Jaill - That's How We Burn (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


That's How We Burn (2010)

Sub Pop

Jaill's Sub Pop debut and followup to their cool 2009 LP, There's No Sky (Oh My My), is an equally cool sophomore effort. While it may not come off as a major improvement, wild flourishes of stylistic progression and change make That's How We Burn a worthy counterpart.

The production's also a hell of a lot stronger, too. While There's No Sky could often arguably be classified as lo-fi, the clearer recording here (guitars, especially) makes the band's brand of steady, lightly psychedelic indie garage pop sound entirely bigger and brighter this time around. There's actually a humming post-punk ripple of guitars that sprouts up here and there, with opener "The Stroller" and "Demon" bearing a tone one could mistake for early Interpol save the indescribable, cheery sneer of Jaill's frontman. He's always had this uniquely sharp delivery and it remains an important characteristic on this album.

That Interpol vibe is way sporadic, though. The more jangly and freewheeling "Everyone's Hip" follows "The Stroller", and there's kind of a mildly punky '77 power-pop tilt to this one à la Buzzcocks/Undertones with the snot turned down a bit; it carries into the surfier "On the Beat", up next, and "How's the Grave" a little too, though that one's definitely got more of an aggressive '50s rock 'n' roll swagger. Jaill manage to establish more of their own identity as the rest of the album hops along, from the acoustic-heavy, foot-tapping "Summer Mess" to the unsettling white noise of the otherwise prickly melodies of "Snake Shakes".

While That's How We Burn is harder to love than like, it's a lot easier to like than loathe. Jaill churns out 11 head-bobbing jams that expand their steadily solid catalogue; maybe on the next outing they'll cap it spectacularly.

The Stroller
Everyone's Hip

The Stroller