The Jealous Sound has written one of the most infectiously catchy records I've heard in years. Poppy hooks and lyrical substance are quite a rare combination these days. The Jealous Sound plays a style of music that, while staying true to the early/mid 90's emo-rock sound, also offers a fresh take on a style of music perfected by bands like Jawbreaker and Samiam. This is not unfamiliar territory for singer/guitarist Blair Shehan, who previously fronted Knapsack, another band that had a recognizable role in the genre.
Starting this very solid record off on a melancholy note, is "Hope For Us". Blair sings the opening line, "There is hope for us/There is distance between you and I...", which pretty fairly encapsulates a feeling we've all had at one time or another. Who hasn't felt for someone just outside their reach?
Strong, heartfelt, yet gentle vocals hover above a masterfully crafted soundtrack. The Jealous Sound somehow manages to produce a powerful sound, while remaining fairly minimalist in their means. Does that even make sense? If it doesn't, listen to their song "Does That Make Sense" and maybe you'll hear what I'm talking about.
"The Fold Out" is a particularly dark song driven by a rumbling bassline, and lush, surreal keyboards. "Resistance is futile/Don't shiver from cold out/The sun rise is brutal/Sleep on the fold out". This song conjures up feelings up being lonely and displaced. It's powerful stuff.
Beautiful, bitter and sarcastic, "The Gift Horse" is surely one of the standout tracks on this record. The chorus is bright and unforgetable - "You have no currency to pay/You have no influence to sway/Is there nothing that will steer you from this course". As if unforgetable hooks weren't enough, the song is rounded out by the addition of a guitar solo, and breakdown (leave it to the hardcore kid to point that out).
This entire album is pretty solid, some tracks lag, but the standouts make up for those weaker spots. Not that it really matters, but... I wanna point out my favorite tracks - "Anxious Arms", "Naive", and "The Fold Out". Anyway, I'm sure you'll find your own favorites if you check out this record. It's fucking awesome, and ripe with an abundance of accessible, and interesting tracks. Give it a listen.
8.0 / 10
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