Another Friday, another guest review. This week Ade Bailey selects a song by a band he went to see on their recent UK tour, Jaya The Cat, and gives his thoughts on their recent album, A Good Day For The Damned. You can check the album out here : https://jayathecat.bandcamp.com/album/a-good-day-for-the-damned
Ade is a member of political punk band Enemies Of Promise and also hosts his own show (Revolution Rock) on Global Punk Radio.
Over to you Ade.....
For those of you not familiar with Jaya The Cat, they are the brainchild of Boston’s Geoff Lagadec, the man with undeniably the best beard in Punk Rock. Based now in Amsterdam, they have had a revolving series of members alongside Lagadec since they emerged in 1999. They came to my attention back in 2012 when their track ‘Here Come The Drums’ jumped out of a very average free compilation CD given away with Vive Le Rock and just blew my speakers off their fixings.
Here they are in 2017 with their first new album since then, and an absolute belter it is too.
It’s tricky to explain what JTC do – it’s always been a beautiful mix of reggae, ska and punk with each record leaning a little more heavily on one of those genres. 'A Good Day For The Damned' seems to be one of those JTC albums that is firmly headed in the punkier direction.
It opens with ‘Wine Stained Futon’ and we’re already on familiar ground – a rolling, instant singalong JTC chorus and the constant themes of good times, drinking (lots of drinking) and late-night shenanigans. ‘Rough Guide To The Future’ kicks it up a gear with a huge ska-tinged track, bursting with big guitars and swirling Hammond organs. Business as usual then and everyone’s very happy indeed.
‘Sweet Eurotrash’ is pretty much a perfect JTC tune with all the elements we’ve previously mentioned and lyrics about the perils of hotels, touring, drink and drugs which can’t help but make you smile.
As we get further into the album, here comes one of the stand-outs for me in the form of ‘Huddersfield Rain’ a massive anthem (in the vein of Here Come The Drums) which speaks of a post-gig romance set in that hub of West Yorkshire culture. My only gripe with this otherwise perfect track is the mention of sitting on some ‘docks’ in Huddersfield which I’m assuming is a little poetic license on Geoff’s behalf and we can probably forgive him.
For what is a pretty raucous album, its gentler moments are still sublime, a case in point being ‘Fucking In Love’ a light reggae sway-along that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy - it’s great.
As the album comes to a close, we get ‘Streets Of Shoreditch’ which is probably the very best track on a very good album. Its unremarkable beginning lulls you into a false sense of security as the first verse ambles nicely then – boom! The chorus, with its almost folk influenced roots, gives you a drunken sing-along on a par with the best of them.
As well as being one of the best live acts out there (they tour almost 12 months a year so they should be good!) this record is definitely the best thing they’ve done. Every track is belter and it’s difficult to spot any filler. Certainly one of my albums of 2017 and as they have just been confirmed for Rebellion next year, I expect we can catch them at a venue near us next year too.
This Is Sweet Eurotrash.....