By Dr. Abner Mality
JAAW lives on the wrong side of the tracks, in the grimy part of Industrytown. No shiny digital beats or smooth flowing guitars for these guys...instead, they dwell in squalor and filth, coated with coal dust and noisy, harsh tones. If you love the ugly side of industrial rock, chances are, you won’t mind winding up in this neighborhood.
The band is made up of veterans from acts like THERAPY?, MUGSTAR, PETBRICK and SQUAREPUSHER...they’ve got a pretty good handle on the style of industrial they play here. Think of PIGFACE, MINISTRY, GODFLESH and other members of the dirty industrial tribe who focus on thick riffs, harsh sounds, fuzz and filth. Every song on “Supercluster” explores a different facet of this kind of music, but the unpleasant noisy aspects are constant. “Thoughts And Prayers” (Mean Nothing) brings a looping, plodding kind of attack, “Rot’ brings GODFLESH to mind with its emphasis on the riff, “Hellbent To Happiness” sure seems like a tribute to “Jesus Built My Hotrod”. The long, loping “Bring Home the Motherlode, Barry” reminds me of slower, longer MINISTRY tracks like “Scarecrow” and “Filth Pig”. There’s also electronic sounds, both droning and harsh, incorporated...not to MERZBOW levels but not pleasant, either.
Sometimes it does get rather monotonous and the squeals and skronk will put your patience to the test. But that’s always been a part of dirty industrial rock/metal and that is where JAAW is happily ensconced. If you’re into any of the acts they draw inspiration from, you should be satisfied with “Supercluster”.