Live Review | Jakil | The Mash House Edinburgh

Scottish indie pop band Jakil have already managed to attract a decent following.

As much of the audience in the intimate venue, The Mash House, were singing and dancing the night away with singer Kieran O’Brien.

I hadn’t heard of the five-piece before planning to attend their first gig of 2017 so I walked into Mash House with an open mind prepared for anything.

As the five guys walked on stage, judging by their look and style, I was guessing they were your typical indie band. By God, was I wrong.

Bursting into their first track, I was pleasantly blown away by the sheer buzz I felt on my legs. The drums and bass just hit me and vibrated my whole body. The song began with an 80’s style rhythm with poppy, high guitar chords and O’Brien’s voice was impressive and has a good range. They were all extremely lively, especially O’Brien who showed his cheery charisma as soon as the song began. The backing vocals could’ve been louder and more prominent as there was a good opportunity here for some significant harmonies.

Their second track sounded pretty similar to The 1975, with the three-way harmonies stronger and more prominent during this song.

They shot into ‘Istanbul’ which has a catchy guitar riff throughout the song, showcasing their 80’s influences as it sounds almost like the first walking riff of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’. There were also more impressive high harmonies during the chorus which led into an atmospheric build-up while O’Brien danced around the stage.

One thing I didn’t hear too much of during many of their songs was an interesting bass line, this is something I feel the band lacks. I could hear and feel the bass, but I think with some more experimental bass lines, these songs would separate themselves from other indie pop bands. The two guitar players complement each other well, making it difficult to tell who was the rhythm guitarist and who was the lead which is something fresh.

As soon as they propelled into their last song ‘Tongue Tied’, I thought they were launching into a cover of the 1975’s ‘Settle Down’. The two songs are very similar and O’Brien and Healy’s voice are alike, although there’s more of difference between these two songs in the studio versions.

Overall, Jakil produce a brilliant live sound with decent guitar melodies and riffs, loud and punchy drum beats and bass and very impressive vocals and harmonies. I hope they do make their way up the rankings as I prefer them to The 1975, they’re genuine and they know what they are and where they stand in modern music.

They’re a fantastic pop band and a not bad indie band. They’re The 1975, but in overdrive.

Post Author: Gregor Thomson

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