Album Reviews

Blind Jackson – Blind Jackson

(Deadskool) UK release date: 7 February 2005

London six-piece Blind Jackson have already drawn comparison with cheeky Liverpudlian tunesmiths like The Coral and The Zutons, and it isn’t hard to see why.

They share the same flag-waving penchant for 1960s British psych-pop: the harmonies and the infectious hooks, and that slightly off-kilter way of looking at a song that puts them just marginally left-of-centre.

On their seven-track mini-album, Blind Jackson pull out all the big guns. Each of the self-titled disc’s tunes abounds with beep-beep guitar riffs, warm keyboard flourishes, and all the catchy bits they need to make it stick.

The sound of the fairground is stirred on at least three of the album’s tracks, with all the falling-down-the-stairs, pirouetting, “look, I’m a mechanical man” of the ultra-quirky Cardiacs. Thankfully Blind Jackson don’t share that band’s need to overcomplicate everything they do.

At their best, Blind Jackson stir something of the spirit of West Coast garage legends Sky Saxon and the Seeds, though filtered through a more obviously new wave aesthetic, complete with almost Geldof-esque vocal intonations.

On record, they sound like a band that are probably in their element in the live arena, and that’s not as damning as it sounds. Given time to develop, they might just iron out a few kinks in their armour and carve out something that doesn’t so easily invite comparisons.

Melodically, they’re half way there. On In The Club, particularly, they take enough subtly unexpected turns to promise better times ahead. If they can shake off what might kindly be termed “early influences” and realise more of an emotional core in their music, Blind Jackson might just do something. Changing their name and sacking the album sleeve art designer are two further suggestions possibly worth making, I think. You’ll go a long way this year to find a more horrible package than the bleached-out black and white monstrosity this comes wrapped in.

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Blind Jackson – Blind Jackson