Review Summary: Jebediah return triumphant, proudly reclaiming their spot as one of Australia’s best alt. rock bands.
Australia’s alternative rock scene is in a sad state of affairs at the moment. Thirsty Merc can’t seem to stop sliding further into the pit of mediocrity, Little Birdy and The Living End haven’t produced anything relevant for years, Eskimo Joe keep producing safe albums that don’t touch their debut, and don’t even get me started on British India and what they’ve done to the place. In comes Jebediah, saving the day with Kosciuszko
, a brilliant throwback to classic Australian alt. rock. That’s a surface look though, peer a little bit deeper and you see that Kosciuszko
is more than just a slice of late 90’s nostalgia, and that’s because of one fact: Kevin Mitchell and co. have never sounded better. This is Jebediah at their finest, and it sounds bloody fantastic.
Jebediah have done that rare thing, they’ve made improvements on their original sound without sacrificing what got them attention in the first place. Chris Daymond and Kevin Mitchell both produce excellent riffs, some of the best of their career. Mitchell still sings in his trademark incoherent drawl, but he’s clearer than he’s ever been here, and his melodies benefit from that immensely. Brett Mitchell shines as well, most notably on “Under Your Bed”, where his brilliantly energetic beat provides the perfect backbone for the most aggressive song on the album. “Under Your Bed” is arguably the best song here, actually. It not only showcases the tightness of the band, but allows each member to add their own style to the heavier sound that’s present. The result is 2 minutes of excellent, energetic, ridiculously passionate rock music.
What’s even better is that the band avoid almost all of the pitfalls that they so easily could have fallen into. “Battlesong” is only a step away from being horribly cheesy, but that one step makes all the difference. “The Lash” has moments of mediocrity that threaten to derail the entire thing, but Brett’s quirky little additions to the percussion and Chris excellent guitar work pull it from the brink and the song ends up working as well as any of the others on the album. Really, that’s what makes Kosciuszko
such a brilliant album; when every other Australian alt. rock band is either dying, stagnating, or just simply rolling around in their own ***, Jebediah are standing tall. They’ve come out of a lengthy hiatus with fresh ideas and translated them into one hell of an album. No one could have asked for a better album, Kosciuszko
is exactly what it needs to be, and it revels in that brilliantly.