@planetmosh reviews Shake the Breakdown by .@JacksonFirebird on .@Napalm Records
For some reason the whole country seems to be going bonkers today over some band called Iron Maiden releasing a new album. Well I’d rather be listening to these two Aussies, who’ve backed up a great debut in Cock Rockin’ with an even better second album in Shake the Breakdown, released in the UK today. The amount of talent coming out of Australia at the moment is ridiculous with bands like Massive, The Graveltones, The Lockhearts and The Sunpilots all flying the flag. As a guitar/drum duo Jackson Firebird are probably most comparable to The Graveltones but in terms of sound they most definitely stand alone. Brendan Harvey and Dale Hudak have the sound levels of ten men and are one of the most original bands I’ve ever heard. Drummer Hudak will hit anything that makes a noise, from a drumkit to a bottle bin, and I mean hit it hard.
The album opens with Mohawk Bang! which sets the tone for the whole album. Harvey gets the dirtiest tone from his guitar which along with Hudak’s rhythm makes me wish I was in Oz right now so I could get to a gig and see if they’re as good live as I imagine. As good as the album is I can’t help but feel this is a band built for the live experience.
There are so many highlights on Shake the Breakdown it’s hard to narrow it to a few choice picks. Voodoo is worth the cost of the album alone, the chorus a wail of, “voooo doooo looooove,” that comes from Harvey’s boots. Same goes for High Love, and brilliant singalong track Sin for your Lovin’. I must admit as soon as I looked at the track listing for Shake the Breakdown I already knew this was going to be a 5/5 album. Any band with the guts to cover Queen deserves it and they chose well in Fat Bottomed Girls because it just suits them perfectly. Queen are, in my opinion, the greatest band in the world, in Freddie’s day anyway. You have to be good to cover them or just don’t bother, but the absolute irreverence of Jackson Firebird, the balls to take a Queen song and cover it, and to do it well is worth five points in my book. I also enjoyed Headache Mantra, a rant of a song that has echoes of the Beastie Boys. Just as I was getting to the end of the album and thoroughly enjoying it something came out of my speakers that stopped me in my tracks. When I reviewed Cock Rockin’ I commented that there probably weren’t many albums reviewed on Planetmosh that sampled Beats International. I wasn’t expecting to hear, “tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty, you’re listening to the boy from the big bad city.” I don’t know what I was expecting on Shake the Breakdown but it certainly wasn’t, “three, six, nine, the goose drank wine, the monkey chewed tobacco on the street car line…” However on The Clapping Song that’s exactly what I got. It’s a far cry from the version I used to sing at primary school but the lyric is the same. It’s somehow familiar and original simultaneously. Very clever. The album closes with title track Shake the Breakdown, at which point I recommend you go back to the start and listen all over again.
Sin for your Lovin’
Fat Bottomed Girls
Sick n Tired
The Clapping Song
Shake the Breakdown