by / July 2nd, 2010 /

Sweet Jane – Sugar For My Soul

 1/5 Rating

(Reekus Records)

Since they appeared on our radar a couple of years ago, Sweet Jane have certainly talked a good game. Enlisting support from the likes of Glasvegas, Alan McGee and Power Of Dreams, there was always a danger that their own self-belief wouldn’t be matched by their eventual foray into the studio. And let’s be honest, their debut record is an amalgamation of various ‘Janes’ of the alt-rock world – taking obvious cues from the lackadaisical haziness of the Velvet Underground on their vocals and harmonies, while simultaneously sounding reminiscent of the second-most-noteworthy Jane (Jane’s Addiction) when it comes to their more straightforward rock and roll backing band. With a distinct shoegaze influence, but urgently updating it with clear heavier sounds as well, the lead track ‘Bleed’ introduces us to the band’s dreamy vocals juxtaposed with arena-ready riffs and solos, lots of bass, with drums rolling and crashing.

The album’s strongest tracks are ‘Black Eyes’, ‘Close Your Eyes’ , and ‘Texas Tears’, the moments when the shoegaze influence trumps the harder sounds. The record gets surprisingly twangy on tracks like ‘I’ve Been Waiting’, ‘Save a Little Place’, and ‘Where’s Your Money?’ (The latter is the most memorable – a foot-stompin’ drum-heavy alt-country number.) But despite the varied influences and array of sounds, the record stays cohesive because of the stand-out dreamy vocals and just-fuzzy-enough production throughout. They’re still to rise above the sum of their parts but Sweet Jane have proved that they have the potential to walk it as well as they talk it.

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