Jaguar Love blends relentless hooks with abrasive noise on 'Hologram Jams'

It’s entirely possible that no one has ever struck as perfect a balance between abrasion and accessibility as Jaguar Love does on its new album, “Hologram Jams” (Fat Possum).

The record is a bracing amalgam of pounding dance beats, huge candy-colored hooks and Johnny Whitney’s throat-shredding vocals — it’s like a glass-gargling derelict with a sequencer has broken into the chocolate waterfall room in Willy Wonka’s factory, intent on making the Oompa Loompas dance, goddammit.

Like they could resist: with its buoyant, relentless beat and bright synthesizer line, opener “I Started a Fire” is at once ridiculously catchy and unhinged, while “Up All Night” is hypnotic and somehow tribal in an electro-raver way.

Blaring synthesizers and Cody Votolato’s twitchy guitar frame vivid lyrics on “Cherry Soda” (“Sugar-coated cherry soda/puking on the lawn,” Whitney sings), and “Evaline” dials down the beat somewhat, relying more on a dense wall of synths and guitars on what amounts to a harrowing love song for a troubled girl.

Whitney and Votolato played together in the beloved screamo (or post-hardcore or whatever) band Blood Brothers until that group split in 2007. Over the course of a single, an EP and a previous LP, they have demonstrated most persuasively that they’re doing just fine on their own. “Hologram Jams” merely hammers that point home.

LISTEN
Up All Night (download link)
I Started a Fire (stream)

(Photo by Lindsay Hutchens)

  2 comments for “Jaguar Love blends relentless hooks with abrasive noise on 'Hologram Jams'

  1. Johnny
    May 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    shit review. thanks dick.

  2. Listen, Dammit
    May 25, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Pretty sure the band doesn’t troll the web from Florida for three-month old reviews, but thanks for reading.

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