Stick, twist, or shoot straight for goal? Good question, apprentice; my advice would be to aim true and fire onward, between the posts before you. It’s what* Jairus* have done here with fantastical results, said posts being the prefixes augmenting the fields of rock and hardcore respectively.
Where they call home matters not, as these five young braves clearly have all sights set upon worldwide domination of the critic’s so-often poison pen and the consumers’ hearts and head-banging rights. A full-length emerged to no little acclaim but a brace of years ago, and this EP both ups the ante and leaves it sprawling on the canvas, expectations rope-a-dope’d into submission only two tracks in. You see, Jairus are cunning in their offensive – march incessantly they may, no obstacle altering their course toward that goal, whatever it is this minute, but not once do they plough a previously trodden furrow for more than a few fleeting seconds. ‘Marcia’ begins in a rumble, the aftershock preceding the eruption as it were, before revealing knives already bloodied from within its blackest of capes. Vocals never sit still, twitching from the serene to the sort that have seismographs in deepest Sumatra registering abnormal activity. Such an instance is entirely appropriate as Jairus are masters of articulating the abnormal; indeed, this EP is almost aleatory in its assembly: here are your basic building blocks of rock, go play some.
That’s not to say that they’re a difficult band of brothers, far from it in fact: these four songs are immediate in their impression, and the smouldering hole they leave in the psyche once jettisoned back to wherever they came from is significant in size. ‘Sabrina In The Deceiving Breeze’ follows its aforementioned predecessor’s suit in so much as it begins with cards aplenty up its sleeve, never fully revealing its potential until the cataclysmic finale. You’d slot it into store racks beside purveyors of metal were it not for the post-rock referencing subtitles and intricacies on display; also, vocal lynchpin Adam Bray’s way with a gargle is as akin to doom recordings as it is glossy post-hardcore, one moment supremely melodic and the next as if he’s awoken from a lengthy slumber to find himself in a box six feet under.
Advice, of course, is optional in its putting into action: chances are you, dear reader, cares not one jot for our charges here today. In your hands be it what you spend your pennies on, but know this: few EPs have offered as much interest as this these past eleven months, and fewer still will emerge before the winter has its way with frail human feelings. Stay warm inside, huddle beside a loved one, turn the thermostat up ‘til Britain’s resources are spent. Do so, please, but do so with the knowledge that not everyone is so reliant on comfort to get by; Jairus know they are neither here nor there pigeonhole-wise, and are all the healthier for it.
8Mike Diver's Score