Jackson United is a spinoff project for Chris Shiflett, guitarist for Foo Fighters. In short, if you like Foo Fighters, you will like this. In fact, if you like the Smithereens, if you love the Clash…you’ll like this. Jackson United’s Harmony and Dissidence is rock of the no-nonsense variety: big guitars, big drums (courtesy of one Dave Grohl) and shouted choruses. Fun stuff. There’s a ska beat in “Undertow,” and with its organ underpinning, it sounds like The Romantics meet The Attractions. If that recipe sounds appetizing, you’ll like this. If it doesn’t, well, you’ve probably wandered into the wrong website, bub.
It’s a bit sad that Harmony and Dissidence is tagged as “alternative rock,” since what it represents and serves up is rock of the most traditional sort (and that’s meant here in the best possible way). Jackson United strikes a perfect balance between grit/grime/grunge and spit-and-polish. On close listening, one finds that the multiple guitar lines are always doing something interesting, not merely bashing out the basic chords. There’s enough variety to keep things interesting, enough consistency to keep things cohesive. In short, a winner.