Review: Mystery Jets – The Whole Earth EP

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80%
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Clever

Five grown-up tracks to complete an already gorgeous album

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After almost four years away, Mystery Jets’ latest EP comes as a rapid addition to Curve Of The Earth, January’s nine-track release. Opener ‘The World Is Overtaking Me’ begins the new leg with a typically clever guitar riff as well as many electronic twinges in the bridge and chorus that are reminiscent of early stuff by The Horrors. The change to a slower beat – like that of a chugging train – halfway through is something you’d expect from Tame Impala, laying the foundations for an electrifying finish after a synthy climb to the last chorus. Layers of guitar that have a tinge of early Beatles to them open next track ‘Spiralling,’ with the dragged-out vocals adding to the effect. Interesting wooden güiro and xylophone sounds also tint the background before the introduction of frantic piano and electronic alarms swerves the song back into more expected territory for the band. The fusion of acoustic guitar and otherworldly wobbles works surprisingly well on this track, lending to the circular imagery produced with regard to the song title.

‘My Centurion’ is the highlight of these new five, with its simple, clear background leaving the stage open for clever lyrics, not clouding them with unnecessary sound. Instead, the repetitive guitar plucks and hi-hats during the verses demonstrate everything that Mystery Jets do so well without being overpowering. The higher pitch and inclusion of psychedelic swirls of sound leading into the chorus lifts the song into a wave before settling back into another verse – this time including the line “I’ll be the R2D to your C3PO”. After the second chorus, echoey vocals push through into a section of heavier guitar, sounding more like their darker material.

‘Candle’ is another more mellow track, opening with a playground soundscape and acoustic guitar strums. This then grows with engulfing whooshes and added keys before breaking into a Bowie-esque chorus featuring multi-layered top range vocals and electronic space sounds. The effect of these contrasting waves washing over the listener makes for another track to remember from the band, played out with violins. ‘Kickass’ is the last track on the EP, following on beautifully from its predecessor with the acoustic guitar and swaying vocals. Its echoey end makes it the perfect stripped-back track for opening a live show, or closing one thanks to the uplifting, dramatic choruses.

All in all, The Whole Earth is an impressive effort from the Mystery Jets boys after a triumphant return to the scene with their new album. These additional tracks showcase another side to the band that they pull off with ease and grace; a grown-up take on their early music, full of wit with carefully thought-out musical accompaniment.

The Whole Earth is out now via Caroline International

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