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Jackal Onasis - "Big Deal Party" | Album Review

by Conor Rooney (@sold_for_scrap)

There’s an interesting story behind now-Brooklyn based Jackal Onasis. Initially, the bands inception began along opposite coasts (that’s the eastern and western coasts of the United States for all of you international peeps). Through the magic of the inter-webs, Alex Molini (of Stove, Big Putts, and ex-Dirty Dishes) and Jordyn Blakely (Stove, ex-Butter the Children, and ex-Night Manager) began tossing ideas and tracks around in what would eventually mesh into Jackal Onasis - and I’m so glad it did. 

For a debut, it's pretty tight. I mean really tight. We open with "The Handsome Giraffe" (a title that I seem to love the more I read it). It’s a down tempo, breezy opener that simmers over a low flame for over two and a half minutes. Molini’s vocal melodies envelop you into an almost trance like state while an approaching cloud of static and fuzz creeps up through the last few moments and hugs you. The slow tempo and downtrodden feel make it an interesting - yet welcomed opener. 

There’s definitely some other standout tracks on ‘Big Deal Party’ that might be creeping their way onto your playlists or into your heads for quite a while. One of these being ‘Runty Little Puppy’ - a song that currently sits stuck in my head as I write this. A feedback-driven melody and - once again - Blakely’s floating vocal delivery keeps it as one of my favorite songs on the whole record. It’s a scrunchy little garage song caked over with some fresh fuzzy stuff and I love it.

An interesting quality to this record (and one that I totally support) is that most of these songs flip flop between lo-fi and smooth throughout its duration. On ‘Mookie Told Me Everything’, you can hear the continuous crunch of bass coupled with the bossy splashes of Blakely’s cymbals… while songs like ‘Big Deal Party’ and ’The New Ron’ opt for a more polished and punchier feel. 

What I think Jackal Onasis succeeds in doing on ‘Big Deal Party’ is introduce to us what we might expect from the band in the future - and to deliver us a record in the present that touches on all the bases (whether it’s a beautiful melody driven tune or a crunchy garage song that just feels right). The arrangement is done so well in that the dynamics (between all members, between loud and soft, soft and crunchy) seem to dance around each other in near perfect harmony. 

The best part of the whole record is that you can play it as many times as you’d like and still peel back different layers each run-through. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet that you come back to over. and over. and over. For me - Jackal Onasis is on my “To See” list very soon (as they probably should be on yours, as well).