Jack’s Not Smooth – New Horizons review

733776_503363376400674_1140524352_nI’m not one for writing solely negative reviews – I know, there are a few on this site that aren’t particularly glowing with positive mentions (Sleeping With Sirens’ live show and Avril Lavigne’s album, if you were wondering), but I’m adamant to always find something positive in everything. I’m not going to write a dishonest review, though, and here’s my honest opinion on this EP – after the first track, I thought I wouldn’t be able to write much, if anything, positive about it. This leaves me with three options; it’s either a “grower”, it’s not my style of music, or it’s bad. I’m unwilling to believe that after one listen anything can be judged as “bad”, it isn’t particularly my style of music, and even world-renowned albums such as Jake Bugg’s debut or Biffy Clyro’s Opposites took a few listens for me to get into.

I think it’s fairest to divide this EP in to two halves; this is purely for the fact that I feel the second half is exponentially better than the first. After giving it a few listens, I can’t help but say that I feel the opening track is a little underwhelming. It didn’t blow me away, and it gave the awful impression that the band weren’t sure what genre they wanted to fit into; some of it felt very heavy, other parts sounded almost like All Time Low, and the prominent electric, almost remixed sound only added to confusion. The guitar sounded fairly uncreative, and the drums seemed to add little or nothing to the song.

The second track shows some improvement; the harsh vocals work well with the guitar, although the soft vocals don’t, and the two voices don’t mix especially well. It doesn’t help much that the lyrics feel far too repeated. There’s potential and there’s talent, but it’s not being exercised fully in these first tracks – the same can be said about the third track, although it does begin to feel more structured.
Once the second half of the EP comes on, there’s suddenly a huge improvement. I don’t really see why these tracks are saved till later on if I’m honest. It’s like they suddenly discovered that they could put all their potential to use, and figured out how to do it. The third track features harsh and soft vocals alternating and complimenting each other as opposed to contrasting, and the whole track just seems to fit much better. This observation can be made for the rest of the EP as well, especially as the final two songs feature intros that, whilst being very different to one another, showcase the band’s talents excellently. Oh, and on their final track, I think they have a particularly spectacular way the finish the EP.

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