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J.J. Chamberlain - Eyeballs (self-released)

22 April 2024

When not captaining the Box Time ship or providing the lead guitar for Love Barons, J.J. Chamberlain can be found making music under his own name. “Eyeballs” is his latest single, and what a corker it is.

Reminiscent of some of the post-punk, jangle pop of the eighties and early ’90s indie (before everyone seemed to suffer from the mass delusion that Brit-pop was the way forward, the fools), it blends coiled, shimmering and robust guitar work normally found in more rock and indie climes with the deftness of touch and gentle infectiousness that successful pop demands. The fact that it reminds me of such seminal bands as House of Love and Gigolo Aunts can only be a good thing.

It is songs like this that remind us of what pop used to sound like. Sure, there has always been throwaway dross and pop pap clogging up the charts, but for a while at least, there was a time when pop could also be found in the form of guitar bands with smart lyrics, dexterous riffs and engaging sounds. “Eyeballs” reminds me of such a time.

Perhaps this eloquent and elegant slice of guitar pop, this swaggersome and suave assault on the mainstream world could trigger a whole new movement that sees cleverer and more deserving music makers storm the barricades and lay waste to chartland, only to rebuild it in their own image. Wouldn’t that be something?