Picks and Pans Review: Doubt
Just about every week, Great Britain exports another all-male combo that produces a hybrid of guitar rock with dance music. From the Soup Dragons to those mix-and-match Manchester groups (the Charlatans, say), they get here with thick hair falling into their eyes and a stack of British clips naming them the best band since last week's best band.
The Jones gang looks like a lot of other new Brit rockers, and on Doubt, their second full-length release, they play the same kind of music. Only one quality sets them apart: They are just a little bit better than the other guys.
Lead singer Mike Edwards sounds like the naughty half brother of U2's Bono, with a husky voice that can be insistent or coy. Edwards doesn't say all that much in his punchy original songs, but his lyrics still pack in an engaging message or two. "International Bright Young Thing" makes fun of the pop-star brigade. "Right Here, Right Now" expresses catchy optimism about the political changes in Europe.
Though at least two of the album's songs should have been dropped, the band otherwise maintains high standards. Edwards weaves in surprising samples, ranging from the Sex Pistols to an Indian raga, while his bandmates produce aggressive dance music. Their accompaniment proudly avoids the human touch, reveling in the slick clatter of electronic machines.
Until the next bright young Brits come along, Jesus Jones are the hottest, most happening guys around. (SBK)