Scottish power pop band The Hazey Janes have been slowly evolving to more diverse indie pop sound, this is starkly shown on the latest LP, Language of Faint Theory. Recorded in El Puerto De Santa Maria, the crisp production and sweeping melodies present a sophistication previously unheard from them. “Iwan” opens the album with a slow drum beat and piano chords, and mature background harmonies. The last half of the song has a truly great guitar solo that floats in, guaranteed to produce goosebumps.
That takes you into the next track “The Fantom Line,” a more accessible and even grander melody line along the lines of classic Genesis. After the opening notes of “All Is Forgotten” I almost expected Phil Collins to sing “Entangled” next, but the song transitions to a showcase for lead singer Andrew Mitchell’s vibrato-soaked croon along a soothing pop melody. “In Shadows Under Trees” is a Roy Orbison flavored country ballad that proves the band can branch out intro other genres.
But after a few diversions we get back to some great power pop starting with “The Genesis,” full of cascading keys, drum rolls and strong lead guitar. Gone are most of the Beatles/Byrds influences on this album, although they show up on my favorite tune of the summer so far, “(I’m) Telescoping” with its gorgeous vintage sound. The title track surprises with sweet vocals by guitarist Alice Marra, evoking the sunny Spanish coast with its richly layered chorus. While clearly transitional in style, the band hasn’t forgotten its fans, nor its need for artistic growth and that’s a creative triumph.