Although not the most well-known band in their genre, Jaws have been flying the flag for ‘B-Town’ along with the likes of Peace and Swim Deep since 2012. They’re highly regarded for having stayed true to their roots, with Peace vocalist Harry Koisser once announcing in an interview, “I think it’s nice that Jaws have stayed in Birmingham, though. They’re still holding the torch for the city while we dick around in Dalston, falling in love and taking drugs.”
For that very reason, however, they’ve had a slower ascend to popularity. Simplicity is their second full-length release via the modest Rattlepop Records, while their counterparts rake in with the likes of RCA and Columbia. There’s a certain je ne se quoi about Jaws’ determination though, as they clear wish to succeed but won’t dare leave behind the city that created them. The record opens with the slow-going, dreamy ‘Just A Boy’, setting the scene for another brilliant album from the trio.
‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’ and ‘Right In Front Of Me’ follow, both wonderfully written, but the latter offers something fresh. It’s a melting pot of both an experimental style that Jaws haven’t touched on much before, and their nearest and dearest that fans have come to expect. The song clearly draws influence from 90’s surf rock; from American bands such as Ugly Kid Joe, who originally paved the way for their modern day descendants.
‘17’ focuses more on a straightforward, no frills melody that becomes almost hypnotising, but it’s ‘Work It Out’ that’s the most commendable. It’s upbeat enough to dance to, but dreary enough to draw in all the emo-turned-indie kids who swapped out Converse and eyeliner for pinafores and ringer tees, but still love a bit of misery on their iPod. Think Joy Division, or The Smiths, in a more approachable form.
Their Wikipedia page is but a stub, and the biggest venue they’ve ever headlined is the 1,200 cap Heaven, but it’s pretty apparent that this is band unfazed by material things. As long as there’s people still listening, no matter how few, Jaws have got a job to do— and this ‘shift’, Simplicity, has been passed with flying colours.