Review: Jackson Scott – Melbourne


Jackson Scott claims that he is not influenced by indie rock of the 90’s, stating that Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd is his main influence. While traces of Barrett are sprawled across Melbourne, it is pretty hard to believe that Scott is telling the entire truth about where his influences lie. Throughout this album, most indie rock fans will notice similarities to Guided By Voices, Built to Spill and a strong influence coming from Deerhunter. Whether or not Scott is drawn to these soundscapes naturally does not really matter.

What DOES matter, however, is the fact that Melbourne is a well crafted album of the “apocalypse pop” persuasion. Although the album is short (and obnoxious at times), Scott has an ear for melodic progression and indie-pop songwriting. If he manages to keep his music flowing with personality, a great music career lies ahead of Scott.

The first single off of this album, “That Awful Sound”, broke onto the scene with a bang, surprising many indie rock fans all over the net. As mentioned before, this song has the 90’s collegiate charm of Built to Spill with the unorthodox vocals of Bradford Cox via early Atlas Sound. The song is warm and inviting, feeling extremely genuine and bereft of a lot of the pretentiousness in the indie rock world. Scott, akin to Mac DeMarco, Bradford Cox and Jeff Mangum, is an oddball and proud of it. Throughout the album, Scott continues to flex his song craftsmanship on tracks like “Evie” and “Sandy”.

The Pink Floyd influence is apparent on the more ambient tracks on the album. Songs like the opener, “Only Eternal” and “Wish Upon” find Scott honing in on his more psychedelic side. The production on Melbourne is not as lavish as on Obscured By Clouds, but that does not make these songs any less interesting. The textures that he chooses to use are dark and mysterious, yet still melodic. The one gripe that I have with this album is the vocals; I feel that they could be overbearing with the pitch shift at times, to the point where Scott vocals seem whiny and obnoxious. Overall, I really enjoyed this album. It’s catchy, melodic, spaced out and real. Could not ask for more from an indie rocker from North Carolina.

Favorite Tracks: “That Awful Sound”, “Evie”, “Wish Upon”, “Sandy”
Least Favorite Tracks: “Any Way”, “Tomorrow”

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