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Sunday, 8 February 2015

#414: Catching Up With...The Jacques (SONAR - Unsigned and Independent - February Issue)


When people remember '00s indie, they remember it with a sense of rose-tinted nostalgia, a feeling that for those too young to have appreciated brit-pop, this was our generation's answer to it. But whilst brit-pop busied itself with trying to escape the drudgery of 90s Britain, before becoming the antithesis of what it once stood for, the likes of Franz Ferdinand and (early) Arctic Monkey's sang about what they knew, what surrounded them - what we knew, and what surrounded us – we didn't need Blur, we had Bloc Party and we certainly didn't need Oasis, we had The Libertines.

It was this era's tendency to wear their hearts on their sleeves, and sing about their immediate situations however, that also made it the least dangerous epoch of British indie, with introspection and Topman advertising campaigns holding more importance than social injustice. Let's face it, The Libertines were more of a danger to one another than they were the fabric of British society, unless you count making heroin cool for the first time since Kurt. Now, had Bristol-based The Jacques been around then, chances are they would have faded in to obscurity by now; their jangly urchin-pop falling by the wayside in favour of the more electronically-driven stuff that came to the fore at the turn-of-the-decade. 

The fact of the matter is though, The Jacques were formed almost-exactly a year ago, and as a result the clattering urgency of their debut EP is one of the most exciting, and dare I say it, dangerous things we've heard in the last couple of years. Their sound certainly isn't going to upset anyone in parliament, but it might upset the current musical status quo enough to encourage a host of other bands to follow suit. Their sound isn't even wholly original, the obvious comparison being The Libertines, but they also bring to mind The View at their loosest, The Strokes at their fuzziest, and a host of '60s pop acts such as The Kinks. 

And, whilst most bands as fresh-faced as The Jacques would falter at the speed with which their career has progressed, such urgency is mirrored perfectly in the band's song-writing, resulting in a somewhat fast but ultimately fitting ascension to where they are today; a band on the cusp of releasing their follow-up EP, with whispers of a full-length to follow; a band for whom the wheels of the hype machine are very much in motion, and for a change, rightly so and perhaps most importantly, a band whose sound, whilst not wholly original, posses far more energy and passion than many of their contemporaries, and at a time when a lot of music is feeling forced and contrived, that is something worth holding on to.