In between getting dropped from Capitol and picked up by DreamWorks, Jimmy Eat World released a collection of early singles (Singles) and this split EP with Australia's Jebediah on the independent label Big Wheel Recreation. Strangely, Jimmy Eat World's "The Most Beautiful Things" opens the collaboration on an alt-rock radio ballad bent. One might think that the band would have taken advantage of the indie breather to try out something less obviously radio-ready. But the songs here do represent a transition between Clarity's spacy rollicking and Bleed American's catchy alt-pop. The second track, "No Sensitivity," jumps back into the fold with classic emo breaks and turns; sadly, however, the melodic bittersweet post-hardcore angst crunch makes way for some pretty soggy lyricism -- "I'm taking my kisses back from you-hoo/I want my kisses back from you." The gag-me mediocre melodrama will no doubt make countless adolescents swoon while decorating their Trapper Keepers, but mature audiences might be more than willing to give the kisses back to avoid the relentless chorus. The band closes its set with a hushed, more expansive version of "Cautioners," which later appears on Bleed American in a more watered down and cleanly produced state. Which brings up one of the more attractive qualities of this recording -- that it might better represent what the band actually sounds like. There's still that guitar-bass-drum crunch going on, but you can pick out the different elements rather than just one polished pile of wholly accessible sound. Jimmy Eat World superfans and completists will no doubt appreciate this, but the fair-weathers might do better sticking to the major-label fare. Jebediah contributes three decent emo-tinged rock songs, the first of which suffers from Kevin Mitchell's too-prominent nasal vocals, which might have been less apparent had the song not held its position immediately after the remarkably pleasant "Cautioners." The song, "Animal," also appears on the band's Of Someday Shambles. Mitchell's vocal style better complements the EP's final song, "Harpoon," a sweeter, more yearning offering.
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AllMusic Review by Melissa Giannini