It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.
Originally this week's What's in a Name column was to be a breakdown of the Radio Dept.'s name. Oh it would've been glorious, but they went and cancelled their tour and we had to scramble to find someone new to misrepresent. That's how we met the Static Jacks.
At this point we can't really tell you if we like the band or not. They reminded us of the aggressive indie rock stylings of Houston's own 71s when we first sat down to listen, but there are shades of the more rock and roll moments of Duran Duran in the voice of Ian Devaney. The songs, especially tunes like, "My Parents Lied" sometimes dance dangerously close to the edge of the hipster wasteland, but it's precisely those kind of songs that make us remember how cool it was the first time we heard Simon Le Bon belt out "Union of the Snake."
We're watching them with a wary eye, subtly nodding our head and snapping along. We most definitely dig what they're doing, but we've been burned before by bands such as these. Next thing you know they're in a Mountain Dew commercial, and we have to break up with them. Till then, though, party on.
But that name... Static Jacks? What the hell does that mean? Does it means jacks that don't move because that's already the point of jacks. That's why they have the little deedlybobs, so they stay in one place while you try to grab them before the ball comes down.
We had no choice. We phoned up Devaney on the big red name phone and asked him 'bout his name, yo!
"All of our middle names are Jack, so that took care of most of it," he said. "When you plug a guitar into an amp that is already on, and it makes a static-y sound."
Get it? Static Jacks. It's so simple, so mild-mannered and unassuming... like Clark Kent. There simply had to be more to the story. Imagine for a moment that you've got this rock star getting ready to plug in to his amp and lay down some awesome riffs. It's on, and just as he plugs in lighting hits his house and reverberates through his amp and into his guitar. He's no longer a mere man, he's a superhero! Static Jack! That had to be the real explanation.
"If you had superpowers," we said, "And we totally don't think you do, but if you did what would they be?"
"The ability to float a maximum of three feet off the ground, because it'd still be awesome, but in a measured and maybe slightly disappointing kind of way," Devaney replied.
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Well, either he's lying or he really isn't a superhero. Then again, that's true of all of us.
Static Jacks (n) 1. A band you tentatively love. 2. The sound one makes when plugging a guitar into an amp that's already on. 3. A masked vigilante with electrokinesis.
The Static Jacks play Saturday October 29 at Fitzgerald's with the Wombats and the Postelles.