In this review you may think that I’m talking about one person, perhaps a solo artist, but don’t be deceived by what your first impression may tell you because Jacob are a four-piece band from New South Wales, ranging from Wollongong to Newcastle. The band has been playing shows and recording songs for the past five years with a few pretty significant accomplishments to say the least, they received support from Triple J’s Unearthed for their single “How Long Until You’re Next To Me” and most recently they’ve been able to sign with Resist Records, following in the footsteps of another Australian post-hardcore band, Parkway Drive.
The band have been described as “emo revivalists” and the album, “emo rock”. This description intrigued me greatly before taking on this review and I’m very eager to hear what comes of it, so why wait? Jacob, show me some passion!
The album starts out with Baby, I’m A Blockhead, and it begins with an upbeat thrashing of the guitar and ecstatic drums. The vocals are shared between three of the members and this creates a really chaotic cacophony of vocals, some of the time some of them are screaming, sometimes they’re yelling and sometimes they’re singing in a very rapid, breathless punky way which makes sense given that the “emo” genre originated from punk. Coming Home is next and it’s much more of a chilled-out song, what it lacks in the vocals’ mixing it makes up for an infectious guitar riff and beat, this is really a jam.
How Long Until You’re Next To Me is a catchy, infectious banger. The instrumentals are pretty straight forward, except what sounds like a percussive instrument, almost like an egg shaker shaking away and a killer solo riff towards the end. Vocally this song is a step-up from the last two and it really carries the song with how catchy the lyrics are and how anthemic the hook is. The Rain King is a song that feels cruisy, the guitar in it almost sounds beachy and the overall tune sounds strangely dreamy, the subtle screams towards the end give it a bit of a unique feel, in that they’re being introduced over such a relaxed instrumental.
Next up we have Special Kind of Love which is a groovy ballad full of soft, bouncing beats and a smooth vocal melody to chill you out, if I were to have one critique it’s that this album so far feels less “emo rock” and more indie pop punk.
A Little More Action is next and it gives us more of this chilled out, beachy pop rock vibes with punky aspects infused in it. A prominent snare drum and yelled vocals power through the mellow track. Say Anything is up next and this one finally feels a bit more emo, rock, punk with the distortion in the guitar and the chaotic, emotional nature of the instrumentals as a whole. The songs I’ve heard on this album so far make me imagine picking a genre out of a hat, is it going to be indie-pop? Emo rock? Pop punk? Jacob likes to keep you guessing, clearly.
Passing Slowly comes crashing out of the hat, with a new genre, this time being pop-punk! We get some whiny, yet emotional vocals that come with pop-punk and some emo rock to be sure, but for the most part everything in this song screams pop-punk. How I Get kicks in with a soft acoustic guitar strumming away, giving a sense of variety to the album. There are intense erratic vocals over the soft acoustic which gives the song a powerful sense of contrast and jarring emotion. Oh My Love is a song that straight off the bat gets me jamming with the opening guitar and bass riffs, subdued almost talking vocals sing over the groove and build into the chorus with a quick rise and as soon as the chorus starts, it’s over. This song is definitely a highlight of the album, however short it may be.
Finally we have I Want To Get A Bit Closer which starts with a drum beat poised to fuel some real energy into the song, that which is delivered when the guitar kicks in and it’s obvious that they want to end this album with a bang. You’d only know if you listen to the whole album in one go, but this song sounds like a culmination of every song on this album, it really hits the album home.
I think for a second album to a band that is still relatively new in it’s career, this was a pretty good one. It could’ve done with some better mixing all around, specifically the vocals, and while this album didn’t exactly blow me away, I definitely found it interesting and I have a feeling I’ll be seeing more of these guys in the future. High hopes, boys!
You can purchase the album here: