Jimmy Eat World – Surviving (RCA Records)
Once upon a time in the noughties, Jimmy Eat World featured on just about every melodramatic teenage TV show or coming of age movie.
Their 2001 album, Bleed American, carried bona-fide rock anthems that defined a generation.
Fast forward 18 years to the band’s 10th studio album and Jimmy Eat World are still going strong. In some respects, stronger.
They may no longer hold mainstream appeal with a teenage demographic now looking for inspiration from the latest mumble rapper.
But Surviving proves a perfect title for a band that grew up long ago.
Serving as the follow up to the superb Integrity Blues, Surviving maintains the more mature, richer sound the quartet have developed.
The body of work Jim Adkins and co. have created over the last 26 years shouldn’t be underestimated.
Here, they call upon their quarter century of material as inspiration, to build an eclectic mix of an album.
The titular opening track starts in typical Jimmy Eat World fashion: bouncy beats with crystal clear guitar work suddenly give way to a crescendo of noise, signalling a deviation from the norm.
Criminal Energy, a fast-paced rollercoaster ride that should warm up even the coldest of live venues, further points to a band confident in the material they are producing.
There are some extraordinarily curious tracks littered throughout Surviving. 555 is an uber catchy effort, complete with synth loops and earworm inducing hand claps.
The video is simply bonkers – in part inspired by Rick Springfield’s Bop ‘Till You Drop.
At only 10 tracks some may feel short changed but the band’s apparent stance of quality over quantity ensures every track is polished and could be a fan favourite.
All The Way (Stay), for example, ends with a Bruce Springsteen style saxophone solo from Fitz And The Tantrums’ James King.
The final track, Congratulations, steals the show. Featuring a guest appearance from AFI’s Davey Havok, the closing effort feels huge.
Epic guitar solos and soaring riffs jostle for position with Adkins’ vocal dance throughout the six-minute run time. As the final minute kicks in, fans will be left with no doubt: this isn’t a band simply Surviving but thriving.
Main image by Oliver Halfin