Jets to Brazil
The party line on Jets to Brazil is that they're much more than a simple amalgam of the members' former bands (Jawbreaker, Texas is the Reason, Handsome and Van Pelt); in this case, those at the party have nailed it. Forging a fresh musical identity from the earnestness of Emo, the eccentricities of Indie Rock and the darker elements of pop, this NYC quartet's (originally a trio) 1998 debut sucker-punched anyone expecting a retread of Jawbreaker's visceral Punk-Pop. Blake Schwarzenbach's choppy, thirty-weight guitars, early 1980s New Wave keyboard textures (think New Order's Movement) and sharp, mature songwriting play catalyst for the band, providing a platform for screaming chug-alongs ("Morning New Disease"), cathartic anthems ("I Typed For Miles"), moody dirges ("Sea Anemone") and even acoustic, slightly bent love songs ("Sweet Avenue"). Finally, Schwarzenbach's shrewd lyrics continue to amaze with their graceful buoyancy, demonstrating a certain imagistic focus the Punk poet laureate began to realize on Jawbreaker's criminally underappreciated swan song Dear You (1995).