The Jezabels - Synthia

This Australian quartet may have already caused a sensation down under, but are The Jezabel ready to make the big step into the UK market? Their latest release, Synthia, is heavily influenced by the likes of M83 and Metric. With noted extra time spent on synthetic experimentation, will it be third time lucky for the band?

Melodrama, feminism, Hayley Mary's vertigo-inducing vocals, and beautifully crafted synth-lines, are the foundations that Synthia is built upon. To be honest it's not a hundreds miles from their debut, only with a change from the grungy guitars of The Brink. Lyrically they continue steering clear of the lighter side of life, "Don't tell me to smile / When for all you know I just buried my mother" - surely this'll be embraced by the emo-generation. Where the album works is when they engage in a full band sound. Drummer Nik Kaloper is sometimes under-used, when his style surely needs to be showcased far more often as on 'Love Is My Disease', with its killer chorus that will lock itself inside your ears for days. In fact the worst of the ten tracks is actually the single 'Come Alive', which doesn't manage to live up to its promise; failing to pack a chorus that the band usually deliver. The current single, and Goldfrapp-like, 'Pleasure Drive' is full of pulsating rhythms, but takes far too long to erupt into a splendor, for it to be dubbed remotely radio-friendly. Elsewhere there are obvious influences on tracks like 'Stand and Deliver' and the epic 'Stamina.' There are also the more decadent 80s offerings like 'A Message From My Mother' that would fit neatly on an Arcadia (Ed - remember them???) album and then their own classic sound with 'If Ya Want Me'.

Although not the most original album that will come out this year, this is proof of a band who have licked their wounds from their sophomore set-back, and come back with stomping choruses, delicate emotive ballads, and the best album of, well of January and February. With Mary's bedazzling vocal talent and an ear for big choruses The Jezabels can certainly set themselves apart from other electro contemporaries. But with little push from the media on their previous records, they may just have to settle for being another cult band for muso's to endlessly bang on about.


Back from the brink.


out of 10

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