The collaboration between Ed Schrader himself, on vocals and percussion, and bassist Devlin Rice, grows out of the kind of "back to basics" assumption that aims at minimalism as art -- a comparison to the White Stripes may by default be tired, granted, but it was that similar focus which was said band's secret weapon in the end, and Schrader and Rice apply their take on it brilliantly throughout Jazz Mind, via a different set of goals and reference points. It helps that there's much more than simply one mode throughout the album -- the opening "Sermon," all blunt riff/clutter beat/higher-pitched rant singing concluding "this is my sermon!" again and again, seems like it could set the tone throughout, and other numbers like "Rats" and "When I'm in a Car" very much fit in that vein. But those songs make the repetitive low bass part and softer crooning of "Gem Asylum" an unexpected twist early on, showing this album is not one note in sound even when it feels that way in terms of overarching focus. Little surprise as a result that other songs then proceed to split the difference between the two approaches: "Right" starts out as another uptempo strutter stomp, then slows down and hits the moodier singing. Meanwhile, "Do the Maneuver" initially splits quieter sound with aggro vocals, getting a little more wound up as it goes. If it's a bit glib to call Jazz Mind an xx for Jesus and Mary Chain damaged romantic art goths, it's not that far off -- and all the better for it.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett