Jimmy Eat World
Chase This Light
Formed in Mesa, Arizona, in 1993, Jimmy Eat World made their independent debut a year later and are now releasing their sixth album. They made a breakthrough in the UK in 2002 when their single 'The Middle' entered into the top 30 singles chart and following on from a double performance at the Carling Festival this year, they return in February for headline shows.
Long before 'emo' was a lazy tag slapped on any guitar band that teens would like, it was applied to J.E.W. for vocalist Jim Adkins' ability to marry emotional lyrics to usually very catchy tunes. Sticking to the adage 'if it isn't broke don't fix it', tracks such as 'Always Be' and 'Feeling Lucky' have infectious pop melodies and energy along with negative lyrics such as 'I'm alone in this as I've always been'. No wonder the band have so many teenage fans! Based on an acoustic guitar, 'Carry You' is a particular highlight due to featuring one of the stronger choruses on an album packed with hooks, while 'Electable (Give It Up)' is a guaranteed sing-a-long with the simplest of 'oh oh oh' chants. Adkins even comes across as positive on 'Big Casino', crashing in on a wave of optimism and declaring 'I'll accept with poise, with grace, when they draw my name from the lottery'.
Like any punk-rock band with a sense of ambition, J.E.W. head in other directions occasionally on 'Chase This Light', most obviously on the brooding 'Gotta Be Somebody's Blues'. With the vocals at barely more than a whisper, it is dominated by orchestral strings and is an avenue the band might want to try in future. The obligatory ballad, 'Dizzy', closes the record and does so in impressive fashion. A tale of lost love, it is musically sweeping with vocals that could be from a boy band (but Westlife will never sound as good). Strings swoon throughout and guitars shimmer, before being let off the leash some three minutes into the track. It may not be revolutionary, but fans are sure to be happy and there are certainly additions to the band's catalogue which are welcome.