I found out that Jackdaw4 was calling it quits last month, and with the sadness there was the anticipation of the band wanting to leave on a high note. When I think about the bands discography, they are the closest thing we have left to a UK version of Jellyfish. Head honcho Willie Dowling throws everything and the kitchen sink into this one, and its really compelling. “Abagail’s Last Hurrah” is a fast and furious melody with crunchy guitars and awesome harmonies. “Coming Up For Air” ups the tempo and is a sweet rock anthem that Jeff Lynne would approve of.
“Foundations” is where Willie lets his venom out, not unlike Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) or Bryan Scary. This dark theme is continued on “Life’s a Celebration For The Few,” an ultra cynical lament about todays ubiquitous technology. “Melanoma” is a dramatic ballad about that “God-shaped hole in your life.” This leads to the big hook on “Ministry of Fools,” with Queen-like guitar flourishes. Like 10cc, you’ll get wild shifts in tone and melody as heard in “Why Don’t You Come and See Me When She’s Not Around.” Each track hits it right — and it makes for a great power pop experience. It makes my top ten list for 2013, and if you want to get the Jackdaw4 concert experience, checkout Live (Before Dead?).