Friday, July 30, 2010

Jaill, That's How We Burn - 8.5

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what Jaill sounds like. Although self described as psycho-pop, Jaill feels almost surfer, almost pop, almost alternative. The best description would probably be just four guys having a good time making music. Jaill strips indie music down to its basics: A vocalist, a drummer, a guitarist, and a bassist. There's no background vocals, no trumpets, no synthesizers, nothing groundbreaking or new. But in this way, Jaill's debut album That's How We Burn feels like a breath of fresh air.

The album starts off with "The Stroller". Just as you think this will be a slow introduction, the drums kick in the background, and the guitar lets out a riff that's hard to resist tapping your foot to. From here, we're introduced to Vincent Kircher's unique vocals that fit in quite nicely to the music. That's How We Burn's debut single "Everyone's Hip" really captures the energy of the band with it's catchy beat and fast paced vocals. At one point, Kircher even starts speaking in Spanish for no apparent reason. Other notable songs include "Snake Shakes" and "That's How We Burn".

Most of the album's songs don't last longer than three minutes, if even that. But it never feels like the songs are too short, but more like they aren't overstaying their welcome. Another excellent quality, although easy to miss, are the strong lyrics. No song ever seems to be a real repeat of what's been said before, and smart lyrics are a joy to listen to (Yes, I am running as fast as I can/ To a stunning and imperfect plan). Furthermore, the album strikes a rare balance between good lyrics and good music, with a lot of bands falling short in either category.

That's How We Burn is the definition of a strong introduction. Hopefully Jaill will be able to continue refining their sound and crafting even more gems in the future.

- J.W.

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