Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Jackets - Shadows of Sound

I've been friends with the members of Swiss garage combo the Jackets for quite a long time (drummer Chris used to live in California and hang out with the Unclaimed and Thee Fourgiven), and loved the band since first hearing their 2012 release, Way Out. They astonished and amazed the jaded west coast rock'n'rollers with their incredible live performances over the last couple of weeks (I was lucky enough to catch two of the shows) and have ensured that their names shall be inscribed on the list of garage rock royalty! Maniacally fantastic players and incredible showmen/ woman, they make great music while visually entertaining the masses. This is their latest release on Voodoo Rhythm Records and, in a nicely economic fashion, there is a free CD of the album in each LP!

The band continues with their patented fuzz/tremelo/garage sound, with noisy guitars, poundin' drums, drivin' bass and Jack/Jackie's individualistically cool singing style. The fuzz'n'tremelo start things off right with "Don't Turn Yourself In", with call'n'answer choruses (Chris'n'Sam always make their vocal presences known) and a fierce lead guitar break. "At the Go-Go" swings'n'stomps (with what sounds like a kazoo solo), and "Sometimes Maybe" is a fantastic, reverbed 60's throwback with more ferocious guitar breaks, including a trippy backwards guitar solo underneath chanting group vocals. Pure punk/garage is embodied in "Keep Yourself Alive", things slow down a bit for "Living in the Past" (with hints of the Music Machine), Chris'n'Sam give us a groovy intro on "Watch You Cry" that also includes some cool harmonica work, "Wheels of Time" combines dark fuzz'n'melodies with a touch of early Kinks for a potent psych/garage monster, "You Better" is more frantic punk/garage, Jack gives a stern warning in the form of the poppy "Hands Off Me", the tempo is tempered a bit in "Astronaut" (dig the somewhat psych-ish lead guitar work here) and the proceedings conclude with the title track fuzz masterwork.

Truly one of the best current bands going and I think this is their finest record yet. See them if ya can and pick up their recordings for a fuzz-tastic good time!