Mobjack is a mess of contradictions. The group alternates fluidly between delicate acoustic pieces and raucous, electric rock, blending Southern and indie references into a distinct sound. They are modern yet derivative; too rock for country, to country for rock, too straight for indie, and too indie for mainstream.
Mobjack began as a recording project when songwriter Keller Glass gathered a cast of friends and former-bandmates to track several compositions in Hartford, CT. Under the careful tutelage of producer David Stillman, the unnamed group's debut album Clean Slate took shape out of brilliant performances from area musicians, most of whom were, unfortunately, college-bound and thus unavailable for further duty. Keller and David quickly set to work assembling a gigging band to support the nascent recording project.
Several lineup changes eventually rendered a stable five-piece group featuring Glass on guitar and vocal duties, Scott Hiestand on pedal steel, Frank Quinn on keys, Rob Ashley on bass and Steve Phillips on drums. The group quickly coalesced into a Band-like ensemble, emphasizing Glass' compositions with careful arrangement and instrumentation.
Mobjack released Clean Slate in August of 2010 and received effusive praise from area DJs. The album is at once deeply grounded in classic American archetypes and clearly modern, unbeholden to simple forms or categorization. Songs like In the Dark and Walked Away Too Fast offer a twanged indie rock while Argonne showcases Glass' distinct songwriting as it chronicles the apocalyptic visions of a WWI veteran. Clean Slate is equal parts Crazy Horse and Band of Horses, a seamless blend of influences that inform the essence of Mobjack's sound: the aching duality of modern America, immersed in the past yet moving inexorably forward.
Since the release, Mobjack has been playing constantly including opening up for national touring acts like Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult as well as splitting bills with other talented bands in the resurgent Hartford music scene. They've also started tracking their sophomore effort, this time with a steady lineup. In the meantime, they're releasing monthly singles on Mobjackmusic.com, most of which are new pieces or are tracked live at one of their shows.