Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Blackjackits "The Blackjackits

(Hippicrit Records 2014)

Don't Tell Me
Drown In My Youth
Crooked Mistake
Darling Blue
Signal Delay
Doors And Keys
Empty In Sage
True Loves Gone Away
Until Then
You Are My Weakness
Where Will I Go?

I've been keeping a close eye on this Californian trio for a long time so it's about bloody time they released this, their debut album. I get the impression from listening to this that they took their time in the studio because they wanted to create something unique. Yeah that's right...I said unique. No easy task in the formulaic world of psychobilly but by Jaysus they've succeeded. Now I've been saying "they" a lot but if truth be known this recording is all the work of front man Kenny Hill...multi instrumentalist and creative genius extraordinaire. As a live act though our Kenny is flanked by Kyle Olson on slap bass and Manny Lutz on drums. There's a definite nod to The Quakes psychobilly/new wave fusion on this album but with that said this is unlike anything I've ever heard before. Paul Roman may have been some kind of Svengali character lurking in the background of Hill's creative thought process but influences aside, as I said, this is unlike anything I've ever heard before, and I love it! It's as though The Blackjackits have created a new sub genre of psychobilly unto themselves. But it's not just psychobilly though, or a sub genre, or anything that should be labelled or pigeon holed (even though the boys themselves have coined the excellent term "American Slapwave"). Why not? It doesn't deserve to be constrained within any one genre. Not any existing one at least. The songs on here deserve to stand alone on their own merits and the listener can decide. I've made up my mind and this album is a work of art.  There's substance in abundance to Hill's lyrics and he has crafted some fine melodies throughout. It's quite simply one great song after another to the point where I was thinking to myself "well, surely he can't keep this up"...he spades! Intelligent story telling through the medium of song is what it's all about on this album with Hill obviously drawing on life experiences which draws the listener into what appears to be his own dark, cold, rainy world. This is right up my street. Production values are pristine too. Everything is mixed to perfection and adds to the whole cruel world feel of the album. Lyrically downbeat but musically uplifting. Adam and the Ants created a whole new genre in the 1980s and The Blackjackits have followed suit in the new millennium.

The O'Prez 2014

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