Sunday, February 6, 2011

Calico Jak: Ever Seen A Match Burn Twice?

Ever Seen a Match Burn Twice the debut album by Calico Jak, brainchild of singer songwriter Eoin Mac Ionmhain, who has previously released material with Patrick Freyne and his Bad Intentions, His latest offering has a more robust sound, which saw it duly considered on the Digital Socket Awards long list for Best Album. The album is built on dark matter, calling on the claustrophobia of Radiohead and the specter of Jeff Buckley's posthumous Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk, Marilyn Manson and Alice in Chains.

Opening with Blurry a sparse eerie track, Eoin Mac Ionmhain's vocals grab you instantly. Firstly for their uncanny likeness to Jeff Buckley and secondly for the amount of emotion they convey.  Shaving Cut is the standout track on the album with a good chorus and splashes of horror movie music in the background. The guitar playing is notable, especially on the skewed solo.  Vampire Love however, is disjointed and overlong.
The first single from the album LostMmt2s see's Eoin Mac Ionmhain's vocal delivered in full on metal falsetto with a high-pitched singalong chorus of "On me, on me"

Title track Ever Seen a Match Burn Twice? is a slow burning mid tempo track. The choruses eerie vocal "I'll never forget who you are and what you did to me" however, is its only highlight. Tore Down features some pretty good lead guitar and once again showcases Eoin Mac Ionmhain's vocal abilities. The intro to Little Miss Mary is one of the musical highlights, as Calico Jak have produced a riff, which wouldn't sound out-of-place on a Strokes album. While the addition of simple organ, horn and bell melodies to  bleak acoustic guitar led album closer "Your Not The One" make it one of the most believable performances on the album.

Throughout the album Eoin Mac Ionmhain's voice moves from Jeff Buckley to Layne Staley to Jesse Hughes and back again with ease. Whether this is to be regarded as simple aping or a unique ability is purly down to the ears of the individual listener. However it is safe to say that this album will appeal predominantly to fans of darker grunge acts. 

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