Tuesday, 23 March 2021

ALBUM REVIEW: Day of the Jackal, "Day Zero"

By: Chris Markwell
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/03/2021
Label: Independent


“Day Zero” DD track listing:

1). On Your Own
2). Belief in a Lie
3). Rotten to the Core
4). Secrets to the Grave
5). Coffin Fix
6). Riskin’ it All
7). ‘Til The Death
8). Afterburn
9). Deadfall Trap
10). Rock n’ Roll Deathride

The Review:

Just beyond the kingdom of Sludge sits the Mountain of Hard Rock: an immovable edifice of majesty, it is the magical, ever-present spire, whose shadow touches all the lands of music. From the deep mines of Heavy Metal, to the cloud-topped towers of Prog, all know and feel the touch of Hard Rock upon their territories.

Carved into the face of Hard Rock are names of power: AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Guns ‘N’ Roses, to name but a few. All names are known and respected among all the lands that surround Hard Rock. But, look closer… A new name has been etched into the foot of the mountain.

Day of the Jackal, spell out the jagged letters. And when a new name is etched, it stands to reason to seek them out. So I did.

Leeds’ Day of the Jackal have, on 15th March 2021, released their debut album “Day Zero”, and, if it were any more balls-out hard rock, it would be charged with indecent exposure.  

Recorded in Gentlemen’s Pistols James ‘Atko’ Atkinson’s Station House studio, the rock runs through every inch of this record like a stylus runs through a record’s groove.  In fact, the entire album was recorded live: no click tracks required, kids.  Because of this decision, each one of the ten tracks present on “Day Zero” retain that raw energy you’d normally expect to feel in the sweaty confines of a gig venue. 

Ten tracks, zero bullshit.  If you want ballads, experimentation, or odd time signatures, move along.  This album is designed specifically to give you a rock ‘n’ roll injection straight to your heart.  Palpitations, shortness of breath, and a desire to bang your head uncontrollably are common side effects, so don’t worry. 

From the first blast of electric riff-raffery of opener ‘On Your Own’, to the bar-room brawl of a closing song ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Deathride’, Day of the Jackal make statement after brash statement with each track that pummels and pounds your eardrums.  The quartet have forged a beautiful, whiskey-stained ode to the gods of hard rock, their love for their genre shining through with each hi-hat snap and every power chord struck. 

Personal favourite of mine from this album has to be ‘Til the Death’, with its slamming riffs and Bon Scott-esque lyrics (“I’ll be your best mistake, but I won’t be your man” is delivered almost with a knowing wink audibly heard in the mix).  You can envisage baying crowds of people knowing every word, and singalong in turn.  I want to be part of that crowd and, after listening, you will, too.   

Day of the Jackal are not reinventing the wheel with “Day Zero”.  Rather, they’ve stolen that wheel, affixed it to their cherry-red hot rod, and are riding it down the road to the hallowed mountain of hard rock mythology.  Best get on board and join them on their journey. 

Band info: bandcamp || facebook