Take Me To The Sea
He might have the pretty-boy looks of a Hollywood B-lister (er, really? – Ed), but Johnny Whitney’s mind is a rotten sump of terrifying imagination. As chief yowler for sadly departed loon-core champions The Blood Brothers, he populated his lyrics with iridescent flamingos picking at bin-liners, sightless men masturbating to CNN sex-crime reportage and flaming foetuses.
This is a boy for whom a landfill represents the height of human artistic endeavour. It’s surprising, then, that his new band plays rather joyful glam-pop. Well, as pop as a man who sounds like a castrated vulture singing about his wife giving birth to a mushroom cloud gets. So while the majority of the original Brothers Blood segued into the currently untested Past Lives, Whitney and guitarist Cody Votolato have teamed up with former Pretty Girls Make Graves guitarist Jay Clark to form Jaguar Love. Clark lends a pleasing depth to the Beefheart-meets-Orbison doo-wop of ‘Bone Trees And A Broken Heart’, while ‘Highways Of Gold’ sounds like a musical production of On The Road starring the cast of Fraggle Rock. They’re still working out the kinks, though, so a few tracks fail to match their ambition, namely the lazy porchside lament of ‘Georgia’. But Whitney doesn’t want to scare you any more. Instead, judging by this debut, he wants to pour you an absinthe-and-bonemeal cocktail and engage in some earlobe frottage. Perhaps you should join him.