By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 01, 2010 at 4:12 PM Photography: John Schulze

Formed in 2002, Milwaukee's Jaill traveled a slow road for the first few years of its existence, but in the past two years, things have really accelerated for this quartet.

Having signed to the legendary Sub Pop last fall -- once home to no less than Nirvana -- Jaill has, in one fell swoop, landed in the big time.

And today, when the band played at Summerfest's Rock Stage, it was prepping to kick off a string of summer dates with another band with Milwaukee connections, The Hold Steady, which also plays Summerfest on Thursday.

A gig tomorrow in Hayward also features The Hold Steady, though the tour with them doesn't really start until Aug. 18 in Seattle.

A few days before that, on Aug. 14, Jaill will hit Turner Hall Ballroom to celebrate the release of its Sub Pop debut, "That's How We Burn," set for a July 27 release.

The record -- which follows 2009's "There's No Sky (Oh My My)" and a string of previous self-issued releases -- is an upbeat 32-minute, 11-song post-punk pop romp packed with strong melodies and sinewy garage guitar riffs.

Often (erroneously, if you ask me) described as psychedelic, Jaill can trace its roots back up the branches of the same tree as Richard Hell, Television, Violent Femmes and other fellow travelers.

Although "That's How We Burn" will arrive with a Seattle address printed on the back, it's a Milwaukee record, through and through. Justin Perkins recorded, mixed and mastered it at his Mystery Room in Bay View and the adjacent Howl Street studio run by Call Me Lightning's Shane Hochstetler.

The band kicked off its set about 15 minutes after the scheduled start time with "There is No Sky (Oh My My)" and "The Biggest Nugget of Them All," both from last year's "There's No Sky (Oh My My)" disc.

Then Jaill focused on "That's How We Burn," starting with the sing-along-ready "She's My Baby" and following with the sinister "The Stroller," "Everyone's Hip," "On the Beat" and "Demon."

After a brief interlude that included "Always Wrong" and "Beggar Sincere" from "There's No Sky," Jaill got back to new material, like "Baby I," which singer Vinnie Kircher said is "about being an absolutely terrible lover, and "How's the Grave."

The band played "That's How We Burn," and was off the stage, having dished up a short -- by Summerfest standards -- 45-minute set.

"We'll try to do 40 minutes," Kircher joked earlier, adding that the band might have to spend a lot of time tuning up to make it last that long.

On the new disc Jaill simmers with electric energy but that vibe is ratcheted up onstage and the band careens through the songs with an enviable fire and yet manages to never go off the rails.

There was a decent crowd on hand for the show, especially for such an early show, and it was a diverse audience with some older rockers, younger fans and even one in an Adam Lambert shirt. Next year, expect a later start time and considerably larger crowds.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.