Single Review: War is Noise – Jaakko & Jay
Xtra Mile Recordings
Released 24th May 2010
By Guy Sangster Adams
“Critics,” announces an answerphone message at the beginning of War is Noise, “you probably got this album for free, so please don’t trouble yourself with clever analysis, music is for listening to, not writing about, so why don’t you cut your hair and go and get a real job.” I did receive the album for free and although I am quite attached to both my hair and job, in the spirit of compromise that is abroad I will respond rather than analysing, whilst also heartily exhorting that you both listen to Jaakko & Jay’s debut album and also go see them live.
The Finnish duo, like their label mate, Frank Turner, for whom they have also been a support act, have maintained a near constant tour schedule, playing live with one microphone, an acoustic guitar, and a single snare and ride drum. The vitality and exuberance of their stripped back live sound has translated exceptionally well to the record, aided and abetted by harmonica, banjo, trumpet, and fiddle, to create fourteen punk folk tracks, underscored with an insistent and infectious rockabilly edge that propels you to your feet, whether you are dancing to save the world, to free your soul, or just because it’s a fantastic beat. Fuelled with shouts and harmonies, rattling riffs and drifting melodies, humour and insightfulness, through songs that protest, satirise, and wear their hearts on their sleeves, War is Noise leaves you in an excited spin, with a broad smile on your face, energised and wanting to engage (or reengage…) with life!