Music Review: Oncle Jazz – Men I Trust

Raymond Barth, Staff Writer

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     Oncle Jazz is the newest release from the Canadian band Men I Trust, a group known for the success of their numerous singles uploaded to Youtube. It’s very common for bands with a similar sound to Mac Demarco to be dismissed as his wannabes. However, I think Men I Trust has recently started to go down their own lane. I’ll agree that the group’s last two projects could easily be thrown into the Mac Demarco wannabe category, but this new album shows the group coming into their own sound.

I’ve been aware of the group since the release of their lead singer’s single Your Name under the name Bernache. Similar to Men I Trust, Your Name blends lo and synthpop to make one absolute banger of an indie song with a pretty catchy synth lead. With this being said, a majority of the group’s best songs are singles from within the past few years, but only the most recent ones show a change in pace.

I’d say the song Seven marks the change in direction for the group, as Seven sounds like something you’d hear from a 90’s lounge act. Not a bad song by any means, but this new sound drew some concerns.

     If this group is to change their sound, where will it go and how e ective will it be? Considering the major releases to date and the success of their singles, listening to both Norton Commander and Say Can You Hear pushed these concerns further. The di erence in tone and style that can be seen between the previously mentioned tracks is huge. These songs aren’t bad, in fact, all the singles are great besides Numb… it’s underwhelming with not much to hook anyone in.

Oncle Jazz shows the band experimenting with other sounds, but at the cost of the consistent quality the group has previously delivered. I think one of the rst issues with Oncle Jazz is the organization of the record from front to back. It makes no sense to open the album up with “You’re listening to Oncle Jazz” on the intro but immediately play a single instead of one of the new songs.

I don’t have an issue with these singles being included, but some of them have been out for a long time, long enough to the point where its inclusion feels a little too unnecessary, like the song Tailwhip. And this only irks because on Fiero GT, an interlude, you can hear the frontwoman say “You’re listening to radio Men I Trust.” Wouldn’t it make more sense to play the singles after that announcement so fans don’t have to skip around to hear the new songs?

     Even with the new album version of each single, they hardly sound di erent from the originals, so there is no reason for some of these songs to be here. This minorly changes my overall opinion of this record, but I think it would’ve played out better if organized differently.

The only other issue that generally hurts this record is the amount of reverb, there are multiple points throughout this record where you can barely make out anything that’s going on because of the amount of reverb being used across all instruments.

Other than the few minor issues I presented and a few duds, Oncle Jazz is a pretty decent listen to anyone who enjoys the sounds of soft rock, chillwave, and even synthpop.

Oncle Jazz is the group’s best record yet.

 

The Good: Found Me, All Night, Air, Porcelain, Something in Water, nearly all the singles

The Mediocre: Days Go By, Slap Pie

The Bad: Numb

Score: 7/10