Review: Jack Foley
HE RANTS about reality TV, his parents had the flash of inspiration
to give him a name which means 'hostage', he’s even had
'a horrible day with Gareth Gates' and yet he still manages to
have a good laugh about it.
It’s little wonder, though, given his inspiration arises
from one of his favourite possessions, a book, Sarah,
by J.T. LeRoy: "It’s about this guy who went through
this terrible thing when he was about 12 or 13," he says.
"He was sniffing glue and giving blow jobs to truck drivers.
He had the worst life imaginable, but he was the happiest man
in the world because things were going great and he was making
"He was seeing the bright side of everything. That really
inspired me. If you’re at the bottom there’s always
a way up. I try to look at life like that."
It’s clear from his debut album, How About That?,
that Gisli is not only an optimist, but that he also has one hell
of a sense of humour. His lyrics are inspired by almost everything
that has gone wrong in his life.
He started off as a drummer and has been in bands for much of
The most important of them is a band called Pornshot, which was
formed by Gisli in Norway. He drummed with them for five years.
The lead singer also doubled as his girlfriend. So what happened?
Well, of course, it went all 'horribly wrong' on both fronts.
Gisli was rootless, jobless, girl-less and generally miserable.
He was finally lucky enough to land a minor job at a record company
that signed Pornshot.
Using the company’s studio, he crafted away ten songs.
When he took them all to the record company’s boss he loved
them and hotfooted it with Gisli’s demo tape to England.
The rest is history and the result a fantastically diverse album
that screams hilarity. His lyrics are about as serious as Alanis
Morrisette’s use of the word ironic.
In his opening title track, How About That?, he talks
about princesses that used to be sluts, evil lawyers that used
to be really cool and really straight people that used to do coke.
The comedy continues in tracks like Straight To Hell
and Go Get Him Tiger, which features black hobos in white
suits, standing outside of Starbucks sipping on double decaf lattes
with low fat milk and shooting up heroin.
His Dinosaur Jnr-esque Worries and The Day It All
Went Wrong are slightly more sober acoustic tracks featuring
pretty guitar melodies and lullaby style lyrics.
Gisli is a quirkily curious character and is at his kooky best
in his latest single TV = The Devil. Slightly electro,
yet still rocking as ever, it is inspired by his hatred of reality-tv
Make Me Right is like an ode to fellow rock clown, Beck.
Aided by a similar lazy vocal approach, Gisli proclaims: “There’s
something missing inside my head and I don’t know if it’s
good or bad."
All in all, the album is full of contrasts and extremes. There
is nothing subtle about Gisli. He is pop’s new king of the
one-liner and he’ll make sure you know it too.