Despite the emergence of bands like Sloan and Jale from Nova Scotia and Eric’s Trip from New Brunswick, it’s probably too early to declare “cod rock” an official movement. But even if their sound isn’t trendy yet, Jale merit your attention. They’re a quartet of women capable of some fine harmonizing, though they’re not denizens of the popular sweet-voiced-girl-group ghetto, where the shtick consists of singsong soprano over bland, fuzzed-out hooks. Jale’s freshman outing, Dreamcake (Sup Pop), displays a precocious craft that lifts them well above one-trick-pony status. “Not Happy,” “Again,” and “Promise” are blithe, catchy bits of pop with tight harmonies, thoughtful arrangements, and melodies that never quite fade away. They curl up on the rug for some acoustic introspection on “I’m Sorry” and “Love Letter,” both of which explore an unsettling vacillation between loathing others and loathing the self. And the rockers scattered through Dreamcake like nuts may not have Dinosaur Jr. quaking in its boots, but they contrast effectively with the pop sweetness of the rest of the record. It’s unusual to hear a band whose talent is so well developed so early in its career, but what would you expect from a group of young women known as the hardest-working band in Halifax? Opening for Sloan (see Spot Check). Wednesday, 10 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 489-3160.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Scott MacLeod.