ARTIST: JIMMY EAT WORLD

TITLE: SURVIVING

LABEL: EXOTIC LOCATION RECORDS

RATING: 8/10

WORDS: ROB KENT

Emo legends Jimmy Eat World are now providing us with their tenth record ‘Surviving’. With the band in their 26th year of playing music, it’s a question of whether they are living up to the album title and their career is still surviving off their classic records released in the late nineties and early-mid two thousands.

The record is seasoned with experimentation. Change can be a positive motion and this bands tenth record shows they have not stuck to the same formula. They’ve kept everything that made them standout in the first place and added pop elements adding for an atmospheric and tranquil contrast throughout.

“seasoned with experimentation”

The opening, and title track is a very boring start to the album, and has an almost cheesy eighties rock sound to the verses, with the bland percussion, vocal melody and unimaginative guitars doing nothing to give a warm welcome to the album. However it is all uphill from there, ‘Criminal Energy’ hits us with a drive that we know all to well from this band. Jim Atkins singing his heartfelt lyrics over a punk rock guitar a drum combination, is refreshing to hear as it is familiar.

Third track ‘Delivery’ is a synth pop rock driven track with a great atmosphere, adding a nice change of pace at this point in the record. ‘Track 555’ is extremely poppy but blended with Atkins emo lyrics and it’s a nice contrast that is fresh and works well from the band. The last six tracks of the album are the best songs on the record, huge choruses, soaring guitars and verses full of nineties emo combined with a modern rock energy.

“reminding us why Jimmy Eat World made an impact all those years ago.”

Closing, and longest, track ‘Congratulations’ is a great way to finish this record. Although its no ‘Goodbye Sky Harbour’, the building textures and tension and progressive rhythm section complement the captivating guitars perfectly, all leading to a theatrical end that sees the record close out with a modern punk explosion. It leaves an impression on the listener, begging them re play the album and reminding us why Jimmy Eat World made an impact all those years ago.

Although this record is good, it does lack some replay value, the band are still on top of their game for a career that has been going for twenty six years now. What they do on this album, they have done better in the past and those past records will always have my attention. It puts the question why would someone listen to this when it what it contains is done better on past work? Essentially this album is nothing new, but it is a Jimmy Eat World album don’t very well and this album will absolutely see them approach the thirty year mark in their career. So with ‘Surviving’ the band are not surviving, they are succeeding and the phrase “its better to burn out than fade away” does in no way apply to Jimmy Eat World.

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