Monster Jaw are a grungy three-piece from the north of England releasing “Get A Tattoo”, their debut EP, on Cobra Kitten Records. That’s as much as I know until the music starts. The title track comes in on screams and a sleazy Stooges riff. Then the vocals of songwriter and frontman Mik Davis slide into my headphones and I instantly know where Monster Jaw are coming from. Davis sounds uncannily like Primal Scream‘s Bobby Gillespie in junkie lizard king mode. This isn’t a performance of a band wishing to grab you by the throat and shake you up. This is more about projecting wasted cool and louche insouciance. Lyrically dealing in pretty standard rock n’ roll tropes, “Get A Tattoo” is about (yes) getting tattoos and comes replete with buzzing needle noise. It’s oddly like a radio advert, a laid-back crafty jingle for your local ink artist.
‘We Don’t Care About Anything’ makes that very point very swiftly but still in a sneeringly hip manner and is so slight it hardly exists. At one-minute-and-forty-eight-seconds it is so brief and lightweight I can scarcely see why the band bothered recording it.
Final cut ‘Summer Girl’ has them more worked up, but attractive as this girl may be it’s hard to be convinced of their ardour. As soon as it’s over you envisage the band slumping back into their leather armchair for a chemically induced snooze.
Acting like you don’t care in rock n’ roll is a tricky balancing act. I suspect you actually have to work pretty hard at looking like you’re not bothered, or you have to have the sheer charisma to pull it off. Looking cool and sounding cool is all very well, but Monster Jaw need to work on their songs if they are ever going to be the successful rock gods they’re trying so hard to pretend they don’t want to be.