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Jack O' The Clock - All my Friends CD (album) cover

ALL MY FRIENDS

Jack O' The Clock

 

Prog Folk

4.03 | 62 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ProgShine
5 stars Jack O' The Clock is an American band and a completely different one. To begin with, all of their three albums have the same kind of design in their covers with old pictures that take you far away in time and space. All My Friends (2013) is their latest album released in March completely independently and it took 4 years overall to be completed.

I didn't know the band when I was approached to do a review of their new album and I admit that the band didn't convince me in a first moment, but I was wrong! Jack O' The Clock is a completely unique band and All My Friends (2013) is a brilliant album!

Jack O' The Clock is formed by Damon Waitkus (vocals, guitars, etc.), Emily Packard (violins, psaltery, etc.), Kate McLoughlin (vocals, bassoon, flute), Jason Hoopes (bass, piano, vocals) and Jordan Glenn (drums, percussion, accordion). But they used a big range of guest musicians in All My Friends (2013).

'All My Friends Are Dead' is the track one and it's a beautiful piece of music. It's a great beginning for the album. Unfortunately, there are no lyrics in the booklet of the CD, but you can find them on the band's website HERE. One thing is certain, listening to the first track made me speechless, this is truly amazing! The band achieved their unique sound using tons of different instruments. Just for you to have an idea, only in this first track they used instruments such as music box, banjo, flute, glockenspiel, violin, viola, bassoon, acoustic bass, vibraphone, accordion, waterphone and clarinet. Just to name a few of them.

Then 'The Academy' follows and it's an interlude with speeches and claps. More of this will be presented later. Glued with the previous track is 'A Lot Of People Are Dead Wrong Most Of The Time' (one of the best track names of the year). The diversity of the band's sound is just incredible. And on top of that, we have great vocals by Damon Waitkus. 'The Pilot' is weird. Half is like a mini symphony made of percussion. The second half is very proggy. Attached to it we have 'Deepwater Turbines Turning'. And the small interlude sounds exactly like the name states. To follow that, we have 'Half Searching, Half There' with their beautiful weird-Folk-driven trade mark sound.

'Saturday Afternoon On The Median' is supposed to sound like a live recording but in fact it isn't. There's Zappa moments here and there with very strange Jazz moments while Jordan Glenn's drums and Jason Hoopes' bass hold everything together brilliantly. Attached to this track comes 'Disaster' that is carried away by piano and drums. And 'Analemma' has amazing melodies and vocals.

'What To Do In Our Neighborhood 1 & 2' are Pop, great Pop. Part 1 is beautifully penned and executed with special attention to the bass and vocals. Part 2 is just a wonderful sequence where the 5 strings violin of Emily Packard shines a bit more. After a more simple approach they go back to their Jazz weird moments with 'Old Friend In A Hole'. That starts exactly as an old Jazz standard and a trumpet (by Darren Johnston) cries loud alone in the night. But it turns out to be a Jazz song with a twist, there are speeches here and there. The final track 'All My Friends Are In My Head' ends the album as it began, in a circle. And it's just superb!

All My Friends (2013) is the first contact that I have with Jack O' The Clock's music and I can say I'm a fan already. 4 years in the making, a great production and an astonishing sense of writing and arrangement make All My Friends (2013) one of the best albums of this year.

Jack O' The Clock is what you get when you put together After Crying, Frank Zappa, Donovan, The Beatles and Indie Pop. A must have album!

It would be a 4.5 stars rating, but between 4 and 5, it's a high 5!

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

ProgShine | 5/5 |

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