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Jackson Firebird - Shake The Breakdown

Jackson Firebird
Shake The Breakdown
by MarcusTheRocker at 02 November 2015, 12:01 AM

Imagine this, you’re starting up a new musical project. Maybe this is the first time you’ve ventured into the world musically or maybe you’ve just left a band you used to play with and are looking to branch out into your own solo career. What do you do in terms of the other instruments on your songs? Do you get people to help you out or do you dedicate yourself to learning the other instruments to make it a one person solo project? The answer could either be one of those two things, depending on the individual of course, so the number of members in their new band/solo project could vary, but in the case of the band of this review, its the former and the result is a new album from the two person project JACKSON FIREBIRD.

Hailing from Mildura in Australia, this two piece duo of Brendan Harvey & Dale Hudak formed the band in 2006 but they had been playing before that so they were technically around longer but that year is when they officially formed. Fast forward 8 years later and the debut record “Cock Rockin’” was released and now 1 year later here in 2015, the new album “Shake The Breakdown” will be released October 30th on Napalm Records but before it comes out, we need to ask if two people can make one good album. I’m confident they can as I have reviewed projects which have either had a small, and I do mean small, number of members but sometimes the result has impressed me so is it the same here? Let us find out by diving into this review.

Clocking in at around 39 minutes long across 12 songs, the sophomore release from this two piece Aussie band kicks off with the opening number that is “Mohawk Bang!” and you are immediately assaulted with dirty guitar riffs and vocal melodies with some ball kicking drum beats oh and an insane guitar solo to boot as well and all of this combined gives you a taster of what this duo are capable of and upon first listens it does impress you so it’s so far so good.

Over the remainder of the songs, we are not disappointed as the goods keep coming with 11 more tracks of dirty guitar riffs, raspy vocal melodies and ball kicking drum beats with tunes such as “Get Away!”, “New Wave”, “High Love” and “Sin For Your Lovin’”. These four songs all have their own distinctive sound but all of them utilize a similar sound as the opening track to deliver some pretty sweet enjoyable melodies with dirty grungy guitar riffs, raspy vocals and drum beats that kick you in the balls hard.

It’s only at the halfway point where things go a bit wrong as they include a cover of the QUEEN smash hit “Fat Bottomed Girls” and this is the only real low point for me on this album. I dunno what it is but I don’t think the bands dirty underground style Rock sound really works for a song of this caliber and it shows in the performance. I will give them some points for trying something new with a well loved classic but it’s not a song I enjoyed.

Fortunately things improve with the albums second half which kicks off with “Devil’s Door” and although this one has a slightly cleaner sound then the first half of the record, it’s still an enjoyable track to listen to as it still has some heavy guitar riffs with some added raspy vocals and ball kicking drum beats to boot. The pace is picked up a little bit on the next track “Voodoo” as this tune has some slightly faster vocal melodies which can occasionally be a bit hard to interpret at times but it’s still a good track to listen to regardless.

“Headache Mantra” should have a "Parental Advisory" label slapped onto it as there are so many F-Bombs dropped in the verses, its almost unbelievable but yet it’s still strangely enjoyable as this one may sound more like a Rap track with a rock melody as it’s accompaniment but it’s quite amusing to listen to for some bizarre reason. “Sick N Tired” slows the pace down a little bit to deliver what sounds like a Blues Rock style track but that’s by no means a bad thing as it’s quite refreshing to hear something different and enjoyable even if it does have a couple of fast paced vocal melodies here and there in the songs second half.

“The Clapping Song” really picks up the to deliver a quick paced Rock track that you could always play at rock songs as like the title suggests, it would get the audiences hands clapping and also their blood too as there is some frantic energy in this song to make it a must add to a Rock show set-list. The closing song is the title track “Shake the Breakdown” and this song takes all of the different sounds and melodies used on the previous 11 tracks and combines them into one to deliver a quite impressive finale to what is in my opinion a very unique record.

So what are my overall thoughts? The first half, with the exception of the QUEEN cover, is very heavy hitting with some real dirty grungy underground style Rock melodies that get your blood pumping with excitement while kicking your balls at the same time. The second half is a little bit more unique and diverse with the different musical styles used and it’s quite amusing to listen to as well at how different it is but then a little bit of diversity is never a bad thing in my eyes.

Only things I’m unsure of is that at times the vocal melodies can be hard to make out in terms of the lyrics as there are a couple of places here and there where they do get lost underneath the guitars and drums but there is punchy-ness in the performance so that can be forgiven.

Bottom line, The new record from JACKSON FIREBIRD is a very unique little album as there are moments when you do appreciate what only two people were able to create and put together and the result is 12 songs that although they sound different, they are still enjoyable so it’s worth a listen if you’re curious.

4 Star Rating

1. Mohawk Bang!
2. Get Away
3. New Wave
4. High Love
5. Sin For Your Lovin’
6. Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen cover)
7. Devil’s Door
8. Voodoo
9. Headache Mantra
10. Sick n' Tired
11. The Clapping Song
12. Shake The Breakdown
Dale Hudak - Vocals, Drums, & Bottle Bin
Brendan Harvey - Vocals & Guitars
Record Label: Napalm Records


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