Jackyl is American redneck party metal with a Southern rock sheen. Despite their debut doing relatively well, subsequent albums didn't help the band build anything further than a cult following. Fortunately they stuck to their guns over they years and have continued to release their own brand of rock 'n roll. In 2002 the band gained a minor radio hit once again with the single "Kill the Sunshine."
Jackyl (Geffen) 1992
1. "I Stand Alone"
I remember back in 1992 hearing the song "Dirty Little Mind" on Z-Rock and thinking it was a cool AC/DC inspired rocker. It's amazing that it took me a decade to finally check out this CD. Jackyl is redneck party metal; sort of a mix of Ted Nugent and AC/DC with some Jim Dandy/Black Oak Arkansas and a pint of Jack Daniels thrown in for good measure. Jackyl somehow manages to be one of the few bands of this genre that survived the '90's relatively unscaved, even touring with such huge stadium bands as Aerosmith and ZZ Top. Their formula is actually nothing earth shattering, but they do manage to write memorable hooks attached to heavy, simple riffs. This along with Jess Dupree's over-the-top, raspy howl makes Jackyl's debute quite enjoyable. Unfortunately the lyrics are a bit juvenile and insipid. I mean, just take a look at the titles of some of the songs for proof of this. However, overlooking the party 'til ya puke mentality of the lyrics, the songs are pretty fun and memorable. "I Stand Alone", "Dirty Little Mind". "Down On Me" and "When Will It Rain" are all standout cuts. Of course who could forget the chainsaw solo in the middle of the cheek-in-tongue blues track "The Lumberjack." This became one of Jackyl's big selling points. I mean, who can deny the fun of a chainsaw, right?
Jackyl - Push Comes to Shove (Geffen) 1994
1. "Push Comes to
Every review I have read of this disc is lukewarm at best. While I think that "Push Comes to Shove" may not be quite as infectious as the debut, it's still a good CD and better than a lot of other bands who attempt this AC/DC meets Aerosmith style metal. Part of the problem may just have been in the production. Bruce Fairbairn (Aerosmith, Yes) produced this one and while he was a legendary producer, the production on this disc doesn't have the crunch and punch that the debut had. Otherwise the songs are all pretty darn good. "Headed for Destruction" starts off with those familiar chainsaw sounds before jumping into a party anthem. This song is as good as the material on the debut. "Dixieland" has a cool bluesy vibe to it. "I Want It" starts off mysteriously just like Aerosmith's "Nobody's Fault" but immediately changes into a Jackyl sleeze rocker. The album contains a ballad ("Secret of the Bottle"), which singer Jesse Dupree said they would never do, although he claims this was not a ballad but a 'country song.' Whatever! It's still a ballad. The rest of the album is not bad, but not as immediately as infectious as their debut. "Private Hell", "Rock-A-Ho" and "I Am the I Am" are also quite good. If this album had been the band's first, and their first was their sophmore release I'll bet this album would have been much more well received. "Push Comes to Shove" is a good disc, but it doesn't quite measure up to the band's incredible debut.
Jackyl - Night of the Living Dead (Mayhem Records) 1996
1. "Push Comes to
Jackyl recorded live in Dallas, Texas on New Year's Eve 1995 with no overdubs, tons of energy, lots of crowd interaction and, of course, the appearance of the legendary chainsaw for a seven-plus minute version of "The Lumberjack." 'Ol Jesse runs his mouth off for the entire set and at one point advises the entire crowd to "touch yourselves" during "Mental Masturbation." Man, I could have lived my whole life without hearing that and been perfectly happy. In anycase, Jackyl are a smokin' live band and this disc is a testimony to that fact. Cover includes plenty of pictures of the mayhem as well. Rock me, roll me, jackyl me off! Rock on redneck punks!
Jackyl - Cut the Crap (Epic) 1997
1. "Dumb-Ass Country
Not nearly as commercially accessible as their first album, but just as much fun. There are a few more of those "country songs," as Jesse likes to call his ballads. (see Tracks 5, 8 and 10.) However, regardless of what you call 'em, I still like 'em. "Speak of the Devil" is actually pretty darn catchy. Had this song been released as a single during a time when good time rock 'n roll wasn't surpressed, I imagine it would have done quite well. The rest of the disc rocks in typical Jackyl style, with total disregard for trends. As usual the lyrics are based around Jesse Dupree's sense of humor, although I sense a bit of outrage on this one as well. Sounds like he's a little peaved at the record industry. This is really apparent in songs like " Thanks for the Grammy" and "Dumb As Country Boy", in which Jesse proclaims, "I'm a dumbass country boy, I think people want to rock but what do I know." "Dumb Ass Country Boy," "Locked and Loaded" (with Brian Johnson), "Cut the Crap" (with the signature chainsaw), "Twice As Ugly," "Thanks for the Grammy" and "Push Pull" are all prime Jackyl.
Jackyl - Stayin' Alive (Shimmertone Records) 1998
1. Problem" (3:13)
I'm not sure if Stayin' Alive was intended as a full length release or not, but it's more like a long EP than an album. Of course if Van Halen could get away with it on Diver Down, I suppose that Jackyl should be able to get away with releasing a only five new songs as an album. Of the new tracks, "Crush" and "Street Went Legit" are actually quite good Jackyl rockers. Also included are three covers (of classics by AC/DC, Skynyrd and Aerosmith, respectively) and three live versions of songs all taken from the underrated Cut the Crap LP. The 3 cover tunes are good and my main motivation for tracking this disc down. I mean anyone who would cover Aerosmith is alright in my book. Jackyl does a admirable job coverin "Nobody's Fault" although they don't realy touch the incredible version that Testament did a few years earlier. Of course the AC/DC song is incredible. Jesse James Dupree already has one of those Bon Scott-like snarls, so he sounds incredible on this song. The live tracks are a nice addition and put the finishing touches on a decent EP.
Jackyl - Choice Cuts (Geffen) 1998
1. "We're an American
A 'best of' package that is a decent career retrospective of Jackyl up to this point. Personally I am not a fan of packages like this unless they include some unreleased tracks, which this one does. This CD includes three new songs including a redneck cover of Grand Funk's timeless anthem "We're an American Band" and a cover of the Beatles "I Am the Walrus." Only complaint, why wasn't "Cut the Crap" included?
Jackyl - Relentless (Humidity Records) 2002
1. "If You Want It
Heavy (I Weigh a Ton)" (2:22)
Jackyl has survived the many trends that have come and gone over the last decade by staying true to themselves musically. As such, 'Relentless' is another heavy scorcher of AC/DC meets Blackfoot heavy metal. "Relentless" is more consistent than "Cut the Crap" or "Stayin' Alive." Unlike those two CDs, "Relentless" is a good play from beginning to end. The sleazy, snarly guitar tones, the Southern stomp and boogie along with with Dupree's screech and snarl all add up to an entertaining disc. In my town, "Kill the Sunshine" has been getting regular airplay, which is quite surprising considering that crap like Godsmack and are dominating the airwaves. This song, which was co-written by AC/DC's Brian Johnson and Jesse Dupree and is easily one of the standout cuts on the disc. This song could easily have fit into AC/DC's catalogue as well. Of course it wouldn't be a Jackyl CD without at least one chainsaw solo, and "Relentless" is no exception. Standout tracks are: "If You Want It Heavy," "I'm On FIre," "Kill the Sunshine," "Vegas Smile," "Billy Badass" and "The More You Hate It."
Well, what do you know about that? I thought Jackyl had quietly vanished out of existence, but rock me, roll me, Jackyl is back! Everyone's favorite redneck rockers return with a vengeance in 2010. So what has changed since their last studio album in 2002? To be quite honest, absolutely nothing. The band continues to crank out their sleazy rock and roll like the 1990's never happened. The album starts off with the appropriately titled "Loads of Fun". That is exactly what this band sounds like they are creating, good time, hard rockin', rock and roll. Imagine if Ted Nugent and AC/DC had joined together, this is what that pairing might sound like. "I Can't Stop" is another party anthem. "She's Not A Drug" is easily one of Jackyl's most memorable songs. Had this song been released in 1988-89, it might have been a hit for the band. As it stands, the song and album will probably be ignored by all but the Jackyl faithful. "My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine's Ass" is a humorous song that embodies that redneck spirit that the band evokes. "Get Mad At It" is another heavy rocker with a big groove and some roaring bass. "Deeper In Darkness" is another monster track and one that rang familiar the moment it played. This is due to the fact that the song had previously been recorded on the bands like album "Night Of The Living Dead". Oddly enough, the title track is not an explosive party anthem, but instead is bluesy, porch swinging, mellower moment, complete with a soulful guitar solo by Jeff Worley.
"Just Like A Negro" is sure to cause some fury because of the song title. I am sure some people will want to make a race issue out of the song, but the song is actually a cover of a song by Mother's Finest, a multi-racial band. Jesse James Dupree and Co. add their own flare to the song, and had I not known better I would have thought it was a Jackyl original. This is the way a cover should be done. "Mercedes Benz" is another cover, a song originally by Janis Joplin. This song is definitely an odd duck as Dupree sings the song a-cappella. It's obviously done as a bit of a joke, but I personally think the song breaks up on otherwise perfect album. The CD ends with "Full Throttle", a song that ties in with Dupree's TV show that I personally have never seen.
"When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide" is easily one of Jackyl's strongest albums. Had it been the follow-up to their 1992 debut, no one would have been the wiser. This is Jackyl rock and roll. Love it or hate it, this band makes no apologies for what they do and doesn't care what the trend hoppers think. Crank it up and join the party or go home!