I’m feeling a little bipolar!

It’s Friday night and I’ve missed the last bus home, but suddenly on the horizon getting bigger every second is a Technicolor tour bus that stops and the ghost of Freddie Murcury beckons me on with a twitch of his handle-bar moustache. This is where I come face to face with East Londoners Jackdaw4, who quite cunningly dodge any pigeon-holing shenanigans by being slightly different, majestic, out-of-space and so Goddamn happy!

First song, ‘Sooma (All This Version)’ gives a fine example of the band that play a happy flavour of pop-rock that is well constructed and slightly like Queen in complex arrangements that come across as ingenious. The first lines are, “When the sun shines out of my ass, it’s incredible // all this vision in, one individual…” sung so jaunty with melodic guitars that could’ve come straight from the Beach Boys. This then leads into, ‘Frobisher’s Last Stand’ which has the thumping plod of low piano keys, and high pitched harmonies giving it an instantly likeable sound, and forming visions in my head of the four band members dressed in matching white suits complete with top hats and canes, dancing in line to the beat, then add some brass section and you have, ‘Heimlich’s Manoeuvres’…

There is certainly more than a hint of theatrical music here, and even though the one picture of the band that I have found looks very misleading with them looking disappointingly normal, I’m pretty sure that this is a ruse, and their usual attire is as a clown, mime, ringmaster or spaceman…’Jesus Wants My Soul Back’ is a slow shuffling song that is like a jazz and blues fusion with, er, a ukulele, and will have your jaw dropping, whilst the harmonies at the beginning of next song, and album title track, ‘Bipolar Diversions’ could have been sung by Queen, before the song kicks in with a riff a little like Franz Ferdinand that sounds like a cross between Robbie Williams and The Killers - but good…

I don’t know how the world in general will take Jackdaw4 as they could well be dismissed as being “too far out, man”. ‘My Little Gangsta’ has the tongue-in-cheek humour of The Vandals with musical arrangement by Messers May and Mercury. Things never really leave the 70’s as we then glide through ‘All Around The World’ before ‘Illuminati’ which is part The Kinks, part The Animals and with lashings of harmonies spread around like the summer of love. Then with, ‘The End Of The Party’ we have a slight nod towards glam with riffs, but high vocals and a the ambience of an aliens orgy. Things then slow right down for the chilled, morning-after feeling of last song, ‘Sleep’.

‘Bipolar Diversions’ is a great album, and very much in the same vein as 12 Stone Toddler, Jackdaw4 project such musical imagery, that you wonder whether for some people it’s just too much. The music isn’t hip or cool in a chart point of view, but the arrangements, hooks, melodies and different instruments is there for the true purveyors of music. This is what we put on when the catchy songs become boring. It’s a timeless album that will grow even better with time, but I dare say may well be one of the over looked albums of the year! Shame.