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Not many bands are formed when a father and his son group together though when Blaine Harrison and his father Henry started the Mystery Jets in 2004 British music got a rare treat. The two were joined by Blaine's school friend William Rees and the "The Misery Jets" were formed. Soon after forming, the band we're renamed "The Mystery Jets" following a spelling mistake, and since then the banned has been recording likable indie-pop through a changing line up.
The band had their first breaks in 2005 after releasing a number of singles including "Alas Agnes" which peaked at #34 in the UK charts and "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" which peaked at #44. However the band had to wait until February 2006 for their most notable moment of success as their single "The Boy Who Ran Away" reached #23 in the UK charts and the band were featured on "Top of The Pops".
After the success of "The Boy Who Ran Away", the band released their debut album, the 12 track "Making Dens", which was made available just weeks after "The Boy Who Ran Away" had charted. By then the band had started to achieve some real acclaim and were seen as having a catchy and likable indie pop sound that whilst not being anything original was inoffensive and generally fun.
The album it's self starts with the relatively pointless "Intro" track which really appears to serve no purpose at all. Really if you buy the album you'll almost certainly find yourself skipping the track, however after 55 seconds of complete garbage the album gets going with "You Can't Fool Me Dennis", one of the real stand out tracks on the album (despite the fact it TWICE failed to break into the Top 40). The track is really simple but yet a it's really catchy, high tempo fun indie pop track which will have you singing along with it's infectious hook ("You can do anything you want to, as long as it makes sense". It's one of those tracks that you know you've heard even if you can't remember when.
Despite the fact "Purplse Prose" (track 3) and "Soluble in Air" (track 4) do feel like let downs after the first real opening track they give you a chance to get your breath back before the excellently raw "The Boy Who Ran Away" (track 5) which whilst not being a sing along track is another excellent, high paced track that will keep your attention. It's the high energy of the track that, like "You Can't Fool Me Dennis", keeps you tapping your toes and simply enjoying the track as Blaine spits out lyrics.
Sadly the album dips quite markedly with "Summertime Den" (Track 6) which whilst an "alright" track sort of kills the momentum of the album just as it seemed ready to really take off. Like the opening track you will likely not be putting this one on to your MP3 player. Thankfully however the album does start to get back on form in the following track with the somewhat dark sounding "Horse Drawn Cart" which despite being one of the albums longest tracks is a solid track and is one of the bands most impressive due to just how flexible the vocals are and the unexpectedly polished musical prowess of the band. Sadly it probably does go on slightly too long. Annoyingly however the next track "Zoo Time" again acts more like a disruption to the album than anything else.
Thankfully the album really picks up with the excellent "Little Bag of Hair" which is has arguably the lyrics of the album with a lot of fantastic imagery. Although not the catchiest track on the album it's probably the most interesting due to the lyrics and varied delivery of the vocals which give it an incredibly sad sound and the feeling of a depressed teenager. It's certainly one of the albums really outstanding tracks.
The album builds on the previous song excellently with "Diamonds in the Dark" which is another energetic track which whilst sounding quite raw will have you tapping your toes as the "clap" rhythm gets you and keeps you hooked to the end.
The penultimate track is the brilliant "Alas Agnes" which was one of the bands successful singles and tells the story of loving a transvestite who doesn't love you back. It's one of the bands more complete songs that not only features intelligent lyrics but also a solid musical sound and again a decent hook.
The album finishes on the title track "Making Dens" which is by far the albums longest track (nearing 7 minutes) and whilst it's a decent track over-all it sounds really messy at parts and it doesn't stand out like a title track should. In fact in all honesty it sort of undoes the work of the previous few tracks which had started to turn around the album after a few poor tracks.
I really wanted to like this album. I genuinely loved 2 or 3 songs from it however with 12 tracks you really need the vast majority to be solid or better and sadly this isn't the case in fact much of the album feels sub rate and direction-less. I'd advise that instead of buying the whole album you just go and get the catchy anthemic "You Can't Fool Me Dennis", the excellently dark "Little Bag of Hair", the wonderfully interesting "Alas Agnes" and the almost spiteful "The Boy Who Ran Away", it'd be cheaper than paying for some of the garbage on the full album.
Mystery Jets debut album is an entertaining and contains a selection of catchy well though out songs. They are a bit of a strange band and come from Eel Pie Island and for this first album the dad of one of the band members was in the band.
It opens up with an introduction which then leads into the first so 'You Can't Fool Me Dennis' which is one of the best more catchy songs on the album.
It then moves on with songs like 'Purple Prose' and 'Soluble In Air' which are a bit slower paced but still catchy and good songs. The added bonus with this album is that you won't get bored of it as all the songs have a bit of variety about them and they have strength in depth as well.
'The Boy Who Ran Away' and 'Zoo Time' are two of the better songs on this album and both have catchy choruses backed up with strong tunes and strength in the rest of the lyrics.
Overall this album is not as good as their second album but it offers something a bit different and isn't a bad listen at all. I would recommend people to buy this album as it offers a good selection of songs and is a bit different to other albums currently in the music industry.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 You Can't Fool Me Dennis
3 Purple Prose
4 Soluble In Air
5 The Boy Who Ran Away
6 Summertime Den
7 Horse Drawn Cart
9 Little Bag Of Hair
10 Diamond In The Dark
11 Alas Agnes
12 Making Dens