Album Review: The Static Jacks – If You’re Young

By on Wednesday, 21st March 2012 at 12:00 pm

It’s frantic, it’s lively, it’s raucous and its lyrics sound like they’re being sung from a good distance away! It’s the Static Jacks with their debut album ‘If You’re Young’. Now if you’re late to the indie rock party, these guys are from Westfield, New Jersey, have been gigging since 2007, and are fronted by Ian Devaney a vocalist with a serious case of the ever so talenteds.

It seems it’s in vogue at the moment to have a frontman whose voice has that nice echoey touch, first White Lies, next the Vaccines, now the Static Jacks; it’s just nice that Devaney seems a little bit less miserable (!) The music is nothing particularly out of the ordinary; I mean it’s difficult for the first 6 or so songs to make any differentiation in pace, and we can all say a good album should just flow from song to song, but hey just throwing it out there, change of pace is good. Look up those guys Gorillaz, they do it pretty good yeah?

The opening of ‘Walls (We Can’t Work It Out) sounds pretty much identical to the Vaccines’ ‘Wreckin Ball (Ra-Ra)’s and goes on to underperform in the fact I was expecting something as good as what the Vaccines did. I was not satisfied in this way. The album does have its merits though, even though frontman Devaney begins to sound like Harry McVeigh ever more as the album goes on; on ‘Relief’ I am literally waiting for him to burst out with “You got blood on your hands/And I know it’s mine/I just need more time/So get off your low/ Let’s dance like we used to…”

It’s difficult to find anything special about these guys throughout the album, the choruses are to echoey and far off to be even the faintest bit catchy, while the songwriting is nothing short of, well, bog standard. ‘Blood Pressure’ is a rare gem among the field of mediocrity, whereas ‘This is Me Dancing’ sounds like a completely different band, with its honky tonk guitars and rolling drum beat.

Under the surface, the Static Jacks have got a nice little piece of indie pop, but nothing especially assured. I feel like these guys haven’t exactly found their sound yet. If they can replicate some of the promise of the second half of the album there is some promise for these New Jersey rockers. Maybe a leaf out of another NJ band’s book is needed, a spot of the Boss worked for the Gaslight Anthem maybe it could work for these boys. Worth a shot eh. Now, if only Glastonbury was on this year! SHUCKS!


‘If You’re Young’, the debut album from the Static Jacks, is available now.

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