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Release Details

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Jaco

Dose
(Cornelius Chapel Records)
Release Date: October 9, 2020

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Power pop indie rock may seem like a lost cause and art form in today’s pandemic-infused, doom-and-gloom apocalyptic hellscape, with a sheen a little too bright to counter the unrelenting woes and insanity of the day, but in so many ways it’s exactly what’s needed to help balance out the dragging drudgery of a rudderless world gone mad, with Jake Waitzman being just the man to place his hand on the scale for a better musical tomorrow. Or maybe he’s just lysergically laughing on the way down with us at the spectacle of it all as the nation burns at every turn. But then again, maybe that’s what we should all be doing for our collective sanity.
Offering up his second album in a working trilogy for Cornelius Chapel Records under the nom de plume of Jaco, the Birmingham-based wordsmith and multi-instrumentalist has once again found himself mining distinctly new terrain away from his primary role as drummer for longtime local entities like Vulture Whale and Wes McDonald, presenting a chummy alter-ego of ambiguous semantics and hook-laden rock and roll— all dressed up in a cloak of sly turnabout phrasing— whose seeming deception is all part of the fun, or at least for a moment. That is, until you realize just how subtly dexterous and dark his look at the pablum of everyday life actually is, with the music just another hallucinatory mirage meant to throw you off his tracks.

Having finally stepped out as a working frontman, but still behind the kit while also handling rhythm guitar duties and basic keyboard work on the LP, Waitzman once again enlisted the help of his longtime friend/bandmate/production wizard Lester Nuby III to manage the fiery lead guitar licks, intricate bass lines, and more demanding synth parts, as a two-man studio band operating essentially as a proper quintet. As the follow-up to 2019’s cleverly enumerated You Know debut, Dose finds the power duo still riffing on a cherished mishmash of mid-90s indie pop that combines touches of everything from Fountains of Wayne and the Apples in stereo, to Matthew Sweet and the Posies, but with a wry sense of humor bubbling just beneath the surface.

And whether it’s the light psychedelia of album opener “Outer Space,” the Dinosaur Jr.-by-way-of-Big Star vibes of “Fabergé,” or the raucous and rousing closing track “Grow Up Together,” there’s a lot to love on this sophomore outing, and even more to explore outside the confines of Waitzman’s previous effort. Delving into even deeper uncharted waters with the likes of the weird Tortoise and Tropicalia-meets-AM gold atmospherics of “Bluebird,” the Ween-ish Dire Straits tribute of “Things In A Dream,” and the moody Crazy Horse rock of “Sign Of A Struggle,” fans of Jaco’s first LP will be pleasantly surprised by what awaits inside, as he once again surprises at every turn with a fresh batch of psychoactive sounds and sonic storytelling.

Tune in, turn on, and take a trip with the man with the stash in his hand. You never know what you might find on the other side.

- Lee Shook, @theaudiovore


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Band Videos

Jaco makes his mark on his "Blackboard" via Imperfect Fifth
Imperfect Fifth premiered the new song and video from Jaco…