“What’s more loving and welcoming than ‘ours’?” asks Jimmie Gnecco, frontman and mastermind of Ours. New Jersey native Gnecco has steered his alt-rock combo since 1992, over a rocky road that has seen a Rick Rubin-produced record shelved amid increasing interference from major labels. During that period, Ours evolved from Gnecco’s early fixation on the operatic grandeur of Jeff Buckley to a harder-edged take on U2’s phased guitar atmospherics, to the classic rock, Van Morrison-meets-Led Zeppelin fundamentals of forthcoming LP Ballet the Boxer 1. The one constant has been Gnecco’s precise and powerful vocals. Swooping from melodic croon to soaring falsetto, Gnecco’s voice can stretch to the hyperventilating yelping of U2’s Bono. Yet, even at his most overwrought, Gnecco forges an intimate and knowing connection with his listeners, never straying far from the intimacy of the Motown soul he loves. Live, it’s both awesome and unnerving to see the gaunt and unassuming Gnecco shape-shift into a force of nature. Why Ours retains mere cult status while warmed-over grunge contemporaries like Creed topped the charts remains a mystery. Perhaps Gnecco’s candid and cathartic songs touched a raw nerve.