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Jamie Pierce tries on “Hearts and Flowers” (an album review)

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Jamie Pierce

WNS ac arc columnist jamie pierce0133

 

 

 

Jimmy Rocket came into my life unlike any other musician has in years… I didn’t hear him on the radio, stumble upon him through some genius player, and he certainly wasn’t a HBO credits artist. He came to me on a compact disc through the mail. Like, with a stamp.
The title track, “Hearts and Flowers” slams you into the album with an acoustic crescendo of all political things he wants to say in the next 12 songs.
The overarching message seems plain enough, coming through the Bob Dylan-esque, gruff but nasally vocals – “…Be the change you want to see in the world”. “…Express yourself and let that be the catalyst for change.” “…Life sucks sometimes so let’s fuck and party.”ac ac FB  Jim Noyes jimmy rocket CD cover

His whole vibe is distinctly a great lakes native feel. He has small town, simple lyrics that are relate-able and just poetic enough to make a home-grown pal feel like it’s art. The instrumentals and melodies are uncomplicated and repetitive, not much different track to track. Lots of passionate, non-electric strumming and harmony with vocals, but solid all around. Things flow well enough despite the apparent amateurish recording from a non-label studio – but if you can get past the technical unbalance of lyrics and instruments, it’s not half bad.
According to his Facebook he brands himself as “f#$%’in vegan core acoustic punk folk rock music” and “the greatest unknown American Songwriter.” …All of which are incredibly debatable. For one, I’m not sure “acoustic punk” is a thing that exists- unless maybe a punk band was to play their music acoustically. I also wouldn’t label him as folk at all. I would call it “Bob Dylan’s younger cousin had an ‘alt rock’ band in the 90s and recently woke up from a coma.”
As for the “vegan core” comment? My research didn’t reveal much about what that meant other than someone who is vegan and thinks they are hardcore. Typically, vegan eaters are hippies, not “raise the anarchy” types, but I’ll let that one ride. Also, the top hit on other bands that consider themselves vegan core was “Anal del Rey.” Read into that yourself.
The picture sported on the front of the album is a negative-colored crystal skull with, you guessed it, hearts and flowers around it. I will commend him on not using a photograph of himself or the band as the cover; the number one fatal flaw for most rock artists.

However, there is a “FUCK PARENTAL ADVISORY” warning on the back cover, just in case you had any doubts about his feelings on the subject.

ac ac FB fuck parental advisory back cover of Jim Noyes CD copy

 

All in all, not too bad. If I rolled into a local dive bar and heard Jimmy Rocket, I’d be psyched. Jimmy Rocket distributes all his albums for free, so pick one up. What’s to lose? I give the album 2 of 5 stars. Rocket on, Jimmy.

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