Not quite a new player on the scene, Jaco, aka Jake Waitzman, has released his debut album packed with power pop, a zest for indie/garage pop and chorus’, and it’s an enjoyable 11 song romp. In actual fact, the Birmingham, Alabama man has spent the majority of his career behind a drum kit, playing with the likes of Venture Whale, The Wes McDonald Plan and Ham Bagby.
He’s stepped out from behind the skins, and drafted in Les Nuby (Verbena, Vulture Whale, Holiday Gunfire) and Greg Slamen (Through The Sparks, Cosmonaut On Vacation) on Lead Guitar and Bass, though in truth his drumming is often the star of the show.
The first three songs on the album give some indication of ‘You Knows’ worth, opener On the Ground this spiky, almost post-punk/prog thing, sprinkled with synth and a hint of both Genesis and Television at its outset, if that were an easily imagined thing. What follows though, in the shape of For Myself and Blackboard are standard, harmony driven indie pop, propped up by the pillars of Teenage Fanclub and Big star, but with Waitzman’s own twist on things.
From there, things are set. This is not a record that’s going to rewrite musical history, or push boundaries. But it is a record that’s going to hold your attention, and feed you satisfying riffs chorus’ and melodies. The glam/punk of Lavabo is a joy, while Say Goodbye and Shoe have this R.E.M./Fannies thing that requires repeated listens, and Your Way is the pick of the melodies, and has a guitar solo to die for.
Things wrap up with album closer All Your Love, which pulls a host of different styles together, this rough-edged chorus follows these cascading guitar lines as things come to a fitting end.
Let’s do it again sometime Jaco, soon.