14 Aug 2020
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Screw Jack - EP Review: Screw Jack III

04 Nov 2019 // A review by Ben Ruegg

Yes. Christmas is coming. And yes, we break down. 

Screw Jack III perfectly captures that irony of Christmas on Screw Jack's latest release. The track Breaking Down For Christmas is a mix between dub, rock and lo-fi. And yet, the lyrics, the chord progression and the way this song unfolds is just so perfectly juxtaposed. ‘Everyone I know is breaking down for Christmas. Everyone I see has sadness in their eyes.’ I mean, don’t get me wrong; Christmas is awesome......for kids. Deep down, we all love Christmas but also have a bit of panic in our eyes knowing it’s coming up. I might be speaking for myself here, but Screw Jack understand it  

The album itself is a really diverse piece of work that melds a lot of different influences into a cacophony of sound that really allows the listener to experience a journey into the mind of Screw Jack. At times, I hear Portishead on song like Trying To Survive and No Mercy. That sort of hip hop beat feel with a lot of things all happening at once but never overwhelming. In times where we want quick fire to the point 3 min hits, it’s nice to hear music that takes us on a journey, letting the song direct the composer where to go. All these songs last a while, much longer than what you are used to, but don’t let that deter you. Music is about expression and it’s evident that Screw Jack aren’t afraid to take their time with this expression.

A lot of the songs feature mantra type lyrical content as opposed to structured lyrics in the form of a verse and a chorus. And that is totally awesome. I grew up listening to the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack and NZ groups Concord Dawn and Shapeshifter. While the later are more Dubstep/Upbeat drum and bass, Screw Jack take a more laid back sound, except in the song Fully Automatic where they embrace Drum and Bass. It’s a nice closer. Each track has its own sound while still remaining lo-fi in the vocal area, something I like and keeps the album cohesive. 

There is a lot to like and appreciate here although I caution that some may find it a bit out of their comfort zone. That is not a negative, but rather a disclaimer that you should go in expecting to sit back and soak up the soundscapes created in each track. Open your mind, let the music take you somewhere. 

A highly enjoyable listen, and one that takes me back to my days of listen to more electronic music. Excellent work. 

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Screw Jack

Screw Jack are Matt Schöbs and Mark Tupuhi. Both songwriters and instrumentalists of some experience combined to create something greater than the sum of its musical parts.

Screw Jack's music is cobbled together in a North Island (Hamilton) Vs South Island (Oamaru) of (New Zealand) friendship and collaboration of the type that could only really exist in this age of WiFi and internet.

Gonzo music for Gonzo people.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Screw Jack

Releases

Back In The Saddle
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Screw Jack III
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Screw Jack II
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Screw Jack I
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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