Jaill - Traps

by Nathan Fidler Rating:8 Release Date:2012-06-18

No surprise that Sub Pop signed this band in 2009: They fit perfectly into the infectious, indie-pop bracket, with intelligent lyrics to boot. Jaill sound like a breezy but warm summer, mixing pop and rock from the 60s and 70s. Here is a band who will seep into your brain and take over with hooks and melodies. 'Everyone's a Bitch' is the first of many tracks from their new album, Traps. It's deceptively simple in its hook but will have you swearing like a trooper at anyone who happens to be around you when you're listening to it.

It ought to be hard to write songs with well-trodden subject matter and a sound so out of date, but a recent revival for jangling surf guitars helps Jaill manage it in an effortless manner. You might even dare to say they have a bit of The Kinks about them. The slightly clunky 'House with Haunting' feels like it borrows from Television, but has some clever lines: "I can't blame anybody but myself for getting old". Vincent Kircher is of the James Mercer mode when it comes to lyrics, blending darkness into the vibrant tracks, and beauty into the slower ones.

The crux of Jaill's likability lies in the lead guitar, mirroring the vocal melodies and providing just enough in the way of riffs and simple reverb solos to push songs along. At times the rhythm guitar becomes lazy, playing the same strumming patterns but with different chords. 'Madness' could induce just that with acoustic rhythm guitar. They're aiming for twee but end up with annoyance.

It's a shame this album can't hit a perfect 10 because songs like 'Waste a Lot of Things' and 'I'm Home' feel like they add to the indie-rock scene which sorely needs a new front-runner with some fizz and confidence.

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