It is hard to not get a little over passionate about Times Of Conflict, the debut album from UK rockers CodeJAK. It is an album which just captivates the imagination and sparks an unbridled enthusiasm to throw off inhibitions and get dirty. Musically the band wonderfully is not that easy to pin down, at its core their sound is hard rock but rifling through its ranks there are vibrant veins of punk, metal, and a flurry of many more flavours. The album carries them all in to a thrilling and raucous explosion of invention; arguably the album does not stretch any existing barriers but it is hard to think of any one creating the same or an equally potent brew as this quartet.
Formed in 2009, CodeJAK is a renowned hard working energy inspiring band who through their first EP Hell Yeah, and impressive live shows which has seen them explode stages alongside the likes of The Buzzcocks, The Selector, Sham 69, light up numerous festivals, and most recently supporting Fozzy across the UK and into Europe, has drawn a robust and strongly growing fan base.
Early 2012 saw the band in the studio to create an album in Times Of Conflict which is as content in bruising the senses as it is triggering the inner devilment in us all with its unpredictable and imaginative mischief. The release is a riot of intrigue and insatiable teasing which leaves the heart as overjoyed as the ears. Right from the opening track The Ballad Of Jenny G one of the great things about the album is immediately to the fore, the unique tones of vocalist and guitarist Dan Turner. His voice drips expression and individualism to add a fiery and rasping depth to the already adventurous sounds. The first song is a thumping exchange of muscular rhythms and strident riffs which engage as firmly as a mantrap, their infectious lures irresistible. The sounds encroach like a union of Therapy?, The Heartbreakers, and The Wildhearts locked into a groove from Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and leave nothing but a vat of satisfaction in their wake.
The stirring ingenuity is continued through the following Hell Yeah and When I Fall, both rampant slabs of riotous diversity. The first has a stoner vibe to its sinewy charge, the band assaulting with a delicious mix of Kyuss, XII Boar, and Triggermen. The spoken delivery spikes the scorched sounds excellently whilst the furious chorus and further growling outpourings flare with caustic might to fire up the passions which have already been set on full alert by the fine manipulative play from lead guitarist Dan Clark. The second of the two is no less a titan in offering a rampant contagion, the guitars again holding sway over the heart whilst the beats of Dave Turner treat the ear like a punch ball beneath his skilful intent. The song has a seductive swagger to its melodic grooved taunting which makes it in many ways recognisable from the start but distinctly unique too. The ever impressive bass of Dave Fisher groans and pulsates with a shadowed hunger throughout the sensational punk groove confrontation.
Though the album is never less than enthralling and fully pleasing, it does undulate a little with the likes of the grunge gaited Sail Away, the emotive melodic rock coated Pull Out Your Knife, and the blues funk heat that is Serpentine, failing to match the earlier heights or further pinnacles set by songs such as Broken Man, a track which in its uncomplicated yet compulsive hooks and restrained presence just ticks all the right boxes, and the magnificent Sell My Soul. This track unleashes a punk and rock storm which easily shows why the band appeals and captures the passions of the fans of both genres. The track coats the ear in tight angular sonic enterprise and attitude driven riffs whist the vocals and rhythms ignite thought and emotion with their plaintive and firm handling of the senses.
Times Of Conflict is outstanding, an album which just improves with each and every contact. CodeJAK are a breath of fresh air, a band already lighting up British rock with their spicy sounds and set to drive it to new heady heights in the future.
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