Released: 2005, Victory Records
I’ll begin with the obvious caveat: this is clearly not metal. Yet, it’s not really rock either, so thus won’t really fit into our new Let’s Get Rocked! section. What to do? Well, it was sent to us, so I’ll just review it.
Victory records used to be a label that was synonymous with hardcore and punk, often of the straightedge variety. It seems that they’re branching out a little now, as WIDE EYED is basically an emo album. It’s got the obnoxious song titles (ex.: “If You Could Paint Your Own Vacation Where Would You Go?”), the vaguely whiny vocals, the jangly guitars, and the faint washes of keyboards that the still is known for. Feel free to move on to the next review…
If you’re still here and don’t mind the occasional softer music to wind down with, The Junior Varsity might just be up your alley. Asa Dawson’s vocals are more snot-nosed punk than the moany pissy-pants style this genre is known for – a nice change for emo and a point in the band’s favour. As well, the songs have a nice, lush feel to them, especially on opener “I Get Comfortable”. Being emo, there are no major instrumental flourishes or big shows of musicianship, but the band is serviceable.
Basically, you already know if a band like The Junior Varsity will appeal to you, and you’re level of love for emo will dictate the mileage you’ll get out of WIDE EYED. I’ll never listen to this again, but I never enjoyed The Promise Ring either. You decide.