This little five song EP from South Jersey band Dryjacket is by far one of the least original things I’ve heard all year. The band’s sound is an amalgamation of Death Cab for Cutie, Further Seems Forever, and A Day to Remember’s poppy side, and it’s some overproduced pop punk/indie rock that lacks almost all of the bite and grime I look for in rock music. But I can’t stop listening to it.
Dryjacket really know how to write an addictive and instantaneous rock song. Just the opening seconds are one of the catchiest slices of music this year. Those opening seconds begin “Jefferson’s Shadow,” the lead single and one of my favorite singles of the year. Like I said before, it’s just so instantaneous and memorable, but also multifaceted. Like Further Seems Forever or older Death Cab for Cutie, this song doesn’t totally adhere to the verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, as it features some of those syncopated rhythms and shifts in direction that a lot of those emo-pop bands are known for. (It also contains a great outro that has these gorgeous trumpet flourishes and light guitar pickings that are to die for.) It’s just a perfect song, really, and one that I’ll listening to over and over again for the foreseeable future. As it is just a five song EP, it’s overall quality can really just rest on this one track, but that’s not to say the rest of “Lights, Locks, and Faucets” isn’t worthwhile. The other single, “Uncle Jack,” is a similarly catchy song that features some really generic (but addictive) “woah-oh-oh”s as its hook, and “You’re Welcome” is another melodic little ditty. On the other hand, “Latchkey,” the second track, is pretty throwaway, but the closer is the only song I actually disliked off of this thing, for the simple reason that the singer employs one of the whitest and most nasal vocals I’ve heard in a while.
“Lights, Locks, and Faucets” has flaws. Plenty of them in fact. It could really do with a dirtier production job that actually made the drums sound real, the guitars less sparkly, and let in room for mistakes instead of everything sounding perfect. Also, this is a small gripe, but the vocals could be mixed louder, as they are often buried in the mix. However, Dryjacket are still very strong songwriters. They’re not original at all, as their entire sound just reminds you of other bands, but on this EP they’ve written a couple of really, really memorable songs, and that goes a long way.
Standout Tracks: “Jefferson’s Shadow” “Uncle Jack”