Jacky Boy – Bad (Song Premiere)

by Steven Spoerl


Every so often a new, unknown band emerges and challenges the entire infrastructure of the music industry. For all of its deeply unnecessary — and potentially damaging — support beams, overt interest in revenue over quality, and grossly tilted geographic priorities, the one thing it can’t hold down forever is raw talent. This is where bands like the Bloomington, IN-based Jacky Boy come into play. Operating out of America’s heartland, several steps removed from the hyper-connected trappings of LA and NYC, the band will likely have the unique opportunity to pace their own artistic growth, though “Bad” suggests that they’re already well on their way to realizing their full potential.

Very few songs have the immediate impact that “Bad” carries, even less when the band doesn’t even have an official release under its belt. From the onset “Bad” surges ahead like Courtney Barnett at her most furious before abruptly tapering off into a territory that’s decidedly more indebted to ’90s powerpop and slacker punk. Dynamic shifts, soaring backing vocals, and sharp, effective guitar work coalesce and elevate “Bad” from a promising entry into a legitimately great one.

Only a few songs into their career, the trio’s embraced a remarkably well-crafted identity that pays homage to both its forebears and their unlikely contemporaries (many of which are affiliated with Exploding In Sound). There’s a decisiveness to the decision making on “Boy” that reveals itself gradually. From the isolated Dinosaur Jr-esque guitar breaks to the hushed bridge to the deeply relatable world-weary sensibilities contained in the lyrics, “Boy” manages to perfectly bridge the divide between the past and the present by identifying the unifying traits of both the eras and the genres that have formed their approach.

Everything Jack Boy tries out on “Bad” works to an uncanny perfection, all the while piecing itself into something much larger than its opening segment might indicate. There’s a somewhat shocking level of nuance to “Bad” — especially considering the band’s only a few songs into their career — that ably expands the song’s pull on both an intellectual level and something that’s far more immediate. “Bad” doesn’t just reward investment, it openly invites, encourages, and all but guarantees that the listener will actively want to explore it further.

A triumphant opening statement and an exhilarating listen, “Bad” confidently marks the beginning of a new stage for Jacky Boy. With any luck, they’ll find that their audience never stops growing.

Listen to “Bad” below and pre-order the Jacky Boy EP from Turd Wurld here.