Since 2012, Ohio native Jake Mcelfresh has used his thoaty, punk voice and acoustic guitar in establishing himself as Front Porch Step. His confessional lyrics, punk/emo mentality akin to Dashboard Confessional, and unique charisma have earned him a steadily growing following. Front Porch Step is back with Whole Again, a little treat for the holiday season. These four songs are a solid addition to Mcelfresh’s repertoire, a great introduction for those unfamiliar with his previous work, and great listening for the month of December.
With EPs, it is important that the listener is captivated the entire time, as it is easy to lose focus on such short releases. Whole Again is four distinct songs that, when brought together, create a cohesive release that is compelling and exciting. The opener, “A Lovely Mess”, sends December vibes down the listener’s neck, as Mcelfresh’s cathartic lyrics complement the song’s darker vibe. His words seem to be taken from a love letter, as he pleads his lover to look past the fact that he “is not the perfect man”, because she is “just so perfect”. His 2nd person lyrics feel personal and emotional, a vibe that sticks throughout this EP.
Along with a short Christmas tune, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, Whole Again has a distinctly winter vibe that bodes well with its December release. These songs are perfect for casual listening while taking a cold walk or watching the snow fall. They are accessible for acoustic, emo, alternative, indie, pop, and really any music fan for that matter, to enjoy, as Front Porch Step brings his A-game for these four songs. The EP’s closer, “Whole Again”, is as big as a closer on a full length, let alone the last track on an EP. Its intense, full band power is something that feels out of place on a short EP like this, but is not unwelcome, as it suggests bigger things to come for Front Porch Step.
Coming off of a series of tour dates with The Madden Brothers, Front Porch Step is set to head out on a North American headlining tour in 2015, and if you want to see if this guy is up to the hype, this EP is a great way to do so. In four songs, Jake Mcelfresh shows us what he is capable of as a musician. His straightforward and confessional acoustic rock is very accessible for alternative/emo fans of all walks. As 2014 winds down, these four songs will stick with you throughout the holiday season and are perfect for the snowy days and chilly nights.