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Royal Jackets - EP Review: ...Again

09 Sep 2019 // A review by Paul Goddard

Music should never fit in a box.

It should refuse to be pigeon-holed. The best/most creative music is usually slightly bonkers.

It is twisted and defies logic but also connects. Royal Jackets new EP ...Again is certainly bonkers.

The jazz-rock insanity of Alan I’m bored gives an insight into the lyrical minefield that inhabits Jono Ashwell’s wonderfully off-kilter mind. There is a very retro Brit-rock feel to many of the songs on here.

Jono is a storyteller in the vein of Ray Davies (The Kinks) but with the kind of madness that Pete Doherty (The Libertines) also uses to great effect. Royal Jackets aren’t some nostalgic retro wannabe tribute act though.

Each song has its own unique identity. With three members of the band being session musician royalty and a singer who also studied music, there was a real danger of this EP being a wank fest of earnest riffery and endless drum solos but luckily Royal Jackets know when less = more.

What I am missing on this collection of songs though is the connection. That unexplainable buzz that makes me want to play a song over and over again. I can appreciate the creativity and musicianship of Royal Jackets but I can also take it or leave it.

The standout track for me is the melancholic No Luck. The most simple structure, simple melodies and a story told and delivered with flair and panache (first time I have ever used that word in a review)

The best music doesn’t fit in a box. It can’t be pigeon-holed and leaves you breathless and wanting more.

Royal Jackets tick two of those three boxes for me show check em out and they may become your new favourite band.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Royal Jackets

Royal Jackets were sewn together in 2012 by long term session drummer Josh Sorenson. Josh tutors in music and has played and recorded with an array of New Zealand artists including Sola Rosa, Nathan Haines, King Kapisi, Hammond Gamble and Hello Sailor. Josh’s jazz/funk background brings the groove to Royal Jackets sound.

Long term session guitarist Ben Jurisich also tutors and has played support slots for musical legends such as Eric Clapton, Bryan Ferry, Jeff Beck and Joan Armatrading. Ben also recorded with Iggy Pop and has played with many well-known New Zealand artists including Anika Moa, Julia Deans, Debbie Harwood and Jonny Love. Ben brings the rocking riffs with a touch of blues.

Bassist Matt Harvey has preformed in several bands and toured extensively around New Zealand playing a wide range of festivals and venues. Matt has also supported international artists such as John Mayer, Jimmy Barnes and Eric Clapton. Matt’s early musical roots were in jazz but has since developed into a diverse rock n roller adding complexities to the rhythm section.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Royal Jackets


Royal Jackets
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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