JAW – Swings Humans

JAW - Swings Humans
  • 7.5/10
    JAW - Swings Humans - 7.5/10


Reversed Records
Release date: March 24, 2009

User Review
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In a musical sense, Jaw is a band that comes from a dark and despair ridden place. In actuality, this group is from Winnipeg, Canada. Swings Humans was recorded in 2006, but is just now seeing the light of day in the States. Should you choose to listen to this release, be prepared for an experimental and progressive experience that’s populated by no shortage of angst.

It’s important to note that this album is a mere thirty-four minutes in length. Despite that, the album manages to feel much longer. The subject matter here is very weighty and could be considered depressing to some. In many ways, Jaw seems to illuminate certain truths that are reluctantly voiced. They make statements about cowardice, failure, lies, shame, and the repetitive cycle of all our lives.

There are more than a few styles on this album and they’re all pulled off well. You’ll get some tracks with genuinely soothing melodies that have clean vocals. Then there are others that are populated by a combination of harsh, screaming cries and the aforementioned clean stuff. Two tracks on this album are instrumental. At first, you might think they’re little more than filler. However, if you make use of the “repeat all” function on your player, it becomes clear that they serve as doorways of sorts. They both tie into the other tracks extremely well.

Jaw isn’t about big riffs or technical proficiency. They are capable as musicians, but seem to want people to think more about their own existence than anything. The group incorporates some eerie sounds into their music. You’ll hear rainfall, insects chirping in the cool of night, and raspy whisperings that add to the atmospheric quality of this album. This is especially the case on the title track.

If sorrow is your cup of tea, consider the following from “Of Kings and Pawns”: “Why can I not stand myself? / Why must you leave me when I need? / Why I ask you? / Why?” Clearly, this isn’t the happiest album you’ll hear, but Emmanuel Olarewaju, the band’s lead vocalist, seems real when he expresses his frustrations. Again, the album is entirely about anger and pain. In fact, the lyrical content is truly experimental and somewhat open to interpretation.

Swings Humans isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for an upbeat remedy for your sadness, this album might only serve to reinforce it. Those that are searching for something brooding, pensive, and thought provoking will be more than pleased with Jaw’s efforts. This a highly interesting album with an exploratory vibe and worth looking into if you want something a little atypical.

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