Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review: The Jennifers “Well Intentioned World”

Indie pop and rock
Pulling talents from a spectrum of noted bands including The Hated, Berserk, and Garage Sale, The Jennifers can be considered a supergroup of sorts. This modern indie pop outfit is comprised of John Irvine (guitars/vocals), Skizz Cyzyk (drums), Joe Stone (guitars/vocals), and Ed Wade (bass). The band has been a staple in Baltimore’s underground pop scene since the mid 1990’s.

Their new record, “Well Intentioned World”, is the first on the Baltimore-based indie pop label The Beechfields – a label that has exquisite taste in musical talent. Sounding like XTC on ecstasy, or Teenage Fanclub heading into their early 20s, The Jennifers is an indie pop dream. Propelled by the feisty drumming of Cyzyk, the eleven songs on this album prove that you can groove to heady lyrics. And while the indie spirit is adverse to that slick pop sheen, the band certainly isn’t opposed to crafting catchy melodies. “Roses” comes storming out of the gate with a rollicking drumbeat punching up clever phrases such as “You’re in the real world, but the world is reeling” - and the groovy change of pace mid-song adds a dynamic that makes this song one of the early favorites. The title track is just as good, thumping along with a retro Talking Heads feel. “Around the World” reminds me of Echo and The Bunnymen…after they drank a case of Red Bull. “Elephant Heart” is terrific pop confection too. There are a couple missteps – such as “Sunshine”, which has such a fuzzy vocal that it grates the ears - and there is a lull in the action with a number of slower, less tuneful pieces after that. However, the record ends strong with cuts like “Simon Says” and “150,000 Things”.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 11

The JennifersOfficial site.

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