Jackdaw4 - 'Dissecticide' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 21, 2013    
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The fourth offering from Jackdaw4.

The marvellously titled ‘Dissecticide’ is the fourth offering from Jackdaw4, the home of one time The Grip, Wildhearts and Honeycrack man Willie Dowling and his band of merry power-popping minstrels. If you’ve never heard Jackdaw4 (really, I need three good reasons, signed by your parents and witnessed by two people of good standing to explain why not), then prepare yourself for the most sublime combination of razor sharp wit, observant social commentary and jumping, pumping, melodically humping eclecto-pop you could ever wish for.

Albums that cover topics such as the farcical natures of religion, date rape and political greed would suggest shoe-gazing shouty music, but in the hands of Jackdaw4 nothing could be further from the truth (well other than a blancmange driving leprechaun). For what ‘Dissecticide’ specialises in is taking the most glittering, glistening of hooks, coating them in sugary sweetness and then burying them viciously into your skull, while wearing a mischievous ear to ear grin. ‘Abigail’s Last Hurrah’ careens into view, all hand-claps, milk-bottle like clanks and scything riffs and a vocal melody to die for, while ‘Ministry Of Fools’ takes a Squeeze like piano line and adds the most sublime, dreamy, poppy chorus imaginable. It all leaves you gurning like a goon and a little giddy, but when ‘Why Don’t You Come And See Me When She’s Not Around’ is finished with you in a Cheap Trick meets Sparks kind of way, you’ll be left seeing stars like a stunned Bash Street Kid.

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The arrangements are ridiculous, with xylophones, wood blocks, bells (no whistles), angelic harmony vocals and killer bursts of guitar combining to amazingly cohesive effect. However it is the sheer musicality of it all and the undoubted skill taken to put it together that makes this a sure fire hit every time. John Steel, Guy James and Willie provide a plethora of guitar goodness, while Andy Lewis booms and boings on the bass. However it is both the hyperactive, pinpoint drumming from Kate Stephenson and the multi-layered vocals from Willie, John, Guy, Andy, Graeme Ash and Elin Agorelius that takes already unmissable songs and raises them to exalted heights. ‘Gone By The Weekend’ races along with melodic intent, ‘Monster Ball’ has hit written all over it, through it and from front to back, while ‘Coming Up For Air’ shows that Honeycrack had more in common with the Beatles than Motorhead. Then comes the twanging, surprisingly seductive slice of country that is ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’, where guest vocalist Givvi Flynn shimmers and shines, ‘Made Of Stone’ which lures and excites through its subtle, ever growing charms, while ‘Melanoma’ uses sparse instrumentation to allow sumptuous vocals to get their hard hitting message over in the most covert manner.

Why Jackdaw4 aren’t a household name I’m really not sure, but you should certainly find a place to hold ‘Dissecticide’ in your house. My suggestion would be your CD player. Once there, it will take some shifting.

Steven Reid

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