Judge Jackson - S/T

Formed in LA in 1995 by the wonderfully named vocalist Todd McTavish, Judge Jackson release their fourth album almost a decade after their debut. Trying to access their MySpace profile was a blood pressure boiling event that harked back to the dark days of viewing hardcore pornography on dial-up. Maybe it's just that my ZX-81 needs upgrading. Anyway, the band have had a track featured on 'My Name Is Earl' so I was willing to give the fuckers the benefit of the doubt.

'Stand Up' and 'Grin', the album's opening tracks, showcase a band who owe a debt to the post-Guns N' Roses world of rock, when albums like 'Shake Your Money Maker' could hold the number four spot on the Billboard album chart, Cinderella could forget all about the spandex and release an album like 'Heartbreak Station', and bands like Little Caesar could fuse their biker rock with a severe Southern influence and still get on MTV. But then third track 'Hangin On' heralds not only the arrival of a bunch of insipid, uninspired song titles, but also a complete middle section of an album that is happy to just plod along in safe MOR territory that makes you feel like you have the vagina-faced Chad Kroeger warbling on about that photograph of his on a constant loop. 'Soon', 'Bandit', 'Hold My Hand' - this is boring and bland and aimed at soccer moms who still think that Jon wrote 'You Give Love A Bad Name' specifically for them. Fans of Nickelback and reality show puppet Daughtry may well shed a tear at these tunes - I did too, but for all the wrong reasons. To be fair, the musicianship and vocals are faultless and each song, taken on its own merits, is above average. It's just that, as an album, this really suffers from a lack of pace. It takes a whole seven tracks before there is any kind of salvation, and that comes in the form of a rocking tune called....um.....'Rock N Roll'. Yes, bands still call songs that. The final track is another soft rock ballad with as much soul as a robot that I'm pretty sure is gonna send me to sleeee.......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

by Gaz E.

Visit the Judge Jackson Website