Saturday, 2 August 2008

Jackson Analogue, And Then, Nothing

Jackson Analogue, And Then, Nothing
Universal-Island Records

Many people, ones in bands especially, are of the opinion that one should review records on their individual merit. Rock’n’roll antics, rivalries and feuds, the scene you’re part of, the haircut you’ve cultivated, the quotes you’ve had misinterpreted – these must all be put firmly aside as you deliberate the music and the lyrics in their pure, unadulterated form. I say, bollocks. You can’t help but look at a record in terms of its place in the world. Who are they? And what the hell are they wearing? If David Bowie was just some bloke who looked like your dad who’d also happened to write ‘Life On Mars’, then, trust me, you wouldn’t own his records.

Thus, I’m always wary of a band who’ll declare that ‘music is about passion not fashion and the right song counts for more than the right hair cut’. Music has always been about fashion. Even when Kurt Cobain came along wearing pyjamas and hair dyed in Kool-Aid, he had a look. You have to look like something, even if you look like death. Frankly, it strikes me as something to say if you’d really like to be a cool ‘fashion’ band but have no idea how to go about it, leading you to resent those bands who do have a few good haircuts between them. Methinks Jackson Analogue doth protest too much.

Coming to the end of my word limit then, let me point out that Jackson Analogue aren’t bad at all. They sound like The Bees covering Kings of Leon (they are from the Isle of Wight, after all). They show an appreciation for the protracted blues jam without ever straying into such territory. They squeeze in a bit of classic rock organ. The vocals are a bit iffy, but if you like Led Zeppelin you’ll be fine. And, despite their passion over fashion mantra, you can clearly see a waistcoat in their press photos. But, ultimately, though the opening tracks on debut And Then, Nothing are full of bluster and intent, it all peters out very quickly and becomes derivative and repetitive. So, by demanding me to judge their album solely on its musical and lyrical merit, they have earned half marks. Time for a trip down Brick Lane then fellas?


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