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The Junior Varisty – Wide Eyed

The Junior Varsity‘s latest release, Wide Eyed, succeeds in being one of the only bands on Victory that I’ve heard that didn’t sound exactly every other band on the label. These guys manage to create an instrumental ambience right at the opening of the first track that leaves the listener stunned and completely sucked in by the obvious intent of musical effort. There’s a “feel-good” element to this record that makes the whole idea of “emo”, a term that’s almost demeaning in today’s scene, seem nearly tolerable again.


There are slight hints of The Promise Ring and random ins-and-outs of watered down Radiohead throughout Wide Eyed, giving them a leg up on the others because they’re able to create and maintain a uniqueness that incorporates outside influences, but in a non-obvious way.

The band spends a lot of time on instrumentation, which I think can be noted as the most prominent element of the whole album. Having keyboards in a band has become my new favorite addition to bands that, without the incorporation of keys, would sound highly mediocre.

There is an emotional freshness in this album that The Junior Varsity has re-defined through lyrical intellect and instrumental overhaul: the very product of true musicianship.


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