Photo by Linsday Dakin
The unmistakable Jack Garton and his latest project the Demon Squadron will soon release their first remarkable album appropriately titled Move the Mess Around. Garton is originally from Vancouver and now resides happily in the inspiring Galiano Island amongst his wife and three children. Garton has been making music for over ten years and is known for his previous accordion, songwriting and singing contribution to the B.C beloved Maria in the Shower. Garton assembled the Demon Squadron in 2013, which is compiled of a spree of talented B.C based musicians. Amrit Basi plays drums, Brendon Hartley is on bass, Adam Farnsworth is on keys, Steven Drake on Lap Steel and Sage Trampleasure plays the violin. The Demon Squadron have been touring over the past few years, polishing and performing many of the tracks from this gem of a debut album.
Move the Mess around is a conceptual explosion of polyphonic precision. It’s vibrant and fun yet refined and sophisticated. One couldn’t work without the other and the band is intelligent enough to perfect the sound of straddling the balance between festival party rock and timeless roots music. Their sound is certainty eclectic but not scattered. Garton’s skill in accordion is ever-present throughout the course of the album, which provides a strong foundation for the multi-faceted instrumentation. On top of this foundation the musicality involves textured keyboard work, a polished horn section, brilliant percussive work, elegant violin and deeply echoing bass. On top of the complex instrumentation is lyrical marvel and resonating harmonies. Garton assembled a variety of relatable matter of fact stories to heartbreaking metaphorical lullabies all sung with vigour and astonishing range.
Each song sets a different tone, some make you want to dance around a barnyard and forget you are employed (Straight Line) while others make you want to brood in your man- made misery and figure out how to stitch yourself back together (Two Drops of Gin). Some songs are autobiographical such as 700 years which is about Garton’s relationship with fatherhood. The last song on the album Swim Across the River refers to advice his own father gave him which he didn’t take, and probably should have.
The album contains a common theme of commitment, offering various points of view on this highly contentious subject. Jack admits this has been challenging for him yet he is always learning and this experience has made him stronger.The album is an honest, vulnerable yet relentlessly fun body of work that commits entirely to being authentic.This refreshingly real approach towards songwriting is palpable throughout the album and something we can certainly all relate to. We are all trying to be better, or at least we trying to find a way to move the mess around. Move the Mess Around is a brilliant album that is arguably the most appropriate and honest soundtrack for our current generation that is just trying to walk in a straight line.
Move the Mess Around will be released on Father’s day-June 19