Alt Sounds

January 2010
by Christina M.

On February 22nd get your cowboy boots on, saddle your horse and ride to your nearest record store. Get yourself a copy of Jason & The Scorchers new “Halcyon Times” album, possibly in vinyl. Now get back on the horse and ride home, pour yourself a bourbon, listen to ‘Mona Lee’ and say welcome back to rock’n’roll.

From first track ‘Moonshine Guy / Releasing Celtic Prisoners,’ you know "Halycon Times" is a record that is going to make you dance until your head spins, sing ‘til there’s no voice left in your lungs, and sigh with relief... Why? F irstly because this is one hell of a good start for 2010 in terms of music releases; secondly because, let’s face it, with all the years and troubles gone by, we all feared the fathers of cow-punk would put together a collection of mediocre tunes to justify their next series of shows and feed their pension fund. But we were damn wrong. Thank God.

Saying they’re back to their old selves would be almost an insult, because “Halcyon Times” is not your classic nostalgia album, it’s surely Jason and The Scorchers at their very best, not older but definitely wiser and more rocking than ever. Sessions were opened to people and the writing was opened to collaborations with high profile “fans” of the band, like Tommy Womack and Ginger from The Wildhearts. The result is an astounding 14 gems, shining with the colours of country, punk, rock, Americana, blues and some high quality pop.

“Halcyon Times” is one of those total growers that you’re going to love from the first play and more with each successive listen. Picking a favourite song out of this would be like deciding which one of your kids you love the most: one may be sweeter, one funnier, the other does best at school, but they’re good kids all the same, all equally filling your life with joy and the occasional heartaches. Sure ‘Golden Days’, with its memories of record stores and 5 bucks to hear Jerry Lee 20 times a day, it’s the most amazing time machine, but how can you not swing your hips to ‘Twang Town Blues’ with an alligator smile?

There is only one song here I really can’t stand: the 15th, aka the silence left in the air at the end of this addictive piece of work. Immediately, unbearable cravings pull my finger to the “play” button.

Give me my cowboy hat: Jason is back in town!