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[Off The Record]
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JJ72 have attracted two of the most suffocating tags a young Irish band can get: being the UKís " next big thing " and being possibly " the new U2. " The giant subway posters of them plastered on Londonís tube stations earlier this year and their opening slot on Bono & the boysí Dublin homecoming gig certainly didnít help. But listening to the songs on their homonymous debut, Iím hard-pressed to explain either hype. Any similarities with U2 are fleeting ó a quirky Irish vocal lilt on occasion, and a propensity for soaring crescendos on the two singles, " Oxygen " and " Snow. " The haunting " Surrender " borrows moments of Radioheadís eerie, outer-space disconnection; the alternation of noisy guitar maelstroms and restrained noodling conjures the wide-eyed earnestness of countless other " bright hope " UK bands who came and promptly went with barely a musical ripple. Indeed, only " Surrender " and the jaunty, forceful, unpolished riffs on " Long Way South " (wherein vocalist Mark Greaney does a nasally imitation of Placebo singer Brian Molko) resonate with any memorable musical hooks or sentiments. Otherwise, JJ72 is a rather plain debut album from a young band with promise ó nothing more, nothing less.


Issue Date: October 18 - 25, 2001

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