Album Review – Jetstream Pony by Jetstream Pony (2020) (Shelflife Records / Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten)

This is the debut of Brighton / Croydon based four-piece, Jetstream Pony. As such it would be customary, even among real music journo’s, to introduce the band members and wibble on a bit about their credentials. Of course I could do that, for there are many.

However, if you follow this blog at all, or indeed, have a musical heart that has been embracing fuzzed up jangle over the last three years, then you will know exactly who this band are. For essentially, several glorious singles and the simply perfect fuzz of the Self-Destruct Reality EP, has seen people fall over themselves to lavish social media love upon them…and all this before, this, their first attempt to kick a ball in earnest!

Most bands, may indeed be worthy, but ultimately do not justify a hype. Such a social media riptide is usually started by one particular trendy sort (usually with a beard or a particularly leftfield haircut), who others then attach themselves to like some sort of debris covered tumbleweed. This usually gets very big, before disintergrating.

Jetstream Pony are not ‘most bands’ and this album merely serves to underline credentials/potential that everyone correctly presumed would be realised in their first full length release.

Essentially the album is just ‘bigger’. Whereas the initial JP sound had it’s primary focus on layers of fuzz that always had melodic intent and even ‘allowed’ the melodies to eventually surface at some point through the wall of guitars, this new, more apparent sound needs to embrace the all things lavish.

This can be seen in tracks such as It’s Fine, Mitte, Trapped in Amber (see above), Gone to Ground and the album’s true stand out in Outside (see below). These offer the listener a chiming and/or jangly dominant hook early in proceedings, that is subsequently never allowed to subside. Only once that melodic foundation is set are the sumptious layers of fuzz allowed to surround, rather than engulf it. It’s a slight shift in attitude to what has gone before, but a hugely vibrant and significant one.

However, such an expansion of the luscious is not the only aesthetic of this debut and JP show that they can still do the grumbly, haze laden, dreamy fuzz that typified the best of their early work and is the optimal vehicle for the wonderful Beth Arzy vocals.

As such  tracks like I Think I’m Ready To Let You Go, Worthless and The Very Eyes of Night, teeter as close to post-punk foreboding as the velvety, breathless vocal delivery of Arzy will allow them to go, before she pulls back on the hypothetical safety cord and cajoles the tracks back into the beautiful fuzz/indie-pop territory that she has always thrived in.

I’ve probably gushed enough as I possibly can without punching myself on the snout and delivering a solid ‘get a grip man’ …however, in my defence this album/band is truly worth it.

Artist Links:  SoundCloudTwitterFacebookBandcamp

Label Links:  Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten:  discogs.comFacebookSoundCloud

Label Links:  Shelflife Records:  Shelflife.comFacebookTwitter, SoundCloud



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