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Nowhere Near You

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Album Review

The Jenny Thing unearth something new — and something old — on their third album, Nowhere Near You. First of all, the band has matured — the group sounds more focused and self-confident than before. The songs crackle with energy, and the lyrics of Matt Easton (vocals, guitars, keyboards) are stronger, gaining emotional depth and clarity. On the other hand, the band's '80s new wave influences — the Cure, the Smiths, and New Order — are more pronounced. However, the Jenny Thing aren't trying to copy anybody. Although "Lonestar" and "Martha" recall the Cure's Disintegration LP with their dense layers of dreamy, atmospheric guitars, Easton doesn't wallow in Robert Smith's suicidal gloom. The bleak, serrated rhythms of "Gone" also aren't bashful in reveling in their Cure roots, and "Song Six" has droning riffs à la New Order. Despite their similarity to other groups, the Jenny Thing carve their own identity; every track is well-crafted and pulsating with life. Easton's voice emits both breathless desperation and resigned calm. On "Bloodstone," Easton is merely accompanied by an acoustic guitar, and the warmth in his voice is deeply moving. The running length of Nowhere Near You may seem thin for an album; however, there isn't a minute wasted.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

The Jenny Thing was a true college band. Not only did the group's music echo the U.K.-dominated sounds of late-'80s campus radio stations, but the band actually formed at a college. Comprised of Matt Easton (vocals, guitar), Shyam Rao (guitar), Ehren Becker (bass), and Michael Phillips (drums), the Jenny Thing originated at U.C. Berkeley, CA, in 1991. Easton had known Phillips since childhood; he was introduced to Becker in junior high, and when he met Rao in college, pieces for a group were filled....
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Nowhere Near You, The Jenny Thing
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