With a name like The Jokers for a band, I‚Äôm sure I could make a snarky comment about how their name belies their material. But I‚Äôm not going to because even though it‚Äôs true, it would make me feel dirty and cheap. If you like straightforward hard rock with an undercurrent of blues, then get your ears around their new album, Hurricane.
Crammed with hard rock riffs smothered with a healthy dose of blues, Paul Hurst‚Äôs guitar work combined with Wane Parry‚Äôs vocals sound like Slash‚Äôs Snakepit during the Ain‚Äôt Life Grand album. It took me a while to pinpoint it but it was so damn familiar. The bluesy hooks and melodies remind me of Dan Patlansky‚Äôs latest album, Dear Silence Thieves¬†too.
With thick, chunky bass lines coming from Martyn Byrne¬†on songs like ‚ÄúHer Word is Love‚ÄĚ, appropriately adding some sensuality to the music, the grooves adding a great rhythm to proceedings. As Martyn pointed out to us in the comments below, he recorded the bass and double-bass sections with the band as they’d not secured Phil Hartley as their permanent bassist at the time.
It‚Äôs hard to believe The Jokers have slipped under the radar with the quality of music on Hurricane. With this being their third album, there‚Äôs undeniable polish in the performances. A sense of tightness which only comes from a band playing together for a good length of time.
Balls-out rock or tender ballads, The Jokers can create some infectious music with ‚ÄúAngel‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúLockdown‚ÄĚ, the latter containing a whiff of Estrella. It‚Äôs also here where drummer Dan Evans displays his obvious talent for thumping the drums.
In a year where there have been countless great albums, Hurricane pokes its head above the sand just enough to show the world who The Jokers are. Sadly, I can foresee it being trampled by the myriad of great albums already out with more due. That said, Hurricane has encouraged me to find previous material and if it‚Äôs even half as good as this new release, I can‚Äôt wait.
Hurricane is out on 18th September