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Jaed - Dirty Days

Jaed, Dirty Days

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

YOUNG Melbourne based singer Vanessa Eve and her three-piece punk rock outfit Jaed could certainly teach Pete Doherty a thing or two about music.

In a world where drugs and a decadent path of self-destruction occasionally take precedence over talent, it’s hearting to find and hear an artist like Eve, a young woman who has struggled with and conquered such demons.

At the age of 16, Eve was forced out of home by an abusive father and left to live on the streets of Melbourne with a drug habit to feed.

Yet she is now a successful singer-songwriter in her own right, having been inspired by a childhood spent listening to the likes of Salt, L7, Hole and The Pixies.

The result is the explosive album, Dirty Days, which wears its influences on its sleeve and which draws on a lifetime of triumph over the odds to deliver a ballsy but terrific listen.

Fans of Courtney Love and L7 will definitely get a kick out of Dirty Days with its spiky, grungy punk rock riffs, while there’s even playful nods to the more exuberant style of Blink 182 in some of the gutsy material on show.

Album opener, Catherine is a classic case in point, a 47-second attack on an un-loved acquaintance (‘we think that we’re junkies, but you don’t wash your undies’) that sweeps you up in a tidal wave of frenetic riffs and bullying lyrics (‘you’re nothing, you’re nothing but a slut’). Anyone still lamenting the departure of the Blink boys could have found a new soulmate in Jaed.

Harder and more fuller is the gutsy rocker My Way, a painful look at Eve’s life on the streets and ‘the hold heroin had over me’ (‘I’ve sold out by myself again’). The guitar riffs positively wail as though screaming the anxiety of its singer.

Gutter Girl is an incendiary mix of killer hooks and fierce lyrics (‘when I was a gutter girl, I sat in pools of blood all day’), propelled by hopelessly catchy melodies and a genuinely infectious chorus.

The slow-building Scream is another highlight, an aching lament about ‘being abused by someone you trust’, featuring such memorable lyrics as ‘do you scream like I do’ and ‘you make me scream like I do’. It has a powerfully haunting effect and screams out to be heard.

The rest of the album proceeds to deliver a similar mix of crunching riffs, energetic punk rock workouts and no-nonsense observations that make for compelling, yet enjoyable listening.

While in final track Sleeping Beauty we are rewarded with a genuinely beautiful punk-ballad that is hauntingly reminiscent of Beth Orton (vocally). It ensures that the album ends on just as memorable a note as it begins, making it a punk-rock classic in the making.

Track listing:

  1. Catherine
  2. My Way
  3. Gutter Girl
  4. Scream
  5. Dream Hair
  6. Waiting
  7. Someday
  8. Kiss Me (Mickey)
  9. Up In You
  10. This Way
  11. Sleeping Beauty