Review Summary: Past and present of Shoegaze meet and disagree about the future.
When the news of noise rock legends The Telescopes being on tour reached Jaguwar's headquarters in Dresden (Germany), the band shot an e-mail to Tapete Records with some sample audio requesting a slot in the bill. The simple but effective plan paid off and not only got them to open for the English act but also granted them a record deal that would materialize as this… Ringthing
. Not only that, the fruitful relationship between master and apprentice also continued with Jaguawar's covering The Telescopes' "Flying" on their Soundcloud page and the UK legends returning the favor by remixing "Crystal", the first single extracted from Jaguwar's debut, drowning the noise pop track into a sea of reverb and static lush.
Pinpointing the exact position that Jaguwar's music occupies in a shoegaze scale is a complex albeit pointless task. Where the sybarites of the genre would fret, the sporadic listeners would actually delight themselves with the different colors and shapes that dwell in this intrepid debut. The trio fronted by Lemmy Fischer on guitar and Oyèmi Noize on bass duties have adventured in crafting an album that befriends at first and successfully marries later all of their influences into a single menu, with My Bloody Valentine being the main dish, and The Cure and Ride being the dessert. Christoph Krenkel's drumming works as the counterpoint for Jaguwar's alternative rock infused shoegaze, providing a rather furious and effervescent tempo that invites the songs to stream with undemanding attention, in contrast with the customary glue-footed motion of bands like Slowdive. Vocal duties are also shared between Fischer and Noize, where the former pulls the band towards the post punk zone with anguished but broken temper, Noize takes it back to gaze county with honey tones reminiscent of a playful Siouxsie or an angry Mazzy Star swallowed by a swarm of guitars and distorted bass lines.
shows that the team have made their homework in researching their sound amidst a myriad of pedal effects and production tricks, after all, the album shares its title with one of the apparatus created by sound-smiths Electro-Harmonix. From the very first chords of "Lunatic" to the atomic ending of third track and highlight "Slow and Tiny", there is no doubt the band has put an almost maniac attention to detail, bringing together an alloy of sound walls and skeletal parts alike which gives the album space to breathe in between every sonic assault. "Gone" marks the first of several moments of serenity, with Noize's vocals taking the spotlight while Fischer's guitar lurks in the background impatient to break through. "Crystal" kindles the fire again displaying a pretty accurate Robert Smith impression courtesy of Fischer, followed by dream pop beauty "Night Out" and the weighty "Whales", where the sharp and thunderous guitars pay another visit to finish the track on a heavy note. "Away" is all about Noize and Fischer singing a bitter melody against a hammering bass and sparkling guitars, unshackling all the distortion they have during the final minutes of the song along with Krenkel's fuming beating. The album closes with combo tracks "Week" and "End" slowly releasing the pressure until finally vanishing in a dying arpeggio.
, Jaguwar distills their heavy shoegaze formula after two EPs that sat way too comfortable behind the shadow of their influences and experiment with pushing the genre to further yet uncertain latitudes, a proposal that tries to convey a mighty legacy with new branches that may very well be also the seed for future expressions of the genre.