Jagwar Ma 'Every Now and Then' review

Henry Lewis reviews the second studio offering from the Sydney three piece.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 14th Oct 2016.
Originally published: 10th Oct 2016

Image: Jagwar Ma

Alongside the likes of Tame Impala and King Gizzard and The Lizard WizardJagwar Ma have prospered from the wave of the psych rock craze that has surfed over from Australia.

In contrast to these mind shattering troubadours, the three piece hail from Sydney rather than Perth, and, if you didn't realise already, are a completely different entity altogether.

Rather than tripping the light fantastic with each and every stroke of the guitar, Jagwar Ma favour the sound of baggy Madchester with pulsing basslines and thumping beats their preference.

It's been three years since debut album Howlin' permeated the world's consciousnesses, boasting near impossible hooky melodies and stomping rhythms that could easily have rung out around the Hacienda 25 years earlier.

Its eagerly awaited follow-up, Every Now & Then produced by Ewan Pearson, follows in a similar vein. Aside from opening track 'Falling' - which is merely there as an instrumental aperitif - the ten tracks that follow each have their own memorable moments, be it a soaring vocal melody or the vibrations of a bassline ingrained in your mind. Stream the album via Spotify below.

There's opportunity for ear worms aplenty given that all but four of the tracks break the four-minute mark, with 'Give Me A Reason' (listen above) topping seven.

It is one of the album's true gems and there's more than a nod to the Happy Mondays throughout. Despite its length, it doesn't outstay its welcome by any means.

It bleeds beautifully into 'Ordinary' which, although an odd comparison, boasts a chorus that would slip perfectly into any Peace record, augmented by jarring synths reverberating somewhere in the distance. 

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Lead single 'OB1', featuring Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa on drums ,(listen above) drifts by harmlessly to begin with, before luring you in with ever intensifying synths. Lead singer Gabriel Winterfield's strained vocals then dissipate into a hollering refrain of "You want me up, you want me down, get the feeling now" and you're hooked.

While the group may never reach the heady heights achieved by, say, Tame Impala on their latest album, this record more than serves its purpose. It's easy to picture it as the soundtrack to any pre-party piss up, with effortless grooves and opportunities for a good old fashioned singalong whilst doing a shit Ian Brown like dance.

Like the album before it, with more and more listens it becomes deeper ingrained in your psyche and you realise quite how many tunes there truly are on it. While it seems new music from this lot only comes 'every now and then', when it does, Jagwar Ma know how to do it right.

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