To begin an album with such a redundant, rotting piece of garbage as "Catherine" is either a staggeringly inept oversight or a subtle attempt to reduce expectations to base level. Insipid and irredeemable, the track contains a contender for the worst lyric I've ever heard ("You think we're junkies/ But you don't wash your undies"). If the objective was for me to hate the titular Catherine then mission accomplished, even the mention of her name brings a Pavlovian retch.
However, this track is not representative of an album that is often an enjoyable listen. Jaed are a vehicle for the patchy song writing talents of teenage tearaway Vanessa Eve whose previous life is detailed writ large across bile filled tracks like "My Way" and "Gutter Girl". Redemption and Hubert Selby Jr-esque street life are your main themes of reference here.
Eve's upfront first-person narratives present the more rarely depicted portrait of young woman as tragic icon. The typical rock and roll trappings of sex and drugs overwhelmed her existence, pity the music hadn't actually been produced yet or she could have been another national obsession.
Schooled on L7 and Hole, Eve adds Smashing Pumpkins-style waves of guitar to layered vocals that alternate between spitting venom and an enticing siren song. Two lyrical excerpts show the territory we are dealing with:
"I'll swallow seconds in a second for your money baby...I've blown you twice so don't complain, don't complain!" from My Way [note: not the Frank Sinatra track of the same name].
"I'm so tired from sucking all night...You smell like dick/It makes me sick" a charming tête-à-tête from This Way.
Unfortunately for Jaed, anger is ephemeral and there isn't sufficient emotion to carry the entire album. Backing musicians Greg and Matt, apparently undeserving of the two additional words that would actually identify them, provide solid support but this is clearly being sold on Eve and her notoriety.
Clay are a four piece, Leeds-based outfit formed in early 2014