"That's How We Burn"

(Sub Pop 2010)Jaill - That\'s How We Burn

To prevent further complications between indie bands and the Google inquiries of their fans (see Girls, Hockey, Caribou, etc), Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Jaill kindly gave us the extra consonant. Or perhaps it was scribbled down incorrectly by one of the founding fathers Vincent Kircher or Austin Dutmer after one of their long nights of speed, weed, and song writing. Could be one, could be the other. An intriguing ambiguity that trickled down into their debut album on Sub Pop, "That's How We Burn."

Jaill offers up charming surf rock guitar licks (think Ventures) sped up to deejay a psych-pop afterparty. Seems all well and good on the surface but the lyrics underneath can be haunting, dark, and very un-party like. And while a little confusing at first, the combination fits. Take the chorus of the album's opener "The Stroller" for instance. "When you panic do you count to ten? When you're surrounded do you hold your breath?" Coupled with Kircher's foreboding tone and fuzzy guitar chords you would be surprised to see the video for the album's first single. The band plays in front of cut out palm trees and ocean waves, as a clownish hipster beach party goes on around them. Then the aliens arrive, dance for a bit, and abduct the band. All without missing a single note.

"That's How We Burn" clocks in at just over a half hour. Sounding reminiscent of fellow Sub Pop-ers, The Shins' album "Chutes to Narrow." Their twangy guitars and up tempo drumming rarely waver keeping a tight and straight forward indie rock album. Aside from the simple and sweet ballad "Summer Mess" the guys prove they have their formula nailed down. Dutmer's ballistic drumming on "Everyone's Hip," the psych wavering on "Snake Shakes," and the easy listening of "Baby I" highlight an incredibly fun effort from a band I expect many good things from in the future.


buy it!