Artist – Jack Russell’s Great White
Album Title – “He Saw It Comin'”
Label – Frontiers Records srl
Release Date – January 27, 2017
“He Saw it Comin'” Track List:
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
The press release states that “Jack Russell’s Great White represents the next phase of a legacy.” Truer words were never spoken. It’s been six years since Mr. Russell has released an album and A LOT has happened in his life. Rather than me telling his story within this review, go get “He Saw It Comin'” and hear it from the man, himself!
“Sign Of The Times” while lyrically about the world we live in today. Musically, it takes you back to Jack’s late 1980’s heyday. Not saying it is dated soundwise. Far from it. Vocally, his pipes are as strong now if not stronger than they were then.
Kicking off with some acoustic guitar before the rest of the band joins in with a modern Blues Rock feel that captures what I love about GW. Jack takes aim at the state of the world that has regressed into a bunch a whiney, attention whoring, entitled clueless butthurt zombies too caught up in their gadget of choice to have a one-on-one conversation with another human being. I’ve sat in restaurants where a family of four; Mom, Dad and two kids each have a device in their hands, their head down staring into the device only breaking out of the trance to aimlessly shovel another load of dinner into their flytrap. Good tune! Pathetic times we live in!
I’m really diggin’ the 80’s pop influence felt throughout “She Moves Me”. It works very well with the weaving of instruments and synths that musically make up the tune. I hope my fellow guys have a stripper pole in their place if this is played when the ladies are around. They will defintely enjoy the groove of this one! Jack steps out his norm and even has a little rap breakdown.
Judging by Jack’s on’ry laugh that starts the song, “Crazy” is gonna be a fun little adventure lasting roughly three minutes and forty seconds. He delivers the lyrics with a bit of a sarcastic snarl that drips with lust. Nice use of modern technology to accent certain vocal lines with effects. The band provides some stellar vocal harmonies and lays down a rockin’ groove complete with a small Zeppelin-esque breakdown. Fans of rippin’ guitar will really digg this tune especially the last 30 seconds.
I am closing my eyes to go back to the hazy daze of sitting in the smoky club known as Roadhouse Blues in Wichita. I can envision Jack Russell’s Great White up on stage laying down some serious mojo on “Love Don’t Live Here” with it’s B3 played through a Leslie intro and classic GW Blues feel. I really hope they do this song when I get to see the band live! One of my favorites on an album chalked full of great tunes.
The rhythm section shines on “My Addiction” with the walking bass lines and galloping drums. The chimes are a nice subtle accent. Jack goes between multiple registers and moods to deliver a clearly autobiographical tune. The solo will have fans of shredding begging for more but the emphasis is on the delivery of the lyrics. I couldn’t image what a purging of demons it is to sing this once let alone night after night? Talk about cathartic, wow!
I imagine that “Anything For You” elicits one of two reactions from Mrs. Russell. One, either she bursts into tears during the song or two, at its conclusion, the song causes Mrs. Russell to “attack” Mr. Russell in such a lustful manner he loses his clothes as she gives thanks for such an emotive heartfelt homage to her and the positive impact she’s had on his life. Don’t let all that fool ya! Pay close attention to it lyrically as it goes much deeper than that. It is a gorgeous acoustic ballad that clearly highlights the enormous impact The Beatles have on the band musically. Overall, very powerful.
Quite the change of pace is “He Saw It Comin'” with its middle finger flying proudly towards the doubters, critics and backstabbers who try to make an impact on Mr. Russell’s life.
Another ode to Mrs. Russell, “Don’t Let Me Go” is a funky blue-eyed soul rocker that cites the influence that Zeppelin had but feels like a song that Richie Kotzen would have on one of his solo albums. Fans of the Shrapnel shredders will do doubt be busting our their air guitars in unison with Spy vs Spy. “Blame It On The Night” kicks off with some stellar riffage until the 8 bit 1980’s era Nintendo sound effect kicks in. To my ears, whether it’s a synth or guitar effect it’s just to high up in the mix that it takes away from everything else. If it was turned down, the song would rank up there with “Love Don’t Live Here” as one of my favorites on this album but I’m too worried Mario is going to bounce off my head any moment.
Had you told me in the late 1980’s that Jack Russell would end include let alone end a Great White album with an acapella Doo Wop song, I would have wished you “Godspeed”. Not just the expression of good wishes as you start your new journey but this song. It is the perfect end to the start of Jack Russell’s Great White!!! My my, Mr. Russell, look how far you’ve come! Keep up the great work, professionally and personally because we are all rooting for you! You, Mr. Russell, are a HUGE inspiration to me!!!
My two cents….. When it comes to bands changing members, it usually doesn’t bug me because I see it as more music for me to indulge in in the future. Same can be said for bands having multiple incarnations out with the same name. See:L.A. Guns or RATT….prior to Blotz shooting himself in the foot or Riley being abandoned! 2016=bad year for 80’s drummers! Why do you think they call it the music business?
All I have to say regarding the one-sided band drama that divides the fans of Great White. Since 2011, I’ve heard one camp disparage the work that Mr. Russell has put into to keep his sobriety and his health. Despite his physical ailments, he continues to enthusiastically perform for delighted fans, shows genuine affection and appreciation for their continued support while the other incarnation continues to slag him for past mistakes. Should we check your closets Mark, Audie, Michael and Terry? Better yet, why not hand the name “Great White” over to the clear winner of the situation while you take the name of XYZ-GW?
“He Saw It Comin'” is as strong an album as Mr. Jack Russell has ever released, as Great White or solo. The band has obvious chemistry in the studio and live. It’s safe to say that Jack has found his groove again and his vessel to carry him off into the sunset many high tides from today! Well done Captain, well done!
Jack Russell’s Great White:
(Left to Right) Dan McNay on Bass, Robbie Lochner on Guitars, Jack Russell, Dicki Fliszar on Drums and Tony Montana Guitars & Keyboards.
Jack Russell’s Great White – Love Don’t Live Here
Jack Russell’s Great White – Blame It On The Night
Jack Russell’s Great White – Once Bitten Twice Shy (Live @ Badland’s Pawn in South Dakota)