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When Jonezetta officially landed on the alternative rock radar with 2006’s Tooth & Nail debut Popularity, it was impossible to ignore its neo-new wave grooves and overall infectiousness. Fast forward to 2008’s Cruel To Be Young on the same label...
When Jonezetta officially landed on the alternative rock radar with 2006’s Tooth & Nail debut Popularity, it was impossible to ignore its neo-new wave grooves and overall infectiousness. Fast forward to 2008’s Cruel To Be Young on the same label and the Mississippi-bred fivesome elevates its creative palate to even more astute degrees, refined by endless hours on the road alongside the likes of Anberlin, Bayside, The Whigs, Mute Math, Shiny Toy Guns, and Meg & Dia (to name a few).
“Our last show in support of the debut disc was in New Zealand at a festival and it was a great highlight to wrap up that album’s cycle,” muses front man Robert Chisolm. “Being in front of so many people seemed to come full circle for us after really building up our touring experience. We supported that project on the road for two years and literally went from playing small hometown shows to sold-out shows on the Tooth & Nail tour. Those long nights of traveling around the country and overseas have really sharpened our focus as players and songwriters.”
Within a single second of pressing “play” on Cruel To Be Young, it’s apparent the performers are pulling together with incredibly tight chemistry and additionally ambitious intentions than the highly relatable first round. In fact, the guys cite a slew of modern era alternative classics as its influences (Weezer’s Pinkerton, Radiohead’s The Bends, Wilco’s Summerteeth and tons of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), coupled with a fresh coat of paint on its previous formula of connectivity.
“The last record was all about the hook and wanting people to dig a song within 30 seconds of hearing it,” recalls Chisolm. “For the new album, recorded in Seattle at Compound Studios, we tried to keep it simple in terms of all the technology available. It was a whole new approach with this record because the songs are shaped more so you have to hear the entire album before making conclusions. I think America has such bad ADD these days when it comes to art and entertainment and attention spans have gone down to zero. This record was an attempt to give the feeling I had growing up listening to an album until the music rubbed off the disc and I made an honest connection with it.”
Such a thought provoking sonic landscape is backed by an equally intriguing topical umbrella, wrapped around similar themes of immediate gratification versus patience in the spirit of genuine artistic engagement. The musical and lyrical planes also hearken back to an era in the not too distant past when a true value was put on full albums and anticipation mounted around a street date, as opposed to being a brief blip on the radar.
“The title Cruel To Be Young can be taken a couple of ways,” suggests Chisolm. “I heard a quote a few years back ‘youth is wasted on the young,’ though now in our twenties, the question of ‘if we only knew’ has set in. And I feel like this is a totally different time when gas prices are really high and kids come to shows texting their friends during every free second, taking pictures to put up on a social networking site just to say there were there. I’m not saying all those things aren’t fun, but we want to bring people back to the days when you could put on a CD or go see a show and forget everything that’s going on in the world around you and be totally swept away by the music.”
There are several examples of such inventive ecstasy on the current collection, including the initial concert anthems “Wide Awake,” “Sick In the Teeth” and “Busy Body,” along with an unpredictable title cut that starts at 150 beats per minute and slows itself down to 90 come the complex bridge. The piano-tipped “Paint & Picture” marks Jonezetta’s most organic and ethereal reflection to date, while “Holding On To You” offers yet another unexpected switch up between an emotive opening, jarring chorus and stream of aggressive soloing over sky high harmonies.
“The songs don’t have any type of agenda to the point where we hope anyone can listen without expectations,” Chisolm affirms. “Some people listen to music and they try to guess the next part that’s coming up or plan in their minds how they think a song should turn, but we went for the completely opposite approach. There’s even a lot of contradicting within the lyrics- the fact that some things are gonna change and others never will- and there’s a wide spectrum of going from disappointment to hope. Between what we’re playing and what we’re saying, it’s going to leave you wondering what will happen next, and then once you find out, we keep the surprises coming.”
7/13/2006 - Download Jonezetta's "Four Song" EP for FREE!
The debut from Jonezetta, "Popularity," doesn't hit stores for several months. However, for a limited time, absolutepunk.net is giving you the chance to download Jonezetta's "Four Songs" EP for free! The 4 song EP includes demo versions of songs that will appear on Jonezetta's upcoming full length album. Go download them for free at www.absolutepunk.net/jonezetta and then prepare for October 3rd, when Jonezetta's full length album releases.
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