More Reviews

I would space these out, but I am taking a last minute trip up north for a funeral so I figured I’d get these posted before I go away.  Wait a sec – I’m writing this on Wednesday…maybe I will conveniently release these on Thursday!  Oh, the magic of blogging.  Incidentally, if I do a podcast this week it’ll likely be on the weekend.

Mister Jingle – Et si la jeunesse…
Genre: Ska / Punk

In searching for some new music for the blog, I quickly remembered why I only occasionally listen to ska: all the bands playing the music tend to sound similar to each other. It’s really only when a band does it wrong in some way (see my last review) that puts me right off the music. Ska should make me feel simply satisfied, and pumped up.

Mister Jingle does that with their EP Et si la jeunesse…. From the title, you can tell they’re French. I am bilingual, but I usually have difficulty understanding French lyrics (especially when it’s at such a frenetic pace). So, throw lyrics right out the window when listening to this EP. They have a tight sound in place, and it doesn’t seem overdone to my ears. In short, they’re not doing anything really wrong. I will note that they have some hints of scream-o in there, but it’s not distracting. As I mentioned, there’s enough in the EP to keep me satisfied, so they get a recommendation in my book. If I had a book.

The A.G.’s – This Earth Sucks
Genre: Punk

This is one massive album up on Jamendo – it has a grand total of 34 tracks (why not 35?). It only runs 57 minutes though, so it reminded me of Sloan’s Never Hear the End of It. Oh, The A.G.’s album is called This Earth Sucks. The title kind of makes me wonder – is there another Earth they prefer? Who knows…and I thought I might gain some kind of insight from their songs, but they don’t seem to have a unified theme, other than perhaps This Earth Sucks.

The subject matter of this group varies quite a bit – from the eloquent I Like Boobs and Taking a Shit to – well, that’s about as deep as they seem to get, to be honest. Those songs are about exactly what you think they’re about. The album is sort of like a trainwreck – I felt compelled to keep listening, no matter how horrible it seems.

I’m not sure that I necessarily recommend this music – it sounds like it’s a bunch of high school kids trying to shock their Principal at the talent show. On the other hand, there is one redeeming track: a pretty good cover of Jesse’s Girl. I guess I can recommend it, after all. Pop it in the CD player in your car (if you still have one), and go on a road trip; or listen to it at the cottage. That’s the kind of album this is to me.

Trick Seventeen – Spot On
Genre: Pop/Punk

I’ll be honest – I didn’t listen to The A.G.’s album in full. I pretty much got the whole picture after listening to a small handful of their 34 tracks. So when I listened to Trick Seventeen’s EP Spot On, a very tangible wave of relief washed over me. I’m really not kidding you – the difference in quality of content was enough to make me really excited.

I’ll stop there, though, because this EP isn’t necessarily Excellent. It’s really good, but I’m starting to give it a little too much high praise because I’m listening to it in contrast to something mediocre. So here’s the real scoop about Trick Seventeen: they have a solid pop-punk EP on their hands here. From the first two tracks, it’s clear they know how to hook you in with their music.

It’s well-balanced, too. While the pop elements take the main focus, their punk roots show through underneath the surface. They are primarily a pop group though, but they don’t let themselves get carried away trying to create a “sellable radio sound”. What I mean to say is that they sound as good as any pop band on the radio, but it doesn’t sound “fake”.

I’ll stop trying to get people to understand what I mean, because I find it really hard to describe it myself. The short version is: Trick Seventeen is a really cool pop-punk band from Germany, and you should download their EP Spot On from Jamendo.

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