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Album Review: The Jupiter Sea - Ghosts EP

Opening with a pensive piano number that would be more conventionally befitting as an end track, ‘Ghosts’ is an EP that toys with your expectations from start to finish. The Massachusetts based band recorded their debut EP with The Getaway Group, who have also worked with artists such as Title Fight, Ceremony, and Transit.

The Jupiter Sea carry the same energy as the aforementioned bands, but put it across in a different way – more like Idlewild or Jimmy Eat World. Still, you can sense the hardcore influences on this band, particularly within the vocal delivery and guitar arrangements. The Jupiter Sea would sound 400% in place on a line-up with The Juliana Theory or Defeater, and that in itself shows their appeal and versatility.

Having mentioned that the EP opens with its slow paced title track, I should also point out that ‘Ghosts’ does manage to hook you in immediately. It introduces you to the sincerity and heart that has clearly gone into the record, even if it doesn’t set the tone for the tracks to come. With the exception of the title track and ‘Western Devil Part 1’, ‘Ghosts’ is primarily a full-band EP, that is, the real “meat” of the release is made up by tracks like ‘Minnesota’ and ‘The Paper Shield’, which show The Jupiter Sea at their best. As Minnesota kicks in, all guns and guitars blazing, vocalist Jay Roy seems more in his element. He has that same emotional strain in his voice as Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, which, in the places where he is singing more softly, cause him to sound like he is straining too much. In a way this imperfection can be excused, though, much in the way that we excuse Blake Schwarzenbach or Jeff Magnum. Not that any of these bands/singers should be contrasted or compared under any circumstance.

What is more important is the context in which the vocals work. Alone, they can sound weak, but when surrounded by the Jawbreaker style guitars of ‘September Nights’ and the frantic drumming on ‘Western Devil Part 2’ they work perfectly well. The only thing that does seem lost in the mix as a whole is the thirty six second acoustic track ‘Dead Kansas’, which, if needed at all, should really have found its way somewhere in another track rather than warranting its own title.

‘Ghosts’ is both energetic and relaxing, indie and hardcore, accessible without being too commercial – overall a brilliant first release from The Jupiter Sea. Hopes are high for their future material.


'Ghosts' EP by The Jupiter Sea is available now as a free download through Bandcamp.

The Jupiter Sea on MySpace and Facebook.

Emma Garland

Alter The Press!