Die Psychocouch Reviewby Kenny Hill on 03/09/15
THE BLACKJACKITS – Former QUAKES-Bassplayer Kenny Hill offers a promising debut
Kenny Hill? Wasn’t he supposed to slap the bass as he did for THE QUAKES? What is he doing with a guitar in his hands on a CD-back-cover? Well, with THE BLACKJACKITS and their self-titled first album, out on Hippicrit Records, Kenny reveals, that he’s a good guitar player, too. For bass duties, Hill found a perfect solution for live shows in Kyle Olson, who played with the REZUREX. On the album, Kenny played all by himself. Everything. And he also has some nice bass-solo spots, for example the fills in “Don’t Tell Me” that are mixed down in a stereo panorama with the effect that you think he’s slapping from different directions. This is just one example for the will to experiment with different recording-techniques and effects. Impression: Great songwriting with a different, yet convenient production. Thumbs up!
The self-description of the band already shows that the music of THE BLACKJACKITS is open for different influences. Besides psychobilly they call themselves slapwave and independent. Well, the wave-content is not that overly powerful. It shows in some melancholic moods, melodies and clean guitar parts and breaks through in several songs like “Empty In Sage” (that sounds as if Kenny, used a bass-guitar here) but it’s more like an extra flavor for music that is clearly based on billy and punkrock. On good old dirty stuff. “Darling Blue” has kind of a THE CLASH impact, the instrumental opening of “Betrayed” calls SOCIAL DISTORTION to my mind. On the other hand THE QUAKES left their traces (“Until Then” is infiltrated by the spirit of “Voice Of America”) as well as the LONG TALL TEXANS (“Transistor”, that sounds slightly like a mix of “Get Back, Wetback” and the SOFT CELL-version of “Tainted Love”, or the alluring “Carlene). Maybe it is also the snare-sound, that makes me think of the TEXANS in their “Saturnalia”-era, but I guess it’s also the knack for really catchy melodies.
Seems it never rains in Southern California? Forget it! Songs like "You Are My Weakness“ will make some teardrops for or at least evoke some dark clouds... Lyrics seem to be personal on the whole album. Broken hearts, broken dreams, pain and misery that only makes a lost soul stronger in the end. Hopefully. After 15 Tracks the question remains: "Where Will I Go?“ I keep my fingers crossed, that "The Blackjackits“ will go straight to the hearts of the underground community. By the way, it seems as if the relation to THE QUAKES is really good. As far as I know, Paul Roman recommended the album. In the liner notes he gets special thanks... Before I forget: The CD comes as a digipack with all lyrics. It's available fromwww.theblackjackits.com/Merch.html, Crazy Love Records or Drunkabilly Records.