Jaguar Love

Hologram Jams

Written by: TL on 15/07/2010 23:12:19

As you may have noticed, my review-production has ground to a half, and I seriously need to gain some momentum. I'm not sure why writing has seemed so unattractive and unimportant of late. Maybe it's just the growing pile of promos in front of me that seems to have less and less to offer, by means of stuff that's truly exciting. Take "Hologram Jams" for example, the sophomore album by Jaguar Love, the band that spun-off the venerable The Blood Brothers. It should be a big deal. I should care how Johnny Whitney and Cody Votolato are doing. I should be aching to provide you with my profound perspective on their album... But I'm not? Maybe it's because I can't for the life of me remember a thing about their début "Take Me To The Sea", or maybe it's just because that, in spite of increased memorability, "Hologram Jams" still falls slightly short of true excitement.

This time around, Jaguar Love have gone for an approach that I would call electropop full of punk attitude. While guitars are still present and fairly prominent, it's sampled beats and cheeky synths that form the instrumental mainstay behind Whitney's infamous child-wail. Despite labelling themselves indie, there's little restrained or obscure (traits I'd normally attribute to that term) in his hysterical vocals, rather he shouts in your face with a cheeky attitude in the veins of Foxy Shazam or Mindless Self Indulgence. However, while pretty much every track on offer sports either a catchy chorus or an interesting bit of rhythm or melody, the overall compositions too often feel simplified and predictable. Compared to Whitney and Votolato's former band, there are too few surprises, and compared to MSI and Foxy, Jaguar Love go to neither the extremes nor the excess that those bands stand for, and they appear just slightly more 'square' for it. Maybe they're getting old, or maybe it's me who is, and that's why Whitney's singing almost annoys me on occasion, but regardless, "Hologram Jams" has enough cool ideas to entertain those who are still honestly interested in Johnny and Cody's exploits, but for casual fans or newcomers, this is more of a 'mere' good record than a great one. The shadow of BB still looms I'm afraid.

7

Download: Cherry Soda, Don't Die Alone, Everything Is Awesome
For The Fans Of: Foxy Shazam, The Blood Brothers, Mindless Self Indulgence, Victorian Halls
Listen: myspace.com/jaguarloveband

Release Date 02.03.2010
Fat Possum

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