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Jack On Fire – Sermons From The Eastern Seaboard

Although the key members of Jack on Fire originated in Perth, they’ve now found their home in Melbourne, aligning themselves with this city’s fondness for salty, literate, minor-key rock. This historically themed five-track EP finds the band in fine form, dripping blood, sweat and tears, channelling righteous anger through overdriven guitars and whammy bar abuse.

Guitarists Ben Blakeney and George Hyde each sing two tunes each, with multi-instrumentalist Samantha Wass fronting the fifth. Blakeney’s ‘Less Than Ordinary’ and ‘Forgive Me, Jesus’ are characterised by their driving chord progressions and relentless rhythms, brightened by slivers of slide guitar, banjo and mandolin. Hyde’s ‘Terra Nullius’ and ‘Bumblebee’ are wordier, edgier and more roughly hewn. The shining light among these sweaty, growly, testosterone-fuelled songs, glowing at the EP’s dark heart, is Wass’s ‘New Moon’. Strongly reminiscent of Belly circa Star, ‘New Moon’ is a stunner, Wass intoning “Moon cries” over a maelstrom of guitars at the song’s climax.

This seems to be Jack on Fire’s strength – balancing volatile elements to create a ballsy, bewitching cocktail. While no great shakes in terms of originality, it’s certainly a strong example of its ilk, certain to appeal to fans of bands such as The Drones .

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