Jack Scratch is defined in the urban dictionary as what happens: 'When a man grows out his facial hair, but not quite yet a beard, to capture the 'sexy-hunk on a deserted island' look, made popular by the character, Jack, on the telly show 'Lost''. But then, that can only be something of a co-incidence because Jack Scratch: the band formed long before Matthew Fox made women everywhere wish their plane would crash in the middle of nowhere. Actually, Sawyer was my favourite.

But I digress. So, Jack Scratch were famous in Chicago in the early 90's. There is a flier on the inlay of this CD that puts them on the same bill as Jane's Addiction. Well, I've heard of THEM. Anyway, the good news is that Jack Scratch are back after a 20-year holiday with an album's worth of songs that were, er, recorded around 20 years ago. At least that explains why '2012' sounds like '1988', with just the right amount of classic posturing and growly vocals. There's a skull on the artwork too. Doesn't get more rocking than that.

With one beat and five members, the closest thing I have heard recently that springs to mind in comparison is Cambridge's very own Federal Black 40, a solid band musically albeit with obvious heroes. Sharing the same rock influences, in album openers 'Broken dreams' and Promises', singer Dave Bergeron sometimes sounds weirdly like Scott Weiland- or at least Scott Weiland in Velvet Revolver. I say weirdly because I love Scott Weiland but, for Jack Scratch- at least in the tracks that follow- the vocals really let them down. Though that is to be expected in a punk outfit, there are further salutes to modern artists whose singers can hold a melody, sounding similar to Green Day in 'Seesaw' and The Offspring elsewhere for the driving riffs and raw style. So it only leaves me questioning if any of the above cite Jack Scratch as an influence? The answer has to be that I doubt it. And will you be remembering them in another 20 years? Shouldn't have thought so. My other half hated them. I have to say that I was indifferent. But they do get the seal of approval from my housemate who doesn't know much about music apparently. Go figure.


Anna C