We wrote about Paul Jacks a mere week ago, with his single, ‘Lunacy’s BackLunacy’s Back‘. Now he’s released the title track from his upcoming album, ‘Black Jackal’, which is set to come out December 4.
‘Black Jackal’, a concept album which sees Jacks take on a persona from Egyptian mythology, is also clearly a sort of pun on Paul’s surname. Anubis, guardian of the dead, god of mummification and the afterlife, was often portrayed as a man with a black jackal head. It was his job to determine if a person was deserving enough to pass into the afterlife, by weighing their heart against the feather of truth. If the scales tipped in favour of the heart – meaning there were more bad deeds than good in the person’s life – their soul would be devoured by the goddess Ammit. It seems likely it’s this jackal which Jacks is taking on as his persona in the album, and with lines like, “don’t let the sun catch you crying”, “I’ll do what it takes / this way I will rise unshackled” and “carry on through the years / I’ll make my own black jackal” he portrays the Black Jackal as benevolent, and one who offers alternatives to those who are truly penitent.
‘Black Jackal’, keeping to Jacks’ style, harks back to the 80s, and the laid back rock style favoured by the likes of Joy Division / New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, Yazoo, and Interpol. To this 80s chick it’s a great sound; opening with snare and hi-hat, and soon joined by a simple keyboard loop, Jacks’ voice oozes in, smooth and honied. The multi-instrumentalist – there’s synths, guitars, and other percussives on the track – is as talented with his voice as he is with his instruments, using it to sweep in and out of the notes, lighting here and there, all the while maintaining a glorious fluidity to his sound. At about a third of the way through there’s a nice clip clop sound which reminds us of Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ – whether or not it’s intentional, it brought a smile to my lips, and felt like a nod from the jackal.
‘Black Jackal’ the single is out now. ‘Black Jackal’ the album is set for release on December 4, through Tritone Records. You can find out more about Paul Jacks online on Facebook, and Tritone Records.