It seems like whatever plans anyone had at the start of 2020 quickly went out the window as soon as that second week of March came around. The lockdowns, the fears, the confusion of how to move forward was ever-present in all our lives but as time went on those of us with creative genes thought – well, let me do something. That’s what went through the minds of many as people took to making their own movies, writing more, and working on music that they’d had in the back of their mind for far too long. The latter is where Jonathan Hall and Christopher Le Mottee fell into as the old friends started trading funky beats back and forth. From there, came Jaymotts and soon enough their 2021 debut, ‘Jamboree,’ an album that is as comedic as it is dramatic and as nonsensical as it is an aid to helping escape the mundane and insane that still our current reality.
At their core, Jaymotts is a comedic pair that created a realm of some pretty out-there musical moments whether it was the tongue twister that kick-started “Inquisitor,” or “Espionage.” That song really set the bar for the direction of where Jaymotts could take things if they wanted to, and that’s the nerdcore music scene as “Espionage” was reminiscent to me of bands that play well with the Comic-Con crowds around the world who like their music a little more on the eccentric side of life. However, on the flip side, these two were also able to inject a lot of drama into their debut with some tracks that gave off major rock opera vibes.
As soon as “Dawn at Dawn” started with the heavy guitar riffs, I thought – well, this is different. Then came the sci-fi-sounding elements that paired with the futuristic-sounding monologue. Something present in several tracks throughout ‘Jamboree,’ but stood out the most here. The rock opera wasn’t just confined here though as I was reminded of an extravagant stage show once more with “Big Nev” later on. Aside from the hilarity and the drama, there are a lot of musical chops to be had as well.
These two came together trading funky beats and whatnot, so of course, funk is the foundation of this album and there were a few tracks where that was highly apparent. “Time Traveling Man” delivered funky rock and roll and even found a way to incorporate the great Destiny’s Child into the mix. “Grand Gestures” was also another funktacular track, as well “Wet Tiger” that took the funk and twisted it into a psychedelic standard with what will soon be known as a signature Jaymotts monologue tacked on.
In the end, there were a few songs that stood out to me personally and I’d like to give them their time in the spotlight before we wrap up our time together. “In the Beginning” pays homage to the ‘80s with its sound and made me smile because it reminded me of when going out to bars for a night of music was the norm. Then there was “Calm Yourself Terry,” and while this name checks Terry, I think just watching the news in places like the US, we can all agree that the question, “Why you so angry?” can apply to more than one or two…or a few million out there. The crowning jewel for me though was the title track, “Jamboree,” as the last track of the song is more miss than hit, but with this one – it truly was the cherry on top of and a reminder to hit repeat and play the record all over again once it was through.
There is no shortage of things to discover on this album. Various styles, moods, and ideas all rolled up into one wild ride from Jatmotts and their funky debut album, ‘Jamboree,’ available now on all major music and streaming platforms.
Written by Kendra Beltran