J / Q

You ever hear Clouds? If you haven’t you should, they’re awesome, dirty, bluesy, grungy rock. Really, really, awesome. Well, anyway, J / Q (You don’t pronounce the slash, by the way) are essentially the continuation of Clouds, who are, sadly, no more. When Clouds split, two of the guys (J and Q, guitars/vocals and drums respectively) just continued writing music and this album is the culmination of that.

What has emerged, somewhat surprisingly, is one of the best pop albums of the year so far. In fact, we’re in February. This is the best pop album this year, and may well be by the end of the year too. Pop is such a dirty and vague word, but it is the only thing the works with J / Q. There are so many ideas here it is near impossible to pigeonhole the band. Album opener Inside My Mind is, in essence, not too dissimilar to Clouds, it is much more melody driven, but the same overdriven bluesy fuzz is there. Almost immediately the album changes though, we have a triple bill of awesome pop songs Sayonara, Snow Day, Second Hand Cigarette. Snow Day in particular stands out, absolutely beautiful pop song with gorgeous twinkly keyboards and a luscious melody. Later on I Can’t Wait to Meet You sounds like a Jeff Buckley B-Side – something a little too angry and edgy to be included on Grace. She’s an Elf has a very slight Supergrass feel to it.

Clearly this is a rollercoaster of an album, it picks you up instantly and it takes you on a remarkably pleasant ride though delicious melody, blues, fuzz – lots and lots of fuzz; through sludge and synths and 60’s rock and 90’s indie, twinkly keyboards and atmosphere. I’d like to say I don’t like rollercoaster’s, but I can’t, I love them, and I love this one. It’s different yet familiar, fresh but retro-sounding. It draws you in and makes you listen again. And again. This is potentially the start of a very promising career. If only more people would listen to them. Here’s your chance. Help them out. You can download the album here: http://jslashq.bandcamp.com/album/j-q. You can even donate if you like?

14 songs. 40 minutes. That’s it, but you’ll listen again, that I can guarantee.

JB

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