jul 11 2022
It takes a certain amount of grit, and unbridled creativity, to put out three albums in three years, yet with a little assistance from the time afforded by a global pandemic, that’s exactly what indie rock alter ego Jaco has done, churning out hook-after-hook of 90’s retro stylings for a modern day audience under the howling coronavirus moon.
Completing his pun-laden trilogy of hyper-focused rock and roll with the help of longtime confidant/producer Les Nuby, Jaco’s homespun tales of suburban ennui and cultural discontent— all wrapped in the bright, shiny foil of his surprisingly upbeat sound— have come full circle in this final addition of a song cycle that started out as a personal artistic challenge, and ended up as a compendium of 21st century anxiety and confusion in the grips of a world turned upside down.
Traversing some of the same sonic territory as his last two LPs— think Ride meets Weezer with a dash of Sugar and Teenage Fanclub thrown in— Jaco has managed to once again expand his musical pallet to include a wider range of sounds and sonorities on his newest offering, touching on everything from the dour melodicism of Morphine (“Control Me”) to the alt-country riffs of Son Volt (“A Trace”) and even the psychedelic grunge of Screaming Trees (“I Blow My Mind”), all threaded together in his unique blend of pop-centric tunes with catchy, overdrive dynamics.
And whether it’s the opening second song Brit-pop blast of “The Byzantine,” the lumbering greatness of “Wanna Get High,” the lo-fi teaser-turned-power chord showcase of “21st Century TV,” or the motorik beat of the Heroes-era Bowie closing track of “Wanna Feel Sad,” Jaco’s third album traces more than just a life inside a fractured and disease-ridden world. It traces the arc of a life inside music and the sounds that shaped it rediscovered and refracted back onto itself, bubbling up to the surface after a year of solitude and lockdowns. And during a time when most of us were just trying to make it to through the next day, that’s no small feat. Jaco just put it all to tape where the rest of us could hear it.
– Lee Shook, @theaudiovore