Adult Jazz - Gist Is

Leeds newcomers' eclectic streak shines on experimental debut

  • Release Date 04 Aug, 2014
  • Producer Adult Jazz
  • Record Label Spare Thought
8 / 10
They formed in Leeds and make low-key pop more exciting with their clever folk harmonies and mind-bending experimentation. No, not Alt-J – this is Adult Jazz, four men whose biggest problem will be working out how to step out from the Mercury Prize winners’ shadow. It’s all there: the sparse guitars, the minimalist percussion, Harry Burgess’ oddly pitched vocals, the vaguely spiritual intellectualism. But ‘Gist Is’ is more than a poor man’s ‘An Awesome Wave’. ‘Donne Tongue’ sounds like Shellac trying to make an afrobeat record, while the spectacular ‘Spook’ flashes images of Wild Beasts in bed with cult ’90s emo band American Football, though ‘Springful’ takes the cut-and-paste approach too far, with drippy guitar passages slotted awkwardly between defiant blues and glitchy beats. But by the time you reach the gentle conclusion of ‘Bonedigger’, it’s clear Adult Jazz will be inspiring their own army of rip-offs before long.

Robert Cooke

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