Andrew Jackson - Feral Familiar
Toronto musician Andrew Jackson is here with the debut album Feral Familiar (available now on iTunes). Recorded live between Iguana Studios in Toronto and The Factory in Vancouver with producer John Nazario (Nelly Furtado, Jack Johnson, The Tea Party) over a period of two years, the album is a collection of songs that showcase the broad influences of Jackson and the political and social issues of our failing society. If you're a fan of The Rolling Stones or White Stripes then this album would be a stand out for you; bringing forth Jackson's angry vocals that rival those of Ocean Colour Scene's Simon Fowler and making us wonder why we haven't heard of him before.
Modern rock albums such as Feral Familiar have all that's required of a contemporary album yet still leave listeners reminiscing to a sound that replicates something that would be perfect on vinyl. Andrew Jackson manages to combine everything needed to make many albums successful and pile them into one. The Canadian songwriter blasts through issues and narratives in every song, Enough Blood to Keep 'Em Coming tells of zombie-fied state of society, shown particularly well in the music video to match, which involves the brain washed zombies of society.
Jackson manages to put just about everything into the album, with the typical track of the songwriter lusting after a girl like I Got to Get Your Name and even so the even less serious and more humorous Sausage with Ears just add to the dynamic range Jackson is clearly capable of. Jackson takes influence from a range of bands and it's clearest in tracks like Another Day of Misery which can be imagined being performed throughout stadiums across countries by American rockers Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Hold On could easily be mistook as being a classic old Smokey Robinson Mowtown number.
Of course, no album can be completely perfect; the repetitive and almost boring Big Baby brings the album down, managing to encourage listeners to skip the song as it's almost cringe worthy. Anthem-like songs such as March the Equinox prove that Jackson has the capability to make an awesome album, are brought down by the obvious desire to put everything into one album. In some cases Jackson tries to make Feral Familiar go down just about every possible avenue to the point where it just becomes too much. Tracks like Grinder and closer Better Than We Used To with trance dream-like sections and attention grabbing riffs are just a couple that keep the faith that Jackson has the capability to make something great if only he stays in the one direction.
Andrew Jackson really hasn't done badly with this debut album; popping up onto the scene with a bang, is certainly the way to enter. Here's to hoping he brings that thunderous energy from the studio onto stages and into a live atmosphere that's bound to sell out some of the bigger venues.