JAAW is a post-industrial supergroup featuring Andy Cairns (Therapy?), JasonStoll (Mugstar, KLÄMP, SexSwing), WayneAdams (DeathPedals, BigLad, Petbrick) and AdamBetts (Three Trapped Tigers, Goldie, Squarepusher). JAAW glories in big riffs and massive hooks, while also pushing the boundaries of what that even means thanks to its uncompromising strangeness.
In the back of JAAW’s minds are the 1990s: an era when the experimental heaviness of acts like Ministry and Godflesh could find surprisingly large audiences. They also draw on the sonic ground that’s been broken since. The disorientating ferocity of Brazil’s DEAFKIDS. The gaseous, shapeshifted vocals on Burial’s records. The freakout-laden noise-rock of Lightning Bolt. Far from emulating the industrial metal masters of the past, JAAW will help shake lesser rock bands out of their generic complacency. With scant regard for typical verse/chorus/verse formulas, JAAW’s song structures are closer to the nonlinear approach of body-shaking dance music.
Recorded intensely in a matter of days at Wayne’sBear Bites Horsestudioin London, the result is one of the most distinctive and exciting records that will be released this year, so heavy in textures that repeat listens will prove endlessly rewarding.
Experimenting with squealing effects pedals selected from the studio’s racks, Cairns was reminded of his love for the feedback-drenched records ofHeliosCreedandNuklear Blast Suntan. Having grown up listening to Therapy?, Adams loved throwing HM-2 pedals at Cairns and hearing his riffs throughEntombed-style distortion. Bassist Stoll liked the idea of “Celtic Frostplaying something byNEU!” This turned into the album’s bludgeoning centrepiece, ‘Bring Home The Motherlode, Barry’. As co-vocalists, Adams and Cairns wrote lyrics informed by the hallucinatory horror movies ofPanos Cosmatosand the unforgettable set-pieces fromAri Aster’sMidsommar.
JAAW’s sounds, ideas and modes all bleed into each other. “The lyrics, too, are part of the same whole,” adds Cairns. “I feel you could drop the needle at any point on this record and you know where you are with it. To me, it’s like greyscale psychedelia. It’s just this…experience.”
The greyscale psychedelic revolution starts here. You’d be crazy not to jump in.