These days, most new music lacks a couple of necessary elements: well-written songs coupled with well-written music, that has both a familiar yet still different kind of sound. Seems simple enough, but more often than not, the mark is clearly missed.

That’s certainly not the case with J. Mark Jones’ new effort, “A Distant Noise.” Produced and engineered by Jones’ brother Todd, whose experience in many musical hemispheres brilliantly shines through here, “A Distant Noise” is distinguished from the crowd by a host of varied musical genres that make up a truly rock solid menagerie of modern, melodic and memorable rock music.

Much time, blood, sweat and tears went into the making of this record, and it shows in it’s texture and complexity. Jones’ voice is clearly reminiscent at times of Jon Bon Jovi, which isn’t a bad thing at all: the “other” Jersey legend has one of rock’s most steadfast and powerful voices, one that’s even improved with time. But the comparisons to Bon Jovi’s overall sound end there: Jones and his brother have crafted complex yet accessible tunes that travel cross a landscape of musical moods, and far exceed any 80’s hair band drivel.

In addition to his own talented guitar licks honed from decades of tireless playing since he was in early double digits, Jones has added additional oomph via talented session players Jon Fry and Jeff Hahn. And along with his accomplished mixing of the record, multi-talented Todd Jones contributes finesse-laden expertise on the drums, bass, Midi and keyboards.

Song highlights are many, especially the opener “Truth Be Told”, a driving rock duet with Stevie Nicks-ish singer Ellen Lalicata, and the keep-hitting-repeat pull of “Prayer Falling On Deaf Ears”, which is reminiscent of the best parts of the rock musical phenomenon “RENT” and is complimented by the sweet background vocals of Bernadette Incerto.

At a hefty fifteen songs, “Noise” is a generous collection of widely varied and powerful music from a guy who clearly has the talent many new music wannabes wish they had. Jones should be talented: he’s worked hard for years to get to this shining moment. Pick this record up now, and you’ll have “A Distant Noise” rotating in your CD changer for years to come.




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