TRACK REVIEW: Jack Name’s “Pure Terror”

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“Pure Terror” is the first available track off of Jack Name’s upcoming album, Light Show—a “sci-fi novella” that takes the listener on a vivid trip through a fictional landscape of war between the bullies and the shadows. Though it’s the debut release for Jack Name, the man behind the moniker is actually seasoned L.A. musician John Webster Johns, who has produced and toured with Ariel Pink and White Fence.
Like an alien spaceship landing on Earth, this track comes in with spacey sound effects before bursting open at the seams to reveal an instantly appealing hit—a catchy, pop-y melody camouflaged by lo-fi, drowsy distortion. It’s psychedelic in a futuristic way, rather than a nostalgic-for-the-60s way.
The song sets up the darkly fantastical story in which the evil bullies are totally destroying the shadows (“We got letters from home, our friends were turning to stone”). Other lyrics like “I was there with the gang the time the telephone rang to say a sleeper bit the leader with his medicine fangs” give us a glimpse into Jack’s elegantly fanciful imagination.

The track builds up until its closing lyric, “pure terror makes you feel like you’re burning alive,” which is surrounded by shredding guitars, furious percussion, and high-pitched, childlike background vocals. The song ends in calamity and leaves you wondering what comes next in this compelling narrative.

Stay tuned until Jan. 21, when Light Show drops via Ty Segall’s new label, God? Records, and in the meantime listen to “Pure Terror” here.
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