The “Other Side”, Jackslacks seventh solo release on the indie label Shield Of Love, may be his most personal music yet: a homage to his father, who passed away last year. Jackslacks sings and drums on the self-composed track, but apropos of the subject matter, his family lends a hand: first of all, a reunion of sorts, as brother Bill, frontman for Detroit’s Nobody’s Business contributes his signature guitar licks. But it doesn’t end there as they have the next generation present and accounted for too, as nephew Billy sings back-up, and Jackslacks’ daughter, Taylor, lends her violin virtuosity.
On “Come Home With Me”, Jackslacks is once again on vocals and drums, but this time around, he’s flanked by guitarist Mark Fahl and upright bassist Bill Grubbs, both from new live project Flipside Burners. And then for good measure, Dave Roof and Chris Cote lend their talents on piano and acoustic guitar respectively.
Both tracks were recorded at Earthling Studios in San Diego with co-producer Mike Kamoo. Mastering was completed at DRT. Jackslacks has opened shows for key players of the genre, including hero Carl Perkins, veterans Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, and a who’s who of second generation neo-rockabilly and Americana acts.
The “Other Side” is full of invention and wonder; originality combined with allusions to other masters of the genre. I hear so many sounds that make me go “who is that like?” and if I remember I think “no – it is reminiscent, but not a copy”. And they just layer it all on you, creating their own original experience.
Jackslacks really hearkens back to the 60’s sound, with great almost “throw-back” melodies and harmonies. Yet at the same time there is a modern indie, lo-fi vibe bubbling under the hood. This is one of those once in a while albums that comes along and it marks whatever time period you discovered it during, as a positive, warm time. The songs give heed to a time when everyone was welcome, you knew your neighbor, and one more was always welcome for dinner. The sounds here are as good as the best home cooking.
You could say that Jackslacks is a little bit quirky and a whole lot of fun. These are real musicians who love music and play and produce their own, disregarding the corporate rubbish setting the trends today. They are in no way cacophonous as you would expect of this genre sometimes; the “Other Side” is a beautiful blend of nostalgia that is brought up to date, exploding with the joys of life, even though the subject matter is born out of a dark moment.
Jackslacks is over half a dozen musicians, namely Jackslacks -lead vocals & drums, Bill Giorgio -electric guitar, Taylor Giorgio -violin, Billy Giorgio -backing vocals, Chris Cote -acoustic guitar, Mark Fahl -electric guitar, Bill Grubbs -upright bass and Dave Roof –piano, collaborating in the most organic and heartfelt way. There is nothing artificial or gimmicky about this music. All I hear is love, beauty, and a desire for socializing.
The “Other Side” is definitely a summer album. You’ll feel summer every time you hear it, because you’ll easily imagine yourself outside on the patio sipping on something nice under a tree, while enjoying this music and having fun with friends.