Saturday, 3 May 2008

John and Jehn

There is more than a hint of brooding and darkness underneath the overlapping synth and French-accented vocals of John & Jehn. A tres, tres cool et jolie fille et garcon (ouch, GCSE French) living in London they give the impression that they are so cool it might just hurt to touch them, speak to them or ever lay eyes on them. Describing their split EP (one "John" and one "Jehn") as a 'conversation' rather than 'battle' their hybrid of taunt, angular guitars and swooping synth makes at first an uncomfortable hearing and the strained vocals emit screeches from time to time. Yet this is like Ipso Facto without the Horrors haircuts (although Ipso do manage to hold a tune a bit better J&J have gritty garage infused music to fall back on). With Velvet Underground-ed glamour the synth cuts like a blade through "1,2,3" wrapping the whole song together in a Joy Division-meets-The Fall-meets-The Slits. Post-punk with a French twist. "20 L 07" takes a departure from moody-pop and combines a bouncier sound and electronic feel; one trick ponies they are not. Boy meets girl, boy sings then girl sings, boy and girl unfurl to show a shared love of music and wearing black. Basically a loved-up couple making music together in a brooding, swaggering and confident manner; cool as fuck and like those faded rock stars presented in black and white. "Fear Fear Fear" has echos, repetitive sounds and a desperate undertone which grapples with the listener and leaves them disconcerted in a good way. Split-vocals focus on monotone, whispers, screams of anguish, sultry harmonies and breathy sighs; and lets face it everyone loves a couple of ultra-beautiful things creating chic-rock'n'roll.

No comments: