Release Date: Aug 19, 2008
Record label: Matador
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Phoenixing from the ashes of the Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves, Johnny Whitney, Jay Clark, and Cody Votolato reinvent themselves as something completely new. While the Blood Brothers were straight up hardcore screamo and Pretty Girls were spiraling indie rock, Jaguar Love's tastes are broader and harder to define. There are the theatrics and bombast of glam (think Sweet), the circular meandering and aggression of post-rock (Mars Volta), the danceable rock of post-punk revival (Hot Hot Heat), and the fuzzed heaviness of alt metal (Wolfmother), combined with the classic arrangements of show tunes, doo wop, and waltzes.
JAGUAR LOVE Take Me To The Sea (Matador) Rating: NNNN Since this post-punk trio is made up of former members of the Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves, chances are they're not gonna have a ton of difficulty getting their songs heard. With that in mind, riding on past successes will only get them so far. Good thing their debut album is so strong.
It's possible that no vocal instrument in rock is more distinctive than former Blood Brother Johnny Whitney’s. Your willingness to take that voice’s idiosyncrasies (like shrieking screams and red-level falsetto) in all their glory will largely dictate how much you like Jaguar Love’s Matador debut, Take Me to the Sea. Whitney, along with additional Blood Bro Cody Votolato and former Pretty Girls Make Graves member J Clark, formed the group last year.
For two glorious minutes at the start of Jaguar Love's debut album, it seems the spirit of riot grrrl, the early 1990s feminist punk movement, is alive and kicking. Drums rattle, guitars glitter and the singer squeals in awestruck emulation of Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker. It's a shock to discover that the person behind this helium-fuelled voice is actually a shaggy-haired chap called Johnny Whitney, whose bandmates sport pronounced chest and facial hair.
Review Summary: Don't let these jaguar pirates steal your treasure; these Blood Brothers don't deserve one bit of your treasure.The Blood Brothers died way too early. After just five albums, the last of which was arguably the high point of their career, the band just fell apart. From this, we have two new projects, both not surprisingly fronted by one of the two vocalists found in the Blood Brothers; Past Lives featuring Jordan Blilie (and pretty much the rest of the Blood Brothers, minus a recent guitarist and plus an original guitarist), and Jaguar Love featuring Johnny Whitney and the guitarist as of the end of the band, Cody Votolato.