Album Review: Curve Of The Earth - Mystery Jets
By Benjamin Irons
A scrupulous package of kinetic synths, polished guitar and stylised sample arrangements embody a sixth studio entry into a decade of musical climate from the Twickenham indie-rocker’s Mystery Jets. Where 2012’s Radlands youthfully pastiched 60’s prog-rock Americana, Curve Of The Earth is a disciplined revival of arrogant creativity circa the inaugural 2006 debut, Making Dens.
Piano-induced curtain raiser “Telomere” is testimony to frontman Blaine Harrison’s poignant vocal quality; layered over a blanket of crashing cymbals and whirring guitar, they start as they mean to go on. Harrison trades might for melody on “Bombay Blue” and “Bubblegum”, the latter serving up a chorus of vocal harmonies and tuneful synth escorted by a chugging acoustic hook, earning its rightful title as the catchiest of two of the album’s leading singles, and, by the same token, manifests signs of a shift from their former off-the-wall selves.
“Midnight’s Mirror” is introduced by a crackly lingual sample from the 1993 film Naked, before being awoken by a twang-y, Alex Turner - circa AM (2013) - riff on guitar. In a rather contrasting fashion however, the chorus transports us into a daydream of dainty acoustic plucking alongside a feathery vocal lullaby from Harrison and guitarist William Rees; epitomizing an ability to perfect the loud/quiet dynamic, they lay claim to their cultured transition from youthful sophomores to masters of their own trade.
Tame Impala are channelled on the psychedelic “Blood Red Balloon”, through an amalgamation of “synthed” keys and painless harmonies that transcends feelings of floating into space - inviting repeated listens. Punchy, lovelorn epic “Taken By The Tide” is a powerful example of the bands accomplished song-writing prowess, while “1985”, “Saturnine” and “The End Up” exhibit a more stripped-back approach, serving as a refreshing alternative to the livelier predecessors. While Curve Of The Earth is a far cry from a decade of adolescence, it does however suggest that the band have finally, rightfully, come into their own.