Jimmy Eat World are one of those very rare bands where there isn’t a remotely poor record in their discography, it is literally just about which one you love the most and why?
Suffice to say that Surviving isn’t going to be the one that spoils that trend. In fact, it’s actually not even close to doing that, IN FACT, it’s absolutely-fucking-jaw-droppingly-stunning! Ten albums in to a 26-year existence and they put this out. Come on lads, what is the secret? Have you been hanging around in Sedona near the mystical red rocks, tripping on Peyote with the indigenous tribes of your home state? Actually, it is hard to imagine any member of JEW doing anything as naughty as that, let’s face it.
Perhaps the constant quality is because although a large and successful band, they never do anything other than write songs. They never make any conscious decisions to go in a certain direction, they never try and re-write past glories and most importantly, they don’t have a huge crushing weight of expectation of what fans want them to sound like. At the end of the day, they are just a great rock band. Other than that, they are genre-less and therefore anything has, does and will go.
If Damage was the ‘raw post 30-something break-up’ record, then Integrity Blues was the, ‘had some time and distance to reflect and move on’ record, then Surviving is the ‘celebration that you’re still here, albeit a little older, wiser and weathered’ record.
This record more than any other than I can remember in the last few years is over in what feels like 10 minutes. I am serious and will be surprised if you don’t feel the same. It is a joy to let play over and over several times such is the quality within every single minute of the 36 here.
Less electronics and studio embellishments than they have utilised in a very long time and more just rocking out. With that said, don’t think it’s all the likes of “Pain” and “A Praise Chorus”, there are the moodier, darker strains of “555” and the sweet and mournful “Recommit”, that would not have sounded out of place on the still untouchable Clarity.
The timing of an Autumn release is wither a clever move or a happy accident but it’s hard to think of a better record to soundtrack those strange days of this season when people are usually at their most self-aware and reflective.
Jimmy and the boys have eaten the world, again!