Jason's Most Personal & From The Heart Recording Is Brilliant
Great opening, like a Ennio Morricone cinematic overture. Things immediately take a rocking turn with Lookin' Back Blues. This could be a Scorchers tune but Jason makes it a more country flavor with the tasty steel guitar. It has great smart and humorous lyrics and really rollicks like a hot rod Lincoln. Jason takes on a very different subject next (if he has ideas on the subject he can write it well), John the Baptist. I really like this song as it might be the most rocking yet reverent song imaginable with some great lyrical play celebrating some monumental truths. Third up is a celebration of The Ramones with a personal story blended in the appreciation for the other band whose long suffering without superstardom baffles. If you're a Ramones fan this really connects cause you know how special it is that a band endures with so little financial gain. Up after this rocker is one of Jason's laments, a ballad about a dude who rode the rails which is actually at a time a lifestyle long forgotten. It may not be in sync in these Millenial Gen times, but it's nice to reflect on a piece of Americana that was. It may be slight to some, but it's probably true to one of those labeled "hobo railriders". A kind of sweet history lesson set to music. This sets up track six which is another history inspired fast dirge. Set in the time of The Civil War at time when even brothers were on opposing sides it dares us to remember instead of whitewash this most chaotic time of our then still evolving country. You simply must listen to the words and the music is quite secondary even though it's definitely spritely. I tell you I admire the bravery of our forebears as well as Jason in bringing this up once more in a most enjoyable fashion. Never forget, learn and grow...and wear glasses if you need 'em. Uh, but I digress. Next, the greatest generation is remembered (is there a theme here?). It rocks along nice enough no doubt but it's not explored quite in depth on purpose due to brevity. By the 8th track it's time for a break. Kind of like Stewart Smalley's musical psychology but with Jason and old wise trees. Is humanity missing the big picture nature has witnessed? Well, yes and this brings up Jason's homage to John Muir quite possibly the greatest naturalist/prservationist in America's history. It's a name that isn't checked today and it's nice to check it with some slide guitar and smart lyrics. The tenth track is so Jason in that it addresses the pitfalls of imbibing a bit over the line. It's kind of like a call to learn from that sickening dulling of alcohol from the day after view...or not? Only 11 tracks in, (remember you'd be better off with 11 good'uns as the CD age gave us more and not usually better for it), and it's time for a Jason closer. Farewell Angelina is worthy. This song is far deeper than the simple melody and time signature. It's a end of life reflection. Jason makes a case that our courntry's trajectory has made the protagonist weary as earlier times promised so much to which so much was pandered and subverted. There's some real powerful lyrics burried in this song that I simply can't deny.
OK, Jason is fully matured. His songwriting is reached a high-point. He's always had the muse for melody so it's nice to see it all come together. I think this is one highly personal album. Not always can an album so personal connect so easily. That gives it a dose of goodness. It's ashamed his name isn't Dylan because this stuff would be drank in wholesale. It really doesn't matter because Jason has given us an album of enjoyable music and insightful truths. It doesn't get better even if I do hope there's another incendiary Jason & The Scorchers "take no prisoners" outing for him and Warner. Get this album, we're all more mature and maturity can be joyous as well as retrospective. That's what this album is for me.
by John Werner