Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
There is not much you can do when you feel the pull of the High Temperature, when the sweat drives on and the pulse begins to race just that little bit harder than you would otherwise feel comfortable with. When the heat, when the temperature runs high, you just have to lay back and feel the warmth, express the desire to let it be cool and let a musician such as JW Jones open up his hands and rub the Blues and Rock right through you.
Living up to the 2014 release of Belmont Boulevard was always going to be a task that would even take those who could work out how to wrestle themselves free from underneath the Sword of Damocles a while to ponder upon; such is expectation when your passion and ability collide and the labour is intensely driven.
However, the Juno Award nominated album was perhaps to be seen as a prelude, the first intake of pure morning air before the initial tentative steps of a Marathon, now the run has started for real, the streets are lined with well-wishers and the odd drink passed over to a grateful hand; for High Temperature is the pounding of the streets, the hard work and perhaps gruelling schedule paying off as the words carry the songs in the mind each step of the way.
Featuring Laura Greenberg on bass, Dominic Davies, Kevin McKendree, Bryan Owings, J.W. Jones also brings in to the magnetic fold Liam Russell on several tracks, the harmonies giving an added allure to the proceedings, and Jaida Dreyer on the duet How Many Hearts.
Songs such as the depth ridden and fantastic Murder In My Heart For The Judge, Away Too Long, Midnight Blues, Where Do You Think I Was and Same Mistakes come together with ease and thought, there is no hiding place from the temptation of the melody and in Murder In My Heart For The Judge there is the feel of the great British band 10CC being explored, the harshness of the lyrics both exploited and given a sense of retribution towards a system that has failed spectacularly.
When the temperature rises, the only thing to do is to ride it out, to enjoy what comes along and make sure there is a cold ice bath waiting to cool down your musical ardour afterwards; High Temperature or not.
J.W. Jones releases High Temperature on Friday 20th October
Ian D. Hall