Mystery Jets -‘Radlands.’ (Rough Trade)
Mystery Jets first appeared in the middle of the last decade, and seemed to be a slightly unusual proposition. Not so much the Syd Barrett-fixation, but the fact that the then bass player was the singer’s Dad! A handful of early singles like ‘Aas Agnes’ ‘The Boy Who Ran Away’ and best of all ‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis’ were upbeat, sprightly things.
Somehow, we are now four albums down the line and Radlands, the band’s latest shows that the band have changed, not just in lineup but also in style. This time they have gone down the Americana route -something that bands seem to do when they are looking for longevity, it would appear. Though they wore theiur London origins on their sleeves -in the best possible way – with their early efforts, this time they went off to Texas to make the album.
And it’s…okay. I’ve given this album several listens, not because I thought it was amazing (I don’t) or because I think it’s bloody awful (it’s not), but because I was trying to find a way in to get a handle on it. There’s more of a reflective slant, perhaps, and there’s a lot of homage to the likes of the Steve Miller Band and the Eagles, which they have been listening to, amongst others.
The opening two tracks, the title track and ‘You Had Me At Hello’ are impressive enough and I rather like the tale of the flawed missionary ‘Sister Everett.’ But somehow, whilst it’s a strong enough, solid enough record, it’s missing something distinctive to make it really special.
Radlands is released by Rough Trade on April 30.