Continuously scouring the Internet to find new and unfamiliar music, I recently ran across and subsequently downloaded some songs from the MySpace page for the Australian bush band, Jack Flash. Very shortly later, I knew I wanted to order and write a review of their EP, ‘Take Notice’.
As I listened to it, (many times now,) I was overcome by the urge to classify and/or categorize their sound, as I found it different yet somewhat familiar. The first familiarity I recognized was the prickly, sharp, staccato sound that reminded me of certain other Australian folk-punk bands like Mutiny and Roaring Jack. This was achieved in part by some hyperactive, short-stroked fiddle and a percussive mandolin at the front of the mix.
On top of these were vocals that perch on that narrow spectrum between Roaring Jack’s Alistair Hulett and Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett, further defining the parameters the “Aussie sound” classification that my mind was developing.
And, of course, the songs themselves reinforced this, with lyrics invoking social awareness, such as the environmentally conscious, kick-ass, title track; containing tales of local significance, such as the track ‘The Legend of Stu;’ and even a blistering version of the traditional ‘Lachlan Tigers.’
The six-piece Jack Flash, made of electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, fiddle, mandolin and even an occasional harmonica, combine these above mentioned elements to carve a niche, (in my head, anyways,) in Celtic folk-punk’s smaller sub-genre, (sub-sub-genre?) of Australian folk-punk. In doing so, the band creates a sound that stands out from the that of the majority of the pack.
One last thing… At the time of this writing, four of these six songs are available to hear on the bands MySpace page, including an acoustic, live version of the title track, ‘Take Notice.’ But for my money, the cleaned-up, plugged-in, spit-shined, mixed and balanced studio version of this song on the EP was worth the price of the disc alone, not just because I now have two different versions of the song, but because when this thing shifts into gear and burns on all cylinders, it really gets the blood to boilin.’
Check these guys out!
Review by Christopher Toler, THE Blathering Gommel