The seventh full length album, a guitar orgy of instrumentals.
J.J.'s first release since returning home finds him firing on all cylinders, from hard driving Rockers and roadhouse Boogie to uptown Blues and swinging Country.
The fifth album from J.J. Vicars, recorded at the end of his decade long sojourn abroad.
On March 11th, 2011 a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck Japan off the coast of Tohoku creating a tsunami that devastated Sendai and causing an explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. As if the triple earthquake/tsunami/meltdown disaster weren't enough the U.S. media had to do a particularly botch job reporting it. CNN's Anderson Cooper
On March 11th, 2011 a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck Japan off the coast of Tohoku creating a tsunami that devastated Sendai and causing an explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. As if the triple earthquake/tsunami/meltdown disaster weren't enough the U.S. media had to do a particularly botch job reporting it. CNN's Anderson Cooper landed on the ground with no story as events were still unfolding so he made one up live on air playing to doomsday scenarios. Toyota Kawasaki, some random cliche of a news journalist, jumped out of her taxi on the freeway in stand-still traffic to point her new iPhone around and declare that the entire country was shut down. American media outlets continued to print headlines such as "Entire Country Plunged In to Chaos!!!" while Fox News provided its viewers with a map of Japan's nuclear reactors, all of which turned out to be false. One was a nightclub in Shibuya that later added the first ever English to their website with the disclaimer that their club was powered by music and not nuclear fuel.
Amidst these events was the Reverend Double J reporting the actual news from his then-home in Chofu on the western outskirts of Tokyo. Having felt the quake as it happened while walking down the street he was now doing what every other American resident was doing, reporting local news and personal experience via social media to counter the "Godzilla Eats Japan In Nuclear Fallout" stories that the American press was spewing. During an exchange with Texas-based keyboardist Bull Durham he joked about writing a Surf instrumental and calling it "Meltdown". Empowered and intrigued by his own gallows humor that night he composed an instrumental befitting of the title. However, in an unexpected turn of letting the song lead the way rather than forcing it, it came out sounding more like Link Wray than The Ventures. Nobody was surprised.
The initial plan was to have several musician friends who were closely entwined with the Reverend Double J's news broadcasts fly in parts that he would edit together after having cut basic tracks. Hugh Ashton, author of many interesting books including highly noted Sherlock Holmes fan fiction, played dobro with the Reverend's acoustic group The Underachievers and flew in a steel guitar track. Mark Schwarz, bassist with both Max Blues and J.J.V., brought over the legendary Rocket Revenger to lay down the bass line. Austin, TX drummer, percussionist, and recording engineer Glenn Rios flew in a hellacious drum track. Further cementing the zeitgeist of the recording which Glenn's drum tracks had hammered in, Bull Durham flew in a keyboard track that sounded as if he and J.J. had not only cut live together but had been conjoined since birth. Two instruments, one mind.
But there was a problem, the steel guitar and the keyboard were playing in the same spots. The keyboard was essential since it gave it a distinctly Surf/Garage Rock sound that the song drew its inspiration from. But there was also a solution. Bull Durham had also flown in a synth drone along with his organ track. Meanwhile J.J. was fooling around with the drum machine he'd cut basic tracks with and found a Dance beat that had him howling with laughter. It almost worked. He used the drum machine Dance beat with the synth drone and the steel guitar heavily edited to be as choppy as possible. Now it worked. The organ solo was kept. Now it worked. The Dance remix of "Meltdown" complete with steel guitar was born.
The two singles were released under the name Premature Evacuation, a scathing reference to 'flyjin' -the people who fled parts of Japan such as Tokyo that weren't affected by radiation abandoning jobs, apartments, and even families and pets, riffing on the word 'gaijin', Japanese for 'foreigner'. The song made its stage debut during a benefit at The Pink Cow in Shibuya. Going on last after all the other acts, the video that comes with the album download is a sample from that evening and a rare glimpse into the late night revelry that characterized the time and place.
At the time they were part of the charity fundraising along with all the fundraiser appearances, money going to the relief effort. With that event over a decade old they are now available here directly from the Reverend Double J.
On his third disc guitar-slinger J.J. Vicars wanders up north for a dark ride through the heartland of America. Inspired by an intoxicated mix of The Stones, Humble Pie, and early Skynyrd with touches of Oscar Wilde and Charles Bukowski this is his heaviest and hardest rocking album.