2 December 2016
JAWS - Simplicity
Even in the end of my own self-imposed period of blog deadline, I am looking at albums and picking them for the cover. Sadly, for me at least, I missed their recent sold out show in Newcastle upon Tyne, but as time is tight I will just jump into a brief introduction to this cover roulette choice. As part of my ever-growing series of albums I am picking for the cove alone, JAWS are not a shark; neh, they are an indie pop/rock band from Birmingham, England and 'Simplicity is their second album. The review for this album have been positive for the most part, but I am looking just at the cover first, which is a beautiful image that I have been told does contain red (colour-blind boy here) - so does the music match the image?
01 - Just A Boy
A mixture of shoegazing, indie rock and a tiny bit of grunge in some of the guitar tone, and this song about still being too young and wanting to grow up is a surprise to these ears. Shoegazing looks like it is coming back around and it sound fantastic. The song is not running out of the blocks, but it is played with a confidence that is needed when performing this sort of music.
02 - What We Haven't Got Yet
Another moody piece here, with a lot of energy and a need to escape a small town and venture out into the world feels like it driving this song (even though Birmingham is one of the biggest cities in the UK). The guitar tone is the winner on this song once again, it sounds timeless and it makes the hairs on your neck stand on edge.
03 - Right in Front of Me
Now this one is quite possibly a late contender for song of the year; it mixes Interpol sensibilities with Ride, Slowdive and even a bit of The Strokes when they are at their best. It has passion, drive and an insanely catchy chorus. It is a gem on this album, song of the record.
04 - 17
Slowing down the mood, this tale of youth sounds mournful and lost in a way that teenage angst and emotions can only sound. It is needed in some ways, you cannot have epic tracks all the time and it certainly breaks up the album nicely. A good song, not my favourite as it is a little too reflective in places, but still one that I would not skip over.
05 - Cast
It is that guitar tone that is dragging me in once again on 'Cast' and it hooks you in instantly and you are taken down this moody and darkened street. It is another song that gets under your skin and lays its hooks in and makes everything sound as if the night is coming in and there is a possibility of excitement. I like it when band’s sound like this, this is one of the best songs on here with 'Right In Front of Me'.
06 - Interlude
The night is dark and there is loss in the air, sounding as if it was built for the long hours of the night when you are soul searching, 'Interlude' is a beautiful piece of music that will either have you enthralled or not be your thing; it is a piece that will not have any casual fans and it is one that I really like.
07 - On the Sunshine
'On The Sunshine' is a song that I could really give or take to be honest, it is not too bad as a mid-paced song that does not really hit its stride for me, but does nothing wrong in the same instance either.
08 - Work It Out
Sounding as if this is being made in the aftermath of a fight, with a sound that could have been used in the 80's to be honest and a pop sensibility that is almost timeless. A sad number, decent and one that takes a while to settle for me, but worth it.
09 - In the Morning
With an uneven drum beat, 'In the Morning' is a song that takes a few listens in make sense. The spaces that it leaves are quite big and they sometimes last a few moments too long, but the band are confident enough to actually make it work in their favour and it ends up being another one in the good column for this album.
10 - A Brief Escape From Life
Now this song is a glorious pop song, it is very much in the form of early Deacon Blue and that is a great compliment for me, as it has a sound akin to the 'Raintown' era of that band. It has love at its core, it has a jangling guitar tone and it makes the world a better place for being played - job done for me on this one, another great song.
11 - The Invisible Sleep
Ending the album is 'The Invisible Sleep' which ends the album on a solemn note that is befitting for this album. It is one that lets the emotions come to the surface and unleashes the band from their tight indie pop with some passages that let rip on the world. As ending tracks go, it is spot on for me as it goes out with a bang and not a whimper; well played JAWS, well played.
Overall, this album is one that came as a surprise and I am so glad I got to review it. It is a great album that has a clever mixture of indie, pop, rock & shoegazing in every song and even the fillers are still good. These guys are ones to watch and will be huge one day, trust me on this one.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart
You can purchase Simplicity on Amazon here.
You can visit the JAWS website here.
You can visit the JAWS Facebook here.
You can stream Simplicity on Spotify here.
You can stream Simplicity on Deezer here.
You can stream Simplicity on Tidal here.
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