E.P. Review: The Jackobins- Ghosts



The Jackobins






Ghosts is available at:



The Otherside- 9.5

She Always Says- 9.4




Ghosts, Prussia



13th December, 2014

Alternative, Rock




IT seems like a (bit of a) lottery in the music scene…

with regards success.  So many acts face a hard and long wait: see if the public will warm to their music; take them on board- ensure they are successful.  I have reviewed a host of wonderful and diverse acts: some have potential for immediate success- many may have to wait a little longer.  With social media being freely available: it seems like a mixed blessing.  Too many people (who use Facebook and Twitter) tend to be a little slack: many great acts and artists are overlooked (and not shared with their followers).  I love how social media can mobilise the masses; get music shared quickly- too many people are not using it effectively.  Too many great musicians are languishing in the realms of compartmentalisation: having their sounds shared with clans and (small groups).  It is impossible to promote ALL the great and good: it is easy to do more; help more musicians- put a greater effort in.  If the users of social media do not (do their due diligence) then the music must shout loudest: blow away cynical cobwebs.  This year is going to be a great one (for new music) and promises some terrific discovery: something for everyone will be available.  The likes of The Libertines and Radiohead are preparing new albums; last year’s warriors (Royal Blood) are still ringing in the ears- it seems that Alternative/Rock sounds are still very much (in vogue)- the most sought-after sounds (by the general public).  Solo artists have their fans and followers, yet it is the ‘harder’ bands that do bigger business: seem to unite a greater number; prick the ear more readily and eagerly.  Maybe tradition and history has a lot to answer for- bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones being so influential- or perhaps that (harder sounds) is what people go for- we seem to gravitate towards very particular sounds.  My featured band are one of the most vibrant and exciting bands of the moment.  Before I go into more depth, let me introduce them:

Vocals – Dominic Bassnett

Guitar – Veso

Keys – John Whittingham

Bass – Chris Marriott

Drums – Marc Terry

Regarded as one of best upcoming bands on the unsigned scene, the Liverpool 5 piece, barely a year old has wasted no time in generating a massive buzz about themselves. Substantial live and social media following has established the band as of the several acts considered to break out big in 2015.
The Jackobins have appeared on BBC, XFM, Amazing Radio alongside a wide variety of other FM and online radio stations across the U.K and have regular airplay at Anfield infront of an audience of over 45k. They have been featured in numerous magazines and blogs and have just seen off their first tour of more than 15 dates, in which the band sold out 3 shows, including their home town. The Jackobins have managed to secure several festivals slots for 2015 and have so far played alongside The Rifles, Dexters, Flagship to name a few. 2014 saw the band play more than 50 shows across the U.K in total.

The Jackobins first official release came in on the 13th of Dec 2014 in the format of a four track E.P titled “Ghosts”. The E.P was recorded in The Motor Museum (Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Jake Bugg, 1975), mastered by Robin Scmitdt (owner of several Grammy awards) and has been received with much critical acclaim. The release has pushed the band into several different charts and propelled them on the road towards much deserved national and international recognition.  With another release on the cards, plans for a second tour in motion and so many upcoming festivals, The Jackobins and their fans sure have a lot to look forward to in 2015.”

With a sharp, informative (and well-designed) webpage; loads of social media coverage- a terrific body of music- it is not a surprise the boys are riding a huge wave.  Liverpool (historically at least) has always produced tremendous music: recently, the likes of London and Manchester have been stealing the limelight.  Wasting little time, The Jackobins have shot to prominence: amassing thousands of online followers and being touted as (one of the best new acts) on the block.  In addition to them being a savvy bunch (with regards their social media strategy) it is their music that has resonated- won so many hearts and minds.  I am predicting a huge year for the five-piece: they have a festival-ready sound that means they are assured glory.  Stadium gigs and prestigious dates await: the lads have confidence, ammunition- and bags of natural talent.  Having generated a huge buzz, their E.P. (Ghosts) is the culmination of their force and passion- a record that is setting critical tongues wagging.

(The band’s) self-titled E.P. was unleashed last year, and gave impressions of what they were about: all that promise and energy was cemented from the get-go.  Gaining some impressive reviews (and kind words) the band would have been inspired- they have grown in confidence (since their debut).  Many bands- when they are starting out- put out cover versions: the band have gone in direct and confidentially.  Wanting to spare no time with other people’s material; the lads want the world to hear THIER thoughts and ideas.  Their first impressions are incredibly encouraging: they point to a band that has a terrific voice; a sense of identity and intention- plenty of punch, melody and passion.  When it comes to (the band’s) influences, The Jackobins have quite an impressive list:

The Stone Roses, The Verve, Radiohead, The Doors, Hendrix, Nick Drake, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, QOTA, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Kula Shaker, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Black Sabbath, Jack White, The Black Crowes, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Libertines, The Killers, David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Kasabian, R.E.M.

It is clear (the band has) incredible taste in music: it would be unfair to say they are the inferior comparisons.  What The Jackobins do is to instill a dose of each act- incorporate Zeppelin-esque swagger; Radiohead’s ‘90s edge; The Stone Roses’ confidence and magic.  A lot of new acts tend to have homogenised and narrow influences: they have shallow record collections and tend to display a hollow ear for legendary sounds.  Those acts tend to touch few; have limited success- scant creativity and flair.  The bands that have a great spectrum of influence have bigger potential: if they can rein-in (their mass of influences) then they connect more readily.  The Jackobins have a great range of idols- from the ‘60s to modern-day- and utilize this in their music.  Injecting plenty of (their own) personality and panache, the boys drizzle essences of (the greats) to create something quite unique- yet music that seems familiar and classic.  Ghosts is an E.P. that gets out of the blocks; it lodges in your brain- sounds bracing and uplifting; deep and thoughtful.  With so much emotion, nuance and diversity (in their music) it is no shock the lads are so popular- that can only improve throughout 2015.

Jingle, gleam and vibrant chimes (open The Otherside): a track filled with early promise and energy.  Employing elements of The Who and Led Zeppelin (during their Led Zeppelin III regency) the intro. is a compelling and striking moment-  leading to an immediate and emotive vocal.  Our front-man is in impassioned and imploring mood.  Speaking words like (“yesterday’s gone”), the band summon up a dizzying array of colours and notes: backing our man in his pleas and implores.  There is a slightly ambiguity and mystery to the lyrics: in my mind, I see a sweetheart (past or present) being spoken to- someone who is not grabbing life by the throat.  There is inspiration and advice; redemption and hope- plenty of passion.  Words speak of ‘shackles’ and vices: the need to escape imprisonment and confines; escape the past- get to the other side.  Never ignoring its energetic and fast-flowing pace, the track boats a memorable and unique vocal take- you would be hard-pressed to compare Bassnett to any other singers.  His range and intent is to be admired: the band is up to the task and equal- making sure there are no wasted notes.  Repeated codas; unique vocals; summery sounds- the song is hard to escape and overlook.  Big in its own soul; focused and strong-willed: it is a song designed to unite the masses in song.  Already proving itself a fan favourite: The Otherside is a perfect statement of intent- a song that displays all the band’s key facets and attributes.  Overcome and gripped by the drama and mood, the listener is buoyed and uplifted: a song to welcome summer in with a huge smile.

With some wordless chanting, She Always Says arrives with little hesitation and build-up: it gets straight to the races.  Showcasing the energy and alacrity of its predecessor, the track ramps up the serotonin: makes sure the listener is stood to attention.  The Jackobins are a band that looks for urgency and immediacy: their songs instantly stick in the mind; no time to build and sculpt.  This sense of urgency- combined with tight and emphatic band performances- makes tracks like She Always Says so catchy and memorable.  Melting early-days Counting Crows (with some ‘60s flavours); our hero ventures down Chester Street- to the door of his girl (whose mother insists “she’s out”).  Whether (our hero) has done wrong- or whether his girl is tease- you get the sense of forbidden love- maybe a rift has occurred.  This sense of story and drama juxtaposes with the gleeful mood: the listener is left curious and compelled.  As the track progresses, our man seems wracked and anxious: returning to his hometown (and old haunts) you get a sense of the Ghosts motif- things are abandoned and changed; the locals are gone and everything has passed over.  Perhaps looking at bygone days; lamenting the loss of love and youth, (the E.P.’s title) has depth and meaning: each new track reveals a different side; a new ghost; a troubled heart.  Here, there is a real sense of change and dislocation- two lovers are separated by geography, maturity and personality.  Our front-man seems genuinely tormented and pained: how he longs to reclaim the older days; reclaim some of the youthful glory- it seems that this will never happen.  As the song reaches its dying moments, the band keep the atmosphere rushing and boisterous- making sure things end with a positive (and vibrant) edge.

The title track is next up: and one of the E.P.’s standout moments.  Beginning with some romance, tranquility and ethereal chill, the intro. builds and mutates.  From its eerie and tender beginnings, it leads to a chorus of wordlessness (ghostly chants, if you will).  With some ladishness and (Wild Beats-style) vocals, our front-man comes to the fore.  Boasting one of the most impressive compositions- gorgeous guitar chimes; bolstering percussion; nimble bass- the track remains engaging and evert-changing: it shifts and alters direction.  Early words look (at our man and his girl) flying “so high”: they are wandering around in a dream.  Our man notes how the world is changing- as he sleeps- and ghosts are stalking the night- vivid images fill the mind.  Floating upside down; lost in a daze: this is a track that looks at loneliness, loss and change.  Whereas previous numbers have hinted at change and abandonment; here the message is more direct and unerring- tremulous vocals add to this sense of fear.  Displaying a histrionic range- and emotional palette like few other singers- you are entranced by the vocal: it adds huge plaudit and conviction to each word- whilst snaking and evolving over the course of a few seconds.  ‘Anthemic’ is a word (many critics have levied towards the band) and this is certainly true of Ghosts: a song that is designed to be a centerpiece- one of their best live tracks.  Squalling guitars take the track down- an essence of ‘Holy Bible Manic Street Preachers is in there-finished with some cosmic notes (and aching piano notes).

If you were looking for some rough edges: well here it is.  All the grit, gravel and ramble (of the likes of Zeppelin and The White Stripes) come to play- few would have excepted something like this.  Arriving with a vermillion fury, Prussia is a track that means business.  Rushing and fighting, the song looks at (“the enemy”)- our man is under the microscope here.  Being seen as an oppressor or foe, you wonder who has it in for him- perhaps a lover or old friend?  With his voice spiked and electric, Prussia keeps a level-head and stoutness: it is primal and determined Rock at its best.  Head-swinging and filmic, the track has epic pretentions: it is another song that is sure to seduce the live crowds.  Keeping its language economical and simple, the central codas are reintroduced- interspersed with some kick-ass riffs.  Throwing in some psychedelic hints; some spacey and discordant chords, the band are filled with vigour and intent.  “A place in the sun” it is said, “is all we ever want”: a sense of intrigue fills the words.  Designed to be chant-able and memorable, the boys design their words (around the needs of the crowds)- words and sentiments that come rolling from their (beer-stained) tongues.  As the band climb “higher and higher”, the composition gets busier and multifarious.  As the final notes come into view, you are still drunken by the giddiness and energy of the track- those insatiable swaggers that punch their way through the mist.  A delirious and hypnotic track, it is the perfect final- to an accomplished and incredible E.P.

With a (forthcoming date) at Tramlines booked; reviews tumbling in- the momentum (The Jackobins are collating) is vastly impressive.  Many reviewers have stated the band is primed for the festival rotation: the sort of act that crowds drink beer to; dance gleefully for; fall in love with.  There is some truth to this: The Jackobins have so much confidence and natural ability, they will transition wonderfully.  With an E.P. under their belt, the lads may want to take a breather: do some more touring and not get ahead of themselves.  A great deal of acts are languish at the edges; waiting for their break- slowly building their reputation.  The Jackobins have managed to do a lot (in such a short time): they are still infants, yet have achieved so much- drawn in so many fans.  Ghosts is a tight, focused and memorable E.P.: a quartet of tracks that demand repeated plays; get under your skin- remind you of some legendary musical moments.  The Liverpool five-piece are seamless in their performances: no loose edges; everything sounds well-rehearsed and professional.  Like all great bands, there is no hint of over-perfectionism: The Jackobins have a loose, ragged and rough side to them; giving their music greater depth and charm.  I will be interested to see where the boys go from here: if they choose to put out an album (this year) or see how the E.P. fares.  With such acclaim coming their way, the boys will not be short of options- I am sure some huge dates await.  Their music is polymathic; their lust endless and unyielding- their sound permanent and intoxicating.  Managing to sound distinct- in a scene defined by sameness and unoriginal intent- let’s hope The Jackobins keep pressing hard.  As music legends like Blur prepare to define 2015, we should not overlook the new breed: the successors to the throne.  There are few bands (and artists) as reputable and statuesque as The Jackobins: they seem to get bigger by the week.  Make sure you investigate Ghosts; seek out their spectral and supernatural vibes- and believe the hype.  The quintet has some big dates coming up; various towns (and cities) to play- who knows where they go from here?  On the evidence of their debut E.P., things look rosy and promising.  In years to come, will Reading (and Leeds) and Glastonbury be options (for the band)?  With everything that has come before; everything that is unfolding…

NOBODY would bet against them.



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