Jackie O-Motherfucker, Dragging An Ox Through Water
Jackie-O Motherfucker are one of the best bands you have never heard of. The Portland, Oregon psyche-folk legends formed in 1994 and this London date was the last of an all-too-brief three date tour of England to promote their tenth studio album Ballads Of The Revolution. Most of you probably haven't heard of Jackie-O because radio friendly they aren't, but beneath the minimalist guitars, drone and wall of effects pedals, lies some of the most beautiful music around.
Jackie-O, like all psyche folk bands, are not an easy band to love on first listen, taking traditional folk and twisting it into an, at times, brutal collage of sound, a sound that at first can seem unlistenable. Underneath the drone and effects lie some truly amazing - and on tonight's form - heart melting music. Jackie-O just make you work for it; much like the pursuit of the perfect partner, the road can be hard and unforgiving but when you finally reach the end, it's a journey that will never stop rewarding.
Jackie-O were made up of two guitarists, one packing enough effects pedals to make Kevin Shields green with envy, a drummer, and a steel guitar. The steel guitar helps push Jackie-O into a new country-influenced sound, with echoes of Smog filtered through the drone improvisation and intense jarring effects, all helping to create a sound unlike anything I've heard before. This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write, because Jackie-O like other psyche folk bands such as Sun burned Hand Of The Man and No Neck Blues Band, are making music unlike anything around. Mixing parts Godspeed! You Black Emperor, My Bloody Valentine, Smog and 60s and 70s free music to create a sound my words can't do justice.
All I can do is urge you to hear them for yourself if you've never heard them before, or revisit them if they proved too much first time around, as Jackie-O are just too important to be ignored. A special mention must also be made to support act Dragging An Ox Through Water, Jackie-O's guitarists solo project, making country like never before, dark Johnny Cash-esque tunes, if Johnny had played minimalist drone instead of traditional country style. If you get the chance see Jackie-O, your life will not be the same, or at least grab a copy of Ballads Of The Revolution and experience the wonder that is Jackie-O Motherfucker in the comfort of your own home.