Let’s dive straight in, shall we? This is a superb record. As far as I’m concerned, the Birmingham three-piece have produced anything but a difficult second album with this work that for me, effortlessly surpasses the fruits of their debut LP Be Slowly, released back in 2014. Given its overall quality, it really is difficult to highlight standout tracks from this album. From the glorious haziness of ‘On the Sunshine’, a track that oozes the cool-kid laid back style that exemplifies what I love about JAWS, to the more intense yet equally brilliant ‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’ that demonstrates the highly impressive playing abilities of the trio, Simplicity is an album that is destined to cement JAWS as one of the most exciting indie bands in the country.
At this stage, I have to give credit to my good friend Tom Hemingway for getting me into JAWS in the first place. It was back at Reading 2013 that I was dragged against my own will over to the BBC Introducing stage, Tom claiming that he knew I’d like this band that were up next. To this day I am overwhelmed with relief that I wasn’t overcome with the childish ignorance that was making me reluctant to acknowledge ‘introducing’ stages at the time. It’s resulted in me discovering one of my favourite bands to date and I’ve certainly learned my lesson since then!
Getting back to the album, it’s towards the end of the record that the sound seems to change from that of a youthful summertime frenzy to more of a grungy and emotive comedown. The tracks ‘In the Morning’ and ‘The Invisible Sleep’ especially are considerably more sombre and low-tempo than the rest of the album. However, in no sense does this mean that they are poor tracks. I’m not saying that the band should play these songs in their live shows but as a listening experience these tracks are hugely relaxing and act as a warm-down as such, a period of rest after the infectious thrill of the previous eight tracks.
As we begin to wrap things up I’d really like to talk about the track ‘17’. What’s special about this song is that it delves ever so subtly into a more electronic genre, something that I would consider to be relatively unheard of for JAWS. The track fits perfectly into the album as a whole, its synthesised foundations provide an entrancing rhythm that builds and builds until the track bursts into life with yet another guitar ensemble that is guaranteed to get your head bouncing. In the way of a conclusion then, I am immensely happy with Simplicity as a complete album with very little to be disappointed with! The album is out now and if you’re lucky and quick you can catch JAWS on tour up and down the country between the 23rd November and the 2nd December. For more details, check out their website at http://www.jawsjawsjaws.co.uk/