RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Jack Russell’s Great White – He Saw It Comin’
Frontiers Records
http://www.frontiers.it/album/5348

Rating: B

Jack Russell has been a real mess.  Addictions have damn near cost him his life… seriously.  This is not a rock ‘n’ roll game with Jack.  It is real life.  Now sober and clean for over a year he has come back to his senses—at least for now.  The legal mess of the band name has also been settled.  Now under the moniker “Jack Russell’s Great White” he has recorded a new album titled He Saw It Comin’ on Frontiers Records that will be released on January 27, 2017.  

With Russell one never knows what one is going to get.  That is what makes it so cool to announce Jack is back and his new album is a true winner.  Don’t expect classic Great White sounds, though.  This one is steeped in the 1970s sound.  This release is not just, as he has been known to do, a Led Zeppelin sounding thing either.  Nope, He Saw It Comin’ is a collection of songs that have different personalities.  They are pop, they are rock, they are slow, they are fast, they are happy and they are sad.  In other words, this one is a true mix of what rolls around in Jack’s head -all at once, all of the time!  He was able to take his musical visions and communicate them in a way that guitarist Robby Lochner could understand.  Robby gave the songs musical life.  Also pushing the band forward was former Great White member Tony Montana.   

Russell is happy to be making music with a strong batch of musicians.  In the press release for the album he comments, “It’s a powerful band. The music comes across very dynamically. It’s what I always wanted it to be. Tony was a catalyst for moving forward. I was never as close to him as I am now. We never had the opportunity to write music together before. I also never knew he played guitar. When I first heard him, I nearly fell of my chair. He’s my copilot. He’s one of my best friends. I wish we would’ve been this close back in the day. We want the new material to blow people’s ears back. It has the elements of the best Great White music ever written, but there’s an edge. Tony brings that validity, while Robby, Dan and Dicki add a new life. It’s going to surprise people.”

From the beginning notes of album opener “Sign of the Times,” along with vocal harmonies and tasty clean solo riffs, two things are apparent: The band is solid and Russell still has his vocal chops.  “She Moves Me” has a very 1970’s porno guitar riff to it and it glides along just like a ‘70s sex flick as well.  At one point Jack starts rapping on it, which makes a true rocker kind of throw up a little in his throat—but... it fits, and is kind of funny if one is totally honest.  “My Addiction” is a very powerful song for anyone who understand the battles Jack has fought over the last decade or so.  This is a strong track with a strong message! 

To be honest, there is no filler on this sucker.  Sure, some songs are better than others but they all are well written and performed.  “Spy Vs. Spy” is a great rock track, while “Love Don’t Live Here” and “Blame It On the Night” although formulaic, will find one returning to these sing-alongs time and time again.

Our favorite pirate is back… at least for now.  One fears that if he had continued down that dark path he would have seen his own demise coming—and coming fast.  Hopefully, now he sees hope for his future, and the band’s.  This release is a stepping stone to bringing his career back to where it needs to be.  At this point, it is all up to him.

Last word… what the hell is up with that album cover?  It’s not exactly rock and roll, and yet not really Roger Dean... Not sure what’s going on there... Pirate skeleton, crystal ball, cartoon kids seeing their future...  Trust me when I say the music is much better than the artwork on this one!

Hey… if the silly cover is the only negative thing to say, then that’s a good thing.  It means the music is good… and it is!

Track Listing:
01. Sign Of The Times
02. She Moves Me
03. Crazy
04. Love Don't Live Here
05. My Addiction
06. Anything For You
07. He Saw It Comin'
08. Don't Let Me Go
09. Spy Vs Spy
10. Blame It On The Night
11. Godspeed

Jack Russell’s Great White
Jack Russell (Vocals)
Tony Montana (Guitar, Keyboards)
Robby Lochner (Guitar)
Dan McNay (Bass)
Dicki Fliszar (Drums)

By Jeb “Twice Bitten and Still Not Shy” Wright 

 

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