Mystery Jets - Making Dens
Reviewed by Simon on 11th March 2006
Following their recent slot on the massively hyped NME Tour with the Arctic Monkeys, Mystery Jets unleash their debut album to a collective press with baited breath and sharpened talons. Either they'll be elevated to hero status or they'll be knocked back, scorned, and sent home before they've even properly got started. From the outset Mystery Jets appear to be somewhat of a novelty band, playing off kilter indie-pop-prog (that's as close as I can come to giving them a genre) and featuring the main vocalists father in the line up to name but a couple of their quirks.
Luckily though they have some rather decent tunes to lend themselves some credibility however. Second track "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" is the runaway highlight of the album, being a wonderful summer singalong full of changing time signatures, Beach Boys quality pop hooks and some shockingly catchy lyrics. The album version differs from the past single version by adding more guitars and a stronger more convincing sound. If the whole album was of this quality then Mystery Jets would be onto a sure-fire winner with their efforts, but sadly this just isn't the case.
Following the aforementioned gem proceedings take a downturn with the overly long "Purple Prose" and the rather dull "Soluble In Air". Not bad songs by any means, but they find themselves stranded in the area between pop and prog with no endearing leanings towards either. Disappointingly the album continues in this fashion by blending top drawer indie efforts such as the Libertines-esq "The Boy Who Ran Away" with poorer efforts such as "Horse Drawn Cart".
It's difficult to make a decision about this album really; in some places it's magnificent whilst in others its poor at best. Perhaps it needs a sunny day and a hazy view to be fully appreciated, or perhaps it's just misunderstood genius. Possibly though it's just a plain and simple letdown. A band to look out for in the future? Maybe. As for now just buy the singles "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" and "The Boy Who Ran Away", as that ought to be all you need to hear by them until they write some newer (and more consistently good) material.
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