steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Jack Harlan

"Scintilla EP" CDR


Genres: folk-rock, folk, alt country

Dec 6 - 12 2004

At first, this home-produced, slim-case CDR didn't look all that promising.  I was expecting Jack Harlan's Scintilla EP to be some sort of adult contemporary nightmare, but instead it's a solid collection of twangy folk-rock tunes.  The music starts off really well, with the infectious (though unnecessarily long) "Down To The River" and the wonderfully rollicking "Ain't No Satisfaction."  Harlan seems equally influenced by Bob Dylan as by Will Oldham.  The brief "Wrestling With Cain" and the mysterious and drawn-out "Devil's Bed" wouldn't sound out of place on an Anomoanon record, while "Burning Star" puts the "rock" in folk-rock (haw haw haw.)  Overall, this is a fine EP with some truly impressive songs on it.  It'll hook you, but the lengthy nature of the first and last songs could prove unsavory.  Still - check this out, if you can find it.


Fun Fact: From Jack Harlan's biography: "Setting aside music temporarily in Vancouver, Jack studied at the Western School of Funeral Service for two intense years and was granted his Government License as a Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer. Though not directly related to his music career, he considers this a time of great inspiration."

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the artist, released 2004]