The day has finally arrived. Jaws debut album, Be Slowly is finally released today. It seems like ages ago when I first heard debut single, Toucan Surf and they instantly became favourites here at Mojo20. With their summer vibe songs and sounding like a modern-day Joy Division, there wasn’t anything we didn’t like. Over the past 2 years, I’ve reviewed quite a few of their singles (which, to save me repeating myself, will be linked below when it comes to those already reviewed off the album) loving each one. I’m pleased to report that the album as a whole doesn’t disappoint.
‘Time’ is a new track that we’ve never heard before and it’s a great way to start the album. It’s faster than most of the stuff Jaws have produced in the past and it’s a welcome difference. The guitar riffs throughout are some of the catchiest I’ve heard in a while and compliment Connor Schofield’s Ian Curtis-esque vocals. An excellent start to an album I’ve been waiting ages for.
I don’t know who ‘Cameron’ is but if indeed this song is about a person, they should be honoured to have such a great, energetic track written about them. Fast becoming one of my favourite songs on the album, it hit a chord with me instantly. Classic Jaws sounds with something extra that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’m talking instrument wise…answers on a postcard please!
A firm favourite next in the form of ‘Gold’ which I reviewed when it came out. You can read it here. ‘Swim’ is next and what a track! It’s got me reminiscing about the Summer already and thinking about 2015’s Summer! What you learn fast from listening to this album is that Jaws haven’t altered the way they approach a song just because of the possible pressure leading up to the release of their debut album. The vibe is still a very much chilled one. A vibe I’m more than happy to embrace and get on board with. So, who’s up for going for a swim?!
Jaws are a band who clearly wear their influences on their sleeve. ‘Home’ showcases this the most on the album by sounding like a Stone Roses b-side or early demo tape. That’s not a bad thing at all though and the song like most on this album, is more catchy than a cold! Talking of influences, next up is the title track, ‘Be Slowly’ sounding amazingly like The Cure. Eerily like The Cure. If The Cure were to bring out new music nowadays, this is the sort of thing they’d be doing. I reviewed this song when it came out as well by the way! So again, you can read that here! Not wanting to sound like a stuck record but…I reviewed the next track as well! We really do love Jaws here at Mojo20 and we couldn’t not review them because their songs are that good! Anyhow, click here for the review of ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’. You’ll be pleased to know that’s the last one I’ve reviewed in the past.
The next track is filth. No, literally. That’s what it’s called! ‘Filth’ is a “does what it says in the proverbial tin” though and though is filth. It’s so smooth and atmospheric, its filth. Pure filth. (I’ll stop saying filth now) But, this is a good thing and it’s another one of my favourites on the album. A soft, mellow intro builds up in to some fantastic percussion pieces and echoey, vocals blending seamlessly. This should definitely be the next single in my opinion as I believe it will obtain even more fans for the band and the commercial recognition they deserve. ‘Sunset State’ next and it’s another song making me thing of hot summer days, eating ice cream and drinking a cold refreshing pint in the local. Days that aren’t here for absolutely ages. Another great example of the guys laid back approach and showing that a lot of the time; less is more.
Before the debut album, we were lucky enough to get an EP entitled Milkshake. It’s a great EP and one of the stand out tracks for me was one called ‘Surround You’. Wisely, they decided to put it on the album as well. The guitar riffs, the electro, the percussion, the vocals. They’re all perfect on this track. It’s a mood-lifter as well which is always good if you’ve had a shit day and just want to listen to something to make you forget any negativity in your life. (deep stuff from me there!)
Sadly, the album is drawing to a close and the final song, ‘NYE’ is a perfect ending. Out of all the songs on the album, this is the one that showcases exactly who good Schofield’s vocals are and they’re used to their full potential here. It’s so chilled out it could help me fall to sleep. In a good way. Forget ‘Auld Lang Syne’, everyone should stick this on when 2015 is upon us!
In summary, I love the album and the seemingly long wait was well worth it. A big well done to the band and everyone involved. I only have one criticism…’Stay In’ and ‘Toucan Surf’ should’ve been included. These were the songs that made me a fan of the band and it would’ve been nice to hear them on the album, other than that…10/10.
Jaws were once in the shadow of fellow Birmingham bands Swim Deep & Peace but I feel this album will give them the limelight they deserve. Roll on album two! Oh, and if you missed our ‘Before They Were Famous’ interview we did with the band waaaayyyy back when this site started, check it out here.
Words by Robert Smith (@robertmsmith)