Jaws: The Ceiling


Jaws call themselves dream-pop and hail from Birmingham. This is their third album; we quite like their last, Simplicity, as it’s melodic and clever while being inoffensive. You can listen to it and it’s fine, or not listen and your brain is fine filtering it out. This new one is a bit stronger and more laid back, but pretty much more of the same.

In the good places it reminds us of Delphic, the synthy dance / rock band from Stockport, though it’s more pop and less euphoric. You could push it a bit and compare them to Death Cab For Cutie, too (especially penultimate Please Be Kind), but that’s being rather generous.

However, the quality control is high: one of the best tracks on the album is the last one, January, a slow burner. Driving At Night opens and sets the tone, fast high-hats, then a hurried guitar before vocals and a chord crash before the song starts proper with salvos from the toms and fuzzy guitar. The lyrics are standard rock: sound good but mean less, “It’s cold tonight, the light is shy”, something about “city lights” and “breaks out onto the streets” before a closing section with machine gun snare and louder guitars. The song has no real verse or chorus, just moves along, a trick they repeat more than once.

Feel is a more conventional song, and, true to the title, it’s a bit of a feelgood tune, one of the more Delphic offerings. Do You Remember is riffier and a bit like The Cure, Fear is more Delphic and opens with atmospheric synth before setting off as a more downbeat pop tune, with lots of harmony (being dream pop, there’s nothing to fear — it’s not a philosophical song about the intrinsic emptiness of life). End Of The World could, being very charitable, be compared to The Stone Roses’ I Wanna Be Adored.

We’ve listened to this a lot; probably more than anyone apart from the band, 30 or 40 times, not because it is particularly outstanding but because it’s never annoying; you can work and listen to it. You can do worse than “never annoying” in a review right?


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