Evil Jake's debut EP, Music to Strip By, is a strange first release from the New York City band. Although their poppy hard rock is catchy, the production and execution can't help but disappoint. The songs are there, which is a big plus for the group. But the guitar is strangely quiet, the bass is virtually missing from certain tracks, and the drums seem to be too loud and brassy. On top of that, the passionate voice of Mike Jacobs seems to be robbed of its motivation here, leaving behind the blueprint of a great performance without actually delivering it. But there are some obvious bright points, including the great cover of "What's Love Got to Do With It" that avoids the obvious punky route they could have taken and the clever Replacements-lite of "Everything She Wants." This is a respectable first effort from Evil Jake, but the production and occasional emptiness of the performances still leave the verdict up in the air for the next release.
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AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano