The Junior Varsity

The Junior Varsity

The Junior Varsity



Try as they might to be Alkaline Trio, fellow Illinois natives The Junior Varsity have fallen short of such simple pop-punk greatness, but this isn’t to say that their third full-length Cinematographic isn’t a well-oiled product of popdom.

Uber producer Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, Cute Is What We Aim For, The Receiving End of Sirens) threw all kinds of candy into the mix to make songs like “The Sky” and “St. Louis” as catchy as anything Motion City Soundtrack could come up with. Radio-friendly, yet not so cliched as to be vomit inducing.

There seems to be a developing depth to this band that many of their peers lack. Title track “Cinematographic” has got a sweet little saxophone part and almost folk-like vocals, and if that song doesn’t stick out for you then there’s “Memory Made Easy.” Smack dab in the middle of the disc, standing out like a virgin after the prom, it’s a pretty little instrumental tune that would not have been out of place on an R.E.M. record. It is this quick, quiet moment that hints at better things to come from this band of twentysomethings.

This is the sort of album that makes emo palpable… well, almost.

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