When you look at the ringing endorsements Salvation Jayne have picked up, any self-respecting rock fan should be checking the band out. Described as classic rock and alternative and picking up comparisons to Clutch and Queens of the Stone Age, you can bet I’m going to be there.
As opening track “Cortez” starts, there’s a real Velvet Revolver vibe to the track until Chess Smith’s vocals kick in and it transforms into something scuzzier with a layer of pop gloss on top of it. But hidden underneath all that, you can still pick out hints of a song which could have appeared on Contraband. Elsewhere, “Black Heart” has the scuzzy sounds of Clutch mixed with the dark, brooding elements of early Queens of the Stone Age.
Meanwhile, “Juno” and “Tongue Tied” lean more into the pop side of their sound. However, the latter does have more of a venomous bite to it. “The Art of Falling” is able to combine both elements to create something with a hard edge but overtones of pop and hints of alternative. It’s a perfect summary of the band’s sound as they take in a grandiose finale for good measure.
The only real mis-step for the EP is the stripped version of “Juno”. It becomes overly saccharine, a complete pop number and so jarring you begin to think it’s a song from another band. It doesn’t feel needed and ends the EP on a far weaker note than if it’d finished with “The Art of Falling”.
Salvation Jayne are a technically skilled band, out to show how many different influences they bring to the table. Riffs from Holly Kinnear are deft; knowing how to balance the understated moments with the heavier moments. Meanwhile the rhythms of Dan Lucas and Tor Charlesworth will ensure you’re nodding your head. The slight mis-step of the last song aside, whilst the EP tries to do a lot in its short time, the quartet manage to make it sound cohesive and more importantly, keep your attention.
Salvation Jayne is out now