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Also known as The James Cleaver Quintet
Origin Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Genres Experimental rock, post-hardcore, punk rock, art punk
Years active 2006–2014
Labels Hassle Records, Tangled Talk
Associated acts Death Rattles, In Lieu, Darkshaft
Website Official website
Members Jack Saunders, Maud E. Licious, Paul Ford, Martin Ruffin, Michael Triponel, Charlie Holter
Past members Nick Kinnish, Seb Stinson, Casey Denman, Jimmy Diego

The JCQ (previously known as The James Cleaver Quintet) were a British rock band from Eastbourne, United Kingdom. They were signed to Hassle Records. Described as a "mental breakdown set to music"[1] the band released one EP and two full-length studio albums: Ten Stages of a Makeup in 2010, That Was Then, This Is Now and 2011 and Mechanical Young in 2013.


The JCQ in 2007.

In March 2010 the band's debut extended play Ten Stages of a Make Up was released[2] In August 2011 the band released the ep for free on the internet in preparation for their first album's release.[3]

In January 2011 the band released the song 'Chicken Shit (For The Soul)' as the first single off their debut' album, 'That Was Then, This Is Now', which was proposed to be released in April. The band also completed a tour of the United Kingdom in February to support the release of the single.[1] In August 2011 the band filmed a Lucozade advertisement, where the five members roll down with different vehicles performing a cover of Feeders' Buck Rogers.[4][5]

On 31 October 2011 the band released their debut album That Was Then, This Is Now, which opened to reception from popular critics such as the BBC,[6] Drowned in Sound,[7] Rock Sound,[8] and What Culture![9] In promotion of the record the band supported Turbowolf with Hawk Eyes across the United Kingdom in November.[4] Across the next year The JCQ supported Enter Shikari and Limp Bizkit[10] and completed a co-headline tour with The Safety Fire.[11]

On 17 June 2013 the band released their second studio album Mechanical Young. The album was recorded in Sweden with Pelle Henricsson and Eskil Lovstrom, live using vintage equipment, the band wished to record it live as they believed it captured the band's energy and argued that "there are mistakes left in and not everything sounds 100% perfect, but that's where the real sense of the band lies – in those mistakes".[12][13] The album revived positive reception from British Publications like Big Cheese,[14] Front Magazine,[15] Rock Sound[12] and This Is Fake DIY.[16] Rock Sound writer Pete Withers in an eight out of ten review stated the album "is an absolute triumph in every regard".[12] Terry Bezer when writing for Front in an otherwise positive review criticised the album saying: "sure, they could do with a little tightening and reigning it all in a bit from time to time but there’s an unbelievable amount of potential".[15] For the promotion the band made a music video for Loves No Good.[17]

Musical style[edit]

The JCQ have been typically described as a "viciously imaginative hardcore band".[1] Despite labelling their genre as "no thank you"[18] The JCQ have been cited as post-hardcore,[6][9] punk rock,[6] art punk,[14] garage punk,[8] and mathcore[8][9] and have been described as a "bizarre yet daring genre-splicing of hardcore, alternative and math-rock".[18] The JCQ's typical style features thrash riffs, breakdowns, fast pace drumming, big choruses, rapid tempo changes, atmospheric breaks and "spastic" guitar work.[9] However the band incorporates elements from other styles, including swing. Birmingham based math rock band Blakfish are seen as "spiritual forefathers" to the band.[1]

Their debut album That Was Then, This Is Now has been considered 'strikingly angular'[14] 'frenetic chaos'.[12]

Their second studio album, 'Mechanical Young', is seen as exploring the same areas as their first album, however is much more expansive and refined[16] by using tenor saxophones, syncopated rhythms, keyboards, harsh riffs and an extended outro.[12][18] The opening song 'Ghost Diffuse' has a doom metal-inspired guitar riff.[16] Single 'Love's No Good' has been considered their most commercial song[12] using a "funky and cool Red Hot Chili Peppers cum Fun Lovin' Criminals-esque"[18] sing-along chorus.[14] The three songs 'No Kind of Man Parts 1+2' and the piano based instrumental 'iii' which splits them up are considered the centrepiece of 'Mechanical Young'.[16] Part 1 is similar to the frenetic hardcore punk of their first album, while Part 2 has a surf punk style.[18]


  • Jack – lead vocals
  • Maud – guitar, tenor sax
  • Michael – bass guitar
  • Paul – drums, percussion
  • Martin – keyboards, vocals


Studio albums
Music Videos
  • Chicken Shit (for the Soul) (2010)
  • Think or Swim (2012)
  • Love's No Good (2013)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Band of the Week: The James Cleaver Quintet". Rock Sound. (Freeway Press). 10 January 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  2. ^ Andrew Kelham (2 March 2010). "The James Cleaver Quintet – Ten Stages of a Make Up". Rock Sound. (Freeway Press). Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Download A Free James Cleaver Quintet EP!". Rock Sound. (Freeway Press). 23 August 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Someone at Lucozade likes their music a little rowdier…". Thrash Hits. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ Chris Mandle (16 August 2011). "The new Lucozade advert is awesome". FHM. Bauer Consumer Media. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Alistair Lawrence (3 November 2011). "BBC – Music – Review of The James Cleaver Quintet – That Was Then, This Is Now". BBC Music. (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  7. ^ David Pott-Negrine (31 October 2011). "The James Cleaver Quintet – That Was Then, This Is Now". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Tom Aylott (22 October 2011). "The James Cleaver Quintet – That Was Then, This Is Now". Rock Sound. (Freeway Press). Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Morgan Roberts (31 October 2011). "The James Cleaver Quintet – That Was Then, This Is Now Review". What Culture!. (Obsessed With Film).
  10. ^ Andrew Nicholls (13 July 2012). "INTERVIEW: The James Cleaver Quintet". SQ Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  11. ^ "INTERVIEW: The JCQ". One Beat. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Withers, Pete (May 2013). "The JCQ [8] 'Mechanical Young' (Hassle)". Rock Sound. London: Freeway Press. 176: 86. ISSN 1465-0185.
  13. ^ "The JCQ // Interview". 20 June 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d Willmott, Tom (June 2013). "The JCQ Mechanical Young (Hassle) East Bourne art punks seek out new territory". Big Cheese. N51XL, London: Big Cheese Publishing Ltd. (156). ISSN 1365-358X.
  15. ^ a b Terry Bezer (18 June 2013). "FRONT REVIEWS: THE JCQ – MECHANICAL YOUNG". Front Magazine. London: The Kane Corporation. ISSN 1464-4053. OCLC 226099638. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  16. ^ a b c d Martyn Young (17 June 2013). "Progressive in approach yet classic in its sound". This Is Fake DIY. EC2A 3AY, London. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  17. ^ Freya Cochrane (4 July 2013). "The JCQ – Love's No Good (Official Video)". Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  18. ^ a b c d e Candice Haridimou. Jack Stovin, ed. "Review: The JCQ – Mechanical Young [Album]". Alt Sounds. Retrieved 10 July 2013.