CD Reviews

Jackdaw4 - 'The Eternal Struggle For Justice' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2010    
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Don’t miss out on this stunning album.

It would appear that Jackdaw4 albums are just like waiting for buses. Nothing for years and then three come along at once! This time round we have a brand spanking new set of songs with wonderfully catchy and hook laden eclectic music that is embellished with some of the most poignant, clever and insightful lyrics you are liable to stumble across. I am often amazed at Jackdaw4 and their main man Willie Dowling’s ability to marry reasonably serious subjects (the banking crises – ‘Baby I’m A Killer’, or previously anarchic personalities appearing in adverts for insurance and butter – ‘We Sold It All’), to sublime melodies and glorious hooks that appear in a variety of guises.

Musically Jackdaw4 produce a sound that many would describe as ‘power/pop’ and whilst I don’t wish to disagree, that tag doesn’t really do the massive variety of sounds and influences that are revealed throughout this disc justice (no pun intended). Whether it is the staccato guitar jangle of ‘Everyone Becomes The Road They Take’, or the call and response that wouldn’t have been out of place in chain gangs building railways of ‘Wire To The Wire’, the two aspects that stand out proudly are the massive vocal harmonies and the clever, yet sympathetic arrangements. That latter skill allows every note, harmonica blast, guitar chord, vocal line and banjo burst to sound bright and vital to the music’s success without ever dominating the sounds that contain it. Whilst every song on ‘TESFJ’ could rightly be described as a highlight, the two songs I’ve already picked out really do perfectly illustrate what Jackdaw4 stand for. ‘Everyone...’ has the best upbeat vibe you could ever hope to encounter, with a great piece of understated guitar being backed by trumpets and saxophone to lead you jauntily into the most memorable chorus of the year. I just haven’t stopped singing this song since I first heard it. ‘Wire...’ on the other hand has a deep acoustic guitar jostling with what sounds like spoons on pots and pans and a wobble board as the band respond to Dowling’s vocals by repeating his every word and then WHAM, once again you are hit by a wall of harmony vocals that just bursts into view out of nowhere. I could genuinely rave about each and every song on this album, however I need to mention the Queen and T-Rex meets Roxy Music of ‘Pornography’ which manages to blend to glam sensibilities of the 70’s with a thoroughly modern production and ‘Baby I’m A Killer’ which takes the glorious vocals that are used across the album and raises them to an even higher level over a gentle piano backing.

Jackdaw4 deserve to be huge, as this music is complex enough to satisfy serious music fans, but contains enough instant blasts to bring the more casual observer onboard as well. Don’t miss out on this stunning album and help Jackdaw4 in their ‘Eternal Struggle For Justice’

Steven Reid

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