The idea that slacker rock is an easy concept that just involves making a lot of noise is a falsehood. Tune into the debut project A Night in the Life of by Jacky Sanchez (vocalist and guitarist Tony Sanchez, and guitarist, bassist and vocalist Vale Sanchez) a music project born in Paris, NY in 2007-2008 between the pair and you will get what I’m talking about. The songs here are stripped down and full of spunky, not quite punk, but sufficiently riotous at times rock. The recording is better than bedroom but definitely still has that DIY quality to it but without sounding like it was made to be so or just got screwed up to sound good by people who didn’t know what they were doing and got lucky.
A Night in the Life of is a concept record of sorts about a night hotel auditor who “never slept” and had all sorts of ideas about things that ranged from war to gender studies. Tony and Vale took these ideas and sort of mushroomed them into songs that are at times quirky and catchy to others which are cathartic blends of heavy rock but always leaning towards the playfully experimental.
The opening track “The Dog” comes off like a Devo meets the Talking Heads song. It’s quirky and sweet to say the least but also catchy as hell. Aside from that it begins to show the roots of how such a simple concept has so many layers. The elements here of bass guitar drums and vocals are errant in their tones but blend together so well as to sound seamless. Next comes the skiffle rocker “Feeling Better” which again captures the sheer ease of the sound as it is coming gracefully through the speakers, sounding as though it was borne so naturally and easily but then one is left with the question of why are there so many records of this ilk that fail to capture the ease of what is happening here.
Later comes another easy as pie rocker “Steve Goes to Bagdad” which in its two-minute incubation has more heft and imagination to it than so many of the tens of thousands of songs I’ve heard all year. Even in the long form they excel at miring and mining beauty from so little as they eloquently do on “Falling Tonight,” which reminded me of the California neo-psych tricksters Foxygen.
With A Night in the Life of Jacky Sanchez have easily released a record that belongs on your top ten list for this year. I think it’s hands down the best and most original record I’ve had the pleasure to review this year, or any year.
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