The double-consonant name and washed-out aquamarine cover art may bring to mind lo-fi artists Wavves, Mayyors, or Lovvers, but Jaill fall into the more easily digestible subcategory of indie rock where their new labelmates Band of Horses and the Shins reside. For Jaill’s debut Sub Pop full-length, Vinnie Kircher, Austin Dutmer, Andrew Harris, and Ryan Ross take the Shins’ lazy haze of indie pop and amp it up into a bouncy, slightly tough sound of their own. There’s a good-natured appeal to the band's songs, but also an undercurrent of detached attitude.
Crack the spine on Jaill's Sub Pop debut, That's How We Burn, and you'll find a collection of mostly polished indie rock. The Milwaukee band's lead singer, Vincent Kircher, has a distinctive voice that is effortlessly melodic instead of grating. Everyone in the band can play their instruments pretty well, and sometimes they even indulge in solos. At the end of the day, Jaill sound like a bunch of guys who've been practicing in their garage for a while, and are pretty happy to get a chance to put out an album on a relatively high-profile indie label-- and they are, since the band's been toiling in obscurity for the better part of the last decade.
The argument is as well-worn as your old copy of Nevermind at this point: that the buzz-hungry hype machine eats up emergent acts before they've had time to hone their sound, leaving poorly digested and permanently crippled bands in its wake. Jaill, then, is in a position to prove all those hype-haters right: They'd been playing music in various incarnations for eight years before getting signed by Sub Pop earlier in 2010 (this, keep in mind, from the same label that signed Happy Birthday after their fifth show). So the boys of Jaill have had plenty of time to develop their personal brand of Midwestern indie rock.
Jaill's journey to their debut label release took a whopping eight years of basement shows. But it doesn't show. [rssbreak] Fast, friendly indie pop à la the Shins is fully on display, mixed with an undercurrent of colourless new wave. The hinted-at darkness could've improved the disc had it been more deeply explored.
Jaill play garage the right way. Heavy on the hooks, light on the sneer, lovingly attuned to Reed’s salt and Casablancas’ swoon, and thoroughly uncynical – eulogizing getting high, getting laid, and getting out with your friends. Despite the hostile name, That’s How We Burn doesn’t have a moment of resentment, or a moment of originality, not that there’s anything wrong with that.