musicians, they’re unsurpassed, and female vocalist Jori Teran sounds like a smooth mix of rocker Gwen Stefani and the soulful Sade. There are no electronic tricks. This is the power of instruments, training, and the passion of melodic blood.
All four members of the group are native to Eugene, Oregon, and though one still resides here, the rest are currently living in Seattle, Washington. The songs reflect a life lived in cold weather and dark days, with cloud parting happiness. They are rock heavy and remarkably polished, sounding slightly like vintage So-Cal Punk Rock and newer still, the Royalty.
Whatever you do, do not mistake Jori and the PUSH for pop music. Hard riffs and drum thunder are what they’re all about. With “Belligerent”, Teran’s voice rises like sea foam over the frothy waves of Remy Munch’s guitar and Sam Wartenbee’s bass, coasting out on a hymn of Ah’s. “Saving Grace” sneaks up on itself, bass tiptoes into verse and breaks into a shattered Ooo chorus. It’s a song of confliction and pain; a song for the joyful masochist. I’m a sucker for an Ooo chorus, and the band takes you to church. My favorite track is, without a doubt, “The Left Side of Both”. It is the musician’s love ballad, with a hook claiming that “the melody of you is in my thoughts and on my tongue.”
Driving home the Northwest Rock, in “Moral Slang” Teran sings, “fucking up don’t feel too lovely, but feeling good is making friends.” As far as I’m concerned, that line sums up The Heart Is Wise.
Fucking up, getting fucked, making love and feeling lovely. The Heart Is Wise. And Jori and the PUSH drop knowledge.