Welcome to the latest edition of KNEEJERK, where we preview some new releases and give our short, "kneejerk" reaction...
The Posies “Blood/Candy”
There’s something magical about those harmonies of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, which bolster the clever pop of the Posies. Their long-awaited new release, “Blood/Candy” is true to its name in that it contains a mix of the sugary sweet melodies we’d expect from their early days and the darker, less melodious elements from more recent releases. The record, especially the first two thirds, is generally upbeat and wonderfully catchy – it will finally satisfy fans who have been longing for a return to their 90s output. This time around, the harmonies are plentiful and well placed, illuminating the intriguing song structures to result in tunes that are instantly likeable. With that classic mix of acoustic and electric guitars, “Blood/Candy” serves up its juiciest morsels right at the get-go with soon to be classics like “Plastic Paperbacks”, “The Glitter Prize”, and “Licenses To Hide”. The strummed goodness of the acoustic yet upbeat “So Caroline” is another welcome treat, followed by another standout entitled, “Take Care of Yourself”. The most brilliant example of the vocal synergy between the Posies can be heard in “Accidental Architecture”. With exception of “She's Coming Down Again!”, the tail end of the record is a little lukewarm, but overall you really have to struggle to find something you won’t like on this record.
Jimmy Eat World “Invented”
The sixth full-length album from emo-turned-pop rockers Jimmy Eat World tries to recapture the brush with success they had with their breakthrough, 2001’s “Bleed American” (also known as a self-titled release for those of you who purchased it after 9/11). Even “Bleed American” producer Mark Trombino is back at the helm, balancing the band’s 80s-inspired guitar tones with modernized distortion. But sadly what seems to be missing here are the contagious melodies. The songs on “Invented” are not bad, but they don’t hold a candle to the earlier hits, or even a lot of the tracks on the excellent “Chase This Light” from 2007. Shame. Strangely, the strongest cuts include the less energetic tracks “Evidence”, “Movielike”, and “Littlething”.