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Headwarmer Review JPL 'Don't Try'

"With accessible structures and fist-in-the-air choruses to root themselves deep into the memory banks, 'Don’t Try' is a honeycomb of caustic guitar and punk snarl..."

This Derry four-piece have been plying their trade for well over a decade now and in that time, they’ve unleashed 3 albums of agit-political-post-hardcore experimentation that have crossed genres and boundaries with consumate ease.  Album number four moves adroitly forward from the exploratory 'Backlash Cop', into a more straight-up aural assualt that should re-position them as serious contenders.  The six years that have passed they’ve clearly used to re-assess and re-focus their direction as from the off the improvement is undeniable.  With accessible structures and fist-in-the-air choruses to root themselves deep into the memory banks, 'Don’t Try' is a honeycomb of caustic guitar and punk snarl that stands shoulder to shoulder with most of the new-age hard/metal-core tripe invading our eardrums today.  Combative and confrontational songs to disrupt and deflect, vocalist Andrew Ferris rides along Cahir O’Doherty’s scratch and squeal guitar lines with giddy aplomb.  “I want power of attorney, I need power of attorney…” he yells on "Cheapskate Tricks For Worn Down People"; a denunciation of the powers that be.  Closely followed by "Beat Generation…Ha!" in which he proclaims “Hey! maggots get off my turf, I wrote shit like this fuckin’ years ago”, Ferris and co are targeting the winners and challenging the quitters.  "Cortez & Columbus" and "My Radio Heart" should enjoy significant air-time, while "The Lightning Bird Blinded By Moonfire" sees the band recall a proto-rap refrain before upping the crunch on "The Trees Fill With Screaming Birds" and closer "Magnetic Sea".  Clearly reinvigorated and ready to reclaim power, JL should turn heads with this one and rightly so – its their most effective work to date. (8)

STEVE FLETCHER

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