May 14, 2023
Photo: Steve Gullick

JAAW is a post-industrial supergroup featuring Andy Cairns (Therapy?), Jason Stoll (Mugstar, KLÄMP, Sex Swing), Wayne Adams (Death Pedals, Big Lad, Petbrick) and Adam Betts (Three Trapped Tigers, Goldie, Squarepusher). JAAW glories in big riffs and massive hooks, while also pushing the boundaries of what that even means thanks to its uncompromising strangeness.

In the back of JAAW’s minds are the 1990s: an era when the experimental heaviness of acts like Ministry and Godflesh could find surprisingly large audiences. They also draw on the sonic ground that’s been broken since. The disorientating ferocity of Brazil’s DEAFKIDS. The gaseous, shapeshifted vocals on Burial’s records. The freakout-laden noise-rock of Lightning Bolt. Far from emulating the industrial metal masters of the past, JAAW will help shake lesser rock bands out of their generic complacency. With scant regard for typical verse/chorus/verse formulas, JAAW’s song structures are closer to the nonlinear approach of body-shaking dance music.

Recorded intensely in a matter of days at Wayne’s Bear Bites Horse studio in London, the result is one of the most distinctive and exciting records that will be released this year, so heavy in textures that repeat listens will prove endlessly rewarding.

Experimenting with squealing effects pedals selected from the studio’s racks, Cairns was reminded of his love for the feedback-drenched records of Helios Creed and Nuklear Blast Suntan. Having grown up listening to Therapy?, Adams loved throwing HM-2 pedals at Cairns and hearing his riffs through Entombed-style distortion. Bassist Stoll liked the idea of “Celtic Frost playing something by NEU!” This turned into the album’s bludgeoning centrepiece, Bring Home The Motherlode, Barry. As co-vocalists, Adams and Cairns wrote lyrics informed by the hallucinatory horror movies of Panos Cosmatos and the unforgettable set-pieces from Ari Aster’s Midsommar.

JAAW’s sounds, ideas and modes all bleed into each other. “The lyrics, too, are part of the same whole,” adds Cairns. “I feel you could drop the needle at any point on this record and you know where you are with it. To me, it’s like greyscale psychedelia. It’s just this… experience.”

The greyscale psychedelic revolution starts here. You’d be crazy not to jump in.

First single Rot is available now.

Supercluster

  1. Thought And Prayers (Mean Nothing)
  2. Reality Crash
  3. Rot
  4. Total Protonic Reversal
  5. Bring Home The Motherlode Barry
  6. Hellbent On Happiness
  7. The Dead Drop
  8. Army Of Me

JAAW online: