Jack Adamant is an Italian songwriter living in Stockholm, Sweden who’s been playing guitar since he was twelve years old and has remained dedicated to the craft, fitting the “adamant” moniker. Taking from American bands like Superchunk, The Pixies, Bob Mould, and Dinosaur Jr, he sounds like a second or third generation alternative indie rocker, similar to the pop punk bands coming out in the early 2000’s, and he sings all in a pretty commanding English.
His latest album, called Obscure Places and Cupboards, starts out with a Superchunk-like lead: “Can’t find the words to begin / With all the things I hate to say.” For someone who might be slow to speak, however, he’s got plenty to say. And plenty of thrilling guitar iterations, including different guitar tunings, falling steadily in line with the famous rockers who came before him.
“Where’s the knob that moderates the pain? / Where does it start, the circle of life?” The album deals with modern quandaries in punk rock style, touching on the joys and pains of relationships, the mystery of faith, and the power of dreams. “It can’t be real, this God seems too kind / I can’t believe him tonight.” Jack uses this kindness, to its full potential, diving deep into a genre of music that has changed his and so many of our lives, in an album and career that focuses on every detail of the indie rock product.
He worked with his friend Ged, who drums on the record and gave important production feedback, who also did the wonderful cover of the album, which plays on the idea of recording in different “obscure places,” and which touches on the isolation surrounding the pandemic. On the cover is a monkey, a sort of Easter egg, that Jack said appeared in some of Nirvana’s videos.
Music has been his passion and his relief, and something that people around him did not always fully support. “Space Frame,” for example, a song that takes from bands like Blur, is an imaginative song about meeting his family in an alternate universe. “The wonder is a man who finds a place / My wonder is a shame / The wonder is a turn into the wind / My wonder is grimace.” His definition of wonder has not always matched the definition of those around him, but still he has remained adamant, like his name.
It’s an album that brings the past into the present and his passion into production, and ultimately our speakers and headphones. There’s good variation on the album, a couple slow songs, but mostly it just rocks your face off in good 90s alternative, 2000’s pop punk style. Though it can sound a bit derivative at times, there is a great creativity and authenticity about the record. There are also some great music videos that accompany the album, which you can check out on his artist’s website. Overall, it’s a fun and deep and moving listen.