Jaguar Love

Take Me To The Sea

Written by: TL on 22/09/2008 10:53:02

It was a day of almost unparalleled sorrow for music fans when the boys in The Blood Brothers revealed to the world that their band would be no more, and long did we mourn the demise of their trademark spastic post-punk explosions. With that in mind, I personally found myself in something resembling a state of joyful disbelief when I discovered that bassist Cody Votolato and singer Johnny Whitney had stuck together, and with the addition of Jay Clark (former guitarist of Pretty Girls Make Graves) on drums, created a new band called Jaguar Love, releasing a debut album fresh for me to review.

Upon popping the CD into your drive, you'll at first be delighted to recognize the unique vocal work of Whitney, still singing in a voice that wouldn't make sense for someone half his age. He sounds like a twisted child from some nightmarish parallel dimension. For a brief moment you may think that this marks the return of the sound you loved TBB for, but unfortunately, that notion is thoroughly grounded over the course of the album.

You see where TBB were part time post-modern and cheeky, part time hysterically destructive, Jaguar Love has removed the latter half of that cocktail and replaced it with a retrospective indie/garage sound, leading your thoughts to bands like The Hives when the going is wildest, and to Cold War Kids when things are kept subtle. The effect is merely that the irresistible appeal of TBB's sound has been narrowed considerably, and I find that Jaguar Love is unlikely to seduce anyone but indie enthusiasts. It's like the pressure on the gas-pedal has been reduced significantly and thus the quiet parts aren't as sharp, the loud ones aren't as violent and the choruses aren't as catchy, and what's left is a band that might try to leave the shadow of their former endeavors, but falling short of making it even halfway. Songs like "Georgia", "Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers" and "My Organ Sounds Like" do their bits to put memorable parts into your awareness, but the end result is far from impressive considering who's behind it.

Thus the writing on the wall is that "Take Me To The Sea" is an album you won't be inclined to put on very often at all, and it is definitely not to be taken as a revival of the long lost Blood Brothers. If you were a die hard fan or if you just think the idea of edgy indie/post-punk sounds fascinating, then by all means get it, but for all those who liked TBB for their sound rather than their persona and for all the casual listeners, it's fair to say that you shouldn't be too sorry about skipping this one.


Download: Georgia, My Organ Sounds Like..
For The Fans Of: The Blood Brothers, The Hives, Victorian Halls

Release Date 19.08.2008
Matador! Records

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