Jaya The Cat

More Late Night Transmissions With...

Written by: HES on 01/06/2014 21:40:38

Bostonites/Amsterdammer Jaya the Cat are not really new to the scene. Their first release was in 1999 so "More Late Night Transmissions With..." is not exactly their first trip around this block. The band specializes in frat-inspired lyrics on top of pop'ish rock with ska-elements - but it's a bit of a far stretch to call this album a ska-album. The lyrical universe centres around binge-drinking and love - a mix this scribe cannot put one single finger on. However it does seem a bit bland when you get past song number five. The song titles are quite inspired by this thematic including "Hold My Beer and Watch This" and "Hello Hangover". When the band strays from the theme it's mainly to go into the also heavily used "system"-critique. Nothing new to see here.

Musically the album is very straight-forward; We're definetely in the softer, sunshiny part of the ska-spectrum occupied by bands like Sublime. Actually this area should be dubbed "reggae-punk" and not "ska-punk", really, as the composition nods more to reggae than ska - at least if you relate ska to 2 tone or Third Wave like I do. Lead singer Jan Jaap "Jay" Onverwagt has a very distinct, hoarse voice. On "Thank You Reggae" he tries out mixing it up with a touch of Jamaican without being terribly successful. The style of his vocals does get a bit strenuous if you have to listen to the album more than once in a row, but I appreciate the more punk-ish vocals on some of the softer songs.

Now don't get me wrong. This is a decent album - as long as you accept the fact that the band is not trying to really do something mindblowingly different or revolutionary. I would've loved a bit of horns or maybe a bit more roughness here and there. But I suppose changing the formula of something that kind-of works is also just hard to get a band of sixteen years to consider. Overall I just think the outcome is way too polished and clean. Anyway; This album is alright for a day at the beach and it fits the current blessings of great weather, but I suspect it to be easily forgotten at the end of the summer.

Download: Voice of the Poor, Government Center, Hello Hangover
For the fans of: NOFX, Sublime, Rebelution
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.05.2014
Bomber Music

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