Jaco's Invention

Jaco's Invention

Independent release, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Here's a friendly piece of advice for any unsigned band looking to get press from a reviewer: It's really difficult to base an opinion on five songs or less. An artist or band's style is just starting to show itself to the reviewer, when - bam! - the disc suddenly ends. It's a story I could often tell; only the names of the bands change.

Today's subject: Jaco's Invention, a husband-and-wife duo from California whose self-titled EP came my way a few months ago. I've listened to this disc on and off since receiving it, and only now, after all these listens, do I think I have an understanding of which musical direction this band wants to go.

Vocalist/bassist/percussionist Michele Jaco and guitarist/bassist/drummer Danny Jaco write in a light pop style, often bordering on acoustically-based. It's sometimes a little disconcerting to hear the Jacos try and decide whether they want the gentle breeze of pop or a little more crunch to the music. Yet despite this confusion, there is great promise this band holds out for those willing to let themselves be taken on the journey.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Two rock solid examples of this are evident. The first is the disc's leadoff track, "Eagles Fly Alone". The name does make you think this song has an Eagles flavor to it, with almost a hint of the California country style that was so popular in the '70s. But make no mistake, this is a light rock song, and the Jacos do not water down the song's roots at all, turning in a solid performance musically and vocally.

Example number two is possibly the best song on the disc, "Cinderella's Wish". Featuring more of a guitar bite courtesy of Danny Jaco, this song has some teeth, and it's not afraid to show or use them. The layered vocals of Michele Jaco help to seal the deal, giving the song almost a Heart-like vibe. It's quite pleasant on the ears, and rightfully stands out.

Of the remaining three songs on Jaco's Invention, only "Restless" stands out above the crowd as being something above the norm. Closing an album with a song that makes you think doesn't always work, but in this case, it's the perfect way to wrap things up.

And I don't want to leave the illusion that "Peaceful, Quiet Days" or "The River Song" are poor in any fashion; this is not the case. But they don't jump out and grab the listener's attention like the others. And this is where Jaco's Invention has a serious flaw: the disc ends just as the listener is really starting to get interested in what the Jacos have to say. This is a time where more would have been the order of the day.

Still, this EP dares to suggest that Jaco's Invention has a probability of good things lurking around the corner for them. It takes some time to really appreciate and understand what this band is trying to accomplish with their music. But when the lightbulb finally goes on, it all proves to be well worth it.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.