Jackson Scott: Bringing Back the Conceptual Record

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Paralyzed by the synchronization of ghost vocals, vintage pop, and space-tearing guitar blasts? Suddenly unsure of your place in the universe? Take it you listened to Sunshine Redux too, huh?

Making his debut with Melbourne in 2013, Jackson Scott appeared out of nowhere with an album almost on par with early Floyd’s mind-altering sinuous psychedelic, but breathes new life with influences from that late 80’s, early 90’s, punk/alternative sound we get from bands like Ween and Pixies, also there’s that something in there only found in isolation acknowledged; it begs the question, “What exactly is reality? Are we together, or are we all floating around in our own little bubble with the illusion that we’re schooled in with the rest?”

 

It’s for those who admire the unexpected. Let’s be honest. Who wants music that is bland and predictable? If that’s for you, move on. Scott is a wild card, kids. One minute, you’re listening to the nostalgic, dreamy, pop-induced song, “Sandy” buying a shake at the old diner for the gal you’re going steady with, laughing and smiling, and then, the next thing you know, you’re listening to the lyrical detachment floating in the dissonant guitar bends and grungy acoustic rhythm of “That Awful Sound,” pissing off a cliff, dropping acid, and just realized the diner doesn’t exist, neither does what’s-her-name.

 

He’s back with edges not honed, and rougher than ever, in the 2015 release of Sunshine Redux. This album strangely stays together, while so blatantly all over the place with the same surf rock, drowsy vocals to creepy discordant tones and fiery guitar jams. The album is crushingly louder and more discordant than Melbourne. We hear more clashing guitar riffs piercing over warped electronic sounds twined with bewitching vocals that go from 60’s soft-toned pop to a fierce combustion that takes what was blaise, and lights a fire under its ass. Transitioning from dark lullaby-like “Merry Nightmare” to the conflagration of chromatic delays and distorted vocals with a stew of vintage guitar and screaming effects in “Dissonance,” Scott proves, once again, that he is a master of moving through a whole scope of influence and style without losing any originality.  

For those of you who enjoyed the mind-altering instrumental jams of bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, or 90’s kids who remember the glory days of early Weezer, free up some time, free up some mind-space, and let yourselves go in this rollercoaster of existential ear-magic.

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Like in Melbourne, this is a conceptual album boiling over with energy and detail to build a remonstrance against the thoughtlessly dull and present atmosphere we live in. Sunshine Redux is both thought-provoking and original: two crucial clues you come across in the work of a true artist. It’s a rarity to see concept albums like this appear from artists these days. And it’s funny, because how many people praise The Beatles (White Album) or Pink Floyd’s Darkside of the Moon (just mentioning the two everyone knows)? So why not more concept records to save us from the “Hey, I know three words, and I can say them for five minutes in auto-tune?”

 

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