Captain Jack – Nowhere Fast

Captain Jack
Nowhere Fast

If Captain Jack will get me high tonight, then maybe I’ll like this band. Within the pseudo, punk-styled shell of Nowhere Fast is a hybrid hippie and reggae jam band just dying to be heard. The result is a confusing mix that includes one very accomplished bass player, a guitarist that is fond of distortion but will suddenly break into a classic reggae rhythm strum, and a drummer whose lucky to keep time unless he’s wearing a watch.
“Letting Go” starts off a stylistically winding path of music whose one highlight is a bass player who most definitely should be harnessing one of those behemoth six- or seven-string bass guitars, if he’s not already. The feeling one gets is that Grand Haven, Mich. (home of Fall Records and what one must assume is home to Captain Jack) does not have an incredibly deep pool of musicians and that this band formed because, well, one guy played bass incredibly well, one played guitar and had some good weed, and one guy happened to have a set of drums. One of the three members that include Jarret Creasy, Bryan Graves, and David Henderson, does sing, and my bet is that it’s not the drummer, because he’s just concentrating on trying to remember where the next change is coming so that he can maybe hide the fill with one big splashing cymbal. Who’s singing is anyone’s guess because it’s not mentioned in the band’s liner notes, and the two websites mentioned didn’t offer much information either (does every band now feel that a website is mandatory, even if it’s just a secured URL address?).
If the drummer is singing, then perhaps a correction to this review could be made, because drumming and singing is no easy task. If he is singing, then Captain Jack should consider somebody else take up that task, because the singing here is not that great. On the song “Stay,” while the singer vocalizes “Maybe one day life will make more sense” with nary a timbre, the bass player is ripping out a bass solo through what seems like the whole song. The guitarist has, for this song, turned off his distortion pedal and is again stammering between upbeat rock and reggae, and the drummer has really got a grip on that simplest of highhat and snare drum beats … the same one he seems to have on the whole album.
The engineers of Nowhere Fast seem to have skipped the whole mastering process, and everything seems flat with little punch or varying tones that would help the guitar’s singular sound that switches only between clean and distorted, the singer’s monotone vocals, and the drummer’s lifeless beat. If it were not for the stellar bass lines that somehow work as leads for songs, as it does in the song “Detached,” there would be absolutely nothing here. Hopefully Captain Jack didn’t press to many copies of Nowhere Fast, because indeed that is where they may stay for the time being.