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Jimmy Eat World

Gentle readers. Do you feel angst? Angst of a late-adolescent or early-adult lost and lovelorn variety? Do you appreciate music which celebrates the angst you know all too well? Extinguishes it, at least temporarily, through a cathartic firestorm of forceful power chords and sincere torn-apart vocals?

Friends. This is precisely what Jimmy Eat World offers. The Mesa, Arizona-based quartet has inherited the proud legacy of the one-and-only Blake Schwarzenbach, he of those two so very similarly minded emo legends which all the kids go wild for, the late, lamented Jawbreaker and the alive and kicking Jets to Brazil. You know what I'm talking about here. Jimmy Eat World's songs begin with guitars that go chug chug chug. Pretty soon, some crisp percussion joins in and the guitars go ape, soaring toward the sky like Blue Angels. Then come the vocals, ragged as a pair of claws scuttling across the ocean floor, torn as they are by the weight of all that angst. Once in awhile you get a pretty, heartfelt power ballad. Before you know it, the triumphant suffering of all that sincere rock has washed your blues away.

No doubt, those of you already indoctrinated into the holy brotherhood of emotional indie rock know all of this already. Those of you who aren't, but wish to be, would be wise to familiarize yourselves with Jimmy Eat World's corpus. This includes, naturally, numerous hard-to-find seven-inches, as well as four full-length albums. J.E.W.'s (as fans like to refer to them) first album from way back in '94 was untitled and is now out-of-print. The label Big Wheel Recreation released the self-titled collection of the singles featured here, it was released while the band was seaching for their eventual record deal with Dreamworks. Their other three, each born from a fruitful relationship with acclaimed producer Mark Trombino (who has also worked with Blink 182 and Less Than Jake, and was a member of the great Drive Like Jehu), are Static Prevails and Clarity (1996 and '99, both on Universal) and their 2001 Dreamworks debut, Bleed American.