Shackle Jack
Gig Seeker Pro

Shackle Jack

Band Rock Metal


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


The best kept secret in music


"In Your Ear: Metal with a Twist"

By Tricia Woolfenden

HOLLAND -- Singer-guitarist Eric Evenhouse enthusiastically admits to being stuck in a musical time-warp.

His hard-edged, Holland-based four-piece, Shackle Jack, comfortably toes the line between hard rock and heavy metal, with a fervent nod to the rock influences of the late '80s and early '90s.
"We're influenced by that whole era," said Evenhouse, whose stage name is Buddha. "We're into melodic vocals and good beats instead of blood-curdling screams."

The group -- Evenhouse on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, lead guitarist Dustin Rea, bassist Jesse Davis and drummer Justin Glover -- came together about two years ago. They originally played under the name Freeloader. The guys changed monikers after discovering a plethora of acts with the same name. The change was early enough as not to confuse fans, and it afforded the band a fresh start.
"It was a little rebirth," he said.

In the interim, the band has balanced a heavy schedule of live performances with writing new material and recording. The band released "Jack in Irons" -- which, incidentally, was considered as a band name -- last summer. The debut album was self-produced over a six-month span. It features the band's first 13 songs and original artwork. "We had been playing and wanted to put something down," Evenhouse said. "The cool thing is, it's just a starting point. We've come a long way since then. We're watching the sound evolve."

Since the album was recorded, Shackle Jack has melded its "more mellow tunes" with its "thrashers" for a more blended sound, though it still allows for some variance in style, he said.

The sound is something akin to metal with a classic-rock twist.
"If (we) want to slow it down, that's cool," Evenhouse said. "If (we) want to speed it up, that's cool, too."

Shackle Jack has attracted a diverse audience, and Evenhouse said the band's music appeals to more than a particular subculture. Translation: You don't have to be a hardcore metal-head to fit in at a Shackle Jack show.

"We like to write things with a groove," Evenhouse said. "Anything with a good beat you can bang your head to ... our crowds are pretty much all over the place. It's on an individual basis."
- Grand Rapids Press

""Jack in Irons""

By John Sinkevics

This is hard rock with a steaming metal core, filled with surprising melodic passages, scary-powerful vocals by Buddha and sterling guitar leads from Dustin Rea. The Holland band, which also features bassist Jesse Davis and drummer Justin Glover. - Grand Rapids Press

""Jack In Irons" Review"

Another installment in the "metal up your ass" school of music, this Holland quartet makes a rocking offering to it's fist pumping fans. Songs like "Hard Rock Man" and "The Righteous Sound" celebrate the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, hard drinking and Taco Bell, with little perceptible irony. Self-proclaimed influences of Clutch and Velvet Revolver trudge through the 13-song album, producing riff after riff of pure rock fury. Members' histories include involvement in the bands Fluent, the recently defunct Necrophilicons and Black Tooth Grin. You can visit to follow their long, hard road of gigs, and pick up their new release along the way. - Recoil Magazine

"Guitars Blaze on "Jack in Irons""

By Austin Grisby

I'll set my cards on the table and tell you that I have little, if any interest in the metal genre of music. As I shoved the newly released "Jack in Irons" CD, created by Grand Rapids metal quartet Shackle Jack, in to my CD player, I knew that these boys were going to have to show me something to make me a believer.

Do I love metal music now? Meh, not so much. Did I enjoy the CD, yes.

Shackle Jack brings an interesting spin to the metal table. I know it isn't always an honor to be compared with the likes of a bigger band, but in this case, Shackle Jack is a spitting image of a fusion between Alice in Chains and Metallica. Some songs lean a little toward one of the respective bands, but in the end, the fusion was at some points uncanny.

The album did, however, follow the blue print for classic metal as it was extremely guitar heavy. This was fitting as Dustin Rae, one of the better guitarists that I've listened to, has crafted many licks that will impress fans that aren't in to that kind of music. Rae almost steals the show as the album is truly riddled with guitar. Behind the storming guitar are the versatile vocals of Buddha, whose changes in tone and pitch are either a hit or a miss. Jesse Davis's bass and Justin Glover's drumming hold solid throughout the disc, but never really have the chance to shine.

The band found different ways to change it up, to avoid the one thing that irks me the most about metal music: constant, boring repetition. I'm impressed with a cool guitar lick, but play it 20 times and that feeling quickly wears off.

The band fell in to this slight repetition in the song "Further", where the intro drones on for a while. The guitar lick wasn't necessarily that complex either. This was an indicator that the song would be one of the weaker tracks on the disc. Buddha flexes a good voice on the song, but at times, when he tries to add extra rasp in his voice, it falters. This displays a definite reach outside of his vocal ability. This is a rarity on the disc as Buddha is one of the better vocalists in the local area.

The guitar solo for "Further" added to its woes, being drawn out and boring. However, just when I felt like I should switch the song, Rae bumps it up a notch to make the listener fight through the rest of the song and say "Hmm.. I guess that wasn't so bad."

Fans who want to hear a Metallica impersonation (I mean that in a good way) will have to make their way over to "The Rules". Buddhas voice, whether it was purposely or not, gives Shackle Jack the exact sound as the rock legends.

"Take a Number" shows the methods the band used to changed it up not follow the same format for every song. For the first minute of the song, the rhythm guitar keeps the beat while a lead guitar plays a riff over it. While Glover is resting, the intro takes nothing away from the song as it creates a very strong statement that guitar players will appreciate. This exemplifies the amount of guitar on the disc.

"Take a Number" has a lot of instrumentals and keeps the vocals down too a minimum. The lyrical content falters though. The lyrics are pretty primitive and almost sound like the ones you'd hear in a country song. Take a number and get in line doesn't really project a bad-boy, metal image. Maybe they weren't trying to fit any stereotypes, but I just wasn't feeling the lyrics for this one.

However, the obvious gem on the disc is Full Metal Racket for any reason you can possibly think of. I had heard the song before it was mixed and mastered for the full-length, and at first, the fuzzy, AM radio sounding intro was throwing me for a loop. However, the intro takes a brief pause along with the sound of a shotgun reloading as the music kicks back in, creating an amazingly intense affect that compliments the song nicely.

This is by far their catchiest tune and is a soft version of metal music. This is the type of song that fans of all genres would learn to respect and enjoy. Buddhas vocals are crisp and clear with out a stale note to be found. Glover's drums get a chance to shine throughout the song as he keeps an upbeat rhythm that will make anyone tap their toes. Buddha sings the lyrics at a quick pace to keep the song moving but draws out a line where he sings "my M-sixteeeeeeeeeen" which gives the song poly rhythms that make it unpredictable. Its a lively song that fans will constantly listen to.

For Grand Rapids metal fans, "Jack in Irons" is a staple for your collection. However, I also foresee this CD making its way in to the CD players of even alternative and indie rock fans. This is a great album for Shackle Jack to make their move to the next level whatever that may be. - Dose Two E-Zine

"Metal Underground"

By Randy "Rocket" Cody

Shackle Jack doesn't waste one second with the opening track 'The Rules' in laying out their 70's throwback sound that is highlighted by a great party anthem-like chorus and a free-wheeling guitar lead. Their sound literally ties Cheap Trick and Black Label Society's together and bottles it up for you to swig down in all out rocking glee. The second track 'Helpless' is driven by a gutsy, low to the ground bass line and with fearless, down from the gut vocals. It's not as radio friendly as the first tune but it still keeps you interested enough to want to hear what's coming next. Track three, 'Farther,' is easily one of the album's best. It's one of the best produced and engineered out of the entire batch, offering the lyrics: "It's been doom and gloom since the harvest moon, I'll soon not forget I did you wrong," widening open with a great chorus to remember.

Track four, 'Depths Of The Damned,' downshifts into a more laid back rocker but the chorus is still a killer and that's what seems to be the band's strong suit. Lead vocalist, Eric 'Buddha' Evenhouse, combines that Dave Mustaine talk-snarl approach to his singing the verse lines and then seems to channel the great Robin Zander when it really counts. Track number five, 'Asleep At The Wheel,' kicks it off with one of the heavier riffs and allows the talented singer to show off some more of that higher pitched vocal range that he seems to wield like a weapon, though it's definitely the one song that could've been left off the collection due to the fact that the mix of the guitars and drums seems a bit scattered and uneven in its finished delivery. Track number six, 'The Righteous Sound,' builds up like a revved up engine with a sloppy but well-purposed Ramones-like rhythm. It's followed by track number seven, the totally forgettable 'Six Fee Deep'. The only thing memorable about this song is that it ultimately did come to an end. The guitar sputters out in a monotonous riff and the vocals just seem rather unconvincing. But the best has been saved for track eight. And this is why I love doing what I do for a living - it's the sweet triumph in musical discovery. 'Take A Number' is a shit-kicking, let's rip the doors off their hinges and light up the bong classic. Buddha sounds spot on to Mustaine here (in the most flattering sense) and the tune's whisky-fueled energy with dual guitar work from he and Dustin Rae, along with with a thumping Jesse Davis on bass and Justin Glover on drums is where this band needs to be all the time. Track nine, 'Bitter End,' falls way off the mark, however, finding itself void of any real direction. That's okay though. Every starting rock band is going to make mistakes on their debut full-length. Rarely do you ever get a Guns N Roses 'Appetite For Destruction' with one classic after the next offered.

All this said, the band delivers big with track ten's 'Full Metal Racket'. It's got a great production mix finally and opens with a sawed off shotgun being cocked for action, bursting out into a Pantera-ish guitar riff and is met head on with Buddha's vocal brilliance. This song is so good that it makes you kind of scratch your head. Why couldn't the rest of the album at least sound half this good? 'Full Metal Racket' has got a cool middle section too and features a guitar solo that's both bluesy and perfect in length - a definite 'bang your head' keeper for sure. Track eleven is 'Hellride' and it sounds like old Korn with its downtuned guitars. Buddha does an uncanny impersonation of Johnathan Davis here, oddly enough. It's too bad because the song has some cool structure and Sabbath-vibe but is just messy and not something easy to embrace due to this. Track twelve 'Split Decision' is more of the same problem, unfortunately, though Buddha returns to his own initial vocal style that was set forth at the opening. The final track starts with two guys talking on a cell phone, apparently Buddha is one of them and soon enough cries out the title 'Hard Rock Man'. But this song is again, depsite all its hopes, not effectively mixed down properly. The levels are just out of whack and too much here with not enough of that just leaves one scratching their head more.

Shackle Jack's 'Jack In Irons' is not a failure as a total product for a young band that is trying to find its own identity by mixing up what's been popular in radio-rock over the years and bottling it up for a so-called different taste, but I think they would have been better off just doing what comes best to them as heard in a few solid rockers here. They should just forget about those influences and formulas and just lay it all out on the line. Shackle Jack have that potential and it'll be interesting to see what they do next.

Highs: 'Take A Number' is a shit kicking, let's rip the doors off their hinges and light up the bong classic!

Lows: The spotty at best production value overall is what hinders this collection of songs from start t -


"Jack in Irons"
Released July 8,2006
Label: None
Produced by: Shackle Jack

Track List:
1. The Rules
2. Helpless
3. Farther
4. Depths of the Damned
5. Asleep at the Wheel
6. The Righteous Sound
7. Six Feet Deep
8. Take a Number
9. Bitter End
10. Full Metal Racket
11. Hellride
12. Split Decision
13. Hard Rock Man

Shackle Jack has had great success in the streaming radio arena with tracks like Depths of the Damned, Take a Number, and Full Metal Racket.


Feeling a bit camera shy


In the historic region of Yorkshire, England, “Jack in Irons” is said to lurk the sullen alleyways and lonely roads, forever in search of his next unsuspecting victim. Jack’s hulking body is cloaked with the chains of his imprisonment and garnished with the heads of his prey. Clutched in his hand resides a spiked club that thirsts for blood and inflicts punishment on those that cross its path. His rage is the product of a life of captivity and enslavement and every soul collected brings Jack one step closer to freedom.

Thousands of miles away in Holland, Michigan resides an equally brooding creature known as the music of Shackle Jack.

Its ten to midnight on a Saturday night in Michigan. Cigarette smoke looms over a full bar of music fans, eagerly anticipating the next band in the lineup. Those that have seen this band before are quickly finishing their drinks and making their way to the front of the stage. The others may not be fans yet, but chances are that’s about to change.

The lights dim and the background music fades as four shadows take the stage. Sporadic cheers ring out as each band member assumes their position and readies their weapon of choice. This is the calm before the storm. Anticipation reaches its peak. Finally, with the click of the drumsticks, the assault begins. The lights turn on to reveal the hard rock/heavy metal quartet, Shackle Jack.

Shackle Jack has been described as “a rowdy, good-time, make-you-want-to-pound-a-few-brews rock 'n' roll band”, and that’s just the way they like it. Jesse Davis owns stage right as he bangs his head as fast as he can, all the while maintaining his complex combination of “pop, slap and finger” bass technique. To his left, “The Bus Driver” Justin Glover, thrashes his 4 piece drum kit with the fury and power of a small army. Wood chips scatter like confetti off his sticks as he navigates a series of multifaceted drum lines with ease. Stage left is all power as Dustin Rea’s amp tries to keep up with his onslaught of metal inspired guitar riffs. His melodic but technical solos are as much fun to watch as they are to listen to as he bends and picks all of his seven sweat-soaked strings. Buddha feels right at home as he governs center stage with a low-sprawl stance and a voice of raw, versatile power. The intensity in his eyes tells the whole story. This band plays not just because they want to, but because the need to.

Shackle Jack was born in December of 2004 in a basement in Grand Rapids, Michigan when four guys got together for an audition. Each had their own personal reasons for being there, but they shared one common goal; to start an all-original, no B.S., ass-kicking band that could entertain a wide spectrum of music fans. Since that day, the band has surprised even itself by achieving every goal it has set out to accomplish. In under a year and a half Shackle Jack has been extremely ambitious, playing around 75 shows in their region in addition to a 3 day showcase in Las Vegas for the Fremont Street Experience as a headlining act. On top of that, they found time to record and release their self-produced, full-length debut album, “Jack in Irons” featuring fan favorites like Depths of the Damned, Full Metal Racket, The Rules and Take a Number. For most bands, a schedule like this could lead to strain, bickering and even possible breakup. For Shackle Jack it has been a positive experience, creating a family-like camaraderie that is evident at each and every live performance.

In the beginning, Shackle Jack set out to write songs for the audience. Hindsight proves 20/20 as they now realize they have been writing songs for themselves all along. Shackle Jack provides a therapeutic solace for each member to release the aggressions that can come with every day life. Songs like Farther and Helpless spawned from recent tragedies, and were created almost out of necessity as certain members coped with their losses. Full Metal Racket and The Rules were created in tribute to the United States military personnel and the sudden death of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott of Pantera. But, Shackle Jack isn’t all doom and gloom. Other tunes like Hard Rock Man, Hellride and The Righteous Sound celebrate the rock and roll lifestyle and their love for this band.

Like the fabled “Jack in Irons”, this band is an insatiable monster with an unquenchable thirst. Tenacity and dedication are their key characteristics and will prove to be the vital ingredients to the future success of this up-and-coming rock band. The next time you find yourself in a dark alley or a dark, smokey bar in America, keep your eyes peeled because you never know what may be lurking in the shadows ahead.

Detroit, MI

Quincy, MI

The Body Art Gallery
Ludington, MI

Redford, MI

The Center
Ionia, MI

The Club Soda
Kalamazoo, MI

The Corner Bar
Kalamazoo, MI

The Elbow Room
Ypsilanti, MI