Only Son
Gig Seeker Pro

Only Son


Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Album review by Erik Erickson"

The sheer prevalence of dreary heartache albums littering the landscape of pop music history takes nothing away from the fact that in the right hands, this genre continues to prove effective and moving. Jack Dishel, the skillful and talented singer and songwriter for Only Son, proves this point in the band's debut album, The Drop to the Top, released in 2006 by Cassette Recordings. By all respects a "breakup album," Dishel's conviction and unashamed purpose molds the album into an interesting and intelligent exploration of alienation, ego reflection, regret, and anger.

The opening track, "Long Live the Future," grabs hold quickly with a mesmerizing mix of synthesized sounds and insightful lyrics: "...something to explain/before you rearrange my face back into what's his name." Dishel successfully frames the album into a cohesive union on this track exhibiting all of the aforementioned pains and pathos. Dishel's only struggle is maintaining the quality and tone of the album's opening four tracks. "My Museum" is the high point and the most likely single from the album with its infectious chorus and poignant reflection on alienation and relationship dysfunction. There is a certain rising action of subtle nihilism that nearly reaches its crescendo in "Quiet Surrender," the most Smiths like song until the final moments when an empty ray of hope is cast on our hero's captivating sorrow.

This may be where the album goes from being great to merely very good. The tension Dishel creates is enticingly slow burning initially, but songs like "House on the Highway," and "The Captain's Dead at the Controls," serve as ineffective resolutions involved in pedantic spats like, "Do you feel proud to see all the trouble that you made?" Dishel's vocals, as well, are much more interesting when understated, often crooning when it seems he should be screaming. He returns to this quality in "Black Limousine," a song with lyrical riffs like, "Remember when we were ten/ my complicated friend." The final song on the album, "True," has the clearest classic rock pedigree, with a swirling guitar into by Justin Asher and aggressive guitar and vocals by Dishel, but Dishel squeals a bit too much on the track and although an overall effective rave up, "True," seems to detract a bit from the things that really work about the album.

Dishel followed an interesting template of musical transcendence as a New Yorker who came to record in LA, and the music of Only Son seems to blend these sensibilities. When it works, Dishel's vocals seem reminiscent of Brian Wilson, with certain invocations of Lou Reed floating around. The sad, disaffected sun drenched surfer can be a satisfying motif for the listener and when it works in The Drop to the Top, it works extremely well.
- Indie Music Stop

"Album review by Dan Warren"

"The Drop To The Top", the remarkable debut album from Jack Dishel's Only Son, is a lesson in sincerity and restraint. The former Moldy Peaches guitarist's melodic, unaffected pop-rock is a tremendous relief amidst the excess and ambition that are all-too-common in the music business. It is the work of a skilled artist expressing one very original idea. And, despite a few weak moments, The Drop To The Top is a consistently engaging listen.

Dishel's endearingly nonchalant vocals and understated guitar work, along with bandmate Matt Tecu's light, insistent drumming, anchor the album. Dishel relies heavily on acoustic guitar, an intriguing contrast to his occasional experiments with synthesizers and computerized beats. The album itself spans just 34 minutes, but it is to Dishel's credit that he didn't make an attempt to bulk up the running time. The album's brevity only adds to its impact.

The album's centerpiece, "My Museum," is a near-perfect pop song. Still, most of the album's other tracks hold their ground impressively, and the best moments add depth and complexity to the vision Dishel realizes most perfectly with "My Museum." Dishel crafts another stunner with "Sleepyface," which is practically a symphony next to most of the other tracks, packing an impressive range of musical ideas into three-and-a-half minutes. The bittersweet "Brand New Broken Heart," the up-tempo rock of "True," and the vaguely psychedelic "Black Limousine" are also highlights.

Dishel's only major misstep is "House On The Highway," which masks his least-inspired song with a repetitive drum loop. The album's opening track, "Long Live The Future," is a much stronger composition, but the song is stifled by synthesizers and a claustrophobic arrangement. Dishel recovers admirably with "Only A Tool," which features spare poetry that would have made a late-1960s John Lennon proud. "Your heart is / Only a tool / Only a tool to feel love with," he sings, his acoustic guitar melting with another strikingly simple melody.

The Drop To The Top is a truly exciting debut. The transcendent "My Museum" is reason enough to seek it out, but as a whole the record is a strong indication that this may just be the beginning for Jack Dishel and Only Son.

-Dan Warren

- Hybrid Magazine


"The Drop To The Top" LP was released on Cassette Recordings in September 2006 and distributed by Fontana/Ioda Digital. When it was released it charted on many college stations and even went to #1 on a couple of them. Three tracks from the record are available for streaming here at Only Son's MySpace page:



Only Son is the music of NYC-based songwriter Jack Dishel. Before forming Only Son, Jack was the lead guitarist for indie darlings The Moldy Peaches. After the band went on indefinite hiatus, Jack began performing under the Only Son banner and for the last two years he has been touring large theatres in North America, Europe, and the UK opening for breakout star Regina Spektor. Onstage, Only Son has two incarnations: when far from home, Jack plays solo acoustic and sings along to backing tracks courtesy of his iPod. This setup is spare and personal, allowing him to connect with the crowd through the intense performance of his songs. Jack's stage presence is on full display and many people have mentioned how affected they were by the emotion of the music and the funny commentary in between songs.

When Jack is within arm's reach of his band on the east coast, Only Son becomes a 5 piece rock outfit. In this formation, the music gets more lawless and aggressive; the sweat pours and the people dance. The band hits hard but stays beautiful, careful not to destroy the intimate power of the lyrics and melodies. In both configurations, Only Son is a serious musical force to contend with.