The Jade Shader - Curse of the Tuatara (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Jade Shader

Curse of the Tuatara (2005)

Sonic Boom

With the kind of background members of the Jade Sharer come from, I will not accept any excuses for less than stellar music. Featuring members that spent time in No Knife, Boilernaker, and Rocket from the Crypt, this new project takes a road not all that far from the two former acts, in creating some driving indie rock with a variety of influences.

On this 7-song EP entitled Curse of the Tuatara, the band tinkers with a variety of styles, not quite positive what to settle with, and what direction to take with this new project. It's an understood hesitance, but one the band must take in stride. The mostly melancholy approach does work for the band, but it‘s not a sense of melancholy that's dwelled on. These aren't a bunch of sappy, slow-paced songs about self loathing, all the emotion comes courtesy of Chris Prescott's vocal chords.

From song to song, the band is seemingly bouncing off the walls, just buzzing with energy underneath it all. Prescott's vocals may not always bring out the utmost in urgency, but the dissonance of the rhythms are surely what makes the entire atmosphere of the song rise and fall. Even in a song like "Eraser," where at first it may not seem like a whole lot is going on, the layers and textures are just waiting to be picked apart. This is where the legacy of No Knife is brought into the new project. Things are not always as meets the eye, or ear as the case may be. "Spacegoat" combines just that, some spacey atmospherics with guitar work that cuts right through it simultaneous to Prescott's falsetto, which soon takes a turn for the more intense, while the guitars pick up steam until finally unloading at the end.

The crisp guitar and swirling feedback adjoin with the much more relaxed atmospheres to create this layered style, and it gets better as it goes on. The variety of influence is what's most endearing with this record; sure, the traces of former bands linger more than just a little, but further exploration of `70s rock and early emo make the disc worth repeated listens. Good to see talent hasn't gone completely to waste.