Now it’s not really my fault, I’m sure, but I do find it hard to get excited about bands sometimes. I don’t think I’ve yet reached that age where I’m a Victor Meldrew type cynic, but sometimes, no matter how hauntingly beautiful a record undoubtedly is, I still can’t stand up and shout about it. However, I’m always open to attempts to rectify this…
With Cambridge based Jaywalk Buzz, I find myself full of optimism when I play their debut demo CD. The band have been together for little more than a year – and these three tracks are the fruits of the group’s first three days in the studio. Time to prepare yourself for a rough ride, you might think, but the opposite couldn’t be truer. The opening seconds of the Goo Goo Dolls-esque opener, ‘Tabula Rasa’ hit you with a production sheen usually reserved for major label acts. Matt Herrett’s vocals are also incredibly strong, sounding more American than Anglo-Saxon and the tune is familiar enough to sing along to before you’ve played it through once… 'Weapons' showcases the band’s melancholic tendency, which sees them adopting a downbeat tempo and rather mournful outlook with quite exceptional results. If a lilting, moving ballad is what they were trying to achieve, then this is surely it – a piano led lament with sparse acoustic guitar and soft drums. Its main failing is the track lasts for six minutes, but if I was in an introspective, dark mood right now I probably wouldn’t notice. 'Sulphur' has echoes of early Coldplay and mixes moody electric guitar with acoustic - starting slow and building as the track progresses.
Returning to my earlier deliberation… Why is it that I just can’t get excited about much these days? With Jaywalk Buzz, there’s plenty to be excited about. A fantastic sound, a great lead singer and awesome production values. They sound like a major-label band. But sometimes that’s not enough. The comparison I made earlier to the Goo Good Dolls (in full-on 'Iris' mode) was more than just a passing reference, they really do sound strikingly similar. It shouldn’t matter too much, though, for this is only a three track demo (albeit of an accomplished nature) and one which wouldn’t sound out of place in the US Top 40.
6Andrew Farley's Score