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Album Review

If you want to make a mistake, at least make it a big one. Things heated up for Ireland's much hyped "new hope," what with 2000's endless excitable press clippings, triumphant festival slots, and a full-length chance to prove to the world if their three-minute slices of searing guitar distress were worth any of the attention in the first place. Indeed, fortune has been strong with this young trio. The fact that JJ72 sound completely unfazed even when they screw it all up is what makes this roaringly ambitious debut so captivating.

It's an idea that has many a Suede and Joy Division name-checks sound apt, as proved by the likes of "Snow" or "Algeria," sweltering, emotive crackles of indie guitar thunder that succeed in being as innocent and powerful as any song influenced by the greats. Truly, the magnificence of JJ72 is that they're on top form even when they don't seem to know what they're doing. Mark Greaney's garrulous growls and falsettos soar over far too many syllables. The band's "soft/loud" Nirvana-isms are occasionally banal. Sometimes it's only the band's wide-eyed eagerness that saves everything. With a lyrical mash-up of abstract imagery ("Short sleeves and warm skin/losing coins calling next of kin") and glorious bursts of confessional euphoria — somewhere in between the Sex Pistols and the poems of John Keats — album peaks like "Oxygen" are extraordinary. They show how choosing the right blunders can make all the difference in the world. Because for all its evident talent, this debut album is admittedly a student film, with all of its naivete, vigor, and self-indulgence. These mistakes are big. These mistakes are personal. Yet these same mistakes transform JJ72 into a band nothing short of inspiring, and just a touch away from being impossibly beautiful.

Customer Reviews

Takes a couple of times, yes but it gates better with each time.

The first time I heard this cd I thought no way I can't get past that voice it's to much for me, but the more I tryed to hear what it sounded like it started growing on me like roots diging in to my skin never to be removed. Inbeded, in my brain this over the top voice and screeching guitar reefs that sounded like it should have cam out in the early '90s. As the review says there is a beautiful sound that can be found in thees songs and very high energy that can put you in to a moment of bliss songs like Snow, Oxygen, Willow, Long way South (maybe my moste fav song on the cd) What I do notice he has a thing for Angels because he sings of them a number of times, any how they are still very young and have time to grow and I think they could come out with even more grand stuff. Cheers,

Brilliant & R.I.P.

This album is amazing, so is everything else put out by JJ72. Oddly iTunes only has the seminal release, listed for $12, and not even remastered. I encourage you all to pursue all other material by JJ72. Sadly, they broke up due to record contract conflicts. R.I.P. JJ72. We miss you.


Formed: 1997 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Irish-based indie guitar trio JJ72 first crawled out of their Dublin nest in 1997, as lead singer Mark Greaney and drummer Fergal Matthews found each other in the city's Belvedere College mostly due to a mutual admiration for Joy Division, Nirvana, and what Matthews called Greaney's "cool jacket." After going through an assortment of bass players, the two of them locked onto a young actress by the name of Hilary Woods to fill out the band. With all the members in place, the newly formed trio...
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JJ72, JJ72
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