From the darkness of the Covid-19 pandemic rises the collective group JAXL. In their own words, “picture a world where our rock gods are almost all gone, deprived of the last bits of freedom we once took for granted…out comes JAXL”. A melding of alternative rock, classic rock and some funk-rock, this France-based project is a sonic representation of the beauty of music. Despite being a new project, the collaboration is turning heads across the globe featuring on YMX, Drowned In Sound, Less Than 1000 Followers and Groover Radio. We’re taking a gander at their debut two-track EP Rise.
In only two tracks, JAXL walk across several decades of rock music from Led Zeppelin and Cream to Billy Talent and Queens of the Stone Age. Beginning with the upbeat ‘Dance With Me’, JAXL show a heavy-hitting guitar-driven sound underlined with keys and synths. Of course, no rock song is complete without pounding drums and ‘Dance With Me’ is no exception. While you are taken along a high-paced river of music, JAXL proves they are not to be pigeon-holed by immediately dipping into a heavier but steadier sound.
‘Run Away’ has a smoother flow than ‘Dance With Me’, but it by no means boring. It is difficult to compare JAXL with any artist, but ‘Run Away’ has a Radiohead meets Led Zeppelin sound. Filled with rich warmth, the track ensnares your senses and carries you further along that turbulent river in a comfortable bubble of sound.
Two rather different songs but with the same approach – to spark joy within this uncertain time. I particularly enjoy the outro of ‘Dance With Me’ incorporating childish vocals. It is as if JAXL is weaving innocence and hope within a blanket of hard-hitting rock. I’ve always said that some music can be explained with words but other music needs to be “felt”. Rise is definitely a “feel the music” EP.