Jack the Radio – Badlands

By Ryan G

Words: Ryan Getz

Never did it occur to me that I’d find a band that mixes my two two favorite musical vibes with a genre I typically avoid.

Jack the Radio is that band I didn’t know I was looking for. And their album Badlands is probably catching many people by surprise. The last time I’ve heard a band with a throwback sound mesh so many genres in a fresh way was probably The Worn Flints on their Second Sun release. But Badlands is both similar to, and nothing like Second Sun at the same time.

Jack the Radio, a group that boasts Raleigh as its home, unashamedly lays out the idea that they mesh indie rock with country. Now, admittedly indie rock used to mean something very specific but those days are over. So Jack the Radio calling themselves indie rock is about as nondescript as a band calling themselves alternative. But then again, as I listen I wonder what moniker I’d give this genre. I can understand the country influence in the vibe it gives off, but I could call this music synth-complimenting southern rock and still be accurate.

As I listen to “Leaves,” I am struck by the multitude of moods this song could fit. A dark club. An acoustic version played around a campfire at the end of a summer. Some poor feller zoning out to this in the midst of a difficult life transition. The guitar solo appears to deliver a boost of adrenaline, perhaps to gently shake the pensive listener out of his stupor.

The band proves that it can be about one mood, however with the song “My Way.” You don’t have to be paying attention to the words to catch the aura of determination from the guys. Or, just want a feel good mid tempo rock track? “Wild West Woman” will do the trick.

So basically, Jack the Radio are here to grace your ears with some pleasant, fresh tunes, and I wouldn’t be writing this review if I didn’t think you should hop on that train.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/226121565″  /]

Score: 4/5

Jack the Radio: Facebook | iTunes

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