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Monday, May 15, 2017

Jacks - "Vacant World" LP, Album, Vinyl, 1968, Japan (Express)


The West Coast version of Velvet Underground of Japan?  Jacks is a band that is for sure NOT J-Pop, in any fashion or manner.   It's very 1968, and one imagines if it was a better world here, they would be on Elektra Records here in America.  They would fit in with Love, The Doors, and bands of that fashion.  What sounds like at times, a stand-up bass, an electric flute, and a stinging electric guitar.   One would say they got their sound from West Coast rock at the time, but there is something more organic or rooted in Japanese music. 

The band, to give them full credit here:  Yoshio Hayakawa; vocals, guitar, Haruo Mizuhashi; lead guitar, vocals, Hitoshi Tanino - Fender bass, upright bass, and Takasuke Kida; drums, flute, vibraphone.   Hayakawa is a mournful singer, which sounds regretful, but then the melody becomes poppy and then turns back into darkness.   And that's "Love Generation."    "Where" is a groove fest of a tune.  Handclaps and 'yeahs' in the background.  Not exactly a party, but a late night mood of a song.  In fact, Jack belongs to the evening.  

For those who are curious about the underground Japan rock scene of the 1960s and 70s will need to have this album.  Ground zero here.  I love Jacks.