Mystery Jets - Making Dens

For where the three recent singles are able to sound as new, fresh, and exciting as they did the first time we heard them, the rest of ‘Making Dens’ does little more than grate. A lot.

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Presumably we’re all already over the fact that, yes Henry Harrison is vocalist Blaine’s father, and Mystery Jets are a band who come from a place on the very outskirts of West London where they like to play with pots and pans. You’d think ‘Making Dens’ will be an extension of recent singles ‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis’, ‘Alas Agnes’ and ‘The Boy Who Ran Away’.

Not quite. While yes, we all know there’s an old bloke in the band and none of us care any more, Mystery Jets’ debut album isn’t the collection of ramshackle pop songs we’d imagined it to be. For where the three recent singles are able to sound as new, fresh, and exciting as they did the first time we heard them, the rest of ‘Making Dens’ does little more than grate. A lot.

‘Purple Prose’ quickly descends to 70s prog territory without even a hint of irony, ‘Little Bag Of Hair’ begins pleasantly enough but, like much of the album, drags, due in no small way to Blaine’s vocals. When in isolation they sound delicate and vulnerable, on track after track they become pained and draining. Even ‘Alas Agnes’ is barely listenable when so near the end of the album.

It’s not that Mystery Jets can’t play their instruments or write songs, but after eleven tracks so similar - with the exception of the unintelligible noise of much lauded single ‘Zoo Time’ - the end of the album’s title track just leaves you with no inclination whatsoever to listen to it all over again. Shame.

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