By Ross Jones
Red Eye Radio is a promising debut, one that stands Browning in great stead for whichever path he chooses to head down next.
1. Electric Desert - Instrumental
2. The Family Guns
3. You Can't Love Me Anymore
5. The Stand
6. Dog Tired
7. Ain't Mean Much To Me
8. Word To The Wise
9. Cold Mountain Wailin'
10. Blue Eyed Son (Featuring Troy Redfern)
11. Dog Tired - Cassette
There’s a lot of parts at play here with Red Eye Radio, Jack Browning’s debut album. Perhaps that’s indeed its intention, the record interspersed with distorted voices as if battling with the FM dial while many hours into a midnight run.
Although Browning has obviously set out to make a rich-textured record that feels weighty and considered, there are points where he’s also keen to share something more raw and instinctual. That audibly notable difference in production is jarring at times, leaving the record’s overall sonic experience feeling slightly lost in its intention.
Nevertheless, Browning delivers these various styles with the maturity and discernment of a songwriter not writing his debut album. The whimsical, spaghetti-western nostalgia that he induces with ‘The Family Guns’ and ‘Blue Eyed Son’ segues seamlessly into the more observant waltz of ‘You Can’t Love Me Anymore’, a song that could easily be an uncovered gem in Vincent Neil Emerson’s growing catalogue.
While the acute earnestness of ‘Keroscene’ and ‘Word To The Wise’ may be a bit too on the nose, ‘Dog Tired’ is much more canny and striking - Browning’s lethargic delivery embodying the exhaustion we all have felt in an ever-spinning world. The way it’s followed by the unadulterated blues jam of ‘Ain’t Mean Much to Me’ shows how Browning can confidently flit between musical styles without losing the inherent strength of his songwriting.
Red Eye Radio is a promising debut, one that stands Browning in great stead for whichever path he chooses to head down next. It’s no question that’ll be a difficult artistic decision, but Browning evidently possesses the potential to create something even more refined with his sophomore effort.
Jack Browning's 2023 album Red Eye Radio is out now via R&D Productions.