It seems like Sub Pop is on a roll lately giving us lots of rock n’ roll to pump really loudly in our cars, and Jaill is no exception. The guitar work on their new album, That’s How We Burn,” is meant exactly for that, kicking you in the face. Okay, so they aren’t mean enough to kick you in the face, but one listen to this record and you’ll find yourself indulging in heavy foot stomping, possibly some air drums.
This year hasn’t seen an album open with such a ridiculously powerful guitar/bass line as “The Stroller.” It begs you to get on board right away, pushing you to the limit from the get go. While singer, Vincent Kircher, might not have a harrowing yell, but his vocals provide the perfect accommodation for the guitar licks. Then you get sucked in with the super-angular guitar pop of “Everyone’s Hip.” For some reason the vocal delivery recalls nerd pop of the nineties, like a heavy-footed They Might be Giants. All albums should begin with such energy.
“Thank Us Later” demonstrates that Jaill don’t just have to push the limits with pacing and clever guitar chords. Instead, they allow for space and Kirchner to sprawl all across this song, giving you a bit of time to absorb the tones the group has to offer up. Surely they could amp up this song live to keep the step going, but the fact that they slow it down, gives the album more of a groove. Following is “Summer Mess,” giving the listener that breather, but in a different manner than the preceding song, going with a more roots folk appeal of strumming guitar, met later on by an ambling electric guitar that walks you to the end of the track, right back into the energy fueled tracks.
“She’s My Baby” brings you back to the rock element of the rock, with quick slicing guitars and steady drum work. Kirchner seems to go with a bit of a higher pitch here, which might be aided by backup singer Austin Dutmer, who is playing those solid drums. It’s even got a surf rock guitar line cutting in at the end of the track, probably included to stay on top of the trends. But, That’s How We Burn is meant to be a well-balanced machine, so while you have those rockers, you also find that slower tracks serve as a counterbalance to the record, like “Baby I.” It’s got the feel of a high school prom band, but one that’s really good, playing nice jangling guitar lines with a bit of boogie to it all. Everything here just works perfectly.
By this point in the year, you’re searching for an album that erases the ones before it, and for just a minute, That’s How We Burn will cleanse your soul. It erases popular trends, focusing on what it’s all about, solid drumming and great guitar lines. Jaill have now established themselves as a band to be reckoned with, and we should welcome them to the fold, as this piece of work shows they deserve it.
Download: Jaill – The Stroller [MP3]