10 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Although they're reticent to call themselves a supergroup, JJAMZ are just that. The Los Angeles band comprises Jason Boesel (of Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley), James Valentine (of Maroon 5), Alex Greenwald (of Phantom Planet), solo artist Michael Runion, and singer Z. Berg (of The Like). “Get What You Want” opens their 2012 debut album, Suicide Pact, with slick and sophisticated radio pop, hinged on Phantom Planet’s hook-laden pop and laced with The Like’s alluring vocals. The title track struts with Maroon 5–style lilting grooves, as Berg’s playful singing and catchy melodies round out the edges. “Heartbeat” and “Square One” reveal a love for “Heart of Glass”–era Blondie (especially the latter, with Berg’s deliberate Debbie Harry–styled singing). The Berlin-esque male-female call-and-response vocals in “Lax” beg for more duets. The infectious standout “Cleverly Disguised” bounces with a “Lust for Life” bravado, save for the heavily reverberated surf guitars. Conversely, “Poolside” finds Berg singing in a muted and demure timbre more reminiscent of Ivy's Dominique Durand. A gorgeous cover of Tyrone Davis’ “Change My Mind” closes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Although they're reticent to call themselves a supergroup, JJAMZ are just that. The Los Angeles band comprises Jason Boesel (of Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley), James Valentine (of Maroon 5), Alex Greenwald (of Phantom Planet), solo artist Michael Runion, and singer Z. Berg (of The Like). “Get What You Want” opens their 2012 debut album, Suicide Pact, with slick and sophisticated radio pop, hinged on Phantom Planet’s hook-laden pop and laced with The Like’s alluring vocals. The title track struts with Maroon 5–style lilting grooves, as Berg’s playful singing and catchy melodies round out the edges. “Heartbeat” and “Square One” reveal a love for “Heart of Glass”–era Blondie (especially the latter, with Berg’s deliberate Debbie Harry–styled singing). The Berlin-esque male-female call-and-response vocals in “Lax” beg for more duets. The infectious standout “Cleverly Disguised” bounces with a “Lust for Life” bravado, save for the heavily reverberated surf guitars. Conversely, “Poolside” finds Berg singing in a muted and demure timbre more reminiscent of Ivy's Dominique Durand. A gorgeous cover of Tyrone Davis’ “Change My Mind” closes.

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3:36
4:29
3:49
4:19
3:31
3:29
3:10
3:59
3:43
5:26

About JJAMZ

Los Angeles indie supergroup JJAMZ came together in late 2008 during a group hang session at a karaoke bar in Hollywood. The band was formed by a group of friends who were already involved in different established bands: James Valentine of Maroon 5, Jason Boesel of Rilo Kiley and Bright Eyes, Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald, vocalist Z. Berg from the Like, and solo artist Michael Runion. All of the players were feeling especially stressed with the obligations of their main bands, and this new amalgamation offered a chance for them to regroup and approach music-making with a fresh perspective. The band took its name (pronounced "juh-JAMS") from the first initials of each member and played its first show at the Echo Plex in Los Angeles on January 27, 2009. JJAMZ continued to play sporadically in the years that followed, eventually working toward national tours and the release of their debut album, Suicide Pact, in the summer of 2012. ~ Fred Thomas

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles CA
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • FORMED
    2008

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