Soundtrack to Your Damnation
Be Damned! Mother Jackson Stands Loud and Proud! America in the ..00s is a crazy f*&%n.. place. Is the economy getting better or worse? Can anyone, from the government to friends and family, be trusted anymore? Are we headed into an era of enlightenment or are we hovering on the edge of Armageddon? Uncertainty abounds both at home and abroad and the tensions are rising in the air. And rising. Amidst such turbulent tides comes the release of Soundtrack to Your Damnation -- the new salvo from Athens, Ga. rockers Mother Jackson -- an album that skates across, through and around these troubled times like a contemporary counterpart to Wyatt and Billy's transcendent trek in the classic ..60s paean, ..Easy Rider... Of course, such grand journeys rarely start that way. For Mother Jackson, the ride began simply enough, with a return jaunt to the studio for the follow-up to the band's 2004 rock and roaring debut, Suck on This. But whereas that LP was recorded in a drug and alcohol-filled haze with co-conspirator Peter Fancher at Elixir studios, this time around the motley Mother Jackson crew decided to keep things a little more *ahem* focused for the new sessions. Holed up with uber-producer David Barbe (ex-Sugar, Drive-By Truckers) at his Chase Park Transduction complex, a lean and mean Mother Jackson laid down 10 howling and scowling tracks in just a handful of days, completing the record with an edgy, though yeoman-like attitude indicative of how MoJack's six-year journey has forged the players from former roommates into one helluva rock and roll band. Drifting back, Mother Jackson first started it's musical trip in mid-2001 when guitarist Paul McHugh, drummer Jim Wilson and bassist Nathan Allen decided to metamorphose their co-habitation in an Athens house (and the accompanying service-industry jobs) into a more permanent musical collaboration. Yet another guitarist, Richard Mikulka, moved into the rocking residence a few months later and was, of-course, drafted into the Mother Jackson ranks. From there, the rock and roll simply commenced, with the four friends honing a hard and heavy sound that reverberated with the strains of Southern rock and NYC punk .. and made them immediate favorites in a college rock scene more typically known for it's jangle pop or jam rock. After a brief stint opening fellow-minded rockers the Drive-By Truckers, whose frontman, Patterson Hood, had already become a big supporter of the band on the A-T-H scene, Mother Jackson ..tweaked.. it's line-up when Nathan Allen opted out and was replaced with another service industry friend, Chuck Bradburn, also of Southern Bitch. With Bradburn added to the mix, Mother Jackson..s sound developed an even greater cohesion and depth -- with the propulsive now being elevated to the explosive. Following the successful in-roads of Suck on This, the same line-up of McHugh, Wilson, Mikulka and Bradburn reconvened in mid-2006 for the Soundtrack to Your Damnation sessions. The resulting LP, due out in early 2007 via Mother Jackson's own imprint, is an electrifying, barn-storming trip of a record that bristles with both the manic energy of protest-era MC5 and the blues-bottomed grooves of Bon Scott-fronted AC/DC. But make no mistake about it, despite the obvious love of certain ..vintage.. heavy riffs and hard licks (and, hey, there are only about 100 ..common.. rock chords anyway), Mother Jackson stands as it's own beast entirely on Loud and Proud. And that beast is no mere cub to be trifled with. Not anymore, as Mother Jackson takes caustic shots at the ..Big.. picture (i.e. ..Big.. business and ..Big-brother.. government) through out The Soundtrack to Damnation. From the album..s opener, ..In My Blood,.. which finds Wilson bellowing about the honor and virtue inherent fighting the ..good fight,.. to the McHugh-penned ..The Game (of the Spider and the Fly),.. which blasts a complacent public for letting the government get away with, well, anything, Loud and Proud hits with the impact of a socially-minded sonic sledgehammer. MoJack expresses further solidarity and sympathy for the working man on such blue-collared cuts as ..Living This Way,.. while demonstrating a wry sense of humor about the reflexive nature of song-writing and being in a band in Wilson..s ..Get What You Want... And then there..s the brooding album closer, ..Back at the Ranch,.. which begins as a stark meditation about a cattleman..s ruinous plight (see Paul Newman's ..Hud..), then wades into even murkier emotional depths, buoyed by McHugh and Mikulka foreboding guitar wash and Wilson and Bradburn's death march of a rhythm section. Yes, these are problematic times and the world could very well be teetering on the verge. No, Mother Jackson doesn't claim to know the answers, but they've certainly been thinking about the questions on The Soundtrack to Your Damnation. And if we're all truly standing at the brink of the abyss, wouldn't it be best to embrace the rock and roll, take a trip -- and take our chances where we can? That's what Captain America and Billy the Kid would do .. and so would Mother Jackson.