Released: 15th September 2023
The long-awaited return of JAWS is here, and ‘If It Wasn’t For My Friends, Things Could Be Different’ was absolutely worth the wait. A lot has changed since 2019’s ‘The Ceiling’ was released, and on their latest EP, JAWS put those changes into motion without ever losing that magical touch they’ve always had.
There’s always been a distinct quality JAWS manage to capture, where even when their subject matter is less than cheerful, they project this warm, balmy feeling that makes everything feel okay again. ‘SWEAT’ might wrestle with anxiety, but as it crawls to the bridge, everything slows down, as if as a reminder to pause and take it easy for a second until things ease. In those familiar guitar tones, there’s a comfort to be found.
Nevertheless, the EP undoubtedly introduces a new side to JAWS – it’s a more elated version of the band, taking that old fuzziness and growling vocals and giving it a brighter, glowing edge. Holding onto hopeful mantras, there’s a healthy dose of late summer sun to be found in the EP – the appreciation for those last rays of the year, the sheer blissful joy of basking in the warmth still having not worn off. ‘MAYBE I’LL DO THE SAME THING’ acts as a note to self that everything is fine (“It’s alright / It’s okay”), letting those spiralling, darker feelings get lost in the swirl of the guitars and load-bearing percussion.
By the time ‘TOPOFMYSKULL1A’ unleashes itself, all those feelings are ready to be completely released – it’s a ferocious finale, but one that captures the feverish, freeing atmosphere of the EP as a whole. JAWS are back, and with ‘If It Wasn’t For My Friends, Things Could Be Different’, maybe even better than ever.