The War Against Science 388 Review 'Zero For Conduct'
Jetplane Landing are Irish, as well,although they've apparently relocated to London in fact, and to Illinois in principle. How they could intuit, from Cork, that Jimmy Eat World's pop conversion had left a gap in American emo just accessibility-ward of Braid's fury, where Jimmy Eat World would have been if they'd moved away in smaller steps, I don't know. If it were me, I'd have used the internet, but Ireland's an island, so obviously they didn't have that option. Maybe they read about it in magazines.
Naming their self-run record-label Smalltown America is a fairly audacious touch for foreigners, but since it's not entirely clear thatmore than a couple dozen people here really share an understanding of what emo was yesterday, it would be rather petty to deny Jetplane Landing their chance to influence what it means tomorrow.
And they definitely have ideas. "Tiny Bombs" sounds like the Loud Family half lapsing into the John Spencer Blues Explosion. "This Is Not Revolution Rock" could be Life Without Buildings goaded into a frenzy by Trans Am. The elegant "Underground Queen", with the haunting implied "but" in the "I've done enough to make you stay" refrain, sounds like the Clientele starting to channel the Posies.
"Summer Ends" slashes and keens like Wolfie thinking aboutgrowing up to be Fugazi. "End of the Night" is spectral and atmospheric, pieces of Pink Floyd and Bowie and Oasis, but "What The Argument Has Changed" is jagged and lurching, almost as close to Braid's urgent clang as Hey Mercedes or Thursday. "The Last Thing I Should Do", with its drum-machine markings and muted melody, reminds me of Luna and the quietest Sloan songs.
"Interstate Five" is a delicate voice-and-acoustic-guitar solo that somehow manages to give me the impression that it used to be an XTC song, but "Atoms Dream in Technicolor" is emo distilled to its essence, barked vocals over choppy guitars and nervous, stabbing drums. "And I cannot bear to watch this monument crack under capital strain, / And I cannot believe that Pythagoras hid the truth and felt no shame." OK, so they're under the misapprehension that emo lyrics are supposed to mainly concerned themselves with redressing ancient ethical injustices, but I see no reason to tell them otherwise. "A Miracle of Science" misses a golden opportunity for a Bee Gees quote, and meanders off in no particular direction.
But if Jimmy Eat World proved one thingabout emo, it's that manic catchiness is nothing to be afraid of. If Jetplane Landing are going to follow them into crossover rapture,they're going to need their answer to "The Middle", and the song tolead the way here is, at least in my opinion, "The Boy You Love To Hate". The drums and bass are solid and uncomplicated, and left tothemselves for long stretches of the tension-building verses. There'sone chirpy guitar line and one fuzzy one, and in the key stretches ofthe choruses they yip around Andrew Ferris' vocals like pleased corgis.
I can imagine a whole society of earnest young men for whom the crinkly rhythm-guitar hook that opens this song takes the place of "More Than a Feeling" or "Stairway to Heaven" in grimy music stores. The melody brushes lightly against falsetto and spins through a couple tight Posies flourishes, Ferris rhymes "completely" with "discretely" and gets an "of which" clause grammatically correct, and somebody hoots disarmingly, in the background, every time the second guitarist leansinto the fuzzy part. Maybe you think Jimmy Eat World betrayed their origins, or maybe you think they went just far enough. Hearing a step in between might inform either opinion.
- Unknown, The War Against Silence 388
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