Jaguar Love - Hologram Jams
Craig Broad 27/05/2010
I was pretty distraught when Blood Brothers decided to part, granted their latest record, 'Young Machetes' didn't quite reach the same heights that I enjoyed within the edgy brilliance of 'Crimes' but as a fan, I still felt that sonically, they still had sounds to explore. Jaguar Love, comprising of two members of Blood Brothers, vocalist Johnny Whitney and guitarist Cody Votolato, explore these sounds on their latest record, the second to be released by Jaguar Love and first for new label Fat Possom Records, 'Hologram Jams'.
Jaguar Love and this album are a strange being, Whitney's vocals haven't moved on since his former band and his screechy vocals often bring you back around to reminiscing about Blood Brothers, especially when his trademark screaming comes into the fold, you can't help but wish the deeper vocals of Jordan Billie were around to balance the whine of Whitney like they did previous. Vocals aside, the comparisons with Blood Brothers generally end as Jaguar Love musically approach you from a dance synth direction rather than an alt-punk one. Most notable is the use of drum programming rather than a drummer, often this can lead bands into dangerous places creating over complex loops to compensate for a lack of members but Jaguar Love are extremely reigned in when it comes to percussion and the drums are the driving force on this record, simply making it impossible to not tap your foot along to the album, regardless of whether you like it or not. Guitars are still there but the in your face style of Blood Brothers has been replaced with a subtle approach with guitars often just there to offer something extra to the sickly sweet sound of synthesisers. Lyrically is where I feel Jaguar Love really let me down though, while Whitney once inspired me with his lyrical ideals, I now feel sick to the stomach to hear him sing the line "Everything is rad, everything is awesome, drive a tank through your head that's awesome", a far cry from his Blood Brothers days and while it suits the tone of the music, lyrically it comes across as uninspired and childish.
'Hologram Jams' isn't as I expected, Jaguar Love aren't what I expected, the poppy dance sound of a good alternative punk band stripped of their individuality and shoved into the modern music scene armed with everything needed to be deemed cool. We want Blood Brothers back.
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