posted Monday Jun 23rd, 2008

Just as the madness surrounding The Fatals has subsided back to more realistic levels of enthusiasm, Nasty Product Records still proves that they are masters of their own hot property by unleashing the debut 7" by Jack Of Heart. Departing completely from the static-soaked, overdriven throb prerogative of their previous bands, Jack Of Heart is a new conglomeration of Piero Ilov from the Mighty Go-Go Players, Fatals and Demon's Claws, and Benji from the Creteens. Their sound takes off down the tender side of the switchblade, and erupts with such an unassuming immediacy that it's tough to pinpoint the first time it slithers through your head. With a decidedly less noisy sentiment firmly in place, Jack Of Heart jangle along with great results, combining echoed and chilling guitars that form those little icy patches that cause you to slip, and fall in love. Despite the static-edged fuzzy image reproduction on the record sleeve, the a-side's "All Grey" builds up slowly and steadily, almost like The Fall covering VU's "Sunday Morning," and sheds new light on the real abilities of these French noblemen. The clarity of guitar tone and the grittiness of the vocals combines to produce a debut record by a stellar new band taking it's first vulnerable footsteps into an ugly world, and it's a real knockout. As far as down-tempo records by modern French bands go, this one is clearly off in it's own field, slowly churning through a mesmerizing rhythm that drags you right into it's path and suffocates your ability to writhe out of its grasp. And just as Sonic Chicken 4 did with their breakthrough track "Ballad," that ended out the Love Killed My Brain 7" comp a few years ago, Jack Of Heart lock themselves into our good graces right out of the gate with this essential 7" record, and they have nowhere to go but up.

There's assuredly something good going on beneath the surface with this Jack Of Heart, and even only after such a short time of existence, they've lined up new records with Rob's House and landed an LP on In The Red, slated to come out in the upcoming months. And with Piero's longstanding ties to the nether regions of the underground punk universe, look for Jack of Heart to join the Black Lips on a tour of Sardinia later this summer, which is one of the running candidate spots for "greatest place on earth."

Pick up a copy of the 7" from Nasty Product and set yourself loose in the wild, unwavering French Underground, and don't miss out on the split tour 7" with Tunnel of Love on Profet Records, as well.

check out a clip of Jack Of Heart live at le Mechanique last fall in Paris, courtesy of MaxDembo, right here...