– Zoo Time
Spitting in the face of conventional pop and rock are the Mystery Jets.
June 14, 2007
Hailing from Eel Pie Island in London, England, these boys are far from the normal formula that makes a band. Lead singer Blaine Harrison’s father Henry is in the band, which already proves that they’re a dedicated family and musical unit. Their newest album “Zoo Time” is taking a large bite out of the niche that houses bands like The Arcade Fire and Bloc Party.
Already aiming for the heavens, the band has the track “Horse–Drawn Cart,” which is a mini–epic. The beginning is crisp and clear guitar and a haunting chorus, but by the end of the song, the overlapping vocals and piano all seem to collide with each other. It’s a beautiful song and it’s the type of that could be sung in a coffee shop or on a street corner.
This album makes me nostalgic for my childhood with references to Nintendo machines in the song “Little Ba of Hair.” Lead singer Blaine spent most of his childhood in hospitals, because of an illness. The song goes “Nintendo machines in hospitals are always broken. Chewing jay cloths relieves the pain from mouth ulcers.” It’s an honest song with no hidden meanings. It’s the angst of a teenager and the agony of being sick for half of your life. For some reason, the band’s songs give me a rush of memories from my childhood. Their music is like a photo negative that you find in a drawer. You pick it up, examine it for a minute and when you recognize the person, it’s like a memory being rediscovered. Mystery Jets are a drawer full of photo negatives.
But the album is not all dreary memories and lost loves. The simple track “Purple Rose of Cairo” is the type of sing-along song that every bands tries to write. It’s simple, catchy and fun. Zoo Time is one of the best albums of this month and might take album of the year. They’re just too damn fun to ignore.
By Nathan Solis
Listen to the album at Amazon.com