The Jimmy C is a difficult act to classify, so I’m not even going to bother. The solo project of Jamie Coghill (The Devilrock Four, The Even Stevens), switches genres so regularly that you would assume an album would sound more like a mixtape than a record. Impressively, this isn’t the case with his latest effort, Orbital Debris, he’s managed to create an album that is incredibly cohesive, despite the variety in song styles. Combining influences as far afield as Jeff Lynne/ELO, Queens of the Stone Age, Ween and even Tenacious D, it’s truly surprising how complete this album sounds.

Second track ‘Clear Today’ is a pretty obvious nod to ELO’s ‘Mister Blue Sky’ (pretty much the only things missing are a vocoder and an epic perm), but it doesn’t feel like a cheap rip off. Coghill’s homage is handled with style, and he creates an exceptional track of its own accord. This plunges straight into lead single The Man Who Never Dies’, probably the heaviest sounding track on the record, and a tribute to a very different band, Queens of the Stone Age.

Coghill’s songwriting is exceptional, and his lyrics are moving, emotional and, at times, utterly hilarious. He deals with some pretty heavy subject material in ‘Cast the First’ and murder ballad ‘Leather & Bone’ but instantly lightens the mood with comedic track ‘Colonel Thorne’ and the album follows a similar structure to the end. ‘Beyond All Doubt’ is a straight up salute to ‘Tenacious D’, even including a trademark Jack Black scream at the end and, while it’s clearly a joke, you can only wonder who the song is actually about.

While at 18 tracks it seems a bit daunting, Orbital Debris only clocks in at 44 minutes and, trust me, they’re 44 minutes well spent. In fact, we’d definitely recommend multiple listenings. The Jimmy C takes you on a ride through musical history and back out the other side. As he states in closing track ‘Eulogy’, “he wrote songs, but at least they were short”.

8.5/10

Wes Fahey

Orbital Debris is available now on Bandcamp.

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