Album Review: Jaws – Be Slowly

Jaws’ debut album, ‘Be Slowly’, is a dreamy collection exquisitely crafted by the young Birmingham quartet. It’s an album of the kind you’ve perhaps heard a handful of times before. One that usually has you lamenting what could have been as the final jangly track draws to a close. Much to my relief, however, this isn’t the experience that greets the end here. Across 11 tracks Jaws maintain a dynamic approach allowing their hazy summer sound to hook the listener to the very end.

‘Time’ eases the album in, building a stripped down warmth that creeps under the skin, laying a foundation for the next forty minutes. From this point on the formula changes little and doesn’t need to. ‘Cameron’ is a soft track fitted with smooth smart drumming that works hard without ever overpowering the whole. ‘Cameron’ does bring out one of my only complaints with the record (and perhaps my biggest complaint with the genre as a whole) though, in being over four minutes long without ever really mixing it up. Across the record track length matters little, it’s an enjoyable 42 minutes of music. But broken down, almost every song could be a little shorter without losing any of its effect.

From beginning to end ‘Be Slowly’ maintains a style and standard that prove difficult to argue against. The musicianship is smart without swagger; the vocals are soft and distant, allowing for an ambient sound sometimes reminiscent of The Cure. At times, as in ‘Filth’, this relaxed approach even helps springboard a dramatic break to heights it might otherwise not have achieved.

Despite falling to the softer end of the spectrum, Jaws’ list of influences draws on a wide range of greats, with hints of heavier bands slipping in amongst the Joy Divisions and Cures. Tracks like the captivating ‘Gold’ take pride of place, allowing Jaws to a couple of the less exhilarating moments as they push ahead on their drive to the big time. ‘Be Slowly’ is a strong debut from a talented young band.


‘Be Slowly’ by Jaws ;is out now on SideOneDummy Records.

Jaws links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Thomas Knott (@thislifeishuge)


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