Bridge Club: Summer of the Jackal
Summer of the Jackal
Skull Catapult Records
Bridge Club is a band that should be forever surrounded by shimmying girls. Not your stereotypical go-go dancers, but an updated version, like something you'd see in an iPod commercial. Except their jeans are slung lower than the TV censors allow and the way they shake their shiny mops of fringy hair borders on epileptic. The band doesn't ask for the accompaniment; the chicks just appear as if drawn to the fuzzy chords like Iggy Pop to broken glass. In an era where garage bands are the new zombie (back from the dead and consuming your children), this three-piece knows its place, and that's in a crowd of vibrating youth. They even open their album with a smirking "Don't pretend that we have never met before/You, my friend, will be unconscious on the floor."
Ensuring that that prediction becomes a reality are a slew of psychedelic shag songs with more energy than a barrelful of kindergartners. The drums are heavy and intimidating. The bass sets the pace to frantic. Meanwhile, lead singer Joe Werner opts for shriek-and-swagger vocals, like Robert Plant's agitated kid brother. It's an ideal voice for the blowout rock songs, not quite as effective at wooing. When he spits out, "Then I think about your pretty face/the way you wore your hair that one fall day," in "They've Been Saying," it sounds more venomous than affectionate.
Remove love from the equation, add a dose of debauchery, and the group doesn't miss a step. Just two songs into the album, Werner is demanding, "I want to know why everybody's wasted except for you," over Who-like backing oohs. "Black Woods" offers a back-alley fairy tale with a witch threatening to spread "a dirty itch." On "Deep Underground," they kick out the jams in honor of a scene you'll never know about.
Summer of the Jackal is a testament to music recorded without squeaky-clean production, all crash and burn without the worry of recovery. If the kids make it through all 14 songs without ending in a heap on the floor (whether unconscious or humping), they deserve a prize.
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