Post-punky nut job artpop thrown together in an affectedly scattershot fashion: shouty boy-girl non-sequiturs, surrealist mumblings, pots ‘n’ pans drumming and a meshy mess of guitar, all unravelling in cacophonic freefall. Easy listening it ain’t. From the schizoid howling and clattery stop/start/ping drumming of opener ‘Blue Walter’ onwards, their joint aims appear to be (a) deconstructing all accepted notions of the song and (b) alienating the listener - and mostly they succeed. The self-conscious ‘Look! We’re nuts!’ intellectualism really ought to grate more than it does, but there’s something just so ‘up yours’ about the tinkling glockenspiel and smashing cymbal of ‘Jody Coyote’, the buzz guitar, cow bell and maracas of ‘Brad Gamma’ the utter disregard for melody or time-signature and their lyrics about butterfly bowties, caterpillar wives, mixed metaphors and swivel chairs that invites a reluctant smile, however unmistakable it all is, objectively speaking.
Blood Smash, as to be predicted, rip your face off with a virtual mess of harsh, guerrilla recorded sonic mayhem. Coarse and brash, experimental and technically noisy, each two-minute track on this tidy EP gives the listener a cardiac arrest and an earache at the same time. With tracks of just single drumbeats and out of key riffs ringing through for ten seconds at a time, the clean, polished virtuosos need not apply. This is just noise that flirts with the gaps in between chords, drawing out the silence and then eradicating it.
Noize makes enemies
I loved series one of Skins. And series two. But series three? No way. Sometimes things are just never as good as you hope. Now the tenuous link here is not just Bristol (that's where The Jelas are from, and where Skins is set for those not in the know) but it is a serious amount of disappointment.
An obscure release on an independent label (Ingue Records) sends shiver down my spine just to touch it, in all its minimalist glory; I hope it will be unique, exciting, life changing...well with that much build up it was always going to be a let down.
Blood Smash is apparently one long track split into seven shorter tracks...either way I don't like any of them. With hints of ska, hints of punk and hints of general madness this record flies off in its own bizarre direction...and no matter how many times you listen to it, or how hard you try to like it that direction is one that is impossible to follow. With no discernible structure the chaos of this record is a little too much to handle. If you like your music so odd that you can't dance to it, sing to it, tap your foot to it or even remember any vague section of it after you've listened then you're in luck.
On a more positive note, congrats on standing out a mile from everything else hitting the shelves at the moment- but rein in your chaotic sound guys or there really isn't much potential here.
If you want something a bit whacky that'll make you sound a bit cool if you tell your mates you like them then the Jelas are for you. But, if you don't like things that aren't as good as you hoped, that are trying too hard to be alternative and really make no sense whatsoever then you won't like Blood Smash. Or series three of Skins. Disappointment all round really. But my sympathy really rests with whoever has to live next door to the garage that this lot rehearse in. That must really suck.
By Abi Brydon
Format: EP / Mini-Album
Release Date: Out Now
THE JELAS MADE IT INTO ORGANS TOP 20 END OF THE YEAR ALBUM LIST 2008
Wonderful wooden reasons
The Jelas - Blood Smash
Dada-ish turmoil in a vaguely Gong meets The Fall style that has been recorded with no gaps between the tracks and with the notion that the album can be reassembled into any shape and still work as a single song. Does it work? Yeah kind of but the problem is that it's not the best of songs to start with. It's alright, but the playing is rudimentary, the singing is slightly tuneless and it generally feels quite self-indulgent. None of these things bother me greatly. Indeed they are often things I see as positives in a recording but I must admit I struggled to find the will to re-listen to these recordings to try out the various connotations. Maybe you'll have better luck - I hope so.
THE JELAS – Blood Smash (Ingue Records)
Posted: January 26th, 2009, by Pascal Ansell
The Jelas are a puzzle. Blood Smash is the trio’s new EP conundrum to be unravelled by the hardy listener - the EP literally is a puzzle. Each song has multiple ‘shapes’ according to the inner sleeve that matches whatever combination the listener feels fit.In fact the songs themselves sound jumbled, with each player carving out their own line regardless of what ever noise that attempts to overwhelm them. The male/female singing is blended and pushed further out, triggering a nicely jarring tune. Different keys clash, drums slow to super snail-pace - it’s a compliment that The Jelas sound like they’d be great to see live.
Blood Smash isn’t terribly well produced and has a flat demo feel. It’s hardly a criminal offence and I like a good old messy and rough record, but the drums deserve better mic work, or whatever it is that producers do. With terrific cartoon designs and a tidy aesthetic, Blood Smash is worth buying just for the great cover art, and £5 isn’t an unreasonable price. A decent release from Bristol’s fledgling independent label, Ingue Records.
Uk music review
Bristol based Ingue Records seem to be a label really embracing the whole indie spirit, releasing diverse records and hosting all manner of showcases and gigs. Latest release from them, BLOOD SMASH is an intriguing effort from The Jelas that deftly straddles the pretentious, inspired, brilliant and bit mad.
Basically an albums worth of songs cut and spliced up in such a way is to sound like one long, deranged single; the idea to find your own favourite moments and make your own inspired combinations. Mixing up art rocking dissonance, jazz freakouts, lo-fi noise nikking and rambling indie cacophony, The Jelas are certainly a challenging listen at times, but as with most of the best bands, perseverance and patience offers the real rewards. Elements of Huggy Bear, Drive Like Jehu and The Raincoats can be heard scattered throughout BLOOD SMASH, but really The Jelas are playing by their own rules here, you'll be hard pressed to name a band as freeform and off the musical rails in recent years.
A bit deranged and off kilter sure, but for old skool noise rock thrills and spills, The Jelas are bringing back a little spontaneity and risk to the indie rock scene; and for this we should be eternally grateful and appreciative. Astonishing sounding stuff.
The Jelas have been a three since summer 2007.
We try to write twisted, crushed fun songs.
Review author: Mike Bond
Release date: 2008
A SUBBA-CULTCHA.COM SINGLE OF THE MONTH
THE JELAS – BLOOD SMASH – INGUE RECORDS
Spiky, disjointed mess of sludge, post hardcore and noise influences-so many ideas, so little time, frenetically explosive and like a car crash, impossible to take your eyes off of...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
THE JELAS – Blood Smash (Ingue) – Now let’s see if we have this right? Seven short(ish) pieces of music that all run as one long piece no matter which order, combination or upside down sideways way you choose to play them in - interchangeable creativity from the ever good Bristol band. Interchangeable male/female vocals, interchangeable instruments, interchangeable everything – tentacles, flippers, wings, arms, neck, stampeding hooves, caterpillar tracks... High wire DIY goodness, challenging angular math rock, intricate structures, momentary melodies, randomly deliberate cut-ups that aren’t really cut-ups and are in fact very clever bits of bendy pointy spiky tightly played other rock. This is brilliant actually, you better get used to getting butterfly flutters in the pit of your heart, boys and girls won’t be able to help not listening. Fully grown and flightless and without being anywhere near as obvious as any of this review makes them sound.
Wonderful other-prog-pop and bits of jazz and angular warmth and bits that sound like woodwind and triangles and clarinets and... Oh, we love this! They have bits of very English Deerhoof and calm Cardiacs and pointy West Country Sonic Youth and Sleater-Kinney and those much loved Buntychunks and Gong and Erase Errata and Slits and Monsoon Bassoon and those Coloured Beads going off and things and all that without really sounding like anyone or anything save fort their own unique creative rewarding selves.
Are/aren’t people the best/worst things in the world? Peace of mind from time to time and the runt of the litter is always the best, ask Daisy. Each spectacular chapter of the epic story something that an utterly normal person can cling to the side of. Be the type of person who can evolve in to this, go on, we dare you. There’s only three of them, nothing is getting out of this hand, they sound like twelve. And like we’ve said before, awkward and hardboiled and all over the place but please don’t think this is hard to listen to, this is fluid pop pleasure as simple as riding a bike with triangular wheels – easy! Oh we love this band! This is pure Organ fuel, this is why we do it – DIY creativity and musical reward of the highest order.
Late at The Pier, Foals and Klaxons. I was a fan of them all, being caught up in the media's fascination with nu-rave. Then I actually started to listen to the records being made, Klaxons, although never the best technical band in the world make good pop songs. Songs you can dance too, have fun too. The same can be said to Late at The Pier and Foals. Sadly this does not relate to The Jelas.
Having recently been signed to Ingue Records, The Jelas came up with an idea to make a really long song, split it into 7 parts, and then make them interchangeable. On paper it sounds like a very interesting idea. To the ear it just sounds like a complete mess of noise.
With hints of ska, hints of punk and hints of general madness this record flies off in its own bizarre direction, never taking a rest to form an actual song. No matter how many times your re-arrange the so called 'songs' nothing seems to fit the way it should. I am normally a fan of DIY music, music that forms it's own identity and stands out from the rest. Sadly this is just too bizarre to write about and I found it near enough impossible to listen to the record more then once.
If you like your music to sound like a complete mess with a DIY ethos, then Blood Smash is for you, if not then I advise you to stay well away from this complete and utter shambles.