CD Reviews

JACKSLACKS: Inside Out

From the 1920s old-timey, barroom vibe of the title track that opens the disk, through the other nine original tunes on Inside Out, the attitude of the band is retro. Jackslacks have developed a sound that draws on, to varying degrees, Americana, country, rockabilly, folk, and old-style rock ‘n’ roll. On Inside Out you can hear the influence of jug bands, black string bands, surf bands, and the influence of just about every poor American boy who bought a guitar and tried to make it big.

By far my favorite numbers are “Ode to an Empress” and “Avalanche,” out-and-out rockers. “Avalanche” is pretty much the most perfect tune. A surf number, the rhythm is hot and the guitars are loud and twangy. Even your mom will dance to this one.

There are a whole bunch of musicians on this recording, most of them guitar players. Recorded at Earthling Studios in El Cajon, the engineering for the recording is aptly retro. The string bass is mixed into a low-level thump with the drums and a couple of guitars, giving the sound of the CD a quality I associate with the finer output of rockabilly icon Hasil Adkins.

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