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from:  http://www.herald.ns.ca/




By TIM ARSENAULT Entertainment Reporter

IT'S BEEN KEPT kind of lowkey, but jale got a platinum album this week. It
was given to them by Ashley MacIsaac as a thankyou for backing him on a song
on his hot-selling debut record.

Now the four-member Halifax rock band has its best shot for a sales award of
its own with the release of a new album titled So Wound.

The album, recorded in November in Chicago, is the band's second for
Seattle's Sub Pop label, which is now distributed by Warner Music. That
ensures much wider exposure for the group than earlier in its career.

Thankfully, that exposure is now warranted.

So Wound beefs up the catchy guitar-pop the band has been playing since it
started releasing recordings in 1993. The relatively low-fi sound of Lung,
the jale song on the Never Mind the Molluscs compilation, and the EP Aunt
Betty has been replaced by a sturdier sound provided by U.S. producer Brad

Harmony vocals - a jale trademark or burden, depending on the listener's
point of view - are used discreetly and cleverly.

There's renewed harmony between the group members, too. Or- iginal drummer
Alyson MacLeod - the a in jale - left last year and has been playing bass in
the band Hardship Post. Mike Belitsky, formerly of the bands Jellyfishbabies
and Cheticamp, has joined guitarist Jennifer Pierce, bassist Laura Stein and
guitarist Eve Hartling, and provides real oomph behind the drum kit.

Pierce says the group discussed with Wood what the overall sound for So
Wound should be like, even throwing around the idea of going for a dry, Tom
Petty style.

``But there's not a whole lot on it that we don't do live,'' Belitsky says
during an afternoon round of ice coffees with the band.

Playing live often has raised the skill level of the band considerably.
After releasing an EP called Closed last year on Sloan's murderecords label,
the band hit the road with Belitsky.

``Going on tour after the EP was a good idea,'' Stein said. ``We got used to
playing every night.''

``And got used to playing with each other,'' Belitsky said.

``I've been thinking I've learned how to play guitar a lot better having
Mike in the band. It's freeing somehow to have his really solid drumming,''
Pierce says.

Having Belitsky in the band also puts an end to the old story angle of jale
being a ``girl group.''

``We're a mostly girl band now,'' Hartling joked.

``We're a cross-gender band,'' Belitsky says.

Another old story is the one about the charming naivete of four female
Gen-Xers practically learning their instruments in public. The real
songcraft displayed on So Wound shows a quick maturity.

Hartling says that writing songs only gets harder, though.

``You edit yourself a lot more. And you try to keep it interesting for
yourself,'' she says.

Business prospects for jale could get interesting with the involvement of
the giant Warner corporation in the affairs of once-tiny Sub Pop. Already,
bandmembers have done three weeks of industry showcases and media interviews
in the U.S. and a five-week performance tour of the States commences
immediately after a hometown show Friday night at the Birdland Cabaret.

``We're definitely more committed than we were (in the beginning),'' Stein

``There's a lot more stuff that you have to do that you never thought you'd
be doing,'' Pierce said.

Perspective is everything. So Wound is distributed by Warner, but it was
released the same day as the company's new Metallica album, which will
doubtless be one of the hottest-selling albums of the year.

But when the pace gets too much, jale can think back to the time spent in
Toronto cutting the Bob Snider song What An Idiot He Is with MacIsaac.

``It was nice to have it not be our thing,'' Pierce says. ``There was no
pressure at all.''


This is your chance to win jale prizes.

Two lucky contestants will win prize packages consisting of jale's new CD,
So Wound (autographed), as well as the 12'' vinyl recording of So Wound, and
autographed poster and photograph.

Three other contestants will win an autographed CD and poster.

To enter please phone the Herald-Line at 425-2255 and press code 9466
(WINN). Long distance charges may apply.

The prizes are courtesy of jale, Cinnamon Toast, Sub Pop Canada, Warner
Music Canada and the Herald-Line.

Employees of these companies are not eligible to enter.

Winners will be announced in next week's Thursday! entertainment guide.

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