If you’re at all familiar with Voodoo Rhythm Records, you know that it is a label that specializes in music that is raw, wild, and fuzzy. Enter The Jackets (from Switzerland). The band’s new album Queen of the Pill is chock full of reverb, haunting vocals, and energy that makes the band a perfect fit for Voodoo Rhythm.
When you hear the opening track “Dreamer”, the obvious comparison is The Darts. This song has heavy reverb on the guitar and powerful vocals, both of which are staples of The Darts. The obvious difference between the two bands is that The Jackets don’t include any keyboards and crank out all of their sound with just one guitar, bass, and drums. While the instrumentation is well done with loud guitars and groovy rhythms, the vocals on this album cannot be ignored. Jackie Brutsche moves from haunting vocals in “Dreamer” and “Steam Queen” to vocals at the end of “Don’t Leave Me Alone”, which are howled more than sung. There is a desperation in the howling that is somewhat chilling.
Some of the songs on the album sound like they could have been recorded 50 years ago. With its fuzzed out guitar and backing vocals, “Move On” is one of them. This song brings the energy and volume of Iggy and The Stooges while the sound is a lot like the precursor to the punk bands of the late 70s. ”Steam Queen” is another song that sounds like it could have been recorded 50 years ago although it is less early punk than it is a song for a black and white spy movie.
This sounds like a band that listened to a good deal of Jefferson Airplane. You can hear it – fittingly – in “Floating Alice”. The notes in this song are more prolonged than in other tunes. The effect is to give the song a spacey feel. This is the sort of song you might want to listen to while you’re chilling in an altered state on your couch.
There isn’t a whole lot of mystery in this album. It is a nod to late 60s garage rock, and the band pulls it off very well. The guitar and the vocals may grab your attention, but the rhythms will definitely get you moving. Order your copy here.