JJ McGuigan: “Dissociative” – a combination of tight production and a raw sound that pays off in immediacy

Wichita, Kansas-based alt-rock singer-songwriter and VH1 “Save The Music” Songwriting Contest Finalist, JJ McGuigan, who has signed with veteran publicity and promotions company, MTS Management Group has released his latest EP, “Dissociative”. The 5-song collection features vocals by Garrett Crow and Scott Spriggs. This is one you can play cover to cover and love every second of it. Positive things that quickly come to mind about this EP are the combination of tight production and a raw sound that really pays off in immediacy.

The subject matter of the music is pretty weighty adding fuel to JJ McGuigan’s pop-rock fire. There are lots of neat little musical embellishing tricks – pronounced drums, layered choruses, jangling guitars, expressive vocals –  that really adds instead of overwhelms on this recording.

JJ McGuigan
JJ McGuigan

JJ McGuigan has the gift of writing songs borne of pain and personal experience and wrapping it all into a four minute hook-laden anthem. His songwriting is masterfully crafted and wickedly catchy without losing depth. Not many other singer-songwriters out there put more soul, grit, and heart into their music than McGuigan.

The full band elements and production choices are never distracting, and only serve to make the writing at each song’s core sound better—a perfect production thesis. Right from the first track “In All Honesty”, the acoustic guitars sound great as they jangle freely above the ever building soundscape.

Dissociative” is stripped down and gripping in places, and layered and intensely hard in others, like on “Disconnected” with its explosive over-driven guitars. In-between you’ll find alternative rock songs injected with catchy pop energy, such “Home” and “Forces I Cannot See”, and then there are tender slow-burning laments like “Desperate Eyes” and “Letter”, which transmit one hundred fathoms of emotion.

These songs all have a freshness and wisdom that makes them poignant for today, tomorrow and beyond. Ride it all the way until the end because each song is an event in itself.

JJ McGuigan is not flashy, doesn’t have any gimmicks, and doesn’t play the industry game. His music really seems to convey what he wants to say to the world. This recording is yet another testimony to why I believe long after the ‘hip indie artists’ of the moment have faded into the dust bin of pop music history, artists like JJ McGuigan will be cherished by a devoted subculture of music fans for many years to come.

MORE ABOUT JJ McGUIGAN: JJ McGuigan was diagnosed with OCD and Depression at age 16. He has since used his experiences and his music to become an advocate for mental health awareness. A drummer since age 13, McGuigan later picked up the guitar and began writing songs at age 20. He attended Newman University and renowned recording school, Full Sail University.  Songwriting has now become JJ’s main focus and passion, with an emphasis on lyrical creation.  After a brief stint in Austin, Texas, he has returned to his hometown of Wichita.


Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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