Brain Cream (Burger Records)

Contact Patrick Tilley about Jaill

Things have come full circle for Jaill. About six years and exactly one L since the Milwaukee act (then called) Jail put out There’s No Sky (Oh My My) on Burger Records, the Great Lakes surf rock outfit has returned to the roster of its first label—following two well-received records on Sub Pop Records—for the release of Brain Cream, out June 30. That’s pretty much where the parallels end. Since the release of …No Sky (and 2012’s Traps, really), only frontman Vincent Kircher remains. For Brain Cream, the last original member called upon three of Milwaukee’s most versatile musicians to add their own ingredients to further enrich the longstanding band’s already-reputable recipe that has yielded tours with renowned national acts like The New Pornographers and The Growlers, as well as a song being featured on HBO’s Girls.


The new quartet convened at Louie Lino-run Resonate Studios in Austin, Texas in December 2013 and emerged almost two weeks later with Jaill’s most mature, thorough, and fully realized effort to date. Nestled well into his thirties, Kircher’s oft-employed slacker protagonist is now offset with a double-dose of sage reflection (best expressed in the understated “Slides And Slips” and five-plus-minute last dance candidate “Chocolate Poison Time”). New drummer Josh Evert—who fronts The Fatty Acids—preserves the beats and Jaill’s refreshingly rough edges splashy, busy beats backing the band’s most all-around subdued record yet. Jonathan Mayer, who’s the lead singer and guitarist of Surgeons In Heat, shines in a supporting role with a heft of bouncing bass lines and warm falsetto harmonies that smooth out Kircher’s patently sharp vocals (most evident on album-stealer “Chain Reaction”). Former John The Savage bandleader  Mike Skorcz unabashedly excels with a steady stream of stripped down keyboard parts generously heaped in to add auxiliary depth (the deluge of warm notes in “Little Messages” come to mind).