Jim Fix – The Neverending Road to Forever

Jim Fix
The Neverending Road to Forever

So in order to keep my status as the most innovative record reviewer of all time, I have invented a new way to go about the whole process. That’s right kids, I am going to dissect the Bloomington, Indiana emo band (look at the cover art …was there ever any doubt that this would be emo?) Jim Fix’s EP The Neverending Road to Forever track by track. Wow, ain’t that clever?
“The Rules are Changing” – At the beginning, the song sounds like your stereotypical punk slop. Then you realized that the beat is slightly strange, giving the track a distinct feeling. The chord progression has me bobbing my head within seconds. Enter the vocals, which remind me of Braid and Hey Mercedes to an extreme degree. That said, they work very well; the song certainly rocks. Obviously this won’t be the disaster I initially expected. Rather, it’s quite damn good.
“When I’m Down on the Ground” – Starts off sounding remarkably like Van Halen with emo vocals. Quite the entertaining combination, though perhaps not the most desirable. The break is more Hum than Eddie, something I can certainly appreciate. The later buildup includes some blues-styled soloing that left me slightly confused. I mean, it just seems very out-of-place. On the whole, a decent track, but nothing special.
“Taking the Long Way Home” – Well, this starts pretty much as a by-the-books emo ballad, with the occasional explosion that comes a bit too predictably. The closing sequence rocks though, saving the track from being uninteresting. I just wish it weren’t so obvious where the band is going to go at each change.
“January” – This has to be Braid, I swear. The vocals are spot on, the drums roll and bounce appropriately, and the guitars cut and slice on cue. This would be an amazing song if it didn’t sound so much like the aforementioned band (minus the unnecessary guitar solo that uses all the prerequisite harmonics). Hell, it’s even named after a winter month. At least they can pull off the imitation with flare, even if it’s not even remotely original.
“With Friends like You, Who Needs Friends?” – Again, the vocals are just like Bob Nanna’s, but the song itself distinguishes itself by having a slightly atonal chord progression that sounds great. I really like this song, if only because it is much more original than the rest of the EP. The second half reminds me of Cap N’ Jazz’s guitar work up until the shamelessly cheesy guitar solo cuts in destroying the groove. Why, God, why? Seriously kids, you’re much, much better off without the solos, I swear it. I really like the last 30 seconds because it’s reminiscent of Metallica (in a good way).
“It’s Called the Fast Lane for a Reason” – For the first time, the bass really steps up and takes a leading role. Well done, well done. The hi-hat work is excellent and drives the track along. Yes, there are still a few “Isn’t this Braid?” moments, but the lack of vocals keeps that from occurring too often. Overall, it’s definitely good stuff. You know I dig those noisy parts, so keep them coming!
I feel like perhaps this is a bit harsh. Really, there is nothing “bad” about this EP (other than the solos), but there is nothing “new” either. These guys obviously know how to be a great band. I just wish they would try and develop their own sound rather than borrow so heavily from others. I wish Jim Fix the best of luck.