(Out Now on SideOneDummy)
LURKING DEEP BENEATH THE SEA OF UK ALTERNATIVE ACTS is JAWS, a youthful band of brothers with a debut album that has enough teeth to take a great big big bloody bite out of the formulaic floaters up top. Clearly influenced by early Brit-Pop and pioneering new waves such as New Order and The Cure, they’re a hungry bunch looking to rise above the bottom feeders in a scene that’s crying out for revitalisation.
Despite a deep sentimentality, there’s enough fresh thinking on offer to suggest they just might go the distance. Starting out with the dark 80’s infused Time – which could detonate in trendy clubs and neo-punk dive bars alike – is a misleading and obscure opening comparative to what follows. Cameron combines spiralling reverbs and space-age guitar noises to compliment echoing vocals and an energetic math-style percussion. The Hall and Oates affected Swim maintains the vibe with shimmering synth and a Peter Hook like bassline, while Sunset State is an explicit musical ode to the luminous lifestyle of the west coast that sees the band head for sandier shores, in search of a more gratifying feed.
After a string of EPs and foundational singles, there’s an undeniable buzz that explores new emotional depths and establishes the band as venue-filling crowd surfers on both sides of the Atlantic. With songs like ‘NYE’, which builds patiently into an anxious celebration, and Filth, an Indie-Rock number packing enough girth to make Foals green with envy, its obvious there’s something distinctly formative in development here. Wade a bit deeper and Think Too Much, Feel Too Little brings some much needed technical diversity, while Home, Gold and a dangerously Stone Roses-esque title track strike furiously at the heart of the stealiest purist.
Not entirely ground breaking but certainly gratifying, Be Slowly marks the beginnings of a band ready to tread in very familiar waters. (8)