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Jackyl - 2012 Best In Show

ARTIST: Jackyl
ALBUM: Best In Show
LABEL: Mighty Loud
YEAR: 2012


LINEUP: Jesse James Dupree - vocals, guitar * Jeff Worley - guitar * Roman Glick - bass * Chris Worley - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Best In Show * 02 Encore * 03 Screwdriver * 04 Horns Up * 05 Golden Spookytooth * 06 Cover Of The Rolling Stone * 07 Walk My Mile * 08 Favorite Sin * 09 Better Than Chicken * 10 Don't Lay Down On Me * 11 Eleven * 12 It's Tricky



Despite having never gone anywhere it's good to see Jackyl making a resurgence in the studio over the last few years. 2010's 'When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide' was their first album since 2002's 'Relentless' making the two year turnaround somewhat of a minor miracle for the band. The lineup is still the same as a decade ago, showing a strong semblance of longevity also. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since the infamous platinum debut, where Jackyl appeared as a straight ahead hard rock band, the opposite of the bland grunge scene of the day. When you consider how many of those much feted (at the time) bands are no longer with us, what does that say? As expected Jackyl haven't changed at all since then, their music still retaining the same rebellious and sex drenched lyrics of their early work, not to mention the heaviness that just seems to come naturally.

The Songs
It's been a while since I've heard Jackyl myself and overall this could be the follow up to 'Push Comes to Shove'. Time hasn't changed the stance of the band and Dupree is in fine voice throughout. Jackyl have their own unique sound and the title track is exactly what you'd expect, a huge chorus aided by the Southern styled guitars. This might have been a hit in 1993, but in 2012 it's just brushed aside of course. The riffing is heavier than I've ever heard from Jackyl and it's noticeable on 'Encore (It Makes My Bic Dig Her)' which shows the band hasn't lost their sense of humor. The band pours the anthems on rapidly, 'Screwdriver', 'Horns Up', and 'Golden Spookytooth' all with huge hooks and a real sense of attitude. Proving they're still a common man's band, 'Walk My Mile' is an ode to everyday drudgery working in the factory working for pittance. Honestly I don't hear enough songs like this these days and if there was ever a band to do it then Jackyl are the obvious candidates. 'Favorite Sin' is more reserved, with Dupree imitating his buddy Brian Johnson (and Bon Scott) rather well. Listening to this I keep looking around to see if it isn't 1993 again, that's how well versed in time it is. 'Better Than Chicken' is one of Jackyl's typically ludicrous anthems, Dupree indeed 'liking poontang better than chicken'. Quite brilliant and more blatant than even AC/DC themselves, at least 'Black Ice' anyway! There's room for a mellow Southern ballad of sorts, 'Don't Lay Down On Me', which also could have been a hit in a bygone era. 'Eleven' is not quite up to the melodic heights of what came before, simply because the riffs overwhelm everything, not such a bad thing. There's a pair of covers, which seems to the norm these days for the band. 'Cover Of Tthe Rolling Stone' seems to be a natural for the band, with Dupree including a trademark chainsaw solo. For me it's rather pointless and I might as well listen to the Dr. Hook original. The cover of Run DMC's 'It's Tricky' with 'DMC' himself is interesting, the pairing working well together despite the novelty status.

In Summary
The strength for Jackyl seems to be in endless gigs, which is true for many bands in the depressed marketplace known as the record industry. This is a strong offering which will naturally appeal to their fans, of which many remain happily. If there weren't I'm sure Jackyl would have ceased to exist a while back. It demonstrates that this type of hard rock will always have a market, no matter what year it is. This might not be everybody's cup of tea, but for fans of Jackyl I'm glad to say the Georgia boys still have the magic touch. This is the equal of the first pair of albums and I'm sure there's more to come.

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#1 | Eric on August 06 2012 22:57:27
And based on those endless gigs, they seem to be holding on to some popularity. They've been seen playing small town hockey arenas here in the Upper Midwest in the last couple years, reminding me of Black Oak's 'playing for the people' strategy of the late 70's. Good for them!

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