Jealousy is ugly, wouldn't you say? This here is certainly not the
sound of jealousy. It's so sparkling clean you can see your
reflection in it. It's no wonder the Jealous Sound have recently been
slated to open for the Foo Fighters the lovely glistening pop
oozing from their new album, Kill Them With Kindness, is so
radio-ready it oughta make all the MTV/FM-wannabes jealous, no joke.
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes that can simply mean a
band has managed to leap some hurdles other bands or artists trip on
not that they're money-hungry sell-outs.
This band's playing is so tight you wonder if the members aren't cogs
in a machine. Production is so crisp it echoes and rings through the
eardrums, and melodies are so perfectly emotive they latch right onto
your brain and open the door to let the endorphins out. Lead
singer/guitarist Blair Shehan croons like an indie-rock pro,
massaging your lobes gently as he seduces you sweetly. Delicate
instrumental arrangements stream together like the lights of night
traffic, flowing swiftly, electrified by the colorings of crunching,
jangly riffs and stadium-ready drumming.
There is a sense of optimism and hopefulness, even spirituality. "It
feels so good to feel/ There's nothing here that's real/ For once in
your life," Shehan coos softly on "Abandon! Abandon!" "...Did you find
something deeper?/ Something profound?/ Is the sun coming up?/ As
we're coming down?"
Opening with whispered speak-singing and a tickling chord on repeat,
"Anxious Arms" captures all the elements of pop perfection: sugary
inflection, suspenseful build-ups, swinging beats and a topic we can
all relate to: love (for better or worse). "They're waiting for wings
to form/ They're waiting for clouds to form/ For safety," he sings
Probably the grittiest of Kill Them With Kindness (which isn't
all that gritty) is "The Gift Horse" for its heavy guitar line and
crashing instrumentation, while album closer "Above the Waves" is of
the most fragile for its lump-in-the-throat vocalizing and
down-on-my-knees desperation. "The more I dream/ The less I want to
sleep," he sings delicately. "...You say you don't want to live/ Is
there nothing I can give/ To help you sleep tonight."
If Kill Them With Kindness resembles the sound of jealousy at
all, it's only for the jealousy it may evoke from other aspiring