JS is a trio from Pančevo, Serbia and this is their 3rd album (and the first for French label Chabane’s Records). Their sound could be best described as “barely controlled chaos” with an emphasis on the word “barely”, since their self-titled record is all about attaining balance between the noise and the melody.
“Nevena”, the album opener, opens up with a full-on frontal assault with pounding drums and razor-sharp guitar sounds, but the track also features melodic vocals and sounds slightly like Isis / Neurosis at their most intense. “94 Januar” with its start-stop rhythms resembles Unsane (minus distorted vocals).
“29:10” opens up with a brief punky bit before the band launches into a fairly beautiful post-rock / ambient part (complete with cello). “Hitler Stalinist” features a Middle Eastern motive of sorts and its also one of the few songs on the album that features English lyrics (much of the material on the record is sung in the band’s native language).
“Black Dagger” and “Lisac Od Zelatina” share their psychedelic/Middle Eastern vibe and much of the rest of the album (“Hermes”, “Uspavanka za Vericu M.”, “Okean Srece”) is about the middle line between guitar/drum assaults and psychedelic parts. “Troll’s Birthday” is a fairly short instrumental that doesn’t add much to the album.
“Okean Srece”, next to last song, have a fairly strong fried Sabbath-y / stoner rock / desert / doomy vibe to it and the closer “Prevara” is one of the slowest/sludgiest tracks on the album.
In the end, if there’s one problem is a lack of center / focus to the record – it starts out very fast, but slows down considerably towards the middle and finally slows down to a craw and along the way the band branches out in all sorts of different directions. Occasionally, the tendency to indulge in psychedelic noodling takes the best of the band too.
At the same time, it feels that Jewy Sabaty is one of the bands that prides itself on being a musical jack of all trades. Their self-titled album is a fairly interesting / intriguing (if somewhat flawed) listen and it would definitely be very interesting to know where exactly they will go from here.
For fans of: Unsane, Isis, Jesus Lizard, Oxbow
Favorite tracks: Nevena, 29:10
Download the album here.