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Album Review: Jaguar Love - Hologram Jams

The sheer mainstream sensibilities of Jaguar Love’s new album could have single-handedly killed the underground credibility of Jonny Whitney’s previous venture in The Blood Brothers. This is not to say that this is a weak record. In fact, 'Hologram Jams' is the most dangerous sounding indie-pop record since Test Icicles' 'For Screening Purposes Only', but the legendary underground status of The Blood Brothers would no doubt be knocked if it wasn’t for the fact that 'Hologram Jams' is so brilliantly satirical.

It’s with this tongue-in-cheek attitude that Jaguar Love really excel. The opening track is characteristically ludicrous; Jonny screams “I Started A Fire” over an unbelievably cheesy keyboard riff, which is a perfect demonstration of their juxtaposed dark lyrics and sugary musical style. However, little flourishes of their past occasionally break through. This is showcased in its purest form during ‘Polaroids and Red Wine’, in which a Ke$ha-style rap about “puking on the lawn” crashes into one of the heaviest guitar solos imaginable. It’s all rather unsuspectingly clever while remaining wonderfully relevant. By the end of the third track, ‘Cherry Soda’, Hologram Jams marks Jaguar Love as the potential vocoded anti-heroes of modern pop music.

Unfortunately, as the album progresses, its quality begins to deteriorate. Tracks like ‘Don’t Die Alone’ are certainly listenable, but they lack the intelligence which the earlier songs promised by toning down the aggressive squeals and sporadic riffs in favour of a more straight-forward indie-pop sound. They almost recapture the magic with the irresistible hook in ‘Up All Night’, but the album never quite recovers from this lapse into a comfort zone. By the time the closing notes of a frankly painful cover of Janis Joplin’s ‘A Piece of My Heart’ end proceedings, the joke is worn a little thin. It’s a shame that such an exciting concept wasn’t executed effectively from start to finish.


'Hologram Jams' by Jaguar Love is released on April 26th through Fat Possum Records.

Jaguar Love on MySpace and Twitter.
Official Website

Alex Howick

Alter The Press!