Jackyl: Best In Show – album review

Jackyl: Best In Show MIGHTY LOUD

Jackyl have been going since the early days of grunge & haven’t really changed much since then. However as our man Colin explains, in this case that’s not a entirely a bad thing.

When I was about 13 I remember that I gathered together a load of change so that I could buy a cassette tape from a classmate. The tape in question was a copy of The Beavis & Butthead Experience and it featured some of the early 90’s finest alternative acts like White Zombie, Nirvana, Anthrax and Primus. It also featured a song (maturely tilted) ”ËœMental Masturbation’ by an otherwise unknown (to me at least) band called Jackyl. It was a grungy, if somewhat forgettable, three minutes of fun which sat well alongside its contemporaries which made up the rest of the tracklisting.

I am now a good deal older than 13 but there is still a large part of me that has a strong affinity for mindless, 90’s style American alternative rock. Subsequently, it’s a very good thing (for me at least) that Jackyl seem to have left their formula greatly unchanged in the time that has passed since I first heard them.

”ËœBest in Show’ is a collection of balls out, hard rock songs about drinking, women and staying up too late. One could easily accuse them of being misogynistic and immature, but if you were to take that stance, you could never listen to AC/DC, Motley Crue or Ugly Kid Joe ever again. Some might say that would be a blessing in disguise, however, I would be of the adamant stance that there is room for this manner of infantile, carefree rock and roll in the world. Sometimes it’s equally fulfilling to enjoy something for the sheer fact that it’s entertaining and sounds good, in contrast to always having to find meaning and pensive substance to your music.

The aforementioned Ugly Kid Joe would be the closest in musical style to Jackyl, although their style veers more towards Southern Rock, largely due to their Georgia roots.

There are two covers on this album, one is a take on the RUN DMC classic ”ËœIt’s Tricky’ and the other is a rollicking reworking of Dr. Hook’s ”ËœCover of the Rolling Stone’ (see above), which comes complete with its own chainsaw solo. This made the album for me, not least because I also have an unashamed love of Dr. Hook (Colin ”“ your credibility as a music journalist just left the building), and is worth the running time alone.

”ËœBest in Show’ spoke directly to my inner 13 year old (which still makes most of my decisions) and whilst I am aware that it’s an album with many flaws, I can’t bring myself to denigrate it for any of them. The perfect Saturday night record for those who like their rock and roll loud, dumb and full of chainsaws.

I still have that Beavis & Butthead cassette by the way, it cost me the princely sum of four pounds. He couldn’t find the cover and he said he’d bring it in for me when he found it. I’m still waiting.

Jackyl’s Website is here.
Jackyl’s Facebook is here.
Jackyl’s Lead singer Jesse is on Twitter here.

All words by Colin McCracken. You can read more from Colin on LTW here, or on his website here or follow him on Twitter.

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Colin McCracken is an Irish writer and cinematic obsessive who writes extensively about movies on a daily basis for his website Zombiehamster.com. He is equally passionate about vinyl (he used to run an independent record store), literature, live music and film soundtracks. He can also be found regularly on twitter as @zombiehamster.


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