Jimmy Eat World pushes punk rock boundaries
The pop-punk scene of today is one of the fastest growing
genres in modern music as best evidenced by the new wave of Blink-182
wannabes. Every rock station you go to, there seems be another version
of "All the Small Things," just with different words.
At first glance, Bleed American, Jimmy Eat World's
fifth studio effort, could seem like this, but in reality it's so much
more. Take the sounds of Sum 41, add sincerity and a big dose of intensity
and you've got Jimmy Eat World.
"Emo," or emotional punk rock has never really
broken into the mainstream. Jimmy Eat World was picked up by a major record
label on their first album, but failed to move a significant number of
copies on that or any previous effort. However, Bleed American,
after riding on its hit title track, has gotten airplay on MTV and on
modern rock radio stations. As with most underground fans of a specific
genre, the "emo" kids now refer to Jimmy Eat World as anything
but "emo," after their small burst of popularity. It's clear,
however, that the sound that this foursome created on Bleed American is
essentially the definition of emo-emotional, intense punk rock.
The title track is a loud and powerful adrenaline rush that
combines the hard-hitting sounds of modern rock with the edgy riffs of
punk. "The Middle," Jimmy Eat World's newest single, is a great
pop song with a catchy chorus that will stay in your head even after the
first listening. "Sweetness," the album's highlight, is a good
song about learning how to let go.
Jimmy Eat World, unlike other modern pop-rock bands, isn't
afraid to turn off the amps. "Your House," and "Hear You
Me," are acoustic numbers that resonate with sincerity and show the
diversity that this band has to offer.
The ephemeral world of punk rock brings bands up just as fast as it can knock them down. Having been around since 1994, Jimmy Eat World has a degree of staying power in the industry because of their unique style and attention demanding songs. Maybe they're not ready to breakout into the mainstream quite yet, but having an album with 11 great songs puts them on the right track.
Rating 3.5 polar bears (out of 4)