Album Review: Jaguwar, “Ringthing”

Jaguwar began life as a trio, formed in Berlin, Germany by Oyèmi and Lemmy in 2012. Their drummer Chris signed up in 2014 to complete the current line-up; to date, they have released two EPs and have taken their wall of sound (heavily “shoegaze” influence – think My Bloody Valentine, Lush and Curve influenced noise pop) on to countless shows in the U.K., Denmark, France, Serbia, Germany and beyond.

This first full-length album, Ringthing is a shimmering, energetic reverberating, crashing monolith of an album. Jaguwar sway from combining sweet pop figures with white-hot amphetamine noise to sounding like a serendipitous encounter between Husker Du and Ride. “Noise & detail” is how the band describes their soun, which would not be wholly inaccurate.

Starting with the frenetic “Lunatics”, it’s an enjoyable sensory assault; you want, need and like gripping onto the bar of this musical roller coaster as it takes you up and down with no restraint; “Skeleton Feet” is another pulsing track that opens with an exquisite sound of guitar scrapes that can be likened to a melodic pane of glass breaking and falling in tune; “Slow And Tiny” uses a cacophonous soundscape in the background of an otherwise breakneck tempo that reminds one of running through a nightmare – haunting yet completely enticing.  “Crystal”, has that certain ’80’s swirling feel – a cross between The Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees – one of those great, cinematic musical ice sculptures that shimmers; “Away” is straight out of the Chameleons/early U2/Comsat Angels/Sound school of structure and production – echogated guitar, space and heavily propulsive rhythm section and the aptly-titled “End” is a soundscape instrumental that oddly enough sounds a great deal like Husker Du’s “The Tooth Fairy & The Princess” – a slab of modern psychedelic to end this spectacular album in a very satisfying fashion.

What can I say more than you really need to seek this album out and listen to it, from beginning to end.  A dynamic debut album that gives me more hope than I’d previously had – that young bands are taking their cues from one of the richest musical periods and putting their own stamp on it.  Well done…  well done, indeed.


Ringthing is currently available