Jiggernaut,
Jiggernaut
(self-produced, 2001)

If bands like Seven Nations, SixMileBridge, Brother and the Rogues haven't already convinced you that bagpipes have earned a place with the electric guitar, drum kit and other mainstays of hard, driving rock 'n' roll, this album should persuade you. These rockers can shake the room and crack the ceiling when Lars Sloan blasts out a tune. Add Wolf Loescher's guitar to the mix, and you'd better check your foundations for damage.

But don't think Jiggernaut is a two-dimensional, one-trick band. The music on occasion takes a step back into mellower climes, taking a breather in Celtic-soaked southern folk or ballads. Loescher's voice I was already impressed with, based on his work with SixMileBridge and his solo album Holy Grail, but Deanna Smith's vocals were a revelation -- powerful, yet subtle when subtlety is called for, low and throaty and edged with Southern Comfort.

Keep your eyes on the horizon. Jiggernaut is a band to watch. Although this is only a too-brief, 17-minute preview of the album to come, it's a tasty appetizer that will keep me watching the mail for the full-blown version to follow.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 21 May 2001