MusicTAP brought you the self-titled debut album from New York City-based Jackson Automotive in 2018 – now they’re back with a sophomore release, Total Trash, and it’s anything but.
For those who don’t know them (yet), Jackson Automotive is the current project from Arthur Schupbach (AM Schupbach, Exploding Head, Electramone, Oilcan Art, Orange Beauties) and Ed Stankewick (Melted Americans, Exploding Head, Baby Sage, Electramone). Their sound has been described as a blend of psychedelic, garage, and power/dream pop.
Schupbach and Stankewick first played together in the mid 90’s in a band called Split following breakup of the Melted Americans (Ed’s band from 1983-91). Since then the two have collaborated on and off for over 20 years.
The one thing about this new album is the lushness of arrangements; the fullness of the songs – they immediately resonate with you in one listen. Case and point, the album opener, “Ocean Fire” is a perfect pop stunner that has everything – melody, rhythm, tautness, ethereal vocals and subtle 12-string Rickenbacker chimes in a descending riff. Simply stunning from the first beat. “Chromium” crashes in with a neo-’60’s feel and on-the-one harmonies – like a slightly-edgier Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; “Stuck In The Tunnel” has a quasi-country feel – a little softer and breezy – it’s impossible not to imagine this track getting airplay on the radio (if we still lived in that kind of world.
The title track, “Total Trash” is the perfect melding of modern pop vocal delivery wrapped around a classic ’70’s framed melody – clean, crisp and focused (and it does have a “cousin of Radio City outtake” element to it, it has to be said); “Leave No Trace” is possibly the album’s standout – you can feel this song, with the use of the Hammond organ carrying the melody underneath the vocals and “Autumn” is a delicious piece of acoustic driven pop that satisfies in the most concise way.
These guys know how to write and execute songs – they know melody, gentility, ballsiness; how to rock where necessary and when to rein it back at the right moment. And Total Trash is a total joy.
Total Trash is currently available
Listen to “Ocean Fire”: