Oneyedjacks kick punk to the curb with Back From the Dead
Back From the Dead (Independent)
It’s been four years since Oneyedjacks released its last EP, which saw it amp up its basic, punk-fuelled sound with hard-rock elements inspired by the Yardbirds and Guns N’ Roses. Now the B.C.–bred quintet is Back From the Dead with an LP that kicks punk to the curb in favour of bluesy licks and country-boy odes to road tripping and, er, old-school locomotives.
Opening with a rambunctious barrage of gritty guitar noodling and the lyric “Hey Johnny, it’s your birthday”, “56 Bucks” sets the rootsy, cheerful tone that runs throughout the album. It also serves as a lively introduction to the band’s second guitarist, Kevan Schell, who signed up in 2009 but hasn’t shown up on a Oneyedjacks record until now.
The band’s intense musical chops and distillation of classic-rock elements, as heard on the very ’70s and sort of corny “Train Song” and “Why Do You Stay?”, are definitely their strong points. But if Oneyedjacks could tear its eyes away from the rear-view mirror every once in a while, its songs could do with some contemporary tune-ups to bring it further into the current musical age.
For example, the phrase “little mama” should never, ever be used to describe a woman in 21st-century rock ’n’ roll, and I have some serious misgivings about its place in any vernacular anytime, anywhere. So should any modern-day band, especially one with sonic potential, like Oneyedjacks.