Jackpot Luck featuring Gary Bonanni
Picture the artist at his home studio, his home away from home, recording the guitar, drums, bass, piano, organ, percussion and synths before giving voice to all of that 60s, 70s, indie and guitar-driven 90s heat. That’s exactly what Bonnani did over a decade, while also singing for an Americana band he had formed with his wife: Just Married. Gary Bonnani believed it would take jackpot luck to see any of these solo efforts to be released; giving his EP its name. Listening to the EP, one cannot help but marvel at the sweat, the tears and the passion that would’ve gone into this one-man show; capturing so wholesomely, some of the darker unspoken moments that you have no doubt is completely Bonnani.
The EP opens with A Clown Around Here, with its garbled lyrics that slowly start becoming more and more lucid in your gut; especially towards the end. The singer starts with a careless drawl, and ends in an impassioned scream. It narrows down on its key moment, and lets go right there. The Saddle is gentler in getting through to you, while still having you nodding your head as it culminates into an electrifying guitar solo. The line “I’ll make you listen, until I’ve won” sticks with you beyond the song’s duration. Ugly Garden with its watercolor-imagery and gentle then eerie instrumentation is psychedelia at its best. It captures a world, and sinks into it, until you’re just as (repulsively) fascinated by it too.
Head Full Of Stone was a surprise favorite! Standalone rap songs usually make me cringe, but Bonnani pulls it off. While the previous tracks seemed to revolve around Gary the musician, I felt like this track gave us a snapshot of Gary the person; with artful instrumentals bringing the spoken-word inspired lyrics alive. Careless Talking is less tightly wounded than the previous tracks; as it frees you up, with its truths (or lies?) commonly unacknowledged.
The Feeling is spot-on, rocking on while featuring lyrics that pin it down to the exact syllable. “And you love it” he wails, “You want to regret it.” It is incredible how in this track, Bonnani’s lyrics and the accompanying instrumentals weave beauty out of greed, sin, ugliness; packing it with punch beyond measure. It’s a rock song that’s completely original in its take, to the extent of transforming your perspective of what’s within your reach while listening to it.
In a nutshell, Gary Bonnani’s JackPot Luck EP promises to carry the sounds of indie and guitar-driven rock. It does this, and more. The EP is a result of a decades-worth inspiration, pluck, effort and heart. Perhaps, this more than anything, contributes to how tightly produced and well thought out it is; though due credit also needs to be given to its producer, Alon Lotringer. If you’re on the lookout for a rock/ indie album that reaches far beyond its potential, maintaining its wholesomeness through its tribute to the ages, JackPot Luck makes for a remarkable listen.
Overall Rating: 8/10