Jupiter Sunrise – Under a Killer Blue Sky

20 07 2009

So, before I start, let me just say that this week is going to be a good one. There’re three albums dropping this Tuesday, the 21st (tomorrow), that I’m excited about. Keep checking back this week to get a first look at the new albums from The Fiery Furnaces, Our Lady Peace, and Portugal. The Man.

Today’s album is probably one of my favorites of all time. Under a Killer Blue Sky was released in 2004, and Jupiter Sunrise has yet to release anything that matches the sound they achieved on the album. They claim the next album sounds “sweet and heavy”. Sadly, I think that they’re not going to release anything that’ll match the quality of Under a Killer Blue Sky, but they’re definitely a band worth listening to and checking up on.

Jupiter Sunrise - Under a Killer Blue Sky 1

You can hit up their MySpace page and their PureVolume page. Their style has evolved quiet a bit throughout their career, so you’re usually going to hear something different with this group. They’re also really fan-friendly, so if you like them, follow them on Twitter, and you may get a free song from them. So, onwards to the review.

Track 1: Arthur Nix
This isn’t my favorite track by this group, but it’s still fuckin phenomenal. This entire album really is awesome. Great choice for the opening song. I love how the percussion controls it, and how the song’s Intensity v. Time chart would be sinusoidal.

Track 2: Kaye
This song is crazy multidimensional. I can’t believe I never noticed how incredible the drumming is on this track. I would really enjoy seeing this song live, I think. The vocals are phenomenal, too. It’s really catchy, and I think that’s the reason I like this album much more than any of their other stuff. All in all, a great song, with phenomenal drumming, but it kind of drags on a bit. 4

Track 3: Cherry Wine
To me, “Cherry Wine” is the epitome of tension and release in music. You especially hear it in what you could call the chorus of this song (“Why not drown me?”). I also really love the fact that this song only has 5 or 6 lines worth of lyrics. That means every word counts. 5

Track 4: Casey
This was probably my first favorite song off of this album. The little guitar fills throughout the song are what really make this song special instrumentally to me. The guitar work is definitely catchy. Vocally the song’s really strong, too. The “now we know” break in the song is simply amazing. 2:53 is just a little short. 4

Track 5: Josie’s House
I could see how they could sound weird, those verses when he’s just talking, but I personally think that they add to the song. They provide a whole new sound, that sounds more natural. My one qualm with this track is the ending. It just sounds kind of forced to me. 4

Track 6: Master Suzuki
Probably my favorite track off the album. That intro with the drums and that sweet bass line never gets old. I feel like I’m saying it over and over again, but again it’s the percussion throughout the song that does it. It gives is a totally distinct sound. It’s like heavy instrumentation with light vocals, and that goes for most of the album, actually. The echoing at the very end is badass. 5

Track 7: Suddenly
When I first heard this song, I didn’t like it that much, but that was in 2004. Now, it’s one of my favorites off of this album. I could see how people could find the 1:15-long intro too extensive, but I think that it fits the song perfectly. Once again, the drumming is insanely good, with flawless, yet complex fills. 5

Track 8: Badge of Honor
This is another song I didn’t like that much at first, but it’s also grown on me. They talk about Josephine or Josephina. Is that the same person as Josie, from earlier in the album? I’m not sure. This song is loud and intense from the beginning, and it’s superbly performed. The end to a very strong middle of the album.

Track 9: Super X-Ray Vision
I think the chorus of this song is the catchiest thing on this entire album. That’s saying a lot. I guess that’s why they repeat it so much. They really tapped into the potential of the chorus. It saved a whole song for them. I mean, the verses are all right, but I don’t like the fact that they’re so different from the chorus. 4

Track 10: September Girl
To gain a true appreciation for this song, you really have to listen to the lyrics. That’s the kind of band Jupiter Sunrise is. Every song means something. I don’t like the sound of the bridge, but again, the lyrics are pretty phenomenal.

Track 11: Steal Me
This is the only true “slow” song on this album to me. It’s well-positioned on the album, which is definitely a plus. The vocals are really impressive, and it’s also lyrically sound. I like the fact that the sound still sounds fairly heavy. When I think “sweet and heavy”, this is what I imagine it sounding like. 4

Track 12: Heaven and Endless
Again, this song is perfectly placed on this album. This is the perfect ending song out of the 12. I don’t like it all that much, but it’s an example of a raw and powerful, yet melodic sound. The vocals burst with feeling, and the lyrics are intriguing. I would give this song a 3½ if it were placed anywhere else on the album. 4

Jupiter Sunrise - Under a Killer Blue Sky 2

This album is chock full of inspiration. You can tell that the group was going through an important time in their lives, and that’s what I think makes this album as good as it is. The vocalist really gives the words meaning. For about the fifth time, the drumming on this album is phenomenal, and I really would like to see songs from this album preformed live. This album sounded pretty “sweet and heavy” to me, so hopefully the new album follows suit.
Overall: 5/5

Jupiter Sunrise - Under a Killer Blue Sky

Listen/Download:

1) Kaye

2) Arthur Nix

3) Steal Me

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One response

20 11 2009
Chris’s Arbitrary Top 10: 5-1 « everydaymusic

[…] I did. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made, hands down. Alexei has reviewed this album before, so you can take his word for it. It’s epic. Also tied with Let Go for least-known band. […]

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