(Nearly) Everyone’s a winner, baby (and that’s the truth)
Back about 20 years ago – around the time MV lost touch with Jackyl as it happens – The Simpson’s was still funny.
On one of the classic episodes in the mid 1990s Homer gets invited to judge a film awards and wants to vote for a film which depicts a bloke getting a football in the nutsack. Then he’s persuaded by the critics to vote for something altogether more “worthy”. The public, mind you, loves the slapstick.
Listening to “Rowco” – the eighth record from Jesse James Dupree’s merry band of reprobates – its tempting to think of the moral of the story contained in that cartoon. Essentially Jackyl have been busy not giving two shits what the so called taste makers think for two decades.
They burst on the scene, after all, with a song called “The Lumberjack” which saw Dupree playing a chainsaw with no fucks given, and with another track called “She Loves My Cock”. Lets be honest here, they weren’t after a Mercury Prize.
Fast forward all these years and they still don’t give a monkeys. Dupree is a successful TV personality and businessman, so you assume he and the rest of the band do this for a laugh and because they can – and they do it pretty well.
On a back to basics album like this, you’d best get down to brass tacks and right from “Disasterpiece” – which packs a mighty opening groove – to “Blast Off”, which ends things, this is as simplistic as you like. Essentially “Rowco” rocks, it rolls, it’s testosterone filled, barbecue eating, bourbon swilling, finger licking good, and sounds like you’d imagine AC/DC might if they grew up in Georgia and fancied being really unsubtle.
So it is that “Rally” wins the race, “All Night Rodeo” boasts a downright filthy bass line (and lyrics about girls dressed in leather dancing in cages suggest this is the type of party that MV never gets invited to.) But make no mistake about it, Jackyl can write a damn fine rock song. “Ahead Of My Time” has an urgent insistence for example, and the tongue in cheek blues of “Just Because I’m Drunk” has got just about the catchiest chorus you can think off (as well as being one of the dirtiest).
In fact, “Rowco” is like one of those TV shows that they give a warning of “strong language, adult scenes and adult themes from the start” before the opening credits roll. No one has ever turned one of those off, in fact you are more likely to watch, right? In that context “Crazy”, “Hammer To The Head” and “Limpdick” are even more of a giggle – and as self-explanatory as they sound.
In amongst all this is a rocked up cover of Hot Chocolate’s “Everyone’s A Winner” which, frankly, should be shit, but isn’t – and a neater metaphor for this album you will not find.
Not that Jackyl care what MV thinks – they are too busy enjoying themselves. “Rowco” is the proof.