Gray Light" (CD)
amBiguous CITY! Records
The Weeping Cameras" (CD EP)
amBiguous CITY! Records
Festival 2002" (CD)
Song: On A Plane Over Prague
Eskimo Kiss Records
Map Of Where It All Went Wrong" (CD)
Christian Cundari Guitar;
Daniel Madri Guitar, Vocals
Phillip Ouellette Drums; Tyler Pollard Bass; Matt
The Jack McCoys began as an experiment
on a cold, overcast Saturday in late November 1998. In a second
floor apartment in Somerville, MA, Dan and Matt set up a 4-track,
a drum kit, and a guitar amp, and, 8 hours later, had written
and recorded the basic tracks for 13 songs. Though it would take
another year to finish the recording, it would eventually compel
them to assemble an act interested in performing the songs live.
So, a fistful of new material, and the same stubbornness that
had seen them through 5 years on the Boston club scene, they set
out in search of recruits.
Enter Tyler, Phillip, and Christian
musicians from assorted Boston bands (The Control Group, Slept,
The Nasties) who had crossed Matt and Dans path over their
years of playing the Boston club circut. These were trusted friends
and indisputable talents
rehearsals started right away.
Almost overnight, the Jack McCoys found
themselves recording A Map Of Where It All Went Wrong. The project
incorporated 7 of the original 13 songs, and 9 newer efforts.
The resulting 45-minute collection,
captured on 1/2 8-track, maintains a mid-fidelity punch
that helps accentuate the energy fuelling the performances. This
edginess would spill over into the sessions of the bands
follow-up recording, All The Weeping Cameras.
While individual tracks here may lurch
from driving post-rock (Sinking in Sentences and Paragraphs)
to soulful rock (A Star Is) to feedback tinged twangyness
(Fossils and Artifacts), the album emits a consistent
musical sensibility and retains sincerity throughout. One may
also note a more liberal willingness to experiment both with sonic
possibilities and lyrical themes.
By the time recording had finished,
the Jack McCoys had dusted off their live show and filtered it
through the East Coast club circuit. To date, they have been booked
with Ryan Adams, California Stadium, The Damn Personals, Dead
Meadow, LandSpeedRecord!, The Moldy Peaches, Reubens Accomplice,
Rival Schools, The Rondelles, The Secession Movement , Stereobate,
and Kevin Tahistas Red Terrors.
Though allowing the future to remain
at least somewhat undefined has always served the members of The
Jack McCoys well, the band does plan to continue expanding its
discography and to proceed with a steady regimen of live dates.
That is, until the fun runs out.
It's not often that you find a release
by a local band to be a masterful and completely creative recording.
It's also not often that you find that same release to be a touchingly
subtle concept album that reveals itself after multiple listens.
The Jack McCoys have succeeded in doing both with their sophomore
release All the Weeping Cameras. The dissection of
the constant observer, photographer, and the voyeur has definitely
been tackled by cinema, but the subject of the aforementioned
has really not been successfully written about by the musician/lyricist
until now. Matt Savage (vocals) delves into the realm of photography,
from the capturing of mundane imagery, to the process of developing,
to the way different people pose for, catalogue, or discard, these
timeless images. Savage successfully ties every song together
with a beautiful narrative on photography, which displays his
handle on the creative manipulation of language. The last lines
of the album in the song "The Art of Sleeping" says
it all "Light screaming through the hole/the message is in
code/the language is on fire". The Jack McCoys have a sound
that at times is reminiscent of that loose and sloppy genius of
early 90's Pavement records. This is most notable in the textures
and the tones of the dueling guitars of Dan Madri and Christian
Cundari. Tyler Pollard (Bass) and Phillip Ouellette (drums) stay
in a pocket, which sways between an indie-rock assault and a Motown
groove. Hovering on top of all of this is Savages original vocal
delivery and timbre, which is topped by his uncanny ability to
create some serious melodic hooks in a very unconventional matter
(sometimes hiccuping words at the end of phrases by utilizing
tight intervallic leaps). Another cool effect, which ties all
the songs thematically together, are these long outros/intros
between songs. There's also no discernible pop formula in their
arrangements, which makes the entire album even more appealing.
- Tom Korkidis, Northeast Performer Magazine
Organic. Not the food that costs twice
as much as regular food, but the feel of this band called The
Jack McCoys from the Northeast. Everything this band displays
on their EP All The Weeping Cameras speaks volumes of the do-it-yourself
ethic. It feels inevitable that this release would come from this
group of boys.
The sound is hard to describe. Their
bio says it's "post-rock," but I'm not that smart. I
don't know what that means. The music just feels really calm and
in control. Organic, perhaps. The lyrics are really, really good
-- too good perhaps. Singer Matt Savage's voice can get incoherent
at times, but reading the lyrics reveals some poignant imagery
and obvious writing talent. But, like I said, I'm not that smart.
There are elements of different kinds
of music evident here. Some heavy reverb slide guitar, combined
with some tape effects give "Half-Written Letter" a
Cowboy Junkies type of feel, without being overly cold. There's
no blistering guitar work or showmanship here, just stream-of-consciousness
stuff that gets really good at moments.
There's no denying that this band has
talent. Its sparse melodies and rhythms leave nothing to be desired,
and the lyrics just make it all that much better. But of course,
you will be left with your own mind to make up. I'm not really
certain that me writing this will make any sort of difference
in the cosmos; after all, what's organic in roots tends to create
what it will, no matter what people that aren't that smart say.
- James Song, Agouti Music
Featuring members of the control group,
slept, and the nasties, the jack mccoys are a somerville, ma quintet
that play a brand of mellow rock that fuses together indie, emo,
and tinges of classic styled rock grooves. all the weeping cameras
is their 7 song cd out on ambiguous city records. the songs are
straight mellow. fusing together indie, emo, and other genres
of mellow music to deliver a nice, somber sound that is both soothing
and relaxing. the guitars are very melodic. the bass is jazzy
sounding, and the drums loom in from quiet to pounding. the vocals
are soft, yet prominent. putting all these ingredients together,
the jack mccoys create a record that is captivating and moving.
i'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from this band
in the future.
- Calamity Project.com
This Boston-based band's very strong
second album ponders the inadequacy of images written, photographed
or, by inference, recorded as music. Its complex mixture of dual
guitars, bass, drums and the hoarsely emotive voice of lead singer
Matt Savage surges and ebbs around complex themes of memory and
change. The cameras, it turns out, have a lot to cry about.
The album's sound ranges from loud,
emo-esque post rock ("Sinking in Sentences and Paragraphs")
to bizarrely twisted Americana ("Fossils and Artifacts"
incorporates off-tuned banjo notes) to plaintive ballads that
could have come from a late-period REM album ("Photography"
and "The Art of Sleeping"). There is a constant, however,
in that the band's rhythm section -- Phillip Ouellette on drums
and Tyler Pollar -- set up tight structural parameters, embellished
with the often delicate and sometimes thunderous interplay of
guitarists Christian Cundari and Daniel Madri. Over this well-structured
architectural base, Savage's voice flourishes and sweeps like
a series of gorgeous Gaudi towers, spilling over the notes and
phrases with organic abandon, his rough tremolo betraying just
how much it matters.
Conceptually, the album explores the
ways people preserve thought and memory, and how poorly our attempts
to write it down, frame it up or roll the tape represent either
the past or the present. Some of the album's words on this theme
are real poetry and would stand up even without the accompanying
music. For instance, from "Photograph": "All the
whites and greys that settle on you / settle on me in this room
/ where the light was orange and dim / and the wasted time it
took to / catch you in mid-smile / is the whole history of photography."
Or again, in "A Star is": "The flicker and flash
/ of cameras when they sentence you / to photo albums and dressers
where / your height and your width are wrestled / from your other
dimensions / the ones you wished came out / in perfect rectangles."
- Splendid EZine
Maybe it's because I'm a closet Law
and Order fan, but even before I listened to it, I was inclined
to like the Jack McCoys' All The Weeping Cameras. And I must say,
I wasn't disappointed. Now maybe the "real" Jack McCoy
wouldn't be caught dead showing the raw honest emotion found in
a song like "Sinking in Sentences and Paragraphs" but
the Jack McCoys certainly can handle it with composure and confidence.
A concept album of sorts, All the Weeping Cameras speaks of relationships
and events through the watchful eyes of a photograper and his
product. Overall, the album has a jangly guitar-driven sound,
but the Jack McCoys don't come off like REM or rip-offs. Instead,
they offer a more polished guitar rock sound not often found without
the addition of annoying keyboard "techniques." Standouts
include "A Star Is," and my personal favorite, "Half-written
Letter," a slow-burning tune that rolls around in your head
long after it's over.
- Amplifier Magazine
At first glance, these guys reminded
me of OK Computer-era Radiohead, with swirling guitars, disjointed
emotive vocals and extraneous noise. But, after a few songs the
group took on a life of its own and the album seemed to shed my
immediate comparisons. The songs are catchy, yet uncommercial
enough in approach to keep the pop in check. An understated dissonance
is integral to the overall sound, and in turn the group seems
to owe as much to a ghostly legacy of Fugazi as well as Radiohead.
In the end, it's an amazing collection of modern rock songs that
defy simple categorization.
- Mish Mash Magazine
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