The Jealous Type – I Blame Everyone but You

The Jealous Type
I Blame Everyone but You

I’ve learned something in my two and a half years of reviewing records for Delusions of Adequacy: bands like other bands. I mean, over two years of looking at press kits I’ve seen a ridiculous amount of name-dropping. Since the band in question rarely sounds much like the bands they name-check, I can only assume that the exercise is a plot to plant a tiny seed of hope in the reviewer’s mind. Fugazi you say? Well I suppose they do sound a little like Fugazi. If you squint.
All of this hullabaloo usually leads to little besides an uneducated reference in the review itself, for better or for worse. I usually try to stay away from the press kit references, for it usually leads to a stronger review. I must admit, though, that the press kit for The Jealous Type’s I Blame Everyone but You has captured my heart. They name check a mere four bands – My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Juno, and The Appleseed Cast. But I was hooked. Anyone who name checks bands like that gets on my good side quick.
To be short, The Jealous Type are none of those bands. They are a noise-rock trio from Ann Arbor, Mich. When they’re on their game, they stir up a pretty good racket, and when they’re not, things can get ugly. Their debut album, I Blame Everyone but You, packs 14 songs into an hour – an ambitious feat to say the least for a young band. The first few songs on the album are a bit weak. Though “My God, It’s Full of Stars” and “Megaphone Crooner” are bearable, “Too Much” sounds like a poor Puddle of Mud throw-off. Things pick up with “Tired and Loveless.” Beginning with that track and continuing for the next three, the band enjoys a glorious stretch where they sound enough like their idols to get me excited. The layered guitars and pop banter of “Lucky Girl” is thick and wonderful. The extended jam of “Until the Bitter End” is glorious guitar froth. And the spacey gallop of “Tired and Loveless” (a shameless title, I might add) recalls early MBV.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album is somewhat hit or miss. “1500 Miles Beneath the Earth” is a Sonic Youth punk romp, but it doesn’t quite play to the band’s strong suite. “Jonah Drowns” and “Once I Was a Little Light” are energetic at best, and a bit boring. The last song on the album, “Tomorrow in Your Eyes,” is appropriately short and detached, and it would be a perfect ending if the album was sequenced better (the three longest songs right in a row – what gives?).
The Jealous Type are a capable noise-rock outfit with all the right influences, and some bad decisions. If they edited their songs a bit better and shortened their opus, they might be downright good. But putting everything you’ve ever written on a debut does not an album make.