The Jezabels - Prisoner

Prisoner... Bale/bail

Review: The Jezabels – Prisoner

Published on March 23rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

The Sydney four-piece’s debut album certainly evidences enough in the way of flair and epic tendencies to suggest that, with a wee bit of elaboration and lateral thinking, they could well end up putting a stunning record together one day. As it is, Prisoner sees The Jezabels conjuring an impressively sky-scraping sound without ever really bothering whichever part of your brain it is that regurgitates melodies and refrains back at you all day at the merest hint of a stimulus. 

“Endless Summer”

As sweepingly majestic as this undoubtedly sounds in a live setting, the relentlessly uniform tonality hearkens too much to the Florences of this world to make for a truly inspiring listen. There are certainly strengths – Hayley Mary’s soaring vocal performances and Nik Kaloper’s thunderous drumming, for instance – but the odd song like “Rosebud” and “Horsehead” hits such heights of splendour that you can’t help but hope that they jettison the overbearingly atmospheric moodiness of other tracks next time around.

There is much to admire here, but also frustration in the form of just how great The Jezabels could sound with a bit more imagination. Still, a promising debut that will captivate in the right setting. 

Rocksucker says: Six Quails out of Ten!

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Prisoner is out now on Play It Again Sam Records. For more information, including a list of live dates, please visit thejezabels.com or the band’s Facebook page.

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.