Jaill, Traps

Jillian Mapes

By Jillian Mapes

on 06.12.12 in Reviews
A perfect on-the-go record for summer

Milwaukee band Jaill’s second album since signing to Sub Pop (and tacking a second “L” onto its name) works on two levels. With its tight-yet-jangly pop hooks, bursts of carefree surf-rock and the fact that half the songs are under three minutes, Traps makes a perfect on-the-go record for summer. But a closer listen to the lyrics reveals a level of neuroses not often associated with breezy, upbeat indie rock. “Gave myself a good grade on barely losing my shit,” sings Billy Corgan-esque vocalist Vinnie Kircher on “While You Reload,” a track that ends with a strangely unsettling image (“would have let you clip my nails if you’d only asked”). On album highlight “Perfect Ten,” which channels Philly rockers Dr. Dog, Kircher sings about aging and what he wants out of his life. The vulnerability peaks with “Million Times,” on which Jaill trades electric for acoustic, tidy surf-rock for psychedelic wandering – further proof, like the rest of Traps, that maturity doesn’t always come in the most obvious package.