While I've not begrudged their success, JAWS have never been one of my favourite bands from Birmingham. I've always seen them as being a little bit lacklustre. Yet for a bunch of kids as young as they are they are undoubtedly a talented band. Having seen them live I know they have a following of kids that go mental at their shows, but since that show I saw them at was two years ago I cannot really comment on how far the band have progressed since then. Up until now the song that has impressed me most of theirs is 'Surround you' (off the Milkshake EP). A catchy tune with traces of psychedelic synths, and a general laid back vibe.
So what a shock I've had when I pressed play on their new single, it's an absolute belter, it's louder riffier, dirtier, better. Their singer's vocals are still buried low in the mix, yet they seem to have more purpose. In fact the lyrics are less introspective, taking the current issue of political apathy* head on. I mean how about "do you believe everything you're told, read all about it before the news gets old" for an opening line?
While the guitar was used to add melody to the earlier songs, on this new song the guitar riff is the main focus. A huge distorted monster with plenty of drive and a squealy little lick on the end. This new track is grungey, and raw in a similar vein to Sonic Youth. It has the same raw vibe about it. Yet with the slow feedback in-between choruses, the rumbling bass, sometimes the absence of a good riff can be as thrilling as the riff itself. Now at this point I shall admit that in Birmingham alone there are plenty of bands who do this sort of thing, (Swerve, Kaleidoscopes, etc), but it's enough of a tune and enough of a change of direction to make me feel excited about them again. It's nice to see that Peace and Swim Deep are not the only brummie bands who can re-invent themselves. Well done JAWS, I can't wait to hear what you do next.
Give it a Spin here.
*Speaking of political apathy, https://www.facebook.com/groups/256857211181718/