By Ryan Falla
Jack Russell’s Great White is a revival of the 1980s Sunset Strip band Great White, powered by the reunion of Great White members Tony Montana (guitar and keyboard) and Jack Russell (vocals). He Saw It Comin’ takes you back to an era of dimly lit, hair spray filled clubs body to body with teased hair and leather pants. You have now entered a time machine, you’ve just popped in hardcore ’80s nostalgia. Touting themselves as an ’80s nostalgia band before the ’80s even ended, Jack Russell’s Great White brings you back to a time when things were much simpler; often too simple for their own good.
Jack Russell’s Great White wants to cash in on simple ’80s nostalgia while mixing in a modern rock approach. These two distinct musical styles result in a body of work that consists of “high-energy” soft rock ballads. Many of the softer elements of the ’80s music scene have been adapted into He Saw it Comin’, paired up with the even worse elements of modern radio. If you couldn’t guess it from the album title, Jack Russell’s Great White has done what everyone expected to do and delivered an uninspired rehash of an era where Great White was largely disliked for their unimaginative radio desperation.
While listening to He Saw It Comin’, you can’t help but notice a lack of punch in their music despite glam rock being one of the more “in your face” and deliberately obnoxious sub-genres in rock and metal. Not much is done to differentiate this album from the typical been-here-done-that of the ’80s, and even worse is the modern approach that waters down the music with a soft-rock radio build that looks to pop into the radio-waves over the hearts of their listeners. What is truly shocking about this album is the blind desperation to attach as many popular trends into their music without building integrity into music.
Eighties glam rock is the musical equivalent of cocaine, pushing over-the-top manic energy into the back of your skull; yet He Saw it Comin’ comes off as a bunk Valium trip, frustratingly thin and disengaging with little emotion behind it. He Saw it Comin’ never even attempts to shift the music into second gear, staying at a dull and forgettable pace throughout the album. What makes glam rock good, when done right, is the ability to go from 60-180 in half a second flat; never starting at zero.
Jack Russell’s Great White is an exercise in stalling out your own music; trying so hard to play off “cool” and “sexy” radio friendly tones that it doesn’t realize the only engine they’re revving is their Ford Pinto. The lack of self-awareness with He Saw it Comin’ is incredible, trying so hard to push the weakest elements of two flimsy genres (soft rock/glam) that they don’t realize they’re getting nothing across except the obvious artificial “sexiness” they fail to inject into their music.
No matter how deep of a glam rock fan you consider yourself to be, you are much better off listening to remasters of old glam rock albums, which is the extent to which any glam rock that extended past the ’90s. This is a genre that has not evolved in any meaningful way in 30 years, which is fine because glam rock is a moment in musical history that was so strong, it is resounding to this day. This is just a stark reminder of exactly how old and forgotten glam rock has become.
The ’80s were a fun phase that we all grew up from, except for Jack Russell’s Great White. Instead of trying so hard to cash in on a nostalgia factor that isn’t even that nostalgic, Jack Russell’s Great White would have had better success building a time machine to the ’80s and attempting to relive their glory days instead of putting together an album that is so artificially written that it puts most modern rock to shame.
Attempting to take people on a nostalgia trip is one thing, yet it’s entirely different when you slap together the softest and most disengaging elements of modern radio rock and an ’80s vibe that was already floundering before Great White got a hold of it. He Saw it Comin’ takes a 30-year old sound and reinforces why we became so clearly removed from this era of music, reminding you what spoiled milk tastes like when you left out in the sun for too long.
I definitely Saw it Coming.
If you like what you’ve read, make a donation of any amount and help keep Metal Assault running full time!
Record Label: Frontiers
Release Date: January 27th 2017
01. Sign Of The Times
02. She Moves Me
04. Love Don’t Live Here
05. My Addiction
06. Anything For You
07. He Saw It Comin’
08. Don’t Let Me Go
09. Spy Vs Spy
10. Blame It On The Night