A+ A-

Jack Swing - "Monkey Around" single review

Jack Swing is a Pittsburgh-based hard rock band with a sound that's like Hendrix via 70's punk-tinged heavier rock. Think Black Sabbath at their more punk or fellow Pittsburghers, the now defunct Carousel. The band is led by musical ace Isaiah Ross of Driver and The Pheromones. Jack Swing's first EP, Cloud Cover, hit in December 2016; I always intended to review it but never got around to it. Next, the single, "Take the Night", came out in March of last year. Their most recent release is "Monkey Around" another single that just rocked and rolled to the world at the start of the year.

While Cloud Cover went to high-action solos and high dynamics between loud and soft, "Monkey Around" has a compressed, punchy rush more like Joan Jett or the Black Keys. The vocals go hard in the speed lanes and soulful when it gets slow. The lyrics resemble a tamer Motorhead. I'm not found of these kinds of songs about being a wild guy and whatever. This one is very catchy though, just like "Ace of Spaces", and there may be more there than I can see. It sounds like there is something about revenge here too. I think the song is too compressed compared with the older material and loses some fidelity.

"Monkey Around" also got a musick video. That's pretty cool, and Isaiah and his bandmates have some cool scenes in it. Going along with the bad boy theme of this track, there are a bunch of scenes of like sleazing at a bar (it's weird to see a bar that's near my house in the video). Again, I feel like that's kind of overdone, played out, a rock standard from the AC/DC and Guns 'n' Roses playbook. There's something else here too, sort of a BDSM thing maybe? A hostage situation? It seems that the pair left together at the end, though I can't be sure. That mystery is kind of cool, though the hot girl thing is another dirty deed done dirt cheap.

I'm sorry to say that I am a little disappointed with this track. As I listened to the track more, the more I continued to dislike the production. The players all sound excellent, but the compression has killed the drums and left the rest flattened by a heavy metal iron. I want to hear the guitar cut through like so many falcons through the still air. The song is a little more straightforward and conventional than I would like too. It's a surefire pop challenge, but it's not for me. I do hope it gets some radio or Spotify play. "Monkey Around" receives a Neutral.