In just four years, Birmingham four piece, JAWS, have made sure that they sit firmly in many young indie fans’ music collections. Their sweet hazy tunes draw us into temptation for something entirely delectable. Debut LP, Be Slowly (2014), showed that these guys had a story to tell, as well as fun to be had on stage. Since performing over the UK and at a number of festivals, it has been all about working on that notoriously tricky second album. Could the band propel themselves to greater heights? Safe to say, Simplicity is definitely a step in the right direction, with a great amount of growth, JAWS have given us plenty to be excited about.
‘Just a Boy’ cradles us into the album, a gentle introduction that isn’t without hints of something stronger, building an enigmatic atmosphere, leaving us hungry for more straight from the first bite. Then comes something a little familiar, a single released last year; ‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’. This is chill-wave with a kick of angst, something fans of Turnover will surely enjoy. Taking on an alternative surf-rock tone with a catchy, sing along energy, this is a track that’s sure to have a huge impact when performed live. The fierce breakdown makes ‘WWHGY’ not only catchy, but powerful too.
Another track worth noting is ‘Right In Front of Me’ – hazy vocals continue to soothe our ears, while both the guitar and bass add a dark, brooding tone. It’s deeper, but an upbeat rhythm keeps the indie fuzz alive, with that JAWS sound coming across much more refined, distinct and generally matured.
The album is not without its ‘filler’ moments, music that is pleasant at the time but bears little significance as a whole. However, with more than enough substantial elements, Simplicity couldn’t do without any of it. There are hypnotising songs where vocals are softly draped over a consistent tick that keeps our bodies in rhythm, calming the senses, all while maintaining our awareness at the same time.
There are also dark and mysterious tracks, take ‘Interlude’ for example, with its eerie Twin Peaks like melody. ‘Work it Out’ is an indie breeze blowing over a funk-rock groove, fuzzy and rhythmic all at once, the most psychedelic of the bunch, this track could have made in the clouds. Then there’s deeper bluesy tones and of course the track that sums it all up. ‘Simplicity’ encapsulates the essence of growth, and less is certainly more. Rather than changing direction, vocals are just slightly deeper in the verses, and the music pushes through stronger rather than differently. It’s a greater amount of power and it comes through so naturally.
The album explores a number of different styles, all while staying true to the signature JAWS sound. It didn’t seem like there was anything missing before, but Simplicity just proves that this is a band that keep getting stronger. Where other bands have failed, JAWS have flourished on their second album; this is very much their own refined flavour of indie/surf/alt/rock. Simplicity is a killer album that absolutely needs to be heard.
Simplicity is out now.