The Jonbenet
Ugly/Heartless


4.0
excellent

Review

by marksellsuswallets USER (67 Reviews)
September 14th, 2008 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Once again, a post hardcore band attempts to combine their music with good ol' fashion southern rock...but something is different this time around...

The Jonbenet didn't exactly explode onto the scene with their debut album, The Plot Thickens, but the few who heard it were treated to a delightfully refreshing slice of post hardcore with progressive undertones. Instead of trying to duplicate the sound of their first album, The Jonbenet decided to venture into the realm of southern rock, an idea that has been tried and tried by countless other bands at this point, with very mixed results. Believe it or not, The Jonbenet has succeeded in doing what most others have failed at so many times before.

Most people see southern rock as nothing more than drinking music being played by a bunch of guys in trucker hats and white tank tops, and for the most part this is true. However, there is another side to the coin, and that opposite side is the blues, arguably the genre that southern rock draws from the most. Whereas most southern rock is, for the most part, music you can party to, blues is more about the emotions and feelings behind the music, and this is why most bands have failed to successfully pull off the combination. Its not enough to simply know how to play the music. When blues is involved, you obviously have to know which notes to play, but more importantly you have to know why those notes need to played. The Jonbenet is one of the few bands that grasps this concept.

As far as the actual content of the album, the music aggressive, raw, and at times, very dark. The blues influences on this album do not come from the realm of the blues legends like B.B. King and Buddy Guy, but instead from the much darker side of the genre that often involves the selling of ones soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune. Instrumentally, all aspects of the band, including the production, add to the raw and aggressive feel of the music. The guitar provides a rather menacing atmosphere by combining the heavy and dissonant post hardcore riffs with an ample amount of bluesy southern rock flair. The rhythm section is one of the more solid ones to be found in the genre. The drums provide constantly shifting rhythms and technical fills, and the bass (which is pleasantly audible) does a great job of providing both an excellent low end and, at times, taking the forefront with interesting basslines and fills.

While the instruments provide top notch performances on all fronts, the real draw for me is the ever so interesting vocal and lyrical work of Michael Murland. Throughout the album Murland constantly switches from throaty shouting, desperate yelping, screams that appear to be tearing his vocal chords, and even growling vocals at points, and each one of his vocal deliveries are easily distinguishable from other vocalists in the genre. The lyrics also add to the aggressive and slightly threatening tone. The best example of this is the second half of Eating Lightning Part II.

"A companionship broken for greed
A companionship broken for green secret agendas
Rendezvous never spoken of behind the backs of the ones you loved.
You could have been there till the end, The bitter end when you said that it was go time.
Well you should have listened
It's your time to go. "

While this album may not be the most groundbreaking thing to come out of the genre this year, it is definitely one of the most refreshing. The band clearly knows exactly what direction they want to go in and it really shows in their music. The only complaint I have is that the album drags ever so slightly in the middle, but the final few tracks, including the near 9 minute closer Hearts In The Jar, make up for it nicely. The album does miss out on being nearly perfect, but not by a whole lot. So if you're looking for a refreshing post hardcore album with a twist, you shouldn't pass this album up.



Recent reviews by this author
BATS The Sleep of ReasonCoheed and Cambria The Afterman: Ascension
Sohns Ripe/RotBaroness Yellow and Green
Red Fang Murder the MountainsGood Night and Good Morning Good Night & Good Morning
user ratings (89)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
September 14th 2008


4882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry if its a little to long but I felt there was just a little more than the album itself to talk about here.

bustyagunz
September 14th 2008


911 Comments


of course nobody comments on a jonbenet review..... lol
the only thing ive heard on here is eating lightning part II, cuz i love the first, but im gonna give this a spin now, The Plot Thickens was boss.

marksellsuswallets
September 14th 2008


4882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thats why I'm diggin it haha...



Yeah my reviews of semi-unknown bands get no love haha...



Oh well...guess I should review Fall Out Boy next or something haha...



This album is just as boss as TPT but in different ways...This Message Edited On 09.14.08

HighandDriving
September 14th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ya well the post-hardcore lovers on this site tend to gravitate towards the more popular side of the spectrum.



I like The Plot Thickens a bit more then this but this is a gem no less.



These guys really need to release an softmoar LP soon.



Also good job Marksells, you keep pumping out quality reviews.

marksellsuswallets
September 14th 2008


4882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks d00d...yeah they have released two 7" since this...Devil Music Vol. 1 and Vol. 2...and I'm pretty sure they have recorded demos for their upcoming LP...I hope its soon haha

HighandDriving
September 14th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Vol 2 is out?



I tried to dl Vol 1 but couldn't find it but that was ages ago.



Imma give'r another look see.

SnackaryBinx
September 14th 2008


2309 Comments


I'll check this out.

and yea, my reviews of bands no one knows get no love either. I feel your pain.

marksellsuswallets
September 14th 2008


4882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Vol 2 has been recorded but isn't out...at least that's what their blog said...one of the songs is on their MySpace (myspace.com/thejonbenet if you didn't know) and its different...its really slowed down and heavy as balls haha

HighandDriving
September 14th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't know how I feel about the new myspace tracks, I like the frantic side of Jonbenet more so I think.

marksellsuswallets
September 15th 2008


4882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I know what you mean...the MySpace tracks are starting to grow on me but I don't like them quite as much as their other material...I dunno maybe they're just trying something out that they aren't going to stick with since they are only releasing those songs on the limited 7" pressing...

Tits McGee
September 15th 2008


1876 Comments


It's nice to see them getting some love, even though I think that they've gon real far down hill since The Plot Thickens. They were one of my first shows.

Don't like the album at all though.

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
September 15th 2008


22487 Comments


Brent, you are improving as a writer with each outing. You really explained this album well & I don't think it is an easy sound to explain by the look of it. Well done & worth a positive vote.

marksellsuswallets
September 15th 2008


4882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the positive feedback yo :thumb:

chasingsuns
September 15th 2008


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

these guys do it a little different.

i've seen them play live and they were great!

the plot thickens is slighly better but this is good too,

its more mature and thicker but i just don't seem to enjoy it as much as the plot thickens.

HighandDriving
September 15th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Plot Thickens is just a post-hardcore master piece.





marksellsuswallets
September 15th 2008


4882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed.

lifeisfacade
October 20th 2008


44 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love this record, really gets the blood pumping!!! Not recommended if you want to drive at the speed limit!

lifeisfacade
October 20th 2008


44 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Have to say that it doesnt really compare to the Plot Thickens and lacks the pure adrenalin rush of listening to "Eating Lightening Prt 1" full blast!

XingKing
March 11th 2014


14954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

SO MANY BROKEN HEARTS



AND I'M



HOLDING THE HAMMER



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy