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EP Review: Jack Cookson – Two Rooms

EP Review: Jack Cookson – Two Rooms


Artist: Jack Cookson
EP: Two Rooms
Tracks: 2
Release Date:  23/07/2013

Jack Cookson is an artist making an increased appearance on Holdupnow, and it’s unsurprising why. We told you all about his debut EP Five Times, and we also gave a special mention to one of the singles from that EP: My Eyes Were Blind. Now we’re back again to tell you all about the release of his latest EP: Two Rooms, a two-track offering consisting of a new single called Goosebumps in the Backseat and a cover of one of The Replacement’s most popular songs Bastards of Young, from their seminal record Tim.

So if you’re familiar with Jack Cookson, you’ll be aware that he describes himself as not really falling into any recognised genre. Throughout his short but colourful musical career, he has combined elements of acoustic folk harmonies with harmonica, much like Bob Dylan, or Neil Young, and on the other hand he’s played Americana/Punk, taking noticeable influence from bands such as The Gaslight Anthem and Bruce Springsteen. However, I asked Jack recently what he considered his musical genre to be, and how it had changed from Five Times EP  to Two Rooms. Jack had this to say: 

“I thought for a while my genre was created as soon as I picked up an acoustic guitar and sang, maybe with a harmonica too (falling into the folk bracket of course) but after many open mics and gigging with fellow artists of similar instrumentation, I’ve come to know that I’m lucky enough to have developed my own sort of style, like many others I’ve gigged with, but if you had to type in some tags on a music outlet, I guess you could say alt/folk/blues/roots…and I say blues because there are some unreleased blues tracks on the way! The biggest difference between my first EP and this new single is that I’ve got a whole years experience of ‘hardcore’ gigging under my belt, and it really rounds your techniques and confidence when it comes to executing your own songs. Five times’ songs were written, THEN recorded, barely any chance to gig them and tweak them.”

Personally, I find Goosebumps in the Backseat to be one of those beautiful moments in song-writing that is able to change your mood, and still all thoughts you have and entices you to be drawn into the song.

I asked Jack what the song was about, and he told me that: “Goosebumps in the backseat is the resulting product of listening to another person’s music for a very long time and getting quite attached to it, but feeling disappointment when it starts to change.

Where cover versions are concerned, the best choices are to either; reproduce the song so well that it sounds like it is being played by the original writers, or play it so differently and uniquely that it may sound as though you’d written it yourself.

Here comes the petty part. When it comes to his cover of The Replacement’s song Bastards of Young, I believe that it is one of the most gentle versions of the song I’ve heard to date. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of The Replacements since I heard my first song of theirs – Left of the Dial. It’s easy for me to see why you would want to choose a song of The Replacements, when I asked Jack why he chose Bastards of Young he told me that “Well bastards of young first of all, cus [sic] I frigging love that song, but I came to see it was a nice partner lyrically for goosebumps (Goosebumps in the Backseat). Young naivety being the main element, and not feeling tied down to anyone/anything…but I think with age we’re all starting to see we can’t live that way, free and all that.

However, I find that it lies in the grey-land of cover versions. It is too similar to the original to be said that Jack has taken his own spin of the song and made it his own, however, it isn’t similar enough to the song to be a perfect cover. All that aside, the cover is one of the best you’ll find from 19-year-old singer-songwriters in Devon, or any other county. Plus, if you’ve never heard of The Replacements this is as good an introduction as any.

If you’ve never heard of the Plymouth based musician then make sure that you check out his Facebook for dates in your local area, or his Bandcamp to hear more of his music!



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