Jaill – Traps

Rating: ★★★½☆

It’s quite interesting to see the progression of modern indie rock, noticing that many bands are going back to classic rock n’ roll sounds to win over fans.  Milwaukee’s Jaill are one such band, and their second effort for Sub Pop, Traps, sees them getting close to perfecting the formula.  There’s bits of classic rock, elements of psych, drunken swagger, and hints of recording in your garage; now seems like the perfect time for the band.

“Waste a Lot of Things” kicks the record off, and it’s here where I first noticed that Jaill opted to hold back a little bit on this new release, which actually works in their favor.  There’s a steadier pacing to the track, rather than more immediate tracks from That’s How We Burn. It ends up as a stomping track with crashing cymbals that reveals itself as you draw near the end.  Even with “Everyone’s A Bitch,” you get the feeling like the band could possibly blast this one off, but while holding back on the song’s speed, they’ve allowed for the hooks to grow stronger.  It’s very anthemic in it’s construction, even featuring in “ooohs” in the chorus; you gotta love it.

Traps won me over with less urgency and songs that resemble more of a ballad.  “Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs)” says all that it needs to in the title of the track.  It features a strummed guitar, and even some female vocals harmonizing in the background; I don’t feel like these sorts of songs would have survived on That’s How We Burn.  “Madness” is another such song, which feels very much like a campfire song that was created in someone’s basement–I mean this in a truly endearing way, I swear. Light touches of keyboard and tambourine bring the rest of the track to life for the listener.

But, just because mellow tracks live here, this doesn’t mean Jaill still can’t throw out a rocker for you, even if it’s just a touch less furious than it was before.  “Ten Teardrops” lurks near the end of the record, hanging out behind some softer tunes, but it’s definitely a jam.  You’ll find jagged-edged guitars feuding with classic rock tendencies, giving the whole track a country-fied power-pop feel to it.  Bit of this sort lay all over the record, but aside from the earliest tracks, this is the most rocking in the latter half of the album.

Now, I’ll admit being taken aback when I first listened to Traps, as I was expecting something a little bit different.  That being said, after a couple of listens all the way through, my musical mind made the adjustment, and I think I ended up enjoying the record as a whole a bit more than their first release.  It’s progression, and it’s good; that and that alone is a reason for you to pick up this new Jaill album.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Jaill-Waste-A-Lot-Of-Things.mp3]

Download:Jaill – Waste A Lot Of Things [MP3]

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