Volume 95, Issue 66

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

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New age art show casts Shadow of doubt

Enjoy, cause the Mothman might be watching

Outside the Box

S Club rejects offer rap-rock relief

S Club rejects offer rap-rock relief


Lakota Recordings Ltd.

Three stars (out of five)

At first glance, JJ72 might give listeners the wrong impression.

Lead singer Mark Greaney, bassist Hilary Woods and drummer Fergal Matthews are so pretty, one might think they were runners-up at the S Club 7 audition.

But be warned, they aren't just another band that ends with a number – these Dubliners don't play three-chord pop-punk, nor do they get overly sentimental like that other band from Ireland.

JJ72 make great big sounding guitar rock. It's not particularly earth-shattering, but at least it's a relief from North America's love for tattooed rap-rockers trapped in pain and lead singers that look like Jesus.

A fine example of JJ72 is the well-orchestrated "Undercover Angel." Why? Here's the recipe:

(1) Begin with delicate guitar, (2) Follow up with sun-drenched strings, (3) Enter Greaney's falsetto slithering through a pop melody and finally, (4) Build up loud.

It all works quite well in a grand, Manic Street Preachers kind of way. The band also finds room to indulge in elegant tracks like "Willow," in which Greaney wraps himself in Smashing Pumpkins romance, while sounding like a super-saccharine Billy Corgan.

On other tracks, Greaney's vocals are reminiscent of Brett Anderson – a-love-it-or-hate-it voice that goes well with Suede's pop tunes, but one that can feel like an invasion on your ears when wailings are drawn-out.

Currently wrapping up their North American tour, JJ72 may convert a few new fans, but they won't have time to clean up our puddles of mud.

Besides, we only have room for Starsailor right now.

–Brian Wong

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