Is it rock or is it rock ‘n roll? That’s the question that California-based The Jacks answer with an unequivocal “ROCK ‘N ROLL!” Catching their performance both on side stage and later acoustically at the recent Sonic Temple Festival, it was clear that this band had a lot to say. I found myself with their tunes in my head long after the shows were over and getting an opportunity to hear their self-titled debut EP was something I couldn’t pass up.
Within seconds, the first track “Who Are You” takes me back to a time when I would drive around with my friends on the weekends with the windows down and the stereo blasting. “Are You Looking for Love” has me continuing down that road with the car top down and the wind in my hair. Although there is a distinctive edge to the music, there is an unmistakable joy and sense of fun that comes across as well.
The first single released from this EP was “Walk Away” – this tune is so irresistible that it’s already in my music library’s heavy rotation. Jonny Stanback’s vocals are smooth and melodic and the steady, rhythmic beat at the start of the song explodes with a lovestruck Romeo’s passion at the chorus.
The pace slows a little with “Hello My Friend,” a track that shows much more of the band’s modern influences rather than the early 60’s and 70’s sound more prevalent in the earlier tracks. The change in pace here is welcome and spotlights some solid songwriting skills and terrific harmonies. The last track on the EP, “Understand” brings back the driving and gritty rock ‘n roll sound that so clearly defines The Jacks.
Although only together as a band for a couple of years, this first EP from them is an outstanding effort and showcases their ability to create highly likable, infectious tunes that will get much radio play this summer and beyond. This EP will very likely be successful in the mainstream, but I can’t wait to see what comes next. There is so much untapped potential here and it’s exciting to imagine where it will lead.
The Jacks are Jonny Stanback (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Tom Hunter (lead guitar and vocals), Scott Stone (bass guitar and vocals) and Josh Roossin (drums and percussion). They released their highly anticipated self-titled debut EP on June 28, 2019.