Up-and-coming rock band The Jacks is a hard working unit. Not even a year after the band released its debut self-titled album last year, the band has released its second EP (and second overall studio recording), Remember You. The five-song record is another presentation from the band that, given the right support, could help break the band into the mainstream. That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes that accompany the accessible musical arrangements adds to that appeal. They will be addressed a little later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, and will be addressed later, too. Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Remember You. All things considered, the noted elements make Remember You a work that will prove memorable in its own right.
The Jacks’ new EP Remember You is a work that is not easily forgettable. That is due in part to the EP’s featured musical arrangements. The record’s opening song and lead single ‘Threw It All Away’ instantly lends itself to comparisons to the best works of bands, such as Royal Blood, Queens of the Stone Age and Jet, all of which boast a similar garage/stoner rock sound in their works. The band doesn’t rest easily on that comparison, though. After the fiery, up-tempo, drum-driven arrangement at the center of ‘Threw It All Away,’ audiences are immediately treated to a starkly different style arrangement in ‘We Were Only Young.’ This introspective, ballad-esque work is akin to works from so many 90s rock bands, such as Fuel, Oasis, and The Verve Pipe, only better. ‘Olivia,’ which immediately follows ‘We Were Only Young’ goes back even farther with a light, almost 1960s style work with its minimalist, acoustic approach. One could even argue it to be perhaps a bit of a neo-folk approach. That continued stylistic change ensures even more, listeners’ maintained engagement. AS the EP progresses into its fourth entry, ‘The Only One,’ the band’s approach turns back to that familiar garage/stoner sound that was present in the EP’s opener. It continues into the EP’s closer, ‘Just A Little Bit.’ What’s important to note here is that even with that familiarity in the EP’s last two arrangements, the band did not just phone it in and rehash the record’s opener time and again. Rather, these two songs boast their own identity within the bigger picture of the EP, showing their own positives to listeners. When the EP’s more garage/stoner sounds are couple with the more mainstream and neo-folk sounds also presented in the record, the whole of the presentation is a musical show that itself displays the EP’s appeal. The musical portion of the EP is important in its own way, as has been made clear here. It is just one of the record’s most important elements. Its central lyrical theme adds to that appeal.
The central lyrical theme of Remember You is that of relationships. It is an all-too familiar topic that, because of that familiarity, does even more to give the record mainstream accessibility. What is important to note is that the different approach to the topic in each song joins with the arrangements to prevent the topic from becoming trite in any case. Case in point is the EP’s opener, ‘Threw It Away.’ Here, front man Johnny Stanback sings about someone who had a good thing not realizing that good thing that he/she had. He makes no bones about that as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Well now you got another case of inconsistency/But you keep wasting all your time/You keep on searching for somewhere that you can sink your teeth/But don’t you know it’s hard to find/And how knew/You’d be chasin’ something better/And who knew/That you wanted to move on/And who knew/That you want to live forever/And you want to know/I know you want it but you’re never gonna figure it out/’Cause now you got it and you threw it all away.” The second verse follows in similar fashion with Stanback singing about that person needing “a piece of mind” and “talking a walk on the edge of” his/her “insanity.” This is pretty straight forward. This is someone who needs to figure out his/her life. What is important to note here is that while this song focuses on the matter of a relationship that involves someone who has got some very real baggage to deal with, it does not necessarily mean the matter is a romantic relationship. It can be just a general personal relationship. The more romantic matter comes in ‘We Were Only Young.”
That song presents its subject looking back on that past relationship, trying to recall why it ended. Stanback sings in the song’s chorus, “We were only young/Just for a moment/We’ll never find our way back home/We were only young/Just for a moment/Forever lost in the unknown.” That pretty much tells the story right there. If doubt is left at this point, it is eliminated as Stanback sings in the song’s lead verse, “You sold your paper heart/Sooner than you should/You never gave me a chance/You loved to play the part/Better than I ever could/You never said your goodbyes.” That pretty much tells the tale here. This is a broken relationship that perhaps the subject is feeling some sadness over, as the song’s arrangement would hint, too. That lyrical approach will connect with listeners easily, and may even resonate quite a bit with just as much with them. To that end, such presentation gives this song even more of its own identity from the EP’s other works, not only musically, but lyrically, too.
‘The Only One’ shows once more why the varied approaches to the EP’s familiar lyrical content adds to the record’s appeal. This is another song whose lyrical theme is that of a relationship, but takes another different take. This time, Stanback sings, “Long nights/When you told me that I’d be the only one/And it would be enough/Yeah, wild nights/never show your love/And I’d be wondering/Is there another one/I don’t know what to say/Well, are you listening/’Cause I need you to explain/’Cause now it’s killin’ me/Can you tell me that you get enough/There’s no other love/Baby, I got to know/Am I the only one.” There’s really no need here to address the song’s second verse here, as this lead verse leaves no doubt about the song’s topic. This is a song about someone questioning the fidelity of his/her partner. What’s even more interesting is that considering this lyrical topic, the upbeat musical arrangement certainly does not match. But because it doesn’t match, it make the song stand out. Usually, songs whose lyrical themes are such as this, they are usually those typical oh-woe-is-me type works from one genre to the next. So to have such a fun, infectious vibe coupled with such a topic as this, it makes the song in whole that much more accessible to listeners. Once more, here is an example of why the EP’s lyrical content is so important to its overall presentation. When all of this content is considered along with that of the EP’s other two songs, the whole of that content leaves no doubt why the overall lyrical theme is so accessible and important to the record. When it is considered with the record’s overall musical content, the whole of that content makes the record’s overall content more than enough reason for audiences to check out this disc. Keeping all of this in mind, there is still one last aspect of the CD to examine, its sequencing.
The sequencing of Remember You is important to note as clearly, much time and thought was put into this item. As already noted, the EP opens on a very high-energy note in ‘Threw It All Away.’ The infectious groove established by drummer Josh Roossin couples with Thomas Hunter’s work on guitar and Scott Stone’s bass line to make the arrangement a strong start for the record. From there, the record very noticeably pulls its energy back in the next two songs, ‘We Were Only Young’ and ‘Olivia’ before gradually picking back up in ‘The Only One’ and even more in the record’s finale, ‘Just A Little Bit.’ Simply put, the EP’s energy rises and falls at precisely the right points and precisely long enough to ensure listeners’ engagement, just as much as the EP’s content does. In other words, the time and thought put into the EP’s sequencing paid off just as much as the time and work put into the EP’s content. All things considered, they come together to make Remember You a presentation that is certain to be memorable in its own right among this year’s crop of new EPs.
The Jacks’ new EP Remember You is a record that is worth at least one listen among rock fans. That is due in part to its musical content, which will appeal to a wide range of listeners. From fans of stoner rock to those who enjoy neo-folk to those who enjoy “old school” 90s mainstream pop rock, there is something here for a variety of listeners. The arrangements also are radio ready from start to end. The lyrical content featured throughout the record is all centered on the matter of relationships, but is presented in five different fashions. The lyrics’ ability to connect with listeners makes that aspect another important piece of the EP’s whole, and more worthy of mainstream attention, as it will help the EP easily integrate into any mainstream rock radio playlist. The sequencing puts the last touch to the record. Each item addressed here is clearly important to the whole of Remember You. All things considered, the record proves itself deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new EPs and a piece that will certainly be remembered by year’s end. More information on Remember You is available online along with all of the Jacks’ latest news at:
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