>>Let’s be real: Americans are spoiled. Not in terms of societal or economic standards, but when it comes to entertainment, notably music, Americans are definitely spoiled.
When you look at acts of any genre that seem to rapidly explode out of nowhere and become overnight multi-platinum sensations, America is usually their country of origin. When an artist comes from somewhere else it usually is a noteworthy component to their career and an essential piece of their narrative. Americans often forget about their English-speaking counterparts from the United Kingdom with the oversaturation of American artists releasing music and touring on it in the states nonstop. Besides a few token bands such as The Artic Monkeys, Bloc Party, and Bring Me The Horizon the United Kingdom has of late not been the hotspot for blowing up bands worldwide. The reality is there are still a lot of talented, unique, and interesting artists from the United Kingdom and on that note, I bring your attention to the Jacques. The Jacques, hailing from Bristol and London, have a sound that ranges from gritty grunge rock to dream pop while also cultivating a sound that could be appreciated by the masses. Their new EP “Born Sore” is a solid taste of the multiple layers of rock music they unpack in their music.
The EP begins with the title track “Born Sore” which starts with a gritty sounding riff over drums that builds a natural tension throughout the track. The song sounds like a grimy dive bar turned into a fight club afterhours in music form. “Born Sore” finds vocalist Fin O’Brien singing low and mumbling over the track which helps add to the overall dirty feel of the tune. The next track “Alka-Seltzer” starts with a cool rock riff with interesting synth noises in the background that sounds primed for an overnight robot rave. The vocals are manipulated and duplicated which finds O’Brien sounding frantic and distorted which adds to the futuristic vibes of the track. The third song and lead single of the EP “I Never Want to be Your Boyfriend” find The Jacques on a sunny beach laying down an ode to not being tied down. The track combines the genres of Britpop, Dreampop, and New Wave to establish a bright sound in a stark contrast to the rest of darker sounding moody EP. The use of synths and electronics are top notch in the track and push a well-produced EP to another level sonically. O’Brien sings a catchy chorus about taking someone on a holiday, while also not wanting to be committed solely to them. The EP concludes with “Kiss the Pharaoh” which features an eerie riff that somehow actually reminds me of an Egyptian tomb. O’Brien’s drowned out reverbed voice echoes over the track and to be honest I have no idea what he is saying, but it sounds appropriate and matches the unnerving mood of the track. At the 2:43 mark of the song the track decrescendos into a solid head nodding instrumentation that delivers a solid punch before the EP ends.
I had never heard of The Jacques before writing this piece, but it appears they have a solid following overseas, and notably in France. With the vast sounds they accomplish on this EP it’s easy to imagine them gaining some overseas attention soon. Like many artists in our trying times, they recently had to cancel their headlining tour so help them out and stream their jams below! Cheers!