Sunday, June 5, 2016

Song(s) of the Day # 868 Jack

During the eighties the journalists at British music weekly Melody Maker persisted in championing a series of bands always most likely to be remembered for making decent student and bedsit music than for storming charts of any kind. Jack were a fine example of such a band. They barely generated a ripple commercially but twenty years on the records they made are still worth a listen, particularly first album Pioneer Soundtracks.

Fed by dog-eared paperbacks, the arty films of their formative years and introverted, outsider music down the decades, Scott Walker and Tindersticks spring most immediately to mind, Jack summoned up a particular, downbeat pessimism which appropriately went down well with the French, who after all pretty much invented this resigned poetic worldview.

Formed in 1992 around singer Anthony Reynolds and guitarist Matthew Scott, Jack sound as if they'd fit best kicking up a storm onstage in a book shop. They were only built for independent success probably but Tindersticks had already taken that particular niche for themselves. Nevertheless, if you're ever after glum romanticism on a rainy afternoon, Jack and Pioneer Soundtracks might tick the right boxes.

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