Blind Jackson? I've been blind-sided! Where the hell did this
addictive little disc come from? It's been a while since a CD literally
had me bouncing in my chair without abandon, let alone from the very
first song. Take Spiral Scratch-era Buzzcocks, whip
in a generous amount of Stranglers and Troggs, and you
have this gem -- three songs of skewed pop that shakes your ass with
fuzzed-out blues guitar licks, a pitch-perfect rhythm section, and
rocks your cranium with whipsmart lyrics that inspire the sort of
passionate sing-along that follows a gallon of beer.
This six piece band hails from the U.K., specifically North London,
and while this Jackson may be blind, they're anything but sleepy.
They're an insane melding of insidious post-punk groove and killer
'60s melody, providing the soundtrack to every unforgettable party
you've ever been to, and will ever attend in the future. Main single
"Stop the Clock" sustains a "Roxanne"-esque guitar
line, but accentuates it with a complementary spy lick as each chorus
soars into catchier-than-hell territory. Lead singer Sy has
a voice just this side of snotty -- think early Howard Devoto
and John Lydon, and I daresay even a fair share of Ray Davies
- but proves he can propel songs along with spot-on call and response
backing vocals, and free-spirited wordless "ba-da-ba-ba-ba-bum"s
that provide silly charm on the outstanding (and personal favorite)
"Keep On Running." Bassist Chris owns this song with
his subtle and thoroughly insidious bass line, and drummer Steve
relies on equally simple means to provide pop and jangle in just the
right dose on "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" And while
most bands with two guitarists relegate one to lead and one to rhythm,
there seems to be a interplay at work here, allowing both Grant
and Colin to fill those roles concurrently, ala Marty Willson-Piper
and Peter Koppes (The Church). The secret weapon, though,
is Luka who provides organ/keyboard twitters here and there
that are indispensable to the old school vibe of these songs, particularly
on "Stop the Clock."
Disappointment is inevitable, though, when there are only three
songs. Bring on the full length! Blind Jackson could easily become
my favorite discovery of the year.
- Heather Space
1. Stop the Clock
2. Keep On Running
3. Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
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