Jailbirds - The Great Escape

Jailbirds The Great Escape cover
The Great Escape
Golden Robot Records
I started listening to this album, making the sad realization that while a band might be doing all the right things and checking all the right boxes it might or might not land some success based on totally different reasons than its musical ability and compositions. Looks, promotion/management and timing all seem to be increasingly important, with the music suffering because of that.
Irish quartet Jailbirds seem to take the lessons that AC/DC and Thin Lizzy taught to younger generations and running away with them in a way not too dissimilar to what Airbourne and the Answer did. They have enough talent to come up with original material, but in a way similar to say Greta Van Fleet, they just seem able to mimic the sound and not deliver the songs, necessary to get them noticed. The only band that to my ears was able to have some potential to come up with material as good as its 70s heroes also comes from Ireland, but is now long defunct (talking about Glyder of course).
So we’re left up with some cool, hard edged rock ‘n roll & hard rock with lots of 70s references but an up to date production.
Opener, “The Great Escape” kicks off quite abruptly and speeds on, without much of a care in the world, almost punk like, with some Lizzyesque melodic guitars towards the end ringing true and nicely, but not totally impressing as much, as a whole. It sounds genuine, but also it sounds a bit caught in a timewarp.
“Loose Cannon” begins in the same raw fashion, but its harmonies and all make it a lot more accessible, but in doing so reduce its impact, softening it down several notches.
“Nothing Good Lasts Forever” is a softer “Thunderstruck” that feels to be Black Sabbat, stoned out of its Aussie boogie mind. Interesting on paper and even on “WAV” or “MP3” (because tape is so 1972)… and probably one of the better tunes here, although a little more focus, wouldn’t be bad.
“Shadow of Love” is a softer bluesier number that feels like a fucked up hickey hybrid between Guns N’ Roses and The DC, but with six fingers… and missing a few teeth. It comes close to being very good, but seems to luck the absolute hook that would sink in and make the listener unable to escape the bands charms.
“Thrill of the Chase” sounds too rock ‘n roll, as if it was inspired by 60s/70s bands, while trying to maintain the sound compatible with the rest of the songs on the album… it ends up a little silly, like a Spinal Tap sounding take on a much harder The Beatles, or The Who.
“Underdog” thinks it’s riff is totally badass and massive, but both the production and the chorus, lacks the balls and heaviness to be “War Machine” or anything close, for that matter it’s good try but... no cigar, not even a cigar case.
“Fight or Flight” also lacks the conviction and the flurrying barrage its title implies doing away, with a mid-tempo plod, which barely gets the job done.
On “The Pilot” the band runs amok?! Or do they walk very quickly while being angst ridden? Probably the latter, but there’s some neat riffola and soloing going on none-the-less in a song that could have been a keeper if it had a lil better chorus.
Jailbirds do have some charm and they show potential and if they’re able to up the ante on what they do, they could possibly pleasantly surprise us in the future.