Like a hybrid infestation spawned from a mix of Babyshambles, Arctic Monkeys, and The Sugarcubes, The Jacques in one scintillating swoop has announced themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting newcomers. That potent introduction comes in the sensational shape of the Pretty DJ EP, a four track stomp of Britpop and pop punk infused with garage rock devilry, which from first to last breath inflames the imagination and incites the body.
Formed only in January of this year and consisting of two sets of brothers aged 16 to 21, The Jacques inspired by the sounds they were raised upon which included the likes of The Strokes, The Ramones, The Jam, The Lemonheads, and Elvis Costello, swiftly made their mark on the live scene. In a few brief months the Bristol hailing quartet of vocalist/guitarist Bonnie Jacques, guitarist Jake Edwards, bassist/vocalist Oli Edwards, and drummer Elliot O’Brien found themselves playing numerous festivals across the summer including Guilfest and at Hyde Park where they supported The Libertines and caught the attention of their drummer Gary Powell, the co-founder of 25 Hour Convenience Store, who signed them on the spot to the label which now uncages the band’s first irresistible offering.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios with Dan Swift, Pretty DJ opens with its title track and instantly ignites the imagination and appetite with an initial jangle of spicy guitar. With rhythms soon in tow, the song relaxes into a warm yet unpredictable stroll littered with quirky hooks, a rhythmic shuffle, and a richly persuasive bassline. It is potent bait especially when the distinct and unbroken vocals of Bonnie flirt with ears, his tones refreshingly unique and individually expressive even at a young age. The song proceeds to weave its salacious sonic curves and healthy rhythmic persuasion with raw and compelling seduction, every syllable and note brought with a dose of eclectic enterprise. It is a sensational first taste of the band and release which only inflames hunger and passion for more with every twist in its armoury
The following Foreign Films has a more relaxed gait than the great agitated endeavour of its predecessor, but is no less virulent bait with its sultry melodies and a great vocal duelling between Bonnie and Oli. It is hard to look further than The Libertines as a spicy influence here, though equally there as whiffs of bands like Supergrass and Pulp at play too. The song also carries garage rock tenacity to its sonic and lively cosmopolitan temptation as it reveals a little more of the rich potential and imagination of the young band.
Scum In A Bottle also visits that garage rock breeding as well as a punk causticity which adds further tasty shades of endeavour to the release. Guitars spark and flame with raw charm whilst again the vocals tantalise with their seamless union and magnetic uniqueness. Littered with mouth-watering craft and creative revelry from the guitars and a pungent baiting from the intrepid rhythms, the track steals its own thick wedge of the rich praise building up inside waiting to shower the release, a portion matched by that garnered by the closing Weekends.
The final track swiftly has its temptation ingrained through an opening bass lure. Always a sucker for throaty enticing like this, the track had us gripped from its first second and only proceeded to increase its hold with tangy grooves and similarly tasty hooks across bracing swipes of sonic causticity. As with all the tracks, it is impossible for feet and vocal chords not to join its call, with pleasure in close quarters to their eagerness.
It is fair to say that The Jacques wear their influences on their sleeve but only as homage to those inspirations and as an invigorating hue to their own invention. The Pretty DJ EP is easily one of the highlights of the year and easy reasoning as to why Mr Powell leapt upon them within a breath of discovering their existence.
The Pretty DJ EP is available now via 25 Hour Convenience Store @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pretty-dj-ep/id930507850
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