With a name like James Clark Hangover, you can almost guess, without any prior knowledge, exactly the type of music you’ll be getting. Hailing from good ol’ Toronto, James Clark Hangover, AKA David Clark, is the mastermind behind Volume Three, a record that is chalk-full of bluesy rock influences to satisfy your soul. If blues rock is your thing, then take a moment to listen to this record.
The record begins with “Black Cloud” and Clark’s voice immediately shines through, evoking what I’ll assume are his rock idols, Mick Jagger and Joey Ramone. But rather than simply imitating them, Clark puts his own spin on it. So while it’s still very much a bluesy type of vocal, it’s still something that is unique to him. The guitar tone on here is just killer. It’s a clear production, with just the right amount of “dirty” that you’d want from a blues-rock record. Perhaps that may be a bit of a strange way to describe a guitar sound, but that’s the feeling I got when I listened to it.
There are certainly a few standout tracks on here. My favourite has to be “My Jean Jacket,” which is quite literally an ode to Clark’s “cool jean jacket,” as the lyrics would suggest. And, although I can’t actually see what his jacket looks like, I’m inclined to believe it’s as cool as he says it is. I mean, you don’t write a song about having a cool jean jacket without it being true, right? It’s just a really fun song, overall. “I Can’t Remember Today” is where Clark’s old school punk influence shines. This track could almost be a lost Ramones tune.
My only criticism would be the formulaic aspect of this record. Generally, with every song on here, you get your standard “intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus” formula. But, that really isn’t a bad thing on here, just more of a comment on my own taste in music, I suppose. The album is meant to be radio friendly, and to appeal to a lot of old school rock fans (which it most certainly will).
What you get with this record is simple. It doesn’t break the mould or offer you anything too different. What you do get, however, is an insanely great, guitar-driven record full of groovy, chunky guitar riffs, and songs that are reminiscent of bands like Rolling Stones, The Eagles and The Beatles. I truly believe this record caters to guitar enthusiasts and people who love a record that offers great, bluesy riffs, with a guitar production so clear you can almost touch it. Even if you’re not a guitar enthusiast, there are plenty catchy choruses and hooks to draw in your average listener, who’ll certainly have a good time listening to this. So, grab a bottle of whisky, crank this record up to ten, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
Written by Dominic Abate
*edited by Kate Erickson