Jackamo Brown: Oh No. The Drift of the World – album review


Jackamo Brown ”˜Oh No. The Drift of the World‘ (Speech Development Records)
CD/DL
Out: Now

For several months, Scroobius Pip has been heralding his discovery of Jackamo Brown as somewhat of a second coming. The album itself left our reviewer not only disillusioned with the content, but sceptical of Brown’s very existence. 

The first release on Scroobius Pip’s new label ”˜Speech Development’ is Jackamo Brown’s ”˜Oh No. The Drift of the World’; an album that has been described as ”˜loner folk’ and compared to Bert Jansch and Nick Drake.

The reviews are all seemingly positive and the internet is abuzz with enthusiastic comments and support, yet how much of this stems from the work and how much stems from people’s affinity towards the label’s boss?

The story is that Jackamo Brown is an elusive figure, whose face is obscured in all photographs and doesn’t play live. Videos and press shots feature nothing more than the back of a man’s head. There has been a MySpace account in existence since 2006, but aside from that, very little is known.

There’s something about this record, however, which doesn’t quite fit. Without trying to be unnecessarily harsh, one would think that the finished product from someone who had spent extensive hours perfecting their talents would be somewhat more remarkable than this. ”˜Oh No. The Drift of the World’ sounds more like someone trying their hand at folk music than someone for whom it has been a significant part of their life. The guitar playing, whilst seemingly pleasant, is incredibly basic and never ascends beyond standard acoustic / folk structures. The repetition of the lyrics indicates an unwillingness to give away too much and that is to say nothing of the delivery itself.

The vocals on this album are one of the main factors which inhibit my enjoyment of the album. For the best part of the proceedings they sound like someone pretending to be Nick Cave, at worst, they resemble little more than a monotonous, falsified drone. There is an inherent lack of vocal dexterity which indicates that all may not be what it appears to be with this album.

The argument here would be that rawness of talent deserves to be showcased, and that would be something which I would normally agree with wholeheartedly, but there’s not enough on display here to warrant either the attention or the focus of being a flagship artist on a fledgling label. The two most likely cases are that; (a) This is a friend of Scroobius Pip’s, in which case, fair enough, (b) It is Pip embarking on a side project.

Regardless of the origins, this two part album is a challenge. If you manage to make it through the horrendously dull first half, then you will be somewhat rewarded with the subsequent section. Regardless of who actually made the album, the end result is a forgettable and oddly irritating one. Hipster folk will never substitute for the real thing because it misses the central point of it all, which is that it must come from the heart.

To find out more you can visit Jackamo Brown on Facebook.

There is also a Jackamo Brown Blogspot

Watch: Jackamo Brown ”“ When She Comes

All words by Colin McCracken, who can be found talking movies over at his site HERE, or on Twitter HERE

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