The Jackals review was written by Michael Hanrahan, a GIGsoup contributor
One of the greatest things about being a writer is that every now and then you hear something that gives you hope again. Just when you have been inundated with email after email of new acts asking what you think of their “new sound”, only to find out its yet another bedroom recording of a band’s first rehearsal, you here something that makes you stop, and sit back, and emerge half an hour later wondering what you have been thinking about that was so important. But it has, thanks to four guys from Edinburgh, The Jackals, with their new album ‘People’ .
The Album isn’t perfect, but it’s close. What you can be sure of is a psychedelic trip from start to finish. It invokes images of big stadiums, large fields, lasers and smoke machines. The album opens with ‘Eyes Awaken’, a slow, lyric-driven track with an uplifting chorus that uses the tremolo like it was going out of fashion. The sound is reminiscent of Pink Floyd with a few less pills.
Then ‘Raspberry Moon’ chimes in with Radiohead ‘Street Spirit’-like guitars and military style drumming which then converts to a more upbeat, catchy pattern that takes you by surprise. It is unclear if it is a coincidence or a conscious choice to name this track ‘Raspberry Moon,’ but it could be easily compared to The Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields’ during the chorus.
‘Call Out Mellobird’ and ‘Ghost Soul Traffic’ are more stripped back, 60’s inspired hippy tracks. However, they are followed by one of the stand out tracks on the album, ‘Can’t Leave The City’. The track opens with the same tremolo powered guitar we are used to but is then overpowered by a lead guitar that could quite easily have been written by The Shadows. The vocals echo over the top, in an almost Stone Roses fashion, complimenting the sound of the steady drums.
‘Just To Pass The Pleasant Times’ leads on to the second longest track of the album, at five minutes 33 seconds, it is only second to the opening track, and ‘Dancin’ Round The Nails’ has a very similar feel. The long introduction is filled with teasing drum solos and even more echoing guitars, followed by the Miles Kane-esque vocals. The track does go on a bit too long and lacks a long, intricate guitar solo, left out in favour of a short keyboard number near the end.
‘Two Heads’ returns the album to the more upbeat, hillbilly psych, followed by a Verve sounding ‘Where the Face of Angels Lay’. Then comes the penultimate track, ‘Gold Gift From Paris’. Another stand out number from the album, the song opens with high pitched, eerie sounding guitars, leading to a drop, reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s ‘Breathe.’ The song continues to echo through the headphones, blocking out the world around you and this time the boys give us the long awaited guitar solo missing from previous tracks. A nice, minute long solo that seems like they forgot to stop as they are completely caught up in the moment.
The album finishes with ‘Waiting for the Man with the Sun’. The track will take listeners right back to the Texas barn, high on ecstasy. Echo filled guitars and a fast paced drum make the first half of the song a real toe tapper. There sits a brief drum solo in the centre that an audience may feel is out of place and doesn’t really fit in the transition. However, the album ends strong with the sounds of cheers and applause. A brave ending but an applause the band are deserving of.
The album is not perfect, but it will definitely keep any music lover hooked until the end. With a little work on the order of songs and slight (emphasis on the slight) work on the arrangements, this band could have something special.
‘People’ is out now.