Jeniferever
Silesia


3.0
good

Review

by Martine Balcaen USER (8 Reviews)
March 24th, 2011 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jeniferever dazzles us and fiddles around with pretty tones and catchy hooks on this feel-good release, but only once they’ve checked “being a tedious post-rock band” off their to-do list.

If one forejudges Jeniferever’s 3rd LP Silesia based on the alleged inspiration for its title, the railway station where frontman Kristofer Jönson first heard of his father’s death a few months before the writing for the album came to light, one might believe that this release would be their most forlorn-sounding yet. After all, the Swedish post-rock quartet has garnered a cult-like fanbase for their signature style of meshing atmospheric rock with a tinge of the kind of despair usually found in emo-identified bands. While their two previous records, Spring Tides and Choose a Bright Morning have brought about comparisons to acts such as Sunny Day Real Estate, The Appleseed Cast and Kyte, it should be noted that Jeniferever are not contriving their music solely from their influences.

In the past, what has parted the band from the formulaic post-rock way of conducting a song from a tedious build-up that soars to a predictable height is their ability to give distinct, sentimental purpose to every piece of their music. Jeniferever leaves their listeners in a place of grave remembrance, with afflictive lyrics delivered in an austere tone washed with ringing guitars and splashy, steadfast percussion. However, with the prior release of Silesia’s first single, Waifs & Strays, Jeniferever was speculated to have shifted their sound dramatically toward a more uplifting, moving one. Jönson further stated, referring to the album that he “liked the idea of naming it after a railway station since it’s a place of motion, a place where people arrive and depart and sometimes maybe depart never to come back…”. As intriguing as this was, it meant that fans could not expect an album analogous to the last two, and this raised the question of whether or not the change would be positive for the band. While Waifs & Strays was easily likable, it seems that Jeniferever had made an effort to be more accessible, as many post-rock bands have done in recent years, but with that, they finally fallen victim to the dreary conventions of a doomed genre?

Not to drop hope for this release, but as I slowly ease through the first and title track, the unwavering way the band flows through the song towards a dull outro makes me figure a bitter “yes” to this question. That is until Silesia seems redeemed for a while as I’m treated to the formerly mentioned single, Waifs & Strays, and The Beat of our Own Blood. Both feel-good, energetic tracks are perfectly suited to springtime with their catchy chorus hooks and a driven drum line. While the comparison might be unexpected, the hectic drumming on The Beat of our Own Blood is reminiscent of Foals’ earlier material, which makes me think that Jeniferever have finally done themselves good by making music that sounds like it could potentially earn radioplay. While that thought repeatedly fades and returns throughout the rest of the album, it’s a solid statement that Jeniferever is altogether, fine at what they do. If one focuses on the brighter moments of this record, they’ll find stunning, careening guitars, symphonic additions, like the cello and the viola (strikingly in Cathedral Peak) and their reflective, softly carried lyrical style. They know how to peak interest with a certain texture, notably with their distressed, crunchy guitar tone and most of the tracks are well structured and precise with their direction.

Where they fall short with Silesia lies primarily in the monotony of many of the tracks, like the 9-minute closer Hearths, suffering from the token post-rock offense where an intro or a build-up can drag on and wander enough to bore some to tears. Jeniferever would do better to stick with shorter, more succinct songs that don’t sound like expanded versions of 30 seconds worth of material. It is on the shorter songs on the record like Where the Hills Fast Towards the Ocean, Dover and Deception Pass (which unfortunately, sounds like a recycled version of The Beat of Our Own Blood) that Jeniferever deals with best when executing their musical ideas without filler. Additionally, the way the band relies on melody and neglects their lack of harmonic aspects could make it seem like Silesia is just a collection of pretty pictures with no frames.

If this is Jeniferever’s attempt at making music that isn’t depressing and anxious, they should stick with being depressing and anxious. While I wouldn’t call Silesia a disappointment, I expected more growth and less compliance to the garden-variety post-rock band insipidity. It’s easily understood that Silesia is not uninspired, but simply ineffectively executed. It’s not as if listening to Jeniferever is an unenjoyable experience in any respect, but the band has a problem with extinguishing many of their bright ideas just soon as they arise and it’s become very obvious with Silesia. The way humdrum concepts are often dragged along without ever bursting into a powerful crescendos like they’ve successfully done on their previous releases suggests that while they can definitely be a talented band, they’re not quite meant to be a talented post-rock band; bring back the explosions, or stick to shoegazing, boys.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011


31362 Comments


Have some artwork

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

balcaen
March 24th 2011


3183 Comments


tried submitting some, it wouldn't come up. does that to me sometimes.
thanks for fixing it though!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011


31362 Comments


No probs

Review's awesome btw

cvlts
March 24th 2011


8967 Comments


I have a hard time trusting anything you do tbh

balcaen
March 24th 2011


3183 Comments


thanks dev!

it's cool, geno. we're basically sputnik archenemies

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011


31362 Comments


The way humdrum concepts are often dragged along a without ever bursting


Love the last paragraph


I have a hard time trusting anything you do tbh


Sputnik gossip, sign me up

cvlts
March 25th 2011


8967 Comments


One day you'll see the error of your ways, Martine.


But at least you can write well. Might check out... will probably 1, though.

Kiran
Emeritus
March 25th 2011


6001 Comments


this band has made some incredibly beautiful music but the problem is they usually come one or two songs at a time in the midst of the most achingly tedious albums

AggravatedYeti
March 25th 2011


7685 Comments


^ this

balcaen
March 25th 2011


3183 Comments


pretty much. spring tides is one of my favorite albums for those beautiful songs but mainly because the tedious shut just grew on me after an excessive amount of listens. i felt bad giving this less than 4.

MassiveAttack
April 4th 2011


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yea...I hated Spring Tides. I'm still going to review this and see what happens lol.

MassiveAttack
November 16th 2011


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^wrong.



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