Formed in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Wales, in 1999, this unclassifiable quintet played a pulsating mixture of electronica, punk and rock that attracted a cult following but proved too unpalatable for a wider audience.
Formed by Kelson Matthias (vocals/keyboards), Rich Williams (guitar), Tom Clark (guitar), Rhodri Thomas (drums/vocals) and Ben Milner (bass/vocals), under the auspices of the Community Music Wales scheme, the band’s debut single, ‘Squadron No. 9’, was released in summer 2001 on the scheme’s Complete Control Music label. A support slot with the Lostprophets helped promote the band’s music beyond a regional following, with audiences treated to a riotous and often unpredictable experience. The thrilling ‘Paris And The New Math’ single preceded Breakdance Euphoria Kids, released via Complete Control in summer 2002. This raw and gutsy album flitted uncontrollably between electronica, punk and progressive rock, offering a convincing aural representation of the band’s live sound. The London-based independent label Gut Records signed the quintet shortly afterwards, but the band was forced to compromise on a reissued version of their debut album (titled Jarcrew) by agreeing to remaster a number of tracks to make the album more ‘user friendly’. Two new recordings (‘Boy Wonder’ and ‘Sad French Death Metal’) were added to the tracklisting.
Milner left the band in 2004, with a number of guest musicians taking his place on the subsequent tour. Jarcrew played their final live show in December 2004 and, despite rumours of a forthcoming studio album, this was to be the last time the band members worked together.