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JC Activator
Send In The Clowns
6 Mile Records 2


Previously unknown to most of us western U.S. folks, South Carolina has continued to crank out bands of exquisite musicianship and song writing prowess. JC Activator is definitely one of these bands. The casual listener can easily group them with the Eve 6’s and Athenaeum’s of the music world, while those with the time and patience will discover a much deeper musical sentiment. The songwriting here is deeply personal and very evocative, and the musicianship is easily a contender with the aforementioned major label bands. The most outstanding traits of this band are their honesty and their humanity.

The album had my attention from the first, with "Kay", a deep and haunting song about that greatest of songwriting material… unrequited love. Some fine guitar work nicely complements the dispiritedness of the vocals. "Hope For You" continues to develop insightful lyrical content, while introducing us to their vocal harmony abilities. "Out in Space" is a melodic journey to find the girl of your dreams. Always beyond reach, "If you’re looking for an angel, she’s gone out in space". "Mindchange" exposes the dynamic musical ability of the band, and at the same time takes the introspection out and hangs it up with a social consciousness. The acoustic "Sitting Outside" again pulls us into the conscience of the writer, exposing the listener to personal pains and hopes and dreams. "Too Far Away" gives the listener the inkling of where JC Activator comes from, their influences and aspirations. This song is probably the most musically versatile, featuring a melodic guitar solo, which leaves me wanting more. Approaching the mainstream a bit more is "Waited On You", with its clean guitar hooks and cleaner vocal harmonies. "Don’t Follow Me" is a powerful song with ingenious vocal delivery, and a heavy-hearted word to share. "I don’t understand, understand the reason we evolve. We just hang out, just to watch the clock upon the wall. The took your breath away, and now you don’t breathe at all." With a nice swing beat and beautiful lyrics, "Unnoticed" is a stand out track, laced with intricate harmonies and rhythmic puzzles. "I Want To Know" is a beautiful song, deep with emotion, accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. A perfect tie to wrap up this excellent album…

Again, the lyrical content of "Send In The Clowns" is phenomenal, and the musicianship very solid and consistent. I can easily take a stand behind a band that uses no musical tricks to make their statement, but instead relies solely on their ability to craft great, powerful songs. Any band that can play the 3-5 note guitar solo and be tasteful and emotional with it, wins an award for their expressiveness. Mature songwriting and presentation make this a very enjoyable listen, but be prepared to examine the emotions this album will conjure in your own heart.

–David DeVoe

Links:
www.6milerecords.com

Track Listing

    1. Kay
    2. Hope For You
    3. Out In Space
    4. Mindchange
    5. Sitting Outside
    6. Too Far Away
    7. Waited On You
    8. Don’t Follow Me
    9. Unnoticed
    10. I Want To Know


Mike Doughty



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