5-piece ensemble PYJÆN have a lot to shout about in their self-titled debut. It is a raucous triumph which manages to never roar itself raw. Instead, the seven-track album cooly flits between heated drama and sensitive, subdued sounds with impressive dexterity.
The album opens with the mad-party energy of their early single ‘Nah’, a track led by a rhythmic, wandering bassline punctuated by frenetic percussion and punchy brass. Moke akin to dance floor fillers of Dylan Jones’ other home, Ezra Collective, ‘Nah’ neatly crystallises the bombastic class of the record.
Perhaps the least characteristic of the album’s tracks, ‘Free Your Dreams’ meanwhile opens as any 70s family sitcom might: a neat and tuneful band stand-style melody. Yet, as the name suggests and much like the evolving march of ‘Waiting For Perry’, the track morphs and fluctuates with lucid yet imaginative twists and turns. The intriguing FX on Jones’ trumpet and Diodato’s far-out riffs makes it plainly clear that PYJÆN aren’t here to day-dream.
However, the most refined, measured moments appear in the subtleties of ‘Steve’. Couched in a smooth Latin opening, the drawl of saxophone and trumpet intertwines romantically with guitar and bass, invoking something far more mellow and ponderous than the album’s dominant jubilation.
While at times it feels as this album is held tightly together by momentum alone, the skilled blend of hip hop, 20s jazz, dance and, surprisingly, rock (note the shredding on ‘In Search of the Sticky Side’) produces ample surprises and infectious energy. Having already made a considerable mark on the live circuit, this album will surely propel them to greater things.