In most other walks of life the more you do something the better you get at doing it, practice makes perfect right. For some reason this does not always apply to music although you would think it would defiantly be true in all cases, you master the instrument or perfect your vocal, but no. There are a number of bands that have made legendary status first or second single/albums before learning to play properly, then failing miserably with any further releases further down the line or at least unable to capture that raw magic again.
I haven’t heard the previous bands that the members of Jackie D were in, a coming together from Grankapo, Custom Circus and Barafunda Total. Formed in 2013 and releasing their debut album “Symphonies from the City” in 2014, they capture a heavy southern influenced more rock than punk sound that feels like it’s been perfected over a few years with plenty guitar riffs and solos. In contradiction to this southern sound the band are actually based in Lisbon not known for its energetic rock bands.
New offering “The J Spot” (not another one to find I hear you guys say) is an album packed full of solos, riffs, power chords and clichés, with the vocal chords at times straining like a pit-bull on a leash at the mere glimpse of a pussy. There is no doubt these guys can play and have come up with some good stuff here, but to me it’s just a bit safe, expected and treading a path that’s been worn since slash’s top hat took the stage. It might be appreciated by a more sophisticated ear than mine, who undoubtedly prefers chords to come in 3s and guitar solos to last the same amount of seconds. There are moments where it will get you sitting up and taking notice, “Yeah Yeah” is one of those moments where I think the Jackie D sound comes together as it should. Where it sways and twists around enticing you in, before spitting you out around the room. The slower drawl of “Explode” is a welcoming deviation that has anguish and angst felt vocals whistling in the wind, before tailing off into the distance. Not being a big fan of slap bass or that rock funk sound “My Fantasy” was for me the track I would skip very easily, in anticipation of that first twang. There is a nice intro to “Can’t Stop” my favourite track on the album with more of a punk edge, the drums batter a path to reach a pounding guitar and gravel vocals. The wailing guitar mid way is only interrupted by the glass gargling title being spoken, a short sharp shock that was needed on the album in my opinion. The last track “Lost” builds up slowly to a crescendo of vocals and like most of the tracks the singer shows his range and vocal talent, with another guitar solo and repetitive lyrics coming to a blunt ending.
Jackie D have released a good album here that is polished and performed with quality musicians, and if good is what they were aiming for then they cracked it. Sometimes practice does not create perfection; the fact you don’t know what you’re doing sometimes comes up with biggest surprises.
By Kami Provan