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- Light Show by Jack Name
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Here's something by the anonymously-monikered Jack Name on Drag City subsidiary God?. If I've heard him before I don't remember it. Apparently he uses a laptop and a guitar and a homemade speaker cabinet which he alleges originated with the Grateful Dead. Name's stock in trade is short and hard-hitting little ditties which take the stomping cheesiness of '70s glam rock along with a healthy dose of experimentalism and a thoroughly goofy sense of humour.
It's a little jarring at first, with the buzzsaw guitar which dominates the mix, along with the shameless catchiness of the tunes, bound to polarise opinions, but it's worth persevering with despite the occasional annoyance (I like to think I'm pretty open-minded but the way he's processed the vocals in 'Sound Is The Castle' make me want to pop my own eardrums with a kebab skewer, and 'Light Show' should probably have been omitted too) but thankfully the glorious crackly lo-fi tones and non-stop cavalcade of hits more than make up for the occasional cheeky bit of patience-testing. Over on side B things get woozier and slower but the obnoxious tones and catchy tunes are still present. He kind of reminds me of Bruce Haack when he slows things down.
Sometimes the drums are live and sometimes they're programmed, which makes me think he might have a backing track in his laptop. There's some tracks where he uses weird falsetto backing vocals to great effect, 'Born To Lose' in particular being a clear highlight at this early point, with his strained and unprocessed voice doing a weird spiralling call and response with the weird alien backing singer over a lazy drum machine and louche, crackling neon guitar. It harks back to '60s garage and '70s glam, but the use of modern technology to create this one-man-band incarnation and the blown out lo-fi tones mean it sounds weirdly modern too.
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