Make way, another supergroup has formed. This time, touring partners Jared Followill of Kings of Leon and Nick Brown of Mona are joining creative forces. Under the name Smoke & Jackal, the rock duo has launched a satisfactory EP full of spacious sounds.
On the blandly titled “EP No. 1,” listeners should not be expecting another dosage of Mona or Kings of Leon-style southern rock. Smoke & Jackal employs a mix of percussion elements, fuzzed-out guitars and steady bass lines. The result is something along the lines of a poor man’s Beach House.
“You’re Lost,” eases into existence with a calm piano line, guitar arpeggios and rhythmic cymbal taps. Brown’s vocals echo against the flowing soundscape until aggressive guitar strums puncture the tranquility. While this track is a welcomed diversion from the typical Kings of Leon or Mona catalog, Brown’s wailing can at times be overpowering and exhausting.
“EP No. 1” also features some questionable subject matter. “No Tell” is essentially a recounting of an evening with a young girl and the process of oral sex. This is a shame, because the song is probably the best on the EP as far as instrumentation goes. Listeners will have to decide whether to endure the vulgarity and enjoy the elements that lie beneath.
Despite the racy storytelling, Smoke & Jackal’s “EP No. 1” remains relatively safe when it comes to musical styling. All of the tracks embody the same moody groove and isolated guitar hooks. In the end, “EP No. 1” will keep fans preoccupied until the arrival of what one can assume will be a second EP.
Overall rating: 2 stars
The new supergroup made up of Jared Followill from Kings of Leon and Nick Brown of Mona released their debut EP, “EP No. 1.”