The fact that emo, real emo, 90’s emo, is back is so damn pleasing. Sure, it’s under a different guise now so it doesn’t get confused with the gothic pop screamo of the early to mid 00’s, called shoegaze or post-hardcore or whateverthefuck but it’s back. Emo in its true form was always a bit of a strange term anyway that dragged the gamut from Fugazi to The Get Up Kids, Knapsack to Jets to Brazil. So who really gives a fuck what it’s called, but you know it when you hear it.
And that’s why I bloody really like this album. Now quickly, I don’t know the reasoning behind the band name, Iris Jupiter. It’s bloody terrible and in googling it I could only find a Romanian hotel with the same name, so maybe it’s some Kafka quote or something or maybe they all got smashed at that hotel, who knows. Don’t let that name confuse you though, these guys are good.
The Southern Californian three-piece produce a sound that is at the same time fuzzy, poppy, grungy, upbeat and miserable. They cover all the bases that I want in my alt-rock/indie/emo/shoegaze/post-hardcore goodness. I swear to God the guitar in the chorus of the first song, Carly Beth, sounds like something from the Deftones song Be Quiet and Drive and yet the verse is poppy and delicious without being too sickly sweet.
I have to say, at first I wasn’t sure of one production choice. The vocals throughout the album, as far as I could tell, sound tuned out a bit to have that slight “underwater” muffled sound. It’s not bad and you don’t notice it at all after a while but it’s there.
This is no slow drudge, a number of songs are at a reasonable tempo. There’s a few guitar effects here but where would a shoegaze band be without a pedal board that looked like the side of a supercomputer?
You can hear the influences on this album as well. A bit McClusky on with the bass-heavy start of Eat the Sap, the chorus could be straight out of 90’s Seattle. The next song Ween rocking an almost Pixies like intro to smash into a very Pedro the Lion chorus. Thing is, it’s not bad or too over the top. The influences are there but complement rather than overwhelm.
I really like this release, and I think you will too. It’s not overly complex but still intelligent and certainly full of small surprises. I was sure I liked this album after I listened to the song Ween but knew I would buy the album after I heard the surprisingly heavy Solar Denial. Honestly, if you like anything in the indie/emo/shoegaze/post-hardcore group of bands, give this shit a listen.