Mystery Jets (Formed early 90's)
Mystery Jets is an English Indie rock band from London. The members are, Henry Harrison, Blaine Harrison, William Rees, and Kapil Trivedi. They are better known for their singles, "Young Love" and "Two Doors Down".
Formation: The band began in the early 90's when front man Blaine Harrison was only 12 years old. It began with Blaine on drums, his dad, Henry Harrison on bass, and Blaine's friend William Rees on guitar. Henry eventually switched from bass to guitar, which meant Kai Fish joined up to play bass. Blaine switched from drums to keyboard. Kapil Trivedi tried out for drums and got in. The band were originally meant to be called "The Misery Jets", but due to Blaine's young age at the time, his misspelling of 'misery' led to the band being renamed "The Mystery Jets".
Music Career: Around the time of the bands beginning, they recorded an EP with Asward producer, Nick Sykes. They rehearsed in a boat shed, which was built by Henry on land he bought. Due to Blaine's young age, he took lead vocals whilst waiting for his voice to break. The band's first proper single was issued through Transgressive Records, and was a limited edition 7 inch record "Zoo Time". Mystery Jets attracted huge crowds at their numerous illegal parties on El pie island, before being stopped by the police. They went on to sign with 679 Recordings. In 2005, the band released many singles, and had their TV debut on MTV's "Spanking New Music Week". In 2006, the band gained their highest charting single, "The Boy Who Ran Away". This gained them their first appearance on top of the pops. In 2006, the band released their debut album, "Making Dens". The Mystery Jets put on a tribute show for one of their biggest influences, Syd Barrett, in September 2006. Artists performed with them, including Kate Nash, Lupen Cook, and Kid Harpoon. In 2006, the band released "Umbrellahead/ Half In Love With Elizabeth". They were produced by Erol Alkan, and were meant to be apart of a 10" Vinyl, but the idea was cancelled. In 2007, the band wrote most of the songs included on their album "Twenty One", including "Hideaway", "Veiled In Grey", and "Undercover Lover". After touring in America, they released their album "Zootime" through Dim Mak Records, the same year. Shortly afterwards, Henry Harrison stopped playing live performances with the band, but continued to help with songwriting, and was still just as involved. In 2007, the band released a free Christmas single, "Flakes". On 24th March 2008, the bands second album, "Twenty One", was released. Its leading single "Young Love" which featured Laura Marling, was released before the album on the 10th of March 2008. The second single from the album, "Two Doors Down" reached 24 in the UK charts. The band left 679 Recordings in January 2009, and signed to Rough Trade Records. At the same time, they continued touring, and began writing their new album. They performed at Reading and Leeds Festival in 2010. In April 2010, the band announced their third studio album, "Serotonin". It was released on the 5th of July 2010. A free promotional single was released on the band's website, "Flash a Hungry Smile". In March 2011, the band spent 2 months writing songs together in Texas. After this, they returned to England to play summer festivals. Shortly before the release of their new album, "Radlands" in April 2012, it was announced that Kai Fish would be leaving the band. Pete Cochrane became took his place as bassist for the bands tour. To celebrate Transgressive Records 10th anniversary, the Mystery Jets along with other artists such as Dry The River performed a one-off show in London on 30th September 2014. Shortly after, Blaine announced that a new band member, Jack Flanagan, was to join the band as bassist in January 2014.
Mystery Jets talk about their gentlemanly moustaches and attracting older women while Mumford and Sons praise the band's music and discuss working with them at the Lewes, East Sussex leg of their 2013 Gentlemen of the Road Stopover festival series.
This week, we have a new video from The Spinto Band. The five-piece from Delaware return with 'Muesli,' the latest release from their 2012 album Shy Pursuit. The song has a retro-tropical feel and the video follows singer Thomas Hughes as he paces through a montage of blackboard doodles and sketchy animations. 'Muesli' is released ahead of the band's European tour, which begins on November 19, 2012.
Totally Extinct Enormous Dinosaurs (aka the producer & DJ, Orlando Higginbottom) released his debut album Trouble this summer and his flair for creating dancefloor-fillers has seen him remix tracks by the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. The video for 'Your Love' forms a neat juxtaposition between the modern day and the past (anyone remember the Walkman.?). Shots of bustling cities are cut with shots of Orlando, shut-eyed in an armchair, singing along, before his peaceful scene is gatecrashed by revellers.
Continue reading: A Week in Music - September 24, 2012
Mystery Jets play live at the Peak Cavern (informally known as the Devil's Arse) in the Peak District village of Castleton as part of events celebrating Jack Daniel's Birthday. They perform the title song from their latest album 'Radlands' which was released back in April this year on Rough Trade records.
Performing live are vocalist and guitarist Blaine Harrison, lead guitarist William Rees and drummer Kapil Trivedi who, in this case, is playing the more portable timbrel. The Devil's Arse is the vastest cave mouth in the whole of the UK making it the perfect setting for a JD party seeing as Jack's well-known whiskey used water from a cave spring in Tennessee.
The Mystery Jets have proved a success from day one with their debut album 'Making Dens' in 2006 becoming the highest charting record of their career. They have since performed at a variety of festivals such as RockNess, Leeds and Reading and Austin, Texas' South By South West festival not to mention sold out shows at Brixton Academy. They have maintained significantly steady successes since their first album which was no mean feat given the frequent coming and going of a variety of band members.
One look at the front cover of South London's Mystery Jets leaves you thinking "oh God, they've made a country album!" Alas, it's not all Billy Ray Cyrus, so it should hopefully not be leaving a legion of confused and angry fans of the shiny indie-pop stylings of Twenty One and Serotonin-era Jets in its wake.
Continue reading: The Mystery Jets, Radlands Album Review
The Mystery Jets releasing their third album on as many labels, surely makes them some kind of indie nomads, no? The band have never sold many records in truth, its worth noting that their debut album Making Dens, peaked higher in the charts than its superior follow up Twenty One. So it's fortunate that the band now find themselves signed to indie patrons Rough Trade, the home of bands that never sell records and are not under immense pressure to do so. This could possibly be why Serotonin features far less instantly gettable tracks than its predecessors, instead occasionally opting for the slow build up, providing album tracks that retain the bands traditional pop credentials, while at the same time providing darker, brooding moments, devoid of that killer pop hook.
Opening track Alice Springs is a slight move away from the sound we've come to expect from Blaine Harrison and co. There's something stadium rock about its intro, the words 'freedom is an illusion generated by your brain/love is a taste you get on the tip of your tongue' are sung between powerful strums of the guitar and a scattering of power chords, before changing direction completely and submerging into a totally different beast altogether. It winds up sounding more like something from the Arcade Fire school of song writing than any of Mystery Jets more obvious influences.
Producer Chris Thomas (Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, Elton John) takes the reigns for Serotonin and his influence can be heard as early as second track Its Too Late. There are undoubtedly shades of old Reggie Dwight during the first verse of this charming piano ballad, as Blaine serenades us with 'you were the apple of my eye/did you take me on for fun or did you take me on for a ride?' Its undoubtedly one of the albums highlights and a notable change in the bands song writing style.
There are tracks on Serotonin that could fit on the bands previous albums with ease, and tick the box of the trademark Mystery Jets sound. The Girl is Gone is a perfect example of this, bursting to life with immediate effect, it could easily be single material, but ultimately lacks the ambition that the rest of the album shows. Tracks such as Lady Gray and Flash A Hungry Smile follow a similar formula but work far better due to superior choruses and melodies.
It's worth noting that there are no poor songs on Serotonin, just a few that fail to inspire, the likes of Melt and The Girls is Gone being the main culprits. However this shouldn't take away from, what is an impressive effort from the Mystery Jets. They've managed to mature their sound without losing the fun that was so integral to their previous work, while developing further dimensions to their sound.
This might not be an album packed to the rafters with singles in the same way its predecessors were, but what Serotonin instead offers, is a glimpse of a band pushing things forward, and in this case, its ultimately for the better.