R.I.P. (Big Wheel Recreation)
by Tim Den
I love Jejune and it breaks my heart to know that they’re gone forever. And while I will hold on to R.I.P. dearly for one last glimpse of their excellence, I can’t help but feel that this compilation of sorts doesn’t do the band justice. Out of the twelve tracks here, six are new (five of ’em never released), three were previously only available on split 7″s, and the rest are either “remixed” or demo versions of songs from This Afternoons Malady (their second album). So in essence, all you’re really getting are five songs that were recorded just before the band’s break-up, as they demoed for what would’ve been their third album. Sure, these five songs are worth the disc alone, especially in the way they display what the band would’ve achieved had they stayed together (the bouncy powerpop of “The New State,” the radio-friendly but often dragging “Lunatic,” and the emoish/over-long “2000 Miles”), but they come and go before you know it, and all you’re left with are the half-hearted tracks.
Opener and newie “Record City After World” is one of the band’s best, but could already be found on the split 7″ with Dignity for All. Demo versions of “Morale is Low” and “Solar” are practically identical to the versions on This Afternoons Malady (save for the humorous “Crazy Train” riffing at the end of “Solar”), and the remixes of “Morale is Low (again)” and “Coping with Senility (Lowlife Owns a Pen)” into “Grace (Wizard Glick is Swimming)” and “Lowlife Version,” respectively, are simply a waste of the disc’s space. As much as the “weird science bleeps” and “alterna bass sound” of the remixes offer, I still can’t help but ask “Where is the song from Emo Diaries Chapter One? Where is The Scorpions cover? Where is the song from the split with Garden Variety? Where is the cover of The Smiths’ ‘The Boy with the Thorn in His Side’?” I know those songs are still available, but providing the listener with a comprehensive singles collection (something the Jimmy Eat World compilation lacks as well) with the new demo songs would’ve made a much better closing chapter for this great band.
(325 Huntington Ave. #24 Boston, MA 02115)