Jackpot Luck featuring Gary Bonanni
On initial listens of JackPotLuck, one is bound to visualize a classic full-blown rock band, replete with long hair, bandanas and leather jackets. One would be genuinely surprised to find out there is just one person behind the whole thing – just as I was. JackPotLuck is multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Gary Bonnani’s first EP. It has been recorded entirely in his home studio, with Gary singing and playing guitars, drums, bass, piano, organs, percussion and synth.
In Gary’s words, JackPotLuck represents a reflective time in his life, where he sees the days of locking himself in his studio and spending countless hours crafting songs coming to an end. And following on this, most of the six songs in the album do feel heavy and relatively dark. If you’re someone who’s a fan of 60’s, 70’s, indie or guitar-driven rock of the 90’s, this EP is sure to get your attention immediately. All the tracks sound gritty and raw, and feel like a fitting tribute to the genres. I had to give the songs quite a few listens for them to grow on me, and through this process, I couldn’t help but marvel at Gary’s brilliant efforts in putting the songs together all by himself.
Coming to the tracks, Ugly Garden stood out with its melodramatic feel and subtle acoustic opening. The short but extremely effective organ solo is icing on the cake and gives the track its identity. The lyrics, with their morbid feel, tended to remind me of Poets of the Fall, and are open to individual interpretation. Another track which caught my attention was Careless Talking. The song begins on a groovy note and has a prominent indie feel. The edgy grunge on the guitar packs a punch and adds character to the track. The solos sound effortless and free flowing with Gary’s singing swinging between feelings of got-nothing-more-to-lose and angst.
In The Feeling, Gary treads on convoluted grounds as he sings about the satisfaction making music brings to him, but how it can also backfire as it has complete control over him. The bassline is noticeably punchy and the track has a tense feel throughout. Head Full Of Stone is the only light hearted track of the EP and sounds like a welcome change from the rest of the serious stuff, while still retaining the overall sound of the EP. Gary seems to goof out in this funky track and it is quite evident from the pretty catchy chorus ‘Leave me alone now, I got a head full of stone now’. Gary also does some experimentation musically with spoken word-like singing and hints of hip-hop influences, and the package comes across as a fun track.
The Saddle continues to drive forward the moody feel of the EP, with Gary singing about his songwriting and composing process. The lyric flows like poetry and even made me strike some resemblances to Led Zeppelin. The lyrics stand out in this track, which also has a good groove going for it. A Clown Around Here, the EP opener, is a track which sets up the feel for what’s in store, and is decidedly another melodramatic take on Gary battling his inner demons. The track is on the darker side and demands the listener to be in the right mood to enjoy it.
JackPotLuck is no doubt an impressive collection of songs. There is a certain originality felt throughout that just might win JackPotLuck its share of followers amongst the rock fanbase.
Related Article: https://www.boomatemag.com/2016/03/gary-bonanni-jackpotluck.html