Posts Tagged ‘hooks’

31st January 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Salvation Jayne have been regular features here for a while, and it’s been an enjoyable journey seeing them evolve. ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ is overtly rock, and continues the trajectory of its predecessors, but the verse nods at a post-punk vintage with its chorused guitar line.

Similarly, while it may lack both the hook-heavy immediacy of ‘Burn in Down’, ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ presents a different aspect of the band, and also showcases what some may call a more ‘mature’ approach to songwriting.

More of than not, ‘mature’ translates as middle-aged and dull, and it may lack the grunge-drive fire of ‘Cortez’, but in the context of ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ I’m talking restraint that precedes explosions, and nicely, because nuance and the measured slow-build intro give an even bigger impact. And let’s be clear here, the chorus still crashes in with some chunky riffage. It’s just more refined. It’s also a fist-pumping song of self-affirmation.

Is now a good time to sit down and discuss punctuation? Probably not, but it matters, and Salvation Jayne’s latest instalment inspires that conversation, however brief. ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ is a comma (and an exclamation mark) away from Lou Reid, and I’m going to assume it’s intentional given that its placement works in context. And for that, I like them even more, because nuance and detail matter, and besides, it’s a cracking single.

AA

Copy of SJ Edit High Res-61

26th October 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

‘Dramatic and bold’… ‘driven and experiential’… songs which deliver ‘a perfectly executed sense of tension and release’… I’m No Chessman promise a lot with this, their second release. Do they deliver all of it? Well, it’s a matter of taste as much as opinion.

When I relaunched my reviewing ‘career’ such as it is a decade ago this month, I thought it would be neat to make providing objective reviews my signature. Over time, I’ve come to revise this ambition, having realised that the way one responds to music has precisely nothing to objective matters like technical competence. Granted, poor production can ruin a great set of songs, but the best production in the world won’t transform songs that are technically proficient in terms of musicianship but otherwise predictable and lacking in emotional resonance exhilarating.

Music is intensely personal, and how an individual responds to a composition isn’t purely about the recipient or their tastes, but their headspace and the precise context in which they first hear it.

All of which is to say that this EP is well executed, and despite what the title may suggest, is decidedly not the work of amateurs (just as it has nothing to do with John Niven’s debut novel, which is about golf. And wanking. Well, maybe it’s about wanking. Some of it is a bit Fall Out Boy). It’s that combination of poppy, up-tempo guitar-driven punk with spitting angst that will enthuse or antagonise dependent on your politic.

But yes, throwing in bouncy pianos and widdly guitar breaks in between big, hooky choruses, it’s impossible to deny that they do bring elements of ‘riven and experimental’ and ‘(melo)dramatic and bold’ with their expansive theatricality. All of which is t say that objectively, the band’s appeal is clear. Subjectively… I’m probably not the right demographic.

AA

Im No Chessman