This sophomore effort from Vancouver outfit, JPNSGRLS (pronounced “Japanese Girls”) trades a bit in the guitar fire-power sound of bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines or The Hives – add to the notion of doing this after losing a founding member; their original lead guitarist quit after completing the recording of this album, aptly titled Divorce. Nonetheless, this isn’t an album of dirges, rather, it’s a powerhouse of riffage.
Starting with “Oh My God”, there’s a lot of energy and punch with interesting slightly off-time signatures; “A Girl From A Different Dimension” has a sonic wallop and scratches at being more dissonant but maintaining a pop-py framework and “Bully For You” has a heavier, quasi-’70’s rock feel. “Circus” is a slower, quieter track that explodes at points into a Pixies-like cacophony; “Gap Year” has a new wave-y feel and one of the album’s highest points and “19 Pound Baby” closes out the collection with a 100 m.p.h. that sounds and feels like it’s about to go off the rails at any given moment.
Eleven songs and if sludgy, but catchy rock is your thing, then you will love this album. In the maelstrom, there is melody and structure and obviously, this band knows how to put a song together, even with the experimental edges. It may be called Divorce, but it’s a great early cementer for a relationship between band and audience.
Divorce will be released on Friday, July 22nd, 2016