Despite the rather small shortlist this/last week, there were still some absolute crackers on display and album of the week could easily have gone any one of three ways. In the end I plumped for the classic indie sound of JAWS but I would also highly recommend checking out Priests and W. H. Lung
Playlist at the bottom.
JAWS – The Ceiling
Album of the week – Classic indie from the Birmingham trio that’s a joy to listen to.
This is the third full length outing from Brummie indie-rock trio JAWS and this album displays enough maturity and song craft to justify it as album of the week in what turned out to be quite a strong shortlist.
The Ceiling has just enough dreaminess, grunge and shoegaze to push a lot of my buttons, and in many ways is quite reminiscent of the work of Shame, who also produced a strong album with Songs of Praise last year.
It takes a little while for this album to get going. Driving at Night offers us some warm familiar tones, with a classic jangly indie guitar riff, while Feel has a distinct Foals feel to it with its poppy chorus and slightly staccato rhythm section.
All very nice so far, though not necessarily blowing your socks off, but the album keeps growing as you listen.
With Do You Remember? we get our first taste of some heavier grungy rhythm guitars, albeit balanced out by some lighter lead guitar work at first but as the song gets into gear the heavier tones dominate and we end up with a bit of a stomper.
Fear offers us laid back grooves alongside lighter touch guitars that really sweep you up as the song motors along. End of the World has some Slowdive influence at the start with some echo laden guitars complementing Connor Schofield’s vocals before the song veers off into a satisfyingly heavy area.
Two more indie classics follow, Patience offers us beats, whereas Looking / Passing has a more atmospheric start. But however build well as the songs progress leaving us well happy by the end.
Strangely, title track The Ceiling is probably the weakest track on the album – a lower key number that doesn’t really go anywhere.
Please Be Kind is another classic indie belter with an anthemic wall of sound guitar laden chorus, while closer January is another groove-laden number after a slower start.
Ultimately this is an indie album, pure and simple. But it is good to see that there are still some newer bands injecting a bit of fresh life into a mature genre at a time when some of the old names are coming back out of the woodwork to reclaim their territory.
Firstly, if you’re wondering where the releases from 29 March are, fear not, I’ll be working my way through those too this week and will review the best of them. As a result, the list of releases on my playlist for this week is slightly shorter than normal but should still contain some great nuggets.