The Jaded Hearts Club – ‘You’ve Always Been Here’ review: well-intentioned but often unlistenable dad-rock

A super-group featuring Muse’s Matt Bellamy, Blur’s Graham Coxon and Miles Kane, this is the soundtrack to a hoary Friday night down the local boozer

The Jaded Hearts Club are, by every definition going, pure dad-rock. Muse’s Matt Bellamy, Blur’s Graham Coxon, Miles Kane, Jet’s Nic Cester, The Zutons‘ Sean Payne and mastermind Jamie Davis (Coxon’s pal who thought a normal covers band was too expensive for his birthday, so formed his own) have spent the past few years as the most impressive The Beatles covers band going. They even had Paul McCartney join them onstage for their second-ever show as Ringo Starr watched from the crowd.

However, on their debut album ‘You’ve Always Been Here’, The Jaded Hearts Club are out to expand their horizons. Armed with a selection of timeless classics and forgotten Motown gems that you’ll know the words to even if you don’t know who originally sung them, the group have quickly become the most star-studded wedding band around. It’s a shame that weddings aren’t really viable right now.

Every track on their debut comes backed by a generous helping of pub rock‘n’roll spirit with wailing guitar solos and snarling vocals by the bucket-load. The Cester-fronted take on The Four Tops’ ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’ is a howling blast of much-needed joy, while the Kane-led reworking of The Sonics’ ‘Have Love Will Travel’ is a swaggering blast of rock star cool as the band dial up the attitude and believe in their supergroup tag. The manic glee of “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins’ 1956 creeper classic  ‘I Put A Spell On You’ is as infectious as they come, but it’s their cover of Shocking Blue’s psych thriller ‘Long & Lonesome Road’ that provides the album’s high point; the band twist the tune into a modern-day Bond theme, all drama, daring and distance from the original.

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Other songs are less successful. The fuzzy guitar and call-and-response vocals of the Isley Brothers’ ‘Nobody But Me’ is unremarkable while the decision to have Bellamy – a vocalist who’s at his best firing up Wembley Stadium with sci-fi prog-rock and gifted with one hell of a falsetto – record breathy covers of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and ‘Little Willie John’s ‘Fever’ is the stuff of absolute nightmares. It’s odd that for a band featuring such big musical personalities, The Jaded Hearts Club don’t really have one of their own.

We all need something fun right now and that’s what The Jaded Hearts Club are trying to provide with their low-risk, high-energy re-workings of crowd-pleasing classics. It’s a solid enough debut that really comes to life when the band don’t play it safe. However, lacking the star power that’s expected from musicians like these (you’d never know who was in this band without being told) it’s little more than the soundtrack to a great Friday night down the local boozer.

Details

Release date: October 2

Record label: BMG

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