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Album Review

The Jenny Thing's debut album, Me, reveals the group's primitive beginnings. The band — consisting of Matt Easton (vocals, keyboards), Shyam Rao (guitars), Ehren Becker (bass, mandolin), and Mike Phillips (drums) — is still searching for a distinctive sound on Me. While Easton is already imbuing the songs with the same naked emotion that would fuel the Jenny Thing's later work and his solo material, the tracks on Me aren't quite as memorable. Nevertheless, it's a likable effort. The jangly "Too Long" is pleasant pop. "I'm Still Trying" has depressing lyrics — "Little boy on closet floor/Don't know what to do anymore/I got a book I cannot read/So I cry myself to sleep" — but Easton's voice radiates enough warmth to let the sour notes go down smoothly. Easton even recalls Bob Mould on "Potato Peeler." The Jenny Thing are merely learning how to drive on Me, cautiously pressing the gas pedal and unsure of their destination. Me isn't a bad ride, but it's much more fun hearing the group cut loose on Closer and Closer to Less and Nowhere Near You.


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....
Full Bio