Run Home Jack – F.Y.H.T.
Run Home Jack’s “F.Y.H.T.” will blow back your hair and leave you feeling energized there are young rock musicians still out there and capable of composing vital guitar based work. Drummer Harold Godwin gets the track off to a raucous start alongside accompanying guitar flourishes before the song segues into a near staccato rhythm for its opening verse. The terse guitar work has a physical sound, in your face all the while, but the overall production of the song frames it in the best possible way for listeners. It couples nicely with lead singer Jersey Neese’s singing without ever upsetting the balance of the song.
Neese has a masterful approach towards making this song work. His vocals throughout the verses play towards a more emotional end of the spectrum, valuing nuance over sheer lung muscle, but he reserves a more uninhibited approach for the chorus and lets it fly with unrestrained ferocity while still reining himself into the song’s musical limits. His singing talents are more than enough to carry the tune and he proves to have compelling skill for dramatizing the material without ever pushing the song into hamfisted territory.
The lyrics don’t require much in the way of dramatization. “F.Y.H.T.” has a clear cut message that would be difficult to louse up; the title, short for “find your happy thought”, encourages listeners to hold onto the mental space that makes them happiest and refuse to surrender it for anyone or thing despite whatever trials you may face. It’s a welcome message and subject for rock music and hits a positive note without ever sounding too cheesy or corny. Instead, it sounds wholly believable and like Neese is behind every word he sings.
Neese is joined on guitar by Lowborn’s guitarist and songwriter Wes Lauterbach and they produce a thick, impressive guitar song between the verses and during the song’s chorus that accentuates the exultant character of the performance. Run Home Jack avoids any of the cliché guitar moves common to rock acts of the past, an obvious nod to the alternative side of their musical character, but their chops are abundant nonetheless. The explosive rhythm guitar playing popping out of this song from the beginning is a big reason why it will prove so successful with its target audience. Drummer Harold Godwin, however, makes a mark as well with his attack style and precise tempo changes. He understands how to milk the track for every ounce of its potential drama and elevates the tune several notches.
Run Home Jack has earned a great deal of well deserved attention on the back of their debut and the new release seems poised to expand their renown far and wide without ever subverting what motivated them from the first. The sheer joy of writing and performing they experience comes across during every second of this three minute song and they bring the type of energy to rock music that it deserves while avoiding all of the attendant clichés. It makes for one hell of a listen.