Auckland's Jackal remind me of a lot of several bands that I've liked since my wayward teenage years. That's not too much of a problem for me - a lot of bands imitate the sound of other bands - but it does make it difficult to describe their sound, or sometimes even determine what that sound is across their songs. The 10 songs on their second album, Furnace Creek, cover a range of styles and at times it comes across almost as a tribute album by, and to, a number of different bands.
You've got Head Like a Hole by way of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on The Gift, No Means No on Donít and The Room, Helmet on Any Day, and a bit of Dinosaur Jr. spread over several tracks.
Despite the inconsistencies I enjoyed the album. There's a lot of energy and passion for what they're playing, and they play well. The album is, for some reason, split into two parts. I didn't notice much difference between the two sides, but did find "side one" to be more enjoyable. The second half seemed to find the band pushing themselves and results in a few flaws - nothing major but there were a few off notes that detracted slightly from the overall polish of the album, although added to the live and raw feel.
It's that live and raw quality that gives Jackal an edge and, if they can hone their sound and direction, then I look forward to seeing what they do next.
Jackal are a four-piece band based in Auckland. With a wide range of influences, Jackal have created a unique progressive rock-meets-psychedelic sound that has captured an interest in Auckland's alternative scene. Jackal never fail to put on a high-energy show and are an absolute must-see live. Make sure to follow Jackal to stay updated with their frequent gigs and a new album which will undoubtedly impress.