Album Review

Jean Dawson - CHAOS NOW*

“Fuck y’all looking at?” asks the intro. A superstar, is the answer.

“I want it to be like if Morrissey was Black,” said Jean Dawson in these very pages back in 2020 about debut album ‘PIXEL BATH’, sharing his love of questionable alternative icons (also nodding to Smashing Pumpkins and “Warped Tour shit”) as well as hip hop to offer the sources of his own musical mix. Two years on, ‘CHAOS NOW*’ might not have much of ‘80s Mancunian misery in its toolbox, but there’s an exhilarating meeting of grunge, pop-punk and indie with hip hop rhythms: Beck if he’d used a palette of early ‘00s MTV2. First track proper, ‘Three Heads’ makes like Bloc Party’s ‘Helicopter’ at slow speed to soundtrack a nu metal vocal break. ‘0-Heros’ gives Nirvana guitars a stadium-sized chorus, while ‘Screw Face’ and ‘Porn Acting’ could’ve fallen right out of FIDLAR’s catalogue (lyrics like “Day drinking is bad” and “Mum I’m way too high” not harming their cause, either). All slip in Weezer-esque backing vocals for good measure. ‘Sick Of It’ is pure pop-punk enthral, the acoustic-led ‘Bad Fruit’ (with a guest spot from Earl Sweatshirt) and ‘Pirate Radio’ have echoes of Bon Iver, while there’s a smirk towards Billie Eilish’s ‘Bury A Friend’ amid the industrial glitches of ‘Kids Eat Pills’. “Fuck y’all looking at?” asks the intro. A superstar, is the answer.

Tags: Jean Dawson, Reviews, Album Reviews

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