The Jezabels – Synthia Review

 

The increasingly established Alternative quartet The Jezabels from Sydney have returned with their third studio album Synthia and are looking to build on the solid momentum of their first album. The difficult second album was just that and came back to haunt them somewhat as being an underwhelming effort. The talent is there however and for the group Synthia is an opportunity for them to show just how much talent that is.

 

‘Come Alive’ is bold and dramatic in pitching heavy percussion and rough riffs against a sparse backdrop of echoes and spinning electronica. Hayley’s vocals gently lift the tension from the song which is ebbs and flows from chorus to verse with a greater intensity. The chorus blasts light through the track with light and airy synths and a more swooning vocal. This is cast off into an aggressive interlude of tumbling percussion and reverberating guitars. It is a track that demonstrates the atmospheric quality and power they contain. ‘Pleasure drive’ is a track that starts with an a negative resonant synth which exudes a disjointed rhythm. This is backed up with a rumbling riff and purposeful percussion. Hayley’s vocals follow the disjointed pattern of the earlier electronica. The track takes on a graceful progression to a peak hook and a more powerful vocal. Behind these are heavier riffs and percussion. This song is delivered beautifully and captures the essence of reaching a culmination of sound with ease.

 

Emerging from soft, nudging electronica is the opening track in ‘Stand and Deliver’. Mishaped and haunting spoken vocals sift through the ever bolder instrumentation that rotates and gathers pace alongside rising synths. The song falls away to a basic percussion part with the vocals taking the lead and pulling the song back to a greater height. Her vocals then offer up a Kate Bush- like kick and practically bellow out the vocals around the heavier sounds before seamlessly slipping back towards a calmer tone. Another reaffirming of the prowess of their delivery and production to back it up. ‘My Love Is My Disease’ offers a more theatrical and rapid track that demonstrate Hayley’s vocal ability. ‘Unnatural’ begins with a simple whirred synth and vocal combination. The song quickly reaches higher tones that subtly rise and fall by bringing in one key element to transport the song from one section to another. The cool vocals behind them aid this too. ‘If Ya Want Me’ highlights the echoed nature of the production and is powered by accelerating, washed out guitars and bouncing synths. The lyrical content of female empowerment and commentary add to the power and potency of the instrumentation. One critique is that the sounds aren’t as varied or as tangible which is the only critique of the production. For the most part the album is graceful, smooth and crafts a powerful atmospheric quality in almost every track. It is a definite improvement on their second album and shows that The Jezabels are indeed as talented as they hinted. Their strongest album to date and hopefully a sign of greater things to come from the Australian group.

 

The Jezabels – Synthia = 8/10

 

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

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