I love being kicked in the face. Well, musically anyway. On their debut LP Take Me to the Sea, Jaguar Love (comprising members of Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves) does just that with assaulting guitars and arresting vocals.
Single and album-opener “Highways of Gold” makes the band’s roots fairly apparent. The mix of styles is evident to anyone who was familiar with Johnny Whitney’s, Cody Votolato’s, and J Clark’s previous bands, presenting itself as a friendlier Blood Brothers sound or a razor-edged Pretty Girls Make Graves one. The anthemic battle-cry “Jaguar Pirates” slices through the listener’s headset, though at times Whitney’s voice is almost comically high. On “Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers” a snotty, scathing vocal delivery is cradled by electronic beats and gritty guitars that evolve briefly into a shiny, happy pop sound before descending back into the grime.
Other standouts on the album include “Georgia”, which begins as an organ-laced rock tune on which Whitney mercifully brings his voice down a few octaves to ask ‘Oh Georgia, can you feel my heart explode?’ before the track melds to become a pretty departure tinged with hints of The Cure and TV on the Radio, and the vaguely-50s-esque ballad “Bonetrees and a Broken Heart” which would make an excellent theme for any zombie prom.
Take Me to the Sea dropped 08/19/08.
Click the player below to hear “Highways of Gold” or click here to download.