Lo-fi production sinks this effort.
Wow, this is lost opportunity. Frenchman Jack of Heart wants you to believe that he is the torch-bearer for edgy garage punk like The Stooges or Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, but he forgets an important ingredient: tunes. JoH is all about the pose, with appropriately freaky album art and snappy song titles like “Baby Bitch” and “A Northern Pain in the Ass”, but his attempts at garage rock leave out the rock part. Instead we have shrill howls trying to imitate Iggy’s squeals (can’t be done, sorry) and dentist-drill guitar bashing in place of the all-important riff. The trebly, lo-fi production undermines whatever tunefulness is struggling to emerge, rendering the whole thing an exercise in headache creation. All of which is too bad, because songs like “Joh Jett III” and the aforementioned “Northern Pain” possess plenty of garagey fun buried deep under the layers of crap. Despite some promising elements—who doesn’t love fuzz guitar and farfisa?—this record, for all its noble aspirations, fails to deliver. An album that’s more fun to look at than listen to? C’est dommage!
// Notes from the Road
"On release day for their latest Big Mess, Grouplove packed Baby's in Brooklyn for a sweaty show.READ the article