Australian based artist Jac DALTON is a singer, originally hailing from the US, who relocated to Australia many years ago. Following an initial solo album in 2007, he went on to form a permanent backing band and these days Jac Dalton refers as much to the band as the person from what I understand. “Powderkeg” is the second album issued by this band effort, and was self-released in the fall of 2015.
I understand that the musicians involved in this band are all seasoned musicians, something one will notice when encountering this production. The word professional is one that struck me many times while getting familiar with this album, on performance as well as mix and production, and even the track list appears to have been made with a seasoned brain behind it, as the album experience is one with a nice and effective ebb and flow to it. In terms of style, I guess melodic hard rock is probably the best fitting tag to file this one under.
Singer Jac Dalton is obviously rather dominant on this album. Besides the fact that the band is named after him, and that he’s a vocalist, he’s also got a presence. He’s in full control of his voice throughout, and while perhaps not a vocalist that will impress on a massive scale, he has a very good voice for melodic hard rock, with a tone, timbre and delivery that is broadly appealing. No surprises, but effective and clever delivery is the order of the day, in what I’d describe as a distinctly radio friendly manner.
This latter aspect goes for the music as well. With a distinct US sounding take on the melodic hard rock style, at times with dominant details bringing both country music and southern rock to mind, this is an album that sounds like it might hail from the US on the greater majority of the tracks, the more gentler ones with something of a Wanted Dead or Alive feel to them. Firm and at times subtly rough but smooth riffs with a hovering organ presence placed carefully on top as a hovering gentle presence and occasional guitar solo flurries is something of a calling card for the band, with gentler plucked, wandering guitar sequences the main variation. Strong chorus sections is also something the band conjure up on regular occasions, and even the odd anthem such as the predictable but very well executed cut One Heart, One Land.
While Powderkeg for me isn’t a production that yields any surprises as such, it is a really well made example of what I’d describe as 80’s sounding melodic hard rock US style, complete with occasional distinct nods towards what is described as Americana these days as well as southern rock. Those who know they tend to enjoy music of this nature should most likely enjoy find this CD to be one well worth to give a spin or three.
My rating: 7/10
PowderKeg , Blow Me Away, Roll With the Punches, Sweet Emotion, Just Enough To Believe, HardCore SuperStar, Can’t UnRock Me, Let It Go, One Heart, One Land, When I’m Alone With You