Artist: Mystery Jets
Release date: July 13
Label: Rough Trade
Mystery Jets are one of those bands whose backstories threaten to overshadow their actual musical output. Here's what I'm talking about: 1) The British band's leader/singer has spina bifida, a condition that forces him to walk with crutches. 2) Said bandleader's dad, in his late 50s, not only got his son into music (because more physically active pursuits must've seemed too difficult) but he also plays bass in his son's band.
That's one cool dad. Rumor has it he no longer tours with Mystery Jets but still contributes in the studio and is an official member of the band. He should be proud of his kid, who's got a pretty decent project going.
The guys in Mystery Jets are members of that species of indie rocker that the Brits seem so good at breeding -- better than the Americans, at least. They're the kind of band that makes music not obviously created to appeal to the masses yet has enough mass appeal that it should be played the radio and should be selling truckloads of CDs. Serotonin is an effective mix of pop and guitar-based rock, with musical and lyrical ideas that sound vaguely familiar from the past three decades of English music yet are difficult to specifically place.
Best song: "Lady Grey," for its crunchy guitars. And the title track has a great, soaring "Sarah-ton-in" vocal hook.
Deja vu: Two cups of British new wave, two tablespoons post-punk, and seasoned liberally with straight-up U2-style pop.
I'd rather listen to: The Kinks' Face to Face.
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.
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