Iris Jupiter – ‘Iris Jupiter’

By Glen Bushell

If a band can write a simplistic melody and make it stick, you know they are on to a good thing. Rather than just write one, Californian trio Iris Jupiter have written seven and put them together on their self-titled album. When you peel back the layers, you find there is more to them than just another inappropriately labelled ‘shoegaze’ band.

In fact, boxing Iris Jupiter in with shoegaze is a disservice to the band. Sure, they take certain cues from elements of that scene, in as much as they know how to make one hell of a beautiful racket, but the composition is so well executed they deserve much more than to be lumped into another hype-driven genre.

The tracks are short, sharp, and punchy. Wailing drums provide a solid backbone for album opener, ‘Carly Beth’, careening through a treacle-thick wall of guitars, with an infectious vocal hook. It bleeds into the hazy, space rock worship of ‘Life Pile’ that builds a wall of noise until it reaches breaking point. It’s hard to imagine anyone gazing at their shoes to these songs.

As the album starts to progress, you quickly become familiar with the songs, each telling their own gloomy story of love, loss, anxiety, and all the other fun things in life. Yet due to the saccharine shroud that wraps itself around the warm fuzz of ‘Eat The Sap’, and the mind-bending tonal shifts of ‘Solar Denial’, you wouldn’t know it was such a bleak album, lyrically.

No doubt you will have read this review a hundred times before for just as many albums. And it’s true, what Iris Jupiter do is far from revolutionary. However if it is done well and the playing is accomplished, as is the case of this album, then who are we to complain?

It might not change the world, but then who would have thought that Dinosaur Jr. or Weezer would become the poster boys for slacker rock when they started? Probably no one, so there’s nothing stopping Iris Jupiter going the same way, one day.

GLEN BUSHELL

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