Mystery Jets - Radlands

A superb collection of beautifully captured moments
Mystery Jets - Radlands
For any band talented (and fortunate) enough to make it to a fourth album the pressure is on to deliver a career-high tour de force. Their sonic DNA has been already been revealed, blueprints have been established and the bar of expectation has been raised to a vertiginous high. Some bands revel in such pressure - ‘The Queen Is Dead’ and ‘Elephant’ were fourth albums that showcased The Smiths and The White Stripes on scintillating form. This month’s Beach House release is a similar beast - the sound of a band, hopefully, ramping up their quality.

So, Mystery Jets fourth long-player ‘Radlands’ is a significant moment. After 2010’s marvellous ‘Serotonin’, the five-piece decided to leave London to seek their inspiration. Recorded mainly in a ramshackle house on the banks of the Colorado River in Austin, Texas, the eleven tracks that make up ‘Radlands’ are nigh on magnificent. From the exuberant rattle of the opening title-track, to the ‘campfire and whisky’ balladry of the closing ‘Luminescence’, both the songwriting and musicianship on display surge with confidence.

Such self-belief allows ‘Radlands’ to stray into the dreamy funk of ‘The Hale Bop’ and namedrop their favourite albums on the Kinks-like ‘Greatest Hits’, while Blaine Harrison duets with Sophie Rose on the spell-binding ‘Take Me Where The Roses Grow’. Refreshingly, ‘Radlands’ is gimmick-free - it is simply a superb collection of beautifully captured moments and suggests that Mystery Jets are going to be making great music for a very long time.

8/10

Words by JOHN FREEMAN

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