Classic Album From The Rockbrat Collection: Jale – Dreamcake


(Sub Pop)

Canadian outfit Jale first came to my attention back in mid-1994, when I saw ’em in London supporting L7. It was an all-girl raid that left many punters in a fixed state of astonishment. Bassist Laura confessed to me some time later that they weren’t entirely happy with their set that night, unlike yours truly, who walked away very impressed ! Their savoury choruses and oh-so-sweet harmonies buzzed round my brain as I did battle on the Underground, and I eagerly awaited their debut album. ‘Dream Cake’ hit the shelves a short time later and apart from a couple of ordinary local reviews I read from ‘those in the know’ it sunk without much of a ripple. Well it’s time once again to resurrect a truly great piece of music and ‘Dream Cake’ is indeed this and more ! It’ll quite possibly go down as one of the greatest guitar pop albums of the 90’s – yet another record, which never slipped into that slushy, corporate quagmire – so was ultimately ignored. No big surprises there. But if music is more than just a fashion accessory to you, this quality release is yours to discover. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia Jale formed in April, 1992 and quickly became known as one of the hardest working bands on the local scene. The four girls in Jale (an acronym of their first names) possessed a wealth of talent, but it was their harmonising abilities that really won me over. Jale wrote awesome songs. Fact. From the heavy chord intro of ‘Not Happy’, to the tender ‘I’m Sorry’, ‘Dream Cake’ has many musical riches which still impress the socks off me. Just listen to those honey-gold harmonies on the chorus of ‘To Be My Friend’ or the bouncy melodies on ‘Again’ will ya !! Am I in heaven ? I must be cause I can see John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe drinking beer and dancing to the distorted strains of ‘The Unseen Guest’ !! This release captures a band tapped into a rich melody well, and who were ultimately in exquisite form. Toronto drummer Mike Belitsky replaced Alyson MacLeod in time for the release of their second album ‘So Wound’, which many claim to be a stronger effort than ‘Dreamcake’. Get ’em both and decide for yourself. Eve Hartling split from the band early last year and not long after Sub Pop dropped Jale from their label. The band folded soon afterwards, however Jennifer, Laura and Mike formed a new band called The Vees. Incidentally Pierce co-starred in a Canadian pilot TV show recently called Platinum (the story line revolves around a record company and an all-female band that’s trying to get signed !) If melodic guitar pop is your bag, go find this record today.

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