Terence Jack’s “Never Get Back” brand new EP starts out with a slick down-tuned riff, a real melancholic but highly grooving mash of guitar and drum rhythms. Track number one, “Eastern Rise”, is the kind of stuff I can listen to all night. Great melodies and hooks with a juicy Alabama guitar tone, and smooth but strong vocal stylings à la Ewan Currie and Dan Auerbach, “Eastern Rise” really grabs my attention as an immediate radio-ready track. Crank it up in your car and rush hour may just disappear for a solid four minutes and six seconds.
“Errors” comes in as track number two and feels a bit like a pared-down version of a Strokes/Cage the Elephant radio hit. It bops along, has a great chorus but not really my cup of tea. This track is bound to get other people dancing, but I am always looking for more emotion in my listen. The chorus bass-line totally kicks ass though; and it does stick in my head all day.
Things slow down just in time for some good story-telling with the track “Want and Need”. Nice hooky melodies and beautiful guitar tones. The musicianship throughout the EP is really great; super-tight rhythm section, crystal clear production with all the analog fatness of Terence Jack’s live show retained.
Track four is a personal favorite: “Lay it on the Line”. This one has been stuck in my head for a month now. Clean and simple, soulful and poetic, the lap-steel guitar swaying back and forth is not so much additional as essential. If this song never sees radio, it will certainly see worn out repeated plays by fans of the EP, including myself. Too short in that wonderful “Eleanor Rigby” kind of way. This one goes on repeat, repetitively.
“She Flies Down South” has some awesome group harmonies and is a beautiful showcase for Cam Stephens’ bludgeoning rhythms. Cam’s drums are so tight they sound like a machine, but one with a powerful soul. That’s the great thing about Terence Jack’s music, it hits chords in the listener, making you want to discover more, and listen deeper.
The title track “Never Get back” had an interesting twist for me, and that is one of a million reasons why I love well-written lyrics so much. My first impression, knowing the intensive touring the band had done, was that the title was referring to being on the road with no home in sight. However, the track’s lyrics told the story in more detail: “When all you want is sun, and all you get is snow, and all your fears they’re creeping, from the valleys below, the time you waste you never get back” is such a beautiful line, it stuck in my memory from their live show before I even had the chance to listen to the EP.
I was fortunate enough to meet West Coast Texture-Rockers Terence Jack while they were on tour across the East Coast. In the tiny yet essential hotspot “Plan B”, I was biding my time and really enjoying the warmth of the wonderful people in Moncton, New Brunswick. Terence and company appeared very relaxed setting up their mildly-elaborate live set, replete with drum triggers, lap steel and the makings of a show worth remembering. Night two at “Plan B” was looking good.
As the club filled up, Terence Jack began what was to be a stellar set. Accurate is the most, uh, accurate way to describe it. Terence doesn’t engage in over-the-top showmanship; he is too busy making everything sound just the way it should. There’s plenty of on-stage activity to see, but the band as a whole is mostly immersed in the sonic landscape that they are here to present; and they present it very well.
Not that he doesn’t engage his audience. There was a nice parlay between band and audience throughout. These guys seemed like they could be your very-talented best friends, just over for a visit. I can attest to the verity of this: after the set many of us stayed at the club past last call, patrons and long-distance visitors, having a blast and dancing with the band to random drunken phone DJ’s and Prince. Don’t tell.
When you get the chance to see Terence Jack, do it. Their experience touring throughout Asia and all of Canada, East to West, shows. They are paying their dues. They have the talent. It should likely reward them. If touring indefinitely is the alternative to going back home to Vancouver, I hope they ‘Never Get Back’.