How do you begin to describe Jockstrap? The duo who met in the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2016 have left critics and fans alike intrigued since their arrival. Each release seemingly diametrically opposed to what’s come before.
‘Neon’ gets the album underway in magnificent fashion. It’s a dingy,dredging track that never allows you to settle. Jockstrap will be putting you to the test with this record. Its moody and solemn acoustic beginnings are a false dawn; Taylor Skye holding the defibrillator waiting gleefully to jolt the track into life. ‘Neon’ bursts through, charging into unnerving territory with Georgia Ellery’s glistening vocals the only source of light guiding us through the electric haze.
Committed to keeping their audience in a permanent state of confusion, Jockstrap violently veer left with title track ‘Jennifer B’. Hyperpop exploration through the eyes of Taylor Skye. This track transports you to a 2D video gaming world. It’s excitable and ultimately bundles of fun demonstrating that the duo are capable of not taking themselves too seriously.
‘Concrete Over Water’ takes a mid placement on the album listing and is the beacon of what the duo can achieve. ‘Concrete Over Water’ is half theatre and half digital meltdown. Ellery’s harrowing voice pierces your soul before the track transcends into anarchic bewilderment. The fusion of EDM and classical music is a delight for the ear, this blend creating the soundscape of an early 90s computer being fed through a shredder with an accompanying orchestra swelling blissfully in the background.
The 2nd single ‘Glasgow’, dare I say it, could be described as pop; albeit wonky. A sulky track that’s instrumentation grows increasingly sinister as it waltzes on. By Jockstrap’s standards ‘Glasgow’ is a palette cleanser, it’s a rare track with some semblance of order. It’s one of the only offerings from Jockstrap that could feasibly play to your Nan without sending her into convulsions.
Tracks such as ‘Angst’ and ‘Lancaster Court’ are welcome reprieve from the maniacal. Skye’s volatile production dissipates in favour of sparse instrumentation which allows the utter beauty of Ellery’s soothing vocals to take centre stage.
‘50/50’ which we know all too well concludes proceedings. A manic dungeon rave with fervent production that throttles you. This PTSD inducing nightmare is utter chaos and discombobulation. The frenetic track creates a sense of entrapment and claustrophobia. A dystopian dance track that makes you feel like you’re riding a SkyNet built waltzer which is melding your mind but simultaneously scratches a deep urge you never knew you had.These sounds shouldn’t be danceable but they’re morbidly hooking.
‘I love you Jennifer B’ is a joyful listen full of intrigue. Jockstrap, the pioneers of electro fuck, establish from the on set that thematic tropes and arching metaphors will not be present. They laugh in the face of cohesion and present an array of songs that straddle various genres. The eccentric blend of EDM from Taylor Skye’s head pounding production layered with the luscious tranquil voice of Georgia Ellery creates a truly unique experience which sets the band apart from anyone else in the industry.
Key Track: Concrete Over Wate