Published Sep 12, 2014JAWS have been championed, alongside fellow B-Town bands Peace and Swim Deep, as the great Birmingham comeback. The precocious four-piece have been steadily gaining a healthy following both in their native UK and stateside by releasing material since 2012, much of which finds itself on their debut album, Be Slowly. But while many publications have been quick to herald JAWS as a slacker pop revivalists, it's difficult to discern if or what they're bringing to the table that's new or exciting.
When asked what differentiates their sound from other dreamy guitar pop bands, their response was a complacent "Erm … not sure," and I'd have to agree with them, as does their debut. Granted, the latter half of the album does show a lot of promise, with the band ditching the breezy summer vibe of the first half and instead focusing on their garage rock influences, which would have made for a much more cohesive whole. Earlier tracks, such as 2012's "Surround You," show very little innovation or lyrical astuteness and find the band rhyming "end" with "pretend" and "around you" with "surround you" — not exactly inspiring lyricism. Granted, many of these songs were written while members of the band were between the ages of 16 and 18, but it might have been a better idea to hold off on the release of Be Slowly to hone their songwriting skills and define their sound a little more.
The one shining light throughout JAWS' debut album is "Filth," a Pinkerton-era Weezer-sounding track that highlights the band's musicality and skill; let's just say they should probably look to this track as a starting point for any future material. (Side One Dummy)