Jeepster – What If All The Rebels Died?

Jeepster - What If All The Rebels Died?

Jeepster - What If All The Rebels Died?

It would not be an insult to call Jeepster “stoner rock,” and it would not be a complete description either. Based on the band’s name, you’ve probably guessed that there’s a 70s vibe to the music and maybe a little T. Rex in there. You’d be right. This CD doesn’t hide its influences.

Unlike its heavier cousins Kyuss and Fu Manchu, Jeepster knows how to build songs that cuddle more than bludgeon. When you listen closely, you hear the Big Star kind of pop melodies just under the surface. “Ex Oh” might be a radio hit if it weren’t so short (and if radio still mattered), but listeners would not be able to tell whether it was from 2009 or 1979. “You Can’t Stop” and “Fiction Fiction” fit the same bill: tight, melodic, and hazy tracks that cross eras. Are those tube amps? Is that a tambourine? Are these the older, wiser brothers of The 3 O’Clock?

In fact, the mild psychedelic strains, fuzzed-out bass, mellotron-type keyboards, and faraway vocals hint at roots that reach back to The Zombies even. The lyrics do nothing to discourage the comparisons to those past times, what with talk of “spiders in the brain,” “paranoid Polaroids,” and explicit references to Pink Floyd. It’s all done tastefully, though, without any cheap or gimmicky tricks. “Write the End First” might have gone for a cheap, bluesy, roadhouse kind of jam but instead it messes with the beat and throws out some near-anthemic choruses that go against your expectations. “Don’t Go Too Far” has a Beatlesy “Tomorrow Never Knows” formula to it without seeming like a rip-off.

Jeepster has a winning sincerity about its music that you can sense immediately. It’s like The Apes in terms of its appropriation of a musical style from the past with an application of nuance here and there that takes you back to the present (for one thing, the recording quality). It might not be time to get out the lava lamps, but give Jeepster an album or so of growth and you might not be able to fight it.