Album Review: Jimmy Eat World – ‘Damage’

You may have heard of Jimmy Eat World. Jimmy Eat World formed in 1993 and came to prominence in 2001 with their album ‘Bleed American’, particularly the single ‘The Middle’, which I believe was bordering on massive. For the benefit of those who are sketchy on the details (oh ok, me), Jimmy Eat World consists of James Adkins (Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar), Tom Linton (Rhythm Guitar), Zach Lind (Drums) and Rick Burch (Bass).

Anyway, back to the subject at hand… Jimmy Eat World are set to release ‘Damage’ on 10th June of this year.

‘Damage’ is Jimmy’s eighth studio album. It consists of ten tracks and was recorded in the house of the album’s engineer/producer, Alain Johannes. ‘Damage’ will be available on cd, vinyl or to download. The lead single from ‘Damage’ was released in April and is called ‘I Will Steal You Back’. The video for this seems to be an on the road video, coupled with some live footage of the band. The song itself is quite reflective sounding, there’s certainly a more mature sound than I remember from ‘Bleed American’ (the song) and ‘The Middle’. This is something that Adkins had hinted at in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he suggested that as a 37 year old (he doesn’t look like a man three years shy of forty), he has a different perspective and that the world is a different place compared to when he was writing songs in the earlier years of the band. Adkins promised that Damage still had Jimmy Eat World’s energy. This is something I could probably echo having listened to ‘I Will Steal You Back’ as there’s certainly a tasty wee riff in there and it’s definitely a Jimmy Eat World song, which I’m sure will please their fans. If this is the lead single, it does bode well for the album.

jimmyeatworld2‘Damage’ kicks off with ‘Appreciation’. I really love the guitar parts at the start of this song it really gets you hooked. It’s really simple sounding, but effective. Again this song seems to echo quite a mature sound, it sounds like a breakup song… but without being sombre or morose. I think the chorus of ‘Appreciation’ is a lighters/mobile phones in the air affair… very lovely way to start an album. Having heard two songs (albeit in a strange order) I’m questioning myself for not listening to Jimmy Eat World a lot more previously. The titular song of the album ‘Damage’ is second on the album and despite not being of a slower tempo than ‘Appreciation’, it seems to have a more relaxed sound. There’s a chance that some of you will have already heard ‘Damage’, it was released on an E.P for World Record Store Day in April. ‘Damage’ manages to be relaxed sounding, but have a catchy chorus. ‘Lean’ is the third offering, for me it feels like it would fit perfectly on the soundtrack for Teachers. Teachers had one of the best soundtracks (if not the best soundtrack) of any TV programme of the noughties for me. This song has that vibe. I absolutely love the guitar solo in this song. Much the same is the first two tracks and the single, I am seriously questioning why I haven’t been listening more to Jimmy. Following ‘Lean’ is ‘Book Of Love’. This is not a cover of ABC’s 80s classic, much to my surprise, but that’s mainly because ABC’s song is called ‘Look Of Love’ (apparently). I don’t know if it’s the acoustic guitars or something else, but there’s a folksy feel to this song. It remains a pretty chilled vibe, it’s also very much less cheesy than ABC’s poorly named ‘Look Of Love’ (which I now love!). I say the song is chilled, but I also found the song quite serious… particularly as it neared its conclusion. The half way mark (fifth out of ten songs) is marked by ‘I Will Steal You Back’, which we’ve already talked about… well worth a listen.

‘Please Say No’ kicks off the second half of the album. This is a pretty slow affair, with the title forming the basis of the chorus (with some lovely ah’s thrown in). Again it’s pretty serious sounding, a further indication of the more mature sound that Adkins has hinted at. It may be that Jimmy Eat World’s sound has evolved to suit not only their own advancing years, but also their fan base getting older. I found this song pretty sad, it’s the first song on the album that’s lowered my mood a little… despite being of a similar disposition to the rest of the album (so far) and maybe I’m not a robot after all. ‘How’d You Have Me’ is a return to some lovely electric sounds. It’s probably the most up-tempo song on the album so far, it’s pretty punchy and that may well be the energy that Adkins hinted at. This might be the song that the casual listener/ignorant swine like myself might resonate with as of being of a Jimmy Eat World sound. It’s probably the closest on the album to the songs I know. ‘No, Never’ kicks off with some beats on the drum and is also pretty punchy, building to a cracking chorus. ‘No, Never’ had me bouncing my head and tapping my toes along.

The penultimate song on ‘Damage’ is ‘Byebyelove’. It seems to be a return to the slower songs, but this is no bad thing. ‘Byebyelove’ is a borderline power ballad, without the over the top frivolity that power ballads in the classic sense can offer. If someone’s not already christened songs as such, I’d quite like to state that ‘Byebyelove’ is the power ballad template for this decade. The album finishes up with You Were Good and it’s a fantastic way to finish this album. It meets the chilled vibe of the majority of the album, but with a cheeky bit of energy injected into the guitar part. Although this seems like a break-up song of sorts, it does not feel bitter or angry about it at all.

‘Damage’ certainly is a mature sounding album throughout. Generally there is a pretty relaxed vibe throughout the songs, with a couple of energetic bursts throughout. I enjoyed this album; however feel it lacked some more up-tempo songs. My highlights were ‘No, Never’ and ‘How’d You Have Me’… which were the more energetic and punchy efforts. I’d certainly recommend you give the album a listen from start to finish, I’m sure most Jimmy Eat World fans will love it. If anything I’ve now been prompted to go and have a proper listen to the band’s back catalogue. ‘Damage’, overall is a relaxed album with some bursts of energy left. It shows that despite being their eighth album, there is still life in Jimmy Eat World yet.

Buy ‘Damage’ Here

Listen to ‘Damage’ in full below:

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Push the Sky Away”

“Push the Sky Away” is the fifteenth studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Fifteen studio albums and a few side projects later, Cave proves he can still deliver a great album. The album is somewhat confrontational with subtle experimentalism and song writing similar to that of Leonard Cohen. Cave has stated that the songs from this record are about “the tension between the male and the female.” One track that particularly stands out for Nick Cave’s signature lyricist style is “Higgs Boson Blues” in which Cave deals with several aspects such as the Faustian bargain between the devil and Robert Johnson, the shooting of Martin Luther King and Miley Cyrus – all of which question the value of internet based “truth” or simply, Wikipedia.

“Push the Sky Away” is certainly not Cave’s best work but it is certainly one of his most interesting works with standout tracks being “We No Who U R”, “Mermaids” and “Higgs Boson Blues”.

“Push the Sky Away” is out today (Monday 18th January 2013) and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will be doing a UK tour in support of the record in October and November. Details below:

Buy Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Push The Sky Away” on Amazon

London Hammersmith Apollo (October 26, 27)
Manchester Apollo (30)
Glasgow Barrowland (31)
Edinburgh Usher Hall (November 1)

22 Years Later…

The next chapter in the life of My Bloody Valentine is now available to listen to online under the title of “m b v”. It may be 22 years later since the release of the critically lauded album “Loveless”, which is regarded as one of the most essential records of 1990’s, but fans need not fear as the new album “m b v” will most definitely not disappoint. The new release has been anticipated for years from fans and critics alike as Kevin Shields has often teased the world with statements such as “we are 100% going to make another My Bloody Valentine record unless we die or something.”

Now at 2013 sees the release of My Bloody Valentine’s third studio album sweetly titled “m b v”.

“m b v” is very similar to “Loveless” in terms of the way it was recorded; vocals being buried under a thunder of distorted and woozy sounding guitars. However, this does not suggest the album is not a step forward. If anything, this is a triumphant return for the band whom most definitely have the most patient fanbase in the world. There is an element of warmth in the production which is somewhat signature of My Bloody Valentine.

The opening track “she found now” delivers My Bloody Valentine’s signature fuzzy sound in spectacular fashion with Shields singing in such a quiet tone over deep strumming. One would recommend buying the album and listening to it through a quality set of headphones.

Standout tracks include “she found now”, “only tomorrow” and “wonder 2”.

My Bloody Valentine’s third studio album “m b v” is available to purchase online via

Buy ‘My Bloody Valentine’ on Amazon.

Introducing: Merchandise

Finding solid information on Florida based Merchandise may prove to be a task of difficulty. Their second proper LP to date “Children of Desire” may have been released in July 2012, but it is only recently I have made the discovery of them, and what a discovery it was. As part of the Florida punk scene, Merchandise are used to keeping a somewhat low indie profile but with the release of this record, lying low no longer seems feasible. The band is considered to be at the forefront of Florida’s rising punk and hardcore scene but this album is certainly not a straight up punk record. It is a very difficult record to categorize in terms of genre though one can clearly recognise post-punk and shoegaze influences throughout.

Pushing the 10 minute point is the album’s personal highlight for me “Become What You Are” which boasts an urgent and ambitious sound and is instantly memorable. The track sounds like an indie classic of sort which would be appropriate for both an underground gig and an arena show. “Children of Desire” is no doubt an ambitious and elaborate effort as Merchandise have proved they have the ability to innovate and channel various influences without reiterating them which many bands are guilty of today.

Listen to “Become What You Are” below.

Listen: The 1975 – Chocolate

‘Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record on the Planet’. Ok, you have my attention.

The 1975 have cracked the case again with another jangly-come-stadium filler. ‘Chocolate’, the lead single off their 3rd EP; Music for Cars, which is the final EP in a trilogy of releases prior to their hotly anticipated album.

‘Chocolate’ encompasses The 1975’s sound. It highlights the bands sharp pop swagger and pounding beats that just get you nodding your head instantly. They’re proving to be the hottest property in the UK at the minute and with songs like this it’s hard to disagree.

Their final EP is released on the 3rd March this year on Dirty Hit records. I don’t need to tell you to buy it because I know you will.

Introducing: The Vestals

“In a time when we know everything about everyone, we believe a little mystery is a good thing.” I think The Vestals hit the nail on the head with that sentence. Secrecy and mystery works perfectly for the Welsh act; ‘Perfect Pain’, first track off their debut 7” single is the avant garde of melancholy-pop. Dark, yet twistedly upbeat for a song called ‘Perfect Pain’ a bittersweet contradiction of words and yet the outcome is so splendid. Second track ‘Seventeen’ just as upbeat and deceptive tells the tale of the lost dreams we all have, song writing with intent of tackling raw emotions that leads you to feel a real connection with both tracks. The Vestals have already shared a stage with acts such as Swim Deep and Bastille. Watch out for them in 2013 or they may just sneak up on you.