Curve Of The Earth
January 15 2016 (Caroline International)
Words: Alison Mack
Mystery Jets return with the long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s 'Radlands'. Recorded in a former button factory - after vocalist singer Blaine Harrison's incarceration in a Thames cabin during the writing of - it has provided a base for perhaps some of their most personal material so far on what the band say came about as a result of rediscovering their gang mentality.
On this fifth full-length release for the indie rockers - and first with new 'gang' member, bassist Jack Flanagan - their self-produced (with Matthew Twaites) effort is a polished effort. The big opening lead single ‘Telomere’ sees Harrison's plaintive vocals describe caps on DNA that connect people through generations as, "the people walking down below / crawling home alone like spiders / as the cancer slowly starts to grow”, as powerful drums crash against synths, piano in an electro burst.
'Blood Red Balloon' draws on some of their early '70s influences, with infectious harmonies and guitar solos, while lyrically referencing William Blake in, “See heaven in a grain of sand”. On the romantic, piano-led ‘1985’, Harrison urges, “Be the change you want to see in the world / because it belongs to us,” over orchestral strings and wailing guitars that send out riffs in some of the Jets' finest moments.Lost friendships is the focus on 'Midnight’s Mirror', a track which opens with sampled snippet of dialogue from David Thwelis’ character in Mike Leigh’s Naked, and folds into falsetto lament on its chorus (“no matter how much little or much I take / there’s no limit to the low”) amidst swelling harmonies. Harrison has described the track as "about hedonism, but I’m also talking about myself in the middle of it all."
The acoustic shored ‘The End Up', with guitarist and the song's writer, William Rees, taking over vocal duties: "Won’t it be strange / to see how we change / when we’re all grown up?", indicates that Mystery Jets have grown up as well as grown creatively since we last heard from them.