It’s fair to say that we’ve waited a good while for bands from the second city to receive national recognition. Then, like three buses coming at once, a trio of bands mentioned in the same breath appear, by the names of Peace, Swim Deep and Jaws. The bands go back as far as their attendance at Birmingham’s most fun and grisly indie nights in their affectionately known B-Town. Jaws, the subject of our admiration, are a four piece outfit, three of which were former drummers. Their name plays homage to the infamous bond villain, although Jaws’ music somewhat contradicts his evil metal-mouth persona – instead we’re presented with a dreamy vibe that’s well worth lapping up.
Their first EP, Milkshake, racked up the plaudits, showcasing a collection of garage pop hits oozing with addictive hooks. After a few plays of their music, Jaws’ natural redolence creeps up. It’s described best with plenty of adjectives synonymous with dreamy, or glistening, such is the quality that a stand out track is difficult to pick. It’s full of potential singles and, if this extended play is anything to go by, the debut record won’t consist of any filler.
Moving from the brilliantly received Milkshake, the guys have wasted little time in bringing forth their latest single Gold, which offers the same emotive touch but with more bite to their jangling guitar parts.
The shimmer of their attentive pop evokes a real sense of effortlessness. It all seems more Julian Casablancas at ease, with a downtempo Stone Roses edge more than something that would match your Birmingham preconceptions. Yet, despite being labelled to have the West Coast sound associated with American surf pop, Jaws are firmly rooted at home for now (although they’ve stated they’re game for an American gig if someone wants to fly them there).
Jaws are continuing to build a following, on the back of plenty of gigs as well as some summer festivals, including Bestival, Beacons and X&Y. On one hand, these guys could appear a bit understated, due to the prominence of their neighbouring Birmingham friends who have been doing so well. However, the success of Peace and Swim Deep could well have been the catalyst that exposed Jaws, a band who were barely past the bedroom recording stage a year ago. Nevertheless, what’s crucial is that Jaws ARE here, and they’re worth having a crack at for those last few fleeting moments of summer. Look back to a colourful 90s childhood with some wistfulness and enjoy some laid back, sentimental tones.