Fans of disbanded Seattle bands Blood Brothers or Pretty Girls Make Graves , may be excited to know that certain members of each (Cody Votolato and Johnny Whitney from BB. Jay Clark from PGMG) have joined forces, relocated to Portland, formed Jaguar Love, signed to Matador records and now released their debut album "Take Me To The Sea". Those same fans might also like to know, that while the complex and creative intesity that marked previous incarnations remains in place, the hardcore brashness has been smoothed down into something altogether more melodic. Not too melodic mind, as they have already snagged a support slot for leading rockers Queens Of The Stone Age in the States. Those fans need fear not either, Johnny Whitney's unique vocals are certainly present, correct and unique as ever.
And here's the crux of the matter; personally I've never engaged with either of those two former bands - so I'm taking no emotional currency with me into "Take Me To The Sea". The tunes are indeed complex, interesting, well put together, energetic and all the rest of it - but there is no escaping those vocals. Some of the more favourable critical comparisons out there include "pure Bolan-esque glam" or "Robert Plant on Steroids". Some of the less favourable "...like Perry Farrell after a sex change" or this gem..."..like a child being tortured". I'm in the latter camp - and while the music maybe "At The Drive-In', the vocals are definately more "Alvin The Chipmunks", which unfortunately makes the album pretty much unlistenable.