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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prog pop at its finest
I chanced across The Mystery Jets playing 'Zootime' live on MTV2 and were blown away by their brilliance -- they must have one of the best drummers in contemporary music at the moment. Yes, they are an odd assortment of individuals, and it must make life interesting having your dad in the band ... but they make brilliant music. It's not really what I would call...
Published on 22 May 2006 by ProfJohnMcLeod

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15 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Band That Ran Away
There's something to be said about looking, and sounding, like four anonymous blokes from Sheffield; it means that people will pay a lot more attention to your music than your persona. For those of you who think being different in itself is always a good thing, take a look at the Mystery Jets. Cor, what a crazy bunch they look eh? The lead singers on crutches! His...
Published on 10 Mar 2006 by parsefone


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prog pop at its finest, 22 May 2006
By 
This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
I chanced across The Mystery Jets playing 'Zootime' live on MTV2 and were blown away by their brilliance -- they must have one of the best drummers in contemporary music at the moment. Yes, they are an odd assortment of individuals, and it must make life interesting having your dad in the band ... but they make brilliant music. It's not really what I would call progressive rock -- and I grew up with Yes, Genesis, and the prog canon -- but they have prog leanings and an inventive intelligence which makes them much more interesting than the usual 'verse-chorus-middle 8-chorus' format that most bands adopt. They have a pop sensibility I last heard in the 80s with It Bites, although musically they're less glitzy than Cumbrias finest and they have managed to perfect a mainstream quirkiness which makes them listenable again and again. The highlights for me are 'Purple Prose', 'Horse Draw Cart' and 'Zootime'. For a band with bags of intelligence, talent, and a commitment to writing songs with musical substance, turn to The Mystery Jets. Great stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album and refreshingly diffferent - but with limitations, 3 Dec 2007
By 
This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
I only recently bought this album after reading a lot of the press about this band. Heck, any band with their dad in it has to be worth a listen (I'm a 50 year old dad myself that still plays at being in bands....). All the talk of being "prog" is really weird, because the MJs sound very unlike much prog I have heard. The only track that has vague hints of King Crimson is Zootime, apart from that the closest references I can come up with are XTC meets Syd Barrett-era Floyd. Eclectic, eccentric, whimsical and very English in just the way that XTC were. They also share much of the layered and angular guitar work that typifies XTC's later work (I'm listening to "Love On A Farmboy's Wages" as I type this and it's quite reminiscent of much of the feel of this album).

This album is full of quirky, loveable and different songs, with some lovely layered harmonies. Stand out tracks for me are "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" (irresistible from the first few notes, truly a modern Arnold Layne as others have said), "Purple Prose" (great guitar work, I completely disagree with the reviewer that said it wasn't memorable), "The Boy Who Ran Away" (a very non-traditional approach to song structure that works well), "Horse Drawn Cart" (beautiful harmonies and a whimsical approach worthy of XTC) and "Little Bag Of Hair" (a real grower that has heartfelt poignancy in the lyrics).

Good tracks are "Zootime" (which is a prog-esque mainly instrumental that is a grower) and "Diamonds in the Dark". The let downs for me which lose it a star are "Alas Agnes", which tries so hard to be quirky and different that it fails on all levels (I bet they started with the title and tried to write the song around it...), "Soluble In Air" (unoffensive filler) and "Making Dens" ( meanders too much and doesn't really get anywhere). But overall a really enjoyable album that shows tremendous promise. These guys sound like they are having fun, and that matters. I recommend you buy it and watch what the MJs do in future.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 26 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
Anybody with half an eye on the indie scene of late will have noticed the similarity of most bands - they look the same, they sound the same. It makes for very dull listening.
Luckily for us, along came the Mystery Jets. They certainly look eccentric - a fact which seems to be discussed by reviewers considerably more than what they actually sound like. Which is a terrible shame, because their music is quite unlike anything you've ever heard.
Having heard several of the Mystery Jets' singles before the release of the album, I was intrigued to say the least. I expected the album to be an assortment of jangley, interesting little tunes thrown together in an ameteurish fashion - but in fact it is much more than that.
The songs range widely across the musical spectrum - from the fresh and catchy 'Alas Agnes', the proggy guitar driven 'Zoo Time' to the sad rolling epic of 'Little Bag of Hair'. Each song works on its own, but everything is presented in its best light as a whole album. It flows beautifully, a quality which is very rare among debuts. It is filled to the brim with instrumental genious and soaring tunes that will refuse to leave your head for weeks. The Mystery Jets have taken the prog format of ever changing melodies and compressed it down into small, perfectly formed chunks of musical brilliance. Catchy and thoughtful, small but monumental, this album is quietly breaking the boundries or modern music. It can't be long before people start to notice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Debut, 15 Mar 2006
By 
Luke Griffin "lukeisgriffin" (Halifax, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I heard a few of their tracks before i saw them live at the NME tour, and the album definitley lives up to everything i heard live. singles 'you cant fool me dennis', 'alas agnes' and 'the boy who ran away' are instant classics, and my personal fave is ' Little Bag of Hair' which is one of the best songs ive heard since i first heard the Arctic Monkeys, although im not comparing these two bands, they are completely different. Some tracks are also a little Prog, such as 'Zoo Time', which will have you chanting the title in your head constantly.
The album in general is a great attempt at amazingness by the Eel-Pie Island collective, and a definite must for anyone into indie and looking for something 'different'. I mean, how different do you want a singer to be that plays piano, a dustbin lid and a frying pan among other things? the true definition of indie is 'Mystery Jets'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars JETS, 8 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
THIS IS THE CD THAT GOT ME INTO THE JETS AFTER READING OTHER PEOPLES REVIEWS OF THEM. REALLY LIKED IT SO WENT ON TO BUY TWENTY ONE.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great and quirky album, 29 Oct 2010
By 
R. Fletcher - See all my reviews
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This album has an interesting and unparallelled sound, a great album from a great artist!
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars who says modern music is dead?, 10 Mar 2006
By 
P. Moan - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
This band shows that there is still a chance for original and interesting pop/indie music to arrive in this day and age. I first heard of the Mystery Jets when they supported Bloc Party before Bloc Party were big, about a couple of years ago. They were brilliant live, and this debut album shows that they can get that live energy onto disc!
The singles are all present, and are as catchy as they were live, and the rest of the album is great and contains many exciting ideas. I also met the band, and they are some of the most down to earth people I have met who are in a band. I wish them all the best in the music business and could really do with as much support as possible to try and bring them into the forefront of the music scene to add some interest to it!
Here is to the Mystery Jets!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great album... promising future, 9 Mar 2006
By 
Mr. M. D. Mccutcheon "whiterabbit_uk_5" (Middlesbrough, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
I bought this album on the strength of "Alas Agnes" and "Zoo time" and was not dissapointed. The album flows really well and is much more easy-listening than i thought it would be. These guys could easily be one of those bands that breaks into the big time this year!
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15 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Band That Ran Away, 10 Mar 2006
This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
There's something to be said about looking, and sounding, like four anonymous blokes from Sheffield; it means that people will pay a lot more attention to your music than your persona. For those of you who think being different in itself is always a good thing, take a look at the Mystery Jets. Cor, what a crazy bunch they look eh? The lead singers on crutches! His dad's in the band, and he looks like a sinister Roger Waters! The rest look like gypsies from a Just William book! And what's the music like? Oh, er, I wasn't paying attention.
Which is a shame, because underneath their "We're mad, us" image, the Mystery Jets are a band with tremendous potential. The first track off Making Dens, You Can't Fool Me Dennis, is absolutely undeniable- a 21st Century Arnold Layne, a wonky, danceable gem which doesn't sound like you've heard it a hundred times before. This is the key to the band's charm- although ostensibly using instruments that have featured in every lumpen Oasis rehash from here to 1984 (to 1984!), they gleefully throw them together into new, bewildering, and often quite brilliant shapes.
Unfortunately, this everything-goes policy is also the Jets' biggest weakness. Tracks like Purple Prose and Soluble In Air sound like they were great fun to make, but they're just formless splurges- I can't remember how the former goes even after having listened to it all week. Similarly, it's quite hard to tell what the band are actually about. Baroque fantasies about prebuscent tear-aways and copper caravans are all very well, but what does it all mean? What do they think? Alas Agnes is of course a cracker of a tune, but why bother penning a story about a fling with a transvestite if you don't involve yourself in it somehow, instead of coming across as just pointing and laughing at weirdos? The title track begins as a memoir of childhood escapism, before intruigingly weaving in a strand about love lost, as if the protagonist's obsession with making dens meant that he was not paying attention to what was going on right in front of him. Sadly, the song doesn't manage to realise it's potential; it seems that the band like "making dens" so much that they didn't even see this possibility.
Mystery Jets are a great band, and I urge you to go see them live as soon as possible. However, their album is a mess, bursting with invention, mired in whimsy, crippled by knee-jerk eccentricity. They probably didn't intend it any other way.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars shape of things to come!, 7 Mar 2006
By 
Colin Smith "colinsmith761" (Eastbourne ,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Making Dens (Audio CD)
Ok,no "On my Feet",which was the first Mystery Jets track i heard ,but the rest of the singles are all present and correct.Like other bands ,the Coral ,Zutons etc,they do a nice line in pop with a twist,especially on "You Can't Fool Me Dennis",but i love the way they stretch out further.
"Horse Drawn Cart","Little Bag Of Hair" and "Diamond In The Dark" are tracks which point to an interesting second album.I think there are a lot of interesting ideas and diversity on the album,perhaps too much ,which is why i gave it 3 stars .I still think they're a band with a lot of potential,great live too!Here's looking forward to album no 2.
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