The Jezabels

Mom & Pop Music, 2012

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


In the current retro influenced indie music scene, a band like Sydney Australia’s The Jezabels fits right in. But the usual type of synthpop that dominates today’s crop of bands isn’t what characterizes the music of this four piece in any shape or form.

The Jezabels has the big cinematic sound from early ‘80s rock music – “The Big Music” as the style is known. There isn’t much grandiose instrumentation on the band’s first full-length, Prisoner, apart from the drums, guitars, and keyboards. But the sound is loud and dramatic and there is an immediate parallel between the band’s music and rock anthems of the ‘80s like “New Years Day” by U2 or “The Whole Of The Moon” by The Waterboys.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band’s massive sound comes with a great deal of energy, of course. And without that vigor, Prisoner is nothing. In addition to the loudness of the music itself, the instrumentation and the singing on this disc is pretty intense, particularly Hayley Mary’s vocals and Nik Kaloper’s drumming, which pounds and thuds with grace and vehemence. Some of the album’s outstanding numbers (“Try Colour,” “Long Highway,” “Horsehead,” “Rosebud,” and “Endless Summer”) are particularly foot tapping and dynamic.

Mary’s grand voice is a force on its own. Her Soiuxsie Sioux-like vocal style adds gothic charm and the way she passionately puts full force into her voice adds melodrama to her group’s music. Her voice compliments the epic theatricality of the heavier tracks like “Deep Wide Ocean,” “Piece Of Mind,” and “Catch Me,” adding fiery big-hearted emotional depth to the whole album in general.

Ultimately, Prisoner sounds less like a great throwback album and more like a fantastic contemporary rock record. The band has gone through three EPs and has taken its time before releasing this debut album, which fortunately is an absolutely consistent body of work from start to finish.

Rating: A-

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