The Jealous Sound

A Gentle Reminder

Written by: TL on 27/02/2012 15:55:30

If it weren't for the fact that The Jealous Sound are one of the few bands around whom the internet has not robbed all sense of mystery, I would be flat out baffled that more people don't know about them. Their 2003 debut "Kill Them With Kindness" was an absolute gem, epitomising everything that was good about the turn of millenia emo sound (and I mean the emo that existed before screaming and gothy/glammy attire entered the picture). I'm not sure anybody really knows what went on between then and now, but rumour has it that singer/guitarist Blair Shehan lost his mind and flat out disappeared for a while. Regardless, him and guitarist Pedro Benito suddenly resurfaced in the late 2009, and after hooking up with new drummer Bob Penn and Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendell, January 31st 2012 finally saw them drop their sophomore album "A Gentle Reminder".

If the above reads like I was sighing with relief while I was writing it, that's only accurate, because in honesty I have been sighing - as only a proper emo can do it - with all kinds of relief of nostalgia, because for better and worse, The Jealous Sound have picked up exactly where they left off nine years ago. Save for some updated production values engineered in the personal studio of the Foo Fighters, Shehan and friends have barely changed their approach, and for some reason, this for once has me going HALLELUJA! The style is basically an anthemic emo/pop-rock mixture that calls to mind such bands as Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182 ('s quieter material), Third Eye Blind and The Promise Ring, but what's really special about it is that, outside of Jimmy Eat World, it seems to me that nobody these days pour themselves so passionately into their vocal performances these days, as Shehan has done on both Jealous Sound records.

I mean sure, I can listen to "A Gentle Reminder" - an album that is crawling with surging, soaring hooks begging to squeeze your nostalgic heart all up into your throat and make you feel like crying of joy is an entirely socially acceptable thing - and make the critical note that it is all just a product of shamelessly extorting simple, weeping guitar melodies and quiet/loud chorus-verse dynamics. But the truth is that this record is more than just a reminder of a time where bands took that approach and made it magically sentimental. It's a sound that celebrates melancholy and resignation in an oddly positive romantic light.

Take for example highlights such as "Change You" and "Perfect Timing", both of which deal with themes of letting go and looking forward, and both of which will catch your ear with their subdued verses and send you off into the clouds when the choruses lift off in a manner bands like Angels And Airwaves wish theirs would. And those are just the choice picks of a selection of songs that all have something gratifying to offer, with the only reason I don't get into more of them, being that I think this is the sort of music you deserve the opportunity to discover on your own. The Jealous Sound may not reinvent wheels in the departments of style or songwriting, but the sound and open-hearted sentimentality they represent is just too rare in today's scene for me to think that "A Gentle Reminder" is anything less than a must-have record of 2012.


Download: Change You, Perfect Timing, Waiting For Your Arrival, This Is Where It Starts
For The Fans Of: Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind, The Dangerous Summer, The Promise Ring, Box Car Racer, quieter songs by Brand New and Blink 182

Release Date 31.01.2012
The Militia Group

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