Review: Frantic Jack – Last One To LeaveTweet
There has been an onslaught of rocked-up pop bands since the success of The Script, particularly throughout Ireland as groups of musical boys and men attempt to mimic their success. The latest band to attempt to muscle in on this widely popular style of music is Offaly based band, Frantic Jack. Who have recently released their début album ‘Last One To Leave’.
Opening track Last One To Leave sets the entire 12 track album up perfectly. You know just what to expect from this band as soon as the lead vocals-which are heavily Americanized kick in. It’s the perfect example of a well honed pop-rock song, with a hint of orchestral drama and masculine vocals singing tender and romantic lyrics. All of which build up to a momentous climax. The problem is that Frantic Jack, lead with a strong song. After that there are too many tracks which fail to generate the same emotional reaction as the title track.
However Hurricane, an archetypal boy-band track does perk the ears slightly. Hurricane will be the song fans will sway along to, if they manage to clamour their way over the many similar bands to the top. It’s clear that many of their songs are penned with female music fans in mind. Burn also has romantically charged lyrics such as “I burn because of you”. There is no doubting that these lyrics are likely to strike the hearts of teenage girls, who are just getting to grips with the emotional world. The song ends with a nice climatic sing-out with simple yet effective, slightly distorted guitar.
Frantic Jack are not exclusively focused on songs which will easily catch the ears of a certain demographic though. Pride is a much more mature song which has a meaning that runs a lot deeper than most of the songs on the album. It sounds the least like The Script, and is better than anything most pop-rock bands would write. It is the only track on the album which measures up to the initial promise of Last One To Leave. It begs the question; why have these guys wasted time on mushy songs that could have been sang by anyone, when they evidently have enough talent to tackle important issues with their lyrics? Something which most bands of this rock-pop genre rarely do.
The song is obviously the strongest on the album; even after the second or third listen, it will be the track you feel least inclined to skip over; and will perhaps even want to skip back to and listen again. Not only are the band’s lyrical talents best displayed here, but they also prove themselves to be skilled musicians. Frantic Jack often adopt a U2-esque tittering down-strum guitar riff, and the all-too-familiar one-two drum beat, in many of their songs. In Pride they include two intricate, genuinely high quality rock guitar solo’s that The Edge would be proud of. It is a pounding rock song that would sit nicely on the playlists of American rock stations and bares a slight resemblance to some of Bon Jovi’s latest, more sage material.
This album is an enigma; Last One To Leave is largely a run-of-the-mill pop-rock album, the likes of which we have seen many times before. That being said, there are hints of a more substantial talent hidden behind the rough-but-sensitive image championed by Singer Danny O’ Donoghue. Frantic Jack are a more intriguing band, one that likes to pull out a random, totally unnecessary, yet exciting guitar solo. One that tends to include a Steven Tyler style yelp at the end of a song. The latter song suits the band’s image better than the rest and is put forward with more passion and meaning, leading one to believe that they prefer that side of things too. ‘Last One To Leave’ is an interesting listen and it is an example of a band that possesses great talent, but is perhaps to eager to penetrate the popular market.