Monday, July 11, 2011

Jack of Heart on Slovenly Records

Here's a new one from Slovenly Records, who recently brought us the Acid Baby Jesus single from garage creeps in Greece. Turns out Jack of Heart happens to be based out of - - the south of France? Is Slovenly Records on some quest for frequent flyer miles? Is the label based in NV or NY? Is this scuzz rock going to find a new audience with the Nashville garage set?

"Eureka", on the A-Side has one of those completely surprising guitar sounds, simultaneously loud and quiet with an insane gravely tin distortion which they can turn off with the flick of a switch during the chorus for a great rock contrast. It's consistently running in the middle of being so put together and produced with an overall mischievous feel, while being on the edge of rattling apart.
The evil elf or demon vocal is definitely unique, possibly twisted up in tempo ween style just slightly? Can anyone actually sing like this?

What the hell all the creepy dolls are doing across this sleeve I'll never understand. It's next to impossible to use dolls ever in anything, let's face it, they've been overused by outsider creepy old man artists or lazy horror movies. What they have to do with this psyche garage? Something isn't quite translating graphically.

The next track, "Oscar Wilde":
Maybe just because I've been listening to a lot of Art Museums as of late, but this low end subsonic synth baseline is a page right out of their analog book and even talking about Oscar Wilde, It's the contemporary instrumentation combined with really out of date ideas and icons, that become cool again.
Compared to "Eureka", this has a completely different vocal and instrumental feel , it's a 180 degree turn, going for that sober photo side of the pastel Barbie trying to freakout, really letting loose. The monkey vocal noises are a nice touch along with repeating "Oscar Wilde" over and over, slow psyche style, layered background F&O's vocal and laid back sound.
Such a great weirdo synth sound I can't get over, with the bizarre pairing of subject and style.

Big hole, great Slovenly center label graphics, like an old 45 blues company, instantly recognizable and standing for this outsider garage as a whole, looking far and wide for these uncompromising sounds.

The B-Side, "Primitiv (The Groupies)", Pays homage to another unmined '60s garage band, The Groupies (and The Cramps who also covered it), Jack of Heart bring the single back around to embrace this past. The fact they even cover this track says a lot…it points to their influences and aligns them further with this specific sound. This slow creepy vibe, and rockabilly reverb surf guitar with a lot of vocal squealing and screaming into the mic. Not so much being tortured yourself, but getting off on the sadism. Dirty, slow, garage blues. Taking the guitar sounds and vocal effects really seriously, specifically calibrated for maximum unsettling. The extra creep factor is here because of this attention to detail in just the right color distortion that's unfamiliar.

Ignore the pedestrian sleeve and order this Jack of Heart 7" from Slovenly Records.

Slovenly gets creepy with a new three track 45 from esteemed French muck wranglers, Jack of Heart! Lead by Piero (ex-Mighty Go-Go Players/ Fatals/ Demon’s Claws) this 7" starts off with a disheveled fuzz stun-gun called "Eureka," a catchy dancer with snotty attitude out the ass, then slinks into trippy carnival grounds for a spell with the whimsical "Oscar Wilde." For Side B, Jack of Heart takes on the task of covering a song The Cramps taught us, 1966's "Primitive" by The Groupies. While Lux and Ivy arguably couldn't even improve on the original, Jack of Heart gives this standard a nasty, stinging twist of their own, and it works perfectly for the 45 format. This superb blend of headphone worthy psych-garage comes housed in a gorgeous full color sleeve, with band dedications to fallen friends Seb Favre, Bobby Ubangi, and Jay Reatard.

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