Age hasn’t mellowed our inimitable critic from the Bosphorus, Sean Bw Parker, who celebrated his 39th birthday last week. Grizzled with a riposte tongue for mischief and eloquently prosed piss-taking, Parker (we think!) admires and remarks on the certain qualities he’s found on the brand new album from Dundee’s alternative-spiky punk rockers, The Hazey Janes.
The Hazey Janes ‘Language of Faint Theory’ (Armellodie Records) 2nd june 2014
Battling gallantly against the fact that they have the worst name since the Arctic Monkeys dry-humped the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Hazey Janes (doesn’t that just pique your curiosity to vagina-quivering-like-a-rabbit’s-nostril curiosity?) have made here what your dad and mine – or actually perhaps ‘you’ in these days and times, presumably being straighter than him – would call a ‘grower’.
The opener ‘Iwan’ is a melancholy, understated lovely, but for some god-known reason the shimmery producer decided to stick two bona-fide brilliant pieces of song-writing, ‘The Genesis’ and ‘(I’m) Telescoping’ deep in the small intestine of the album. Mainstream ambition is fair enough we suppose, but bands (and here I really do suspect producers) should wear their sublime idiosyncrasies on their sleeves more often.
Pretentiousness is a highly under-rated quality in music these days, and this Dundee lot surely had the shit kicked out of them a bunch of times for their fabulously literate song-titles and holier-than-thou hair in the past. That, or things have seriously changed in the UK since I had to set foot in the godforsaken place. Even the name of the album title lets you know that they have read more than your entire family put together, and they hope that you know it (subtly).
Coming over all Belle and Sebastian meets Fleetwood Mac meets…Pixies? There is a lot of country rock and hooky FM choruses, but the intriguingly combined efforts of the above mentioned tracks (Genesis and Telescoping – are definite articles and pronouns really necessary here, guys?), make for genuinely addictive listens. I couldn’t stop playing the latter for about two days.
It’s a lot of seemingly unnecessary work to try to decipher the codes underneath Andrew Mitchell and his merry folks’ lyrics, but one suspects that if they’d wanted that they would have sung them clearer. ‘The Language of Faint Theory’ (hello Noam) is warm, comforting indie, a gentle armchair for the well-bearded and booked…genuinely reassuring, but at its best when they start fucking with parameters.