The JAC – Record Store (2013)

For the uninitiated, the JAC is actually a vehicle for the mercurial musings of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Algeri.

Hot on the heels of the JAC’s excellent debut album Faux Pas arrives a comparably intoxicating disc Record Store (EGO Records), which features an array of equally talented and respected folks from the independent music scene — including Herb Eimerman of the Britannicas, Stefan Johansson from the Lemon Clocks, the Coalminer’s Sect’s Jason Clearly and former Tricks member Phil Barry.

The title cut of this effort starts out voicing the pleasure of shopping in one’s favorite music shop, then ends with a sad commentary on the demise of such operations. Saturated with circles of commanding guitars, stirring harmonies, muscled melodies and a slaving backbeat that attacks each cell of the body, Record Store skillfully crosses hummable pop insights with the drive and intensity of bands like the Who and the Replacements.

Dripping with snot and sass, the brisk and blunt “Fuck It” rushes forth with mean and lean rhythms, a sleepy-eyed version of Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold” examines the JAC indulging in the beeping joys of electronica, and the Flying Burrito Brothers are given credible homage on a loyal treatment of “Sin City,” which was recorded in a mere four minutes with a single microphone.

Covering everything from punk rock to power pop to country to experimental sounds, Record Store may be schizophrenic, but the songs are so good and delivered with honesty that they practically transcend genre-labeling. Australia has always been praised for its inspirational artists, and in the shape of the JAC, here’s a true blue testimony to their knowledge, understanding and dedication of merited music.

But the four-track disc is simply a sneak preview of what lies ahead, as the JAC will soon be releasing a complete album. And judging from what’s offered on Record Store, you can bet your booty it will be a gold-star winner!

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" hit No. 4 on the national charts, which is ironically, one of her favorite songs - especially the version by John Lennon. She has contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Her own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.