JACKKNIFE SEIZURE – TIME OF THE TRILOBITES

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/Label: self release
Released: 2014
Buy Album: http://jackknifeseizure.bandcamp.com/album/time-of-the-trilobites-ep
Band Website: http://jackknifeseizureband.wix.com/jackknifeseizure 

Jackknife SeizureBand Lineup: 

Gerry: vocals
Mit: guitar/backing vocals
Dave: bass
Sylvy: drums

Tracklisting: 

1/ Amphibiman
2/ Mechanical Mosquito
3. Time of the trilobites
4/ Wanker (Means You’re a C**t)

Review

Ecclesiastes states in the Bible (bet you didn’t think you’d be reading that line today) that there is nothing new under the sun; that what has been will be again. This quote is particularly relevant when applied to music, especially rock and metal (in a good way, of course!).

Thus we have London-based quartet Jackknife Seizure, who are clearly influenced by Seventies stoner/prog rock (Sabbath) and Nineties grunge (Soundgarden), and are more than happy to wear these influences like a badge of honour. Does the combination work? Well, the fact that they won Bloodstock’s London heat of Metal 2 the Masses and performed on the festival’s New Blood stage this year may answer that.

Their debut EP Time of the Trilobites, released shortly thereafter, will also help solve the question. Opener ‘Amphibiman’ (cool title) begins with a a jangly guitar intro before all the other instruments join in with a crash and a wallop and the listener is hit by a bludgeoning wall of sound that is at once proggy and grungy and really quite powerful. Vocalist Gerry puts on an impressive performance that does indeed invoke the memory of both Messrs Osborne and Cornell – quite a neat trick. The track crackles along at a sharpish pace, with some rather tasty chainsaw riffs and trippy vocals.

Second track ‘Mechanical Mosquito’ opens with, yes, a mosquito (created by a guitar) before kicking into a real proggy/stoner vibe, complete with a thick, meaty groove and cymbals being battered into submission throughout.

Next is the real ‘epic’ of the EP, the seven and a half minute long title track. Containing just about everything you could hope for from a band with such definite influences, this is a sprawling prog number with strong grunge touches (particularly the quiet/loud/quiet pattern and deliciously heavy drums). The ‘Iron Man’-esque riff towards the end is also a nice touch.

Which brings us to the final song (look away if you’re of a delicate disposition) ‘Wanker (Means You’re a C**t)’. Here JS have decided, as many other bands do, to utilise the limited space available on an EP to include something completely different. Forget ‘Soundgarden x Sabbath’, this is more ‘Sex Pistols x Motorhead’! All bolshy attitude and sneering lyrics, this is almost punk in style, but with heavier touches such as blastbeats and deep riffs. It hints at a wider spectrum of influences that makes a full length album from the band an intriguing prospect…

So, Jackknife Seizure like prog rock. They also like grunge. It makes perfect sense, then, to create a sound that celebrates both of these genres. The result is less ‘copycat’ than ‘homage’ however: they clearly have originality and talent, as well as a wider range of influences than may seem on paper (as evidenced by the aforementioned final track). In short, Jackknife Seizure are most assuredly more than simply the sum of their parts. A solid debut effort.

Review by Melanie Brehaut
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