The James Cleaver Quintet
That Was Then, This Is Now


4.5
superb

Review

by Jack Boaden USER (29 Reviews)
July 20th, 2012 | 12 replies | 1,732 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mixing an unbelievable amount of influences, The James Cleaver Quintet offers one hell of an album, a strong contender for the best debut ever.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

"If you manage to listen to all 13 tracks without wanting to punch a wall in, you're a bigger man than us, sir." - FRONT Magazine

The James Cleaver Quintet’s Jimmy Diego once threw his Fender Jazz Bass guitar 3 feet in the air, caught it with his face and broke his nose, resulting in “more blood than a KFC slaughterhouse.” That pretty much sums up the JCQ. Hailing from Easbourne, UK and the surrounding areas, they describe themselves as “Circus Punk.” Having been together for four years, they’ve managed to release an EP, a full length and tour with various bands such as The Safety Fire and Turbowolf, and earn themselves a slot on Download Festival 2012.

Many bands attempt to fuse different influences into a coherent sound, and many fall incredibly short of the mark, attempting to satisfy the fans with a 40 minute incoherent mess. South-Eastern UK punks The James Cleaver Quintet have succeeded with their debut, proving for almost essential listening. Because the band succeed in blending such an unbelievable amount of influences, from the crazy noise-infused to the straight up punk rock of the 80s, the thirteen track album, which runs just over fifty minutes, is almost impossible to pigeonhole into a single genre.

Album opener “Golfing Pros, Bitches And Hoes” (a strong contender for song name of the year) sees the band experimenting with song structure, dynamics and breakdowns. Opening with an eerie sample, the song kicks straight into the main riff, which in itself sums up the album, crazy and disjunct, but it somehow works. The rest of the song flies by in the same manner, apart from the absolutely crushing half-time breakdown. The album flies by in the same manner up until its midpoint “The JCWho?” This track sees the JCQ at their most experimental. The track has a heavy Cuban jazz influence, offering huge singalongs in the choruses. Album highlights include “Golfing Pros, Bitches And Hoes”, “The JCWho?”, “Trading Water” and eight minute album closer “Hang The Bastard.”

Against all odds, the album flows beautifully, even though it seems as though normal song structures are alien to the band. This is one of few records that actually makes the transitions between genres seem natural, without sounding forced. The album was produced by the band themselves, and each instrument is perfectly placed, the bass is thick and audible, unlike most hardcore releases.

Whilst one can argue that the album length drags a little, resulting in many songs sounding somewhat similar and repetitive, what the JCQ offer us here is an album unlike anything released before. For those who can sit through it all, it sure is a hell of a ride.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
TwoMonthsInTheCold
July 20th 2012



288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Band strikes me as a punk version of TDEP, essentially.

YoYoMancuso
July 20th 2012



10855 Comments


good review i gotta check this sometime

TwoMonthsInTheCold
July 20th 2012



288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should, man! I've seen them live three times now, they kill it every fucking time.

Chicken Shit (For The Soul)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1dRroBtP6M

CaptainDooRight
July 20th 2012



28321 Comments


dude i was just listening to this last night, cool

and pos

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

TwoMonthsInTheCold
July 20th 2012



288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Woah, creepy o.O What do you think of it?

CaptainDooRight
July 20th 2012



28321 Comments


oh shit my bad, actually it wasn't this band, it was an actually jazz band that sounded similar to their name and the lol also the album art looks very similar to it

sorry bro, but you can keep my pos anyways :]

TwoMonthsInTheCold
July 20th 2012



288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No worries, man ;) You should check it out anyway ;)

CaptainDooRight
July 20th 2012



28321 Comments


yeah i did, not really my style bro but the music was solid

Adabelle
July 20th 2012



4221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmmm

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2012



9993 Comments


"The James Cleaver Quintet offers one hell of an album, a strong contender for the best debut ever."

I hope that last part was tongue-in-cheek, man.

"many (bands) fall incredibly short of the mark, attempting to satisfy the fans with a 40 minute incoherent mess."

40 minutes? Oddly specific...

"Album opener “Golfing Pros, Bitches And Hoes” (a strong contender for song name of the year)"

I actually agree with this completely.

Your review had a couple of minor things, but they were all the caliber of what I pointed out above. Overall I enjoyed the review, and have to say that the voice that you give the review serves it very well.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2012



4380 Comments


I'm checking this out!
POS'd.

Owantjaaaa
July 21st 2012



3204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw them live about half a year ago and it made me check out this album.
Good review btw

Digging: 411 - This Isn't Me



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