Local Love: Jealous Creatures
Photo: Courtesy Of Artist
Some of the best things about Houston, fall under the veil of diversity. Our food culture is diverse, our demographic makeup is diverse, and of course; the music here is diverse as well. One band that has never really sounded like anyone else in town is Jealous Creatures. The band has always felt like a mix of about twenty other bands while mixing the past and present into something that’s all their own. Next week the band will release the follow up to 2013’s “Bazooka” with “The Night Goes On For Days,” with an album release show at Fitzgerald’s. While the overall sound is one you’ll recognize with the band, they take new directions that really put them into a whole new light; while growing in the process.
The band gets things going with the loud and sometimes brash sound of “The Last Deal.” The song really swayed away from the band’s sound on their previous album, “Bazooka;” in that it reminded me of a revamped version of a Heart song. That’s not taking away from it, but that was my initial impression. They keep the energy high with the second song, “As I Fall” that opens up kind of like the Blondie song, “One Way Or Another.” The track has a very eighties pop rock feel from start to finish, that’s actually refreshing in that it’s a sound that I hadn’t heard in a while. It actually works well for the band, and it gives a familiarity that the band had always lacked before. The backing vocals in the chorus give the song a whole new depth that stretch the band’s legs more than they ever did prior. The band goes a little more into the realm of new wave on the third song, “Baby Teeth,” while singer Sarah Hirsch channels a multitude of strong female vocalists from start to finish. There’s even a strong double vocal in the chorus that adds to the murky bass lines from the verse. The track has a whole new feeling that the previous two don’t have, and it a definite standout on the album.
The fourth song, “Tamed” goes a little slower with an acoustic opening that bleeds into an almost Joey Santiago squeal. The structure of the track has that whole “Surfer Rosa” vibe, while still retaining the band’s own sound. One of the several tracks where Hirsch’ vocals set the song apart from anything else you’ve heard before; you realize that the band can go in any direction and still hold your attention. That slower energy remains on the fifth track, “Captivated By The Night,” while ramping the energy back to a scream on the quick stride on the sixth song, “Man and the Wolf.” The band switches the rhythm more than once on the song, but falls flat in that it is an instrumental that could have been much more, and it ultimately seems to ends too abruptly. Though the craft of the song is impressive, it’s out of place with the rest of the album. This is followed by another quickly timed track, “Lil’ Miss Pout.” Though things start out with the best of intentions, there are moments in the mix where at least one of the guitars is a little too loud, and at two and a half minutes; the song feels like it wasn’t fleshed out enough; and comes off as unfinished overall.
That being said, the band stretches their legs again with the eighth track, “You Can Trust Me.” It’s a different overall sound from the band that creates a song that feels like another standout. The almost country sounding vibe of the song lets the listener appreciate all of the elements that Jealous Creatures can create as a unit. The vocals and the brushed drums are only made more inviting by the techniques employed on the bass and the guitar. It definitely gives you the feeling that there’s an side to the band that they again, can take on different sounds and make them their own. This occurs again on the tenth song, “A Little Silence,” where the band goes lighter but makes a sound that takes them to a new place. Though the vocals felt a little loud in the mix, overall the track does what it should which is place the band in a light that you haven’t heard them in before. They ultimately finish things off with the most diverse song of the album, with “No Sooner Did It Begin.” There’s an honesty on the track that doesn’t come across as strong on the previous tracks. The way the band utilizes piano alongside a meandering guitar track, the use of acoustic and electric guitars, and the snap of the drums with a nice thumpy bass line creates the perfect end to the release.
All in all, the overall album sound is good, minus some production hiccups that could just be my hearing. What comes forth is an album that adds to the mystique that Jealous Creatures has created since their beginning. The new directions that the band tries work well while still keeping things in the vein of their previous releases. You can get your own copy of “The Night Goes On For Days,” when Jealous Creatures plays Fitzgerald’s on Saturday, July 25th. The album release party will have Second Lovers, Spain Colored Orange, and Fear The Poet on prior. The show is all ages downstairs with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $11.00.