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Jack J. Hutchinson – What Doesn’t Kill You

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Review by Gary Spiller for MPM

It’s a little under seven months since the hammer fell. Seven lunations since, from the very depths of the underworld, sparks had flown as the preacher had struck the lectern with his fiery gavel.

Cowled, cloaked the seventh son had stridden forward with deliverance firmly on his mind; objective subsequently achieved he marched forth with sinners atoned.

With autumnal ripples reaching across the land so the preacher once more makes deliverance. He clutches but four cards in his fist.

A coupling of pairs, a quadrupling of single pipped. With no rivers left to run the pain is unleashed. Subjugated the house crumbles. The preacher, knowingly, smiles the year’s work has been concluded.

Following up his wondrously fantastical long-playing release ‘The Hammer Falls,’ which received deserved widespread accolade, Leicester-born guitarist Jack J. Hutchinson has served up his latest portal of salvation in the svelte deluxe form of a four-track EP entitled ‘What Doesn’t Kill You.’ Bundled with a bonus DVD, Jack’s first, that includes the five singles off January’s album plus behind the scenes footage.

With a rumble of the thunder the keeper of the blues-edged hard rock despatches three reworked tracks from ‘The Hammer Falls’ and a gleaming shiny brand-new number ‘Days Of Thunder.’ Brimming full of dynamic kinetic all four recordings have legendary producer Kevin ‘The Caveman’ Shirley at the helm.

Having completed work on the three album tracks – work that further enhances and enriches the selected trio – Jack was contemplating going out on tour when he explains “I got a message from Kevin Shirley (Black Star Riders, Iron Maiden, Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Dream Theatre) at about 3am saying he was available to mix an extra track for the EP.

We’d already done three songs, but I had nothing prepared and we were due to set off on tour two days later I thought fuck it. These opportunities don’t come around often. So later that morning I booked the band into Anchor Baby Studios in Kent on a wing and a prayer.

Thus ‘Days Of Thunder’ came into existence. “Call it divine intervention or whatever, but I just picked up my Les Paul and wrote the song that morning. A few hours later we were in the studio, recording it. I was actually still writing the lyrics in between takes and emailed the tracks over to Kevin in Australia for him to mix it” continues Jack.

A new day dawning, the growling V8 ‘Days Of Thunder’ was given its first live airing during a stellar performance at Hangar 18, Swansea last weekend. An emotional gig, which was Jack’s last with long-time oh-so solid low-end pairing of drummer Felipe Amorim and bassist Lazarus Michaelides, it was most befitting that the trio ended their triumphant set with their latest and last recording together.

Working with Kevin Shirley has, with all respect to those who have strode before, elevated JJ to a new, higher platform. The worldly advice of ‘What Doesn’t Kill You (Only Makes You Stronger) possesses a deeper, darker resonance.

Utilising different takes on vocals and guitars Shirley has given an alternate take and vibrancy to the original production mix of Josiah Manning. Both are, in my humblest of opinions, equally valid and when numbers such as ‘Down By The River’ and album title track ‘The Hammer Falls’ can both breathe a different hued fire when viewed from a different perspective it demonstrates the depth that Jack’s writing possesses.

Summarised succinctly in a recent interview with website My Global Mind Jack observed “Take for example, Led Zeppelin and alternate takes of their tunes and the Beatles Anthology stuff, that kind of thing. The Shirley tracks sound very different to me to mixes that we got from Josiah Manning with ‘The Hammer Falls’ and I loved Josiah’s mixes. It’s just Kevin’s giving them a different sort of vibe.


What Doesn’t Kill You (Only Makes You Stronger)
Days of Thunder
Down By The River
The Hammer Falls

What Doesn’t Kill You (Only Makes You Stronger)
Call of The Wild
Straight To Hell
The Hammer Falls
World On Fire
Rip It Up (Behind The Scenes)

The EP can be ordered via Eyesore Merch https://eyesoremerch.com/bands/j/jack…

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