Jangly, poppy & pretty darn good: Jaill @ Showbox at the Market 08.18.10

Sub Pop Records has long been a local powerhouse in the music scene. Its tastemaking powers are often in fine form every time the label signs a new band or releases a new album, which is why I try to pay attention to just about everything  that goes on at Sub Pop HQ.  That and the fact Sub Pop has a long history of  introducing me to some of my favorite bands.

Sub Pop’s solid track record of adding excellent music to my record collection is why I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see Milwaukee-based Jaill, one of Sub Pop’s newest signings, open for The Hold Steady Wednesday night at Showbox at the Market. The band recently released its sophomore record “That’s How We Burn,” which is its first for Sub Pop, and it is easily one of my favorite Sub Pop releases of 2010.The group plays a varied style of rock that’s a bit tough to categorize, which makes it right up my alley. On stage Jaill seemed more fit to be playing a house party than to a crowd of hundreds at the Showbox, but somehow the band made that work in  their favor. Jaill is a relatively young band and they seemed to think they were a bit out of their league opening for a well-known band like The Hold Steady. This apparent humility helped sell their music.

It was clear Jaill has either spent lots of time practicing or that they are road tested because  the band’s jangly, poppy and sometimes new wavey and surfy sounds were pulled off exceptionally well live. Jaill blazed through at least 15 songs during its allotted 40-minute set time and most of the material was from the new album. The older material, which I am not familiar with at all, kept in the spirit of the group’s powerful poppy formula and it was clear the older songs were precursors to how the band evolved to its current sound. I was highly impressed with Jaill’s rhythm section, especially drummer Austin Dutmer who is a formidable force behind the skins. 

I could definitely see Jaill headlining a show at Neumos next time they are in town and slowly graduating up to slots at bigger local festivals in the coming years if the group continutes to create music equal to the caliber of its first two albums. Since they are on Sub Pop and most new SP bands tour regularly you’ll probably get a chance to see them live soon and make your own judgment on how you think they’ll fare in the future. For now here’s a sample of their music in the for of the video for “The Stroller.”

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