Jack Off Jill
Clear Hearts Grey Flowers


4.5
superb

Review

by ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin USER (142 Reviews)
September 28th, 2012 | 6 replies | 1,843 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Such a huge improvement from their first album really deserves a medal.

Unfortunately, some bands never last long and never manage to sell many copies. Jack Off Jill are a perfect example of this short lived career, having only ever released two full length albums and an EP, all of which are criminally underrated. Their first album was an interesting, fun release, but still felt restrained, with Jessicka Fodera's voice being the most glaring example of restraint. Her vocals on Sexless Demons and Scars were weak at times, and carried a little-girl sound to them. The guitar work was fun, but not brilliant, and the bass and drums were just dull. it was still a good album for a listen, but by no means perfect. However, their second one manages to right many of the wrongs found on the first album.

Entitled Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers, Jack Off Jill's sophomore release is a great release, from start to finish, being gripping and varied, without ever losing the fun factor that made Sexless Demons And Scars work despite its flaws. However, the subject matter is considerably darker this time around, and there are a few changes to the band's sound. The best of these changes is the shift to a slightly heavier sound, with frequent screaming from Jessicka, which really does add to this album. Whereas her vocals carried a young, immature sound on their debut, she really has upped her game on here. She boasts a good range, and a nice, powerful voice, without ever being too inaccesible. This is the definition of talent.

The songs on this album are absolutely incredible, and rather diverse. The finest song on here would be Nazi Halo, being an energetic song, with angst-filled lyrics and aggressive vocals, with a fun riff alongside it and some great bass work. This was one of the songs that introduced me to the band, along with Vivica and Strawberry Gashes, and it remains one of my personal favourite songs off of the album.

When I Am Queen is a moody song, and opens up the album brilliantly, with some morbid, well thought out lyrics, and a brilliant vocal performance. The verses are almost whispered, before diving into a screaming chorus, that works perfectly. This has a real Marilyn Manson sound to it, which is not surprising as Jessicka toured with and knows Manson very well, and their sound is undoubtably influenced by him. However, this works better than almost every Manson song ever, and remains an emotional, powerful opener.

Author Unknown, Vivica and Cinnamon Spider are three other songs worthy of mention. Author Unknown has a similar style to the opener, but it is realised with even more intensity. Vivica has one of the strongest vocal performances i have heard in a while, and really works well as a softer song for the album, containing no screaming, and being almost an interlude song, that divides the first half and the second half of the album. Cinnamon Spider is one of the bands most popular songs, and it is clear to see from the moment the song begins, with the punk instrumental style, and great vocals from Jessicka. The vocals carry real weight to them, and sound almost terrified, before jumping into an amazing chorus that will stick in your head for a long time to come.

This album, unfortunately, never hit any real popularity, which is a shame, as the band deserves a lot more recognition. There really is no category that can be given to this album, as it is an entity all of its own, standing proud amongst so many poor albums out there. The band has real reason to be proud of their work on Clear Hearts Grey Flowers, and i am happy to be able to still award this a 4.5/5 despite the fact i have been regularly listening to it for about 4 years now.



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Chart.
3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2012


15997 Comments


props for doing a review of a more obscure one mate, pos'd

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FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2012


9034 Comments


I hate this band with a passion

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2012


19738 Comments


funny band name.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

omnipanzer
September 28th 2012


21448 Comments


I like Sexless Demons and Scars, afraid I'll hate this.

bakkermaarten007
September 29th 2012


3499 Comments


Have one album by Scarling (the follow-up band), is this better?

compromisedreality
October 6th 2013


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, I remember digging this album several years ago, going to give it a listen soon and then drop a rating.

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