Casey Jack, the newest member of Rough Beast label, is an underdog musician. After a long Chicago winter of songwriting, Jack returned to his hometown of Springfield, Missouri to compile his first album. Here’s the impressive part: Jack executed the entire recording and producing process alone (with just a little help on drums.) His work holds a certain dualism that many punk rockers only hope to attain in their music: Jack’s first batch of garage-punk songs have created a sound that exudes precise attention to detail, while simultaneously upholding grungy punk rock tones. The songs are a breath of fresh air in the modern punk rock world, and Jack’s individual style of rock ‘n’ roll goes down easy on his first self-titled LP.
The instrumentation on this album is reminiscent of a gentler, punk Ty Segall song. Every guitar sound on the album holds a strong punk quality to it, but is a bit more contained and organized than Segall and his band. Jack’s fast-moving music satisfies many punk rock qualifications, although is not as aggressive as other well-known artists’ music. The infectious grungy beats move alongside vocals that radiate an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude, but the level of badass Jack portrays is slightly underwhelming. Jack’s impact is mellow, but the album as a whole still has punk rock running through its veins and would get a crowd moshing in an instant.
Jack claims to have an obsession with detail, but is also devoted to crafting a raw, fuzzed out energy, mimicking early punk music.
Many artists attempt to find the perfect balance between these two musical qualities, but this harmony is where Jack excels. His mixture of clean musical components and a pure punk tonality complement each other like chocolate and peanut butter. Jack takes care to make sure no instruments overpower the album’s general sound, and all the guitars keep to strict melodies, planned out like a science experiment. Jack’s voice doesn’t waver off into unscripted runs or harsh sounding cries; his vocals aren’t the kind of rock vocals that get in your face and beg for participation.
He isn’t hoarse or scream-based like other punk artists, but the energy and the way Jack carries his voice is magically still full of punk attitude.
Jack’s lyrics achieve a similar dualism. He softly sings from his heart about how he wants to soothe a girl’s “pretty little mind” and “make her feel nice,” but the next minute he’s proclaiming a grungy anthem: “I’m not in love with the modern world at all.” Although these are two very different lyric flavors, Jack’s effort to make them contrast each other really shows how far he’s willing to go to perk up his listeners’ ears.
Jack’s success in his beginner status in the current punk world is the highlight of his powerful first step into a musical career. His bravery is setting a new standard for other emerging rockers, but Jack is simply getting started.
Casey Jack – Casey Jack tracklist:
- “I’m Alright
- “Not In Love With The Modern World”
- “Too Far Gone”
- “I Won’t Wait In Line”
- “Cool Kids”
- “Stay Away”
- “Return To Sender”
- “Terrible Things Always Happen In 3′s”