Jaill Play It Simple

September 11th, 2012

Jaill – Mercury Lounge – September 10, 2012

Sometimes simple is the best bet, and on a slow Monday evening at Mercury Lounge, Milwaukee’s Jaill gave a refreshing, straightforward simple set of great rock and roll. Playing largely from their excellent new LP, Traps, the band wasted no time engaging the crowd, with everyone pretty much moving by the second song, “Everyone’s a Bitch,” which lead singer Vincent Kircher assured everyone did not refer to anyone in the room. From there, each song—“Perfect Ten,” “She’s My Baby” and on—was accompanied by an increasingly tangential comment from Kircher. The material and the banter were perfectly fit for the room, the crowd and the Monday night energy.

Indeed, Kircher praised the Merc for its comped tequila before “I’m Home,” which was weird to sing on the road when he was anywhere but. The music was era-bridging rock and roll: guitar, bass, drums and synth, with the set starting in a punk-meets-surf mode with the focus on good songwriting and even better execution from the band. Each song seemed to hit just the right spot, each guitar solo just long enough, the band playing like a cold can of hometown beer. The only piece of flair was the occasional use of a theremin, which added a subtle, Beach Boys–outer-space feel to a few songs.

With a strong coupling of “Stone Froze Mascot” and “Waste a Lot of Things” off Traps, the band hit its stride, with the Traps material adding a little more pop with a livelier bass. The tequila-fueled commentary matched, with Kircher dropping references to emojis and Mario Brothers in random, but endearing fashion. The show ended with “House with Haunting,” not because the band or the crowd had had enough, but because Kircher was with an empty cup and the band was out of songs to play. —A. Stein