So here we have the debut EP from Portsmouth-based mod-pop rockers The Jammers, who rather smartly side-step any notions of revivalism with a collection of 4 self-penned numbers straight from the heart of frontman Dave Rees, that prove that no matter what musical genre you operate in, a great song is a great song - and here on "Modern Influence" the proof is definitely there for all to hear.
Jewel-in-the-crown is, naturally, lead tune "It's Gone Away". Here The Jammers have firmly grasped the concept of 'the pop song' as an art form. Clocking in at just over 3 minutes, chiming guitar combines with Rees's mellifluous lead vocal, strident and chunky rhythm section and a chorus so ridiculously catchy that it immediately insinuates itself unawares into your subconscious. By the time the second chorus comes around you're hooked!
"2 Stroke Sniffin'" lays bare the bands deep-seated roots within the Mod(ern) culture, but they do it with a knowing smile and a razor-sharp sense of humour which complements an angular yet joyous tune. "It Won't End Well" then slows down the pace a little, and intriguingly takes on an almost Floyd-esque atmosphere, with it's driving acoustic rhythm and dream-like guitar tone. Of course, those hooky little melodies are never far from the surface, and this seems to be one of The Jammers' innate strengths.
Melody is very much the key to The Jammers songwriting process and is what makes them stand out on this short, very sharp, and concise release. Not a note is wasted nor out of place. No opportunities here for overblown guitar histrionics or nascent vocal warbling. Closing track "Keep It To Yourself" is built around a growling guitar lick which cleverly combines with psych-tinged jangle, and takes myriad twists and turns with sugar-sweet vocal harmonies topping the song off nicely.
In a musical world where overblown production, auto-tune, endless overdubs, and scattergun sampling of others work seems to be the mainstream norm, The Jammers, and their own brand of guitar-based music are a breath of fresh air and are the living embodiment of the old adage that good old fashioned quality songwriting allied to great melodies will never go out of fashion. This is indeed the Modern World.
|Bridget St. John: Fly High||Spencer James: Chapter & Verse|
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