Jaill – TrapsPosted by Ingrid Wissink
It’s hard not to like Jaill, since their sunny harmonies and jaunty ditties instantly evoke the breezy fun of summer. It’s what we all need after a long, long winter filled with sad music or music that is just, well, sad. Their newest album Traps gives us gooey hooks and perky nuggets all around, without promising anything more or pushing the envelope.
Traps sounds like the Mods on vacation in Malibu. The Wisconsin band takes liberally from the American rock and roll goody bag while managing to sound British throughout. Indeed, it’s impossible not to think of a certain mania-causing 60s band from Liverpool upon listening to “House of Haunting,” which echoes a vocal line from one the aforementioned group’s mega hits.
The electronic groove behind “Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs)” brings a more contemporary sound following the prototypic, Elton John retro rock of “Perfect Ten.” The fresher beats of “Horrible Things,” were they more common on the album, might have helped take Traps out of copycat territory. However, it will likely be a featured single due to its catchy nature.
Sweet 60’s jaunt meets 80’s-style synths and even grunge on “I’m home.” Vinnie Kircher is at his vocal best here as he weaves his way around intricate vocal melodies. “While you Reload” is pretty irresistible with its boy-girl vocal exchanges and gently driving pulse. A quirkier, New Wave number, “Stone Froze Mascot” is another one of Traps‘ more danceable songs, although off-key singing could mar the experience for some.
The goofy campfire sing-a-long of “Madness,” with its angst ridden lyrics over perky beats, is perfect for the high school crowd. It’s everything what a senior would want in a soundtrack to the “best years” of their life or, rather, the utter heart-wrenching torture that is survival until college.
Thanks to some feisty lyrics (“Everyone’s a Bitch”- how fun to sing is that?) and the snarl in Kircher’s voice (“I’m Home”), the album never gets too syrupy sweet.
In the end, Traps is a well-executed homage to some of the most widely loved eras of rock and roll. The hooks do withstand repeated listening, especially with a heat-cooked brain, so blast this joint on your ghetto blaster on the beach. And with that, you have the absolute perfect scenario for hearing Traps. No more, no less.