The ‘my life is shit’ philosophy of the blues runs like a broken vein throgh the history of popular music, and particularly following the success of Kurt n Courtney’s primal screams, the industry has found profit in packaging/emphasising troubled individuals and their dark backgrounds. Unlike the faux-angst of Avril or Alanis, Jaed’s debut album documents a truly troubled adolescence of abuse, drug addiction and homelessness.
Jaed’s beating heart and soul, Vanessa Eve, was on the streets of Melbourne and addicted to heroin at 16 and Dirty Days obvious cathartic properties over a young life’s demons are perhaps the most appealing thing about this record, but there is enough pop nous featured throughout to find mainstream success. Opener “Catherine” will strike a chord with any fans of Be Your Own Pet’s teenage thrash, 47 seconds of vitriol spat out at a former acquaintance. “Gutter Girl” is a “Sk8ter Boi”-like pop punk anthem (in waiting), but darker and without the svengali puppet-master pulling strings and leaving a bland taste in the mouth.
If you like your rock sweary, melodic, honest but not too dangerous then this is a riot, grrls!
The two best tracks here show Jaed’s skills with melodicism and Eve’s impressive vocals. “Waiting” couples The Vines stoned melancholia with that same band’s indie-punk choruses, whilst “Up In You” brings to mind the crunchy-guitared pop of Hole. The delivery is generally fine but where it falls a little short is with a lack of ambition; some of the lyrics can be ambiguous bearing in mind the emphasis put on the singer’s background and too many of the tracks follow the worn paths of others and genre conventions (quieter verse/shouty chorus for example).
This is a decent debut, though, and given time and confidence they may be able to produce something great. If you like your rock sweary, melodic, honest but not too dangerous then this is a riot, grrls!