JACK HENDERSON – Where’s The Revolution (Fretsore Records FR0014)

Where's The RevolutionJack Henderson is a veteran Scottish singer-songwriter with a voice that seems capable of anything. At first he put me in mind of Frankie Miller but Jack is much smoother. He’s also a more than capable instrumentalist – there are some lovely sounds on this record, notably the guitar leads – and he plays everything except drums which are courtesy of Mattie Foulds and upright bass on one track which is handled by Gareth Huw Davies. Where’s The Revolution is, I think, his second album but I could be wrong.

The album opens with the piano-led ‘Jesus And Jezebel’, which was a single and also the lead track on his EP, Sharkey’s Parade. I’d like to think that Sharkey’s Parade, which is mentioned in the song, is a dodgy emporium in Glasgow but I can’t prove that. ‘Difficult Girl’, which follows, is about the sort of person that I hope never to meet but I’m afraid that Jack has.

The title track is short – almost too short – and oozes cynicism and contempt for the modern world, a theme that he returns to in the lyrically clever ‘Hey Batman’. The central theme here is that the world we knew from the old comics is long gone – “Now you’re working for the man / And Robin’s run away from home” – and Batman is out of date. It helps to explain why the films are unconvincing.

‘Next Time I Meet You’ is one of those out-of-love songs that mirror ‘I Don’t Believe You’ but here Jack is the antagonist not the victim – he may be talking to the difficult girl again. There is pain in ‘Nobody Gets Hurt’ and ‘Like We Never Do’ and what feels like a political allegory in the single ‘Don’t Drink The Water’. I really like this song but I haven’t quite figured it out yet – it is reminiscent of those Biblical memes that Dylan used back in the sixties.

In case you think that Where’s The Revolution is rather bleak, Jack reassures us with the final track, ‘It’s Only Rain’, which says that the rain is nothing we haven’t seen before and, by extension, the things he is singing about are nothing new. He’s right but I’m not sure that makes it any better. This is an album for the post-apocalyptic thinker – I like it.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: https://www.jackhenderson.co.uk/

‘Jesus And Jezebel’ – official video: