The Stryder

Jungle City Twitch

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Built on a foundation of bouncy emo rock, Jungle City Twitch is a catchy and smart album of pop tracks that call to mind the early work of Sunny Day Real Estate. The foundation of this sound lies in the tension, which leads to many stop-and-start moments where the post-punk rush they can create turns into a quiet display of sparse bass and guitar. This may sound like a description of most emo rock bands, but the Stryder have a secret weapon in vocalist John Johansen. Sounding like Jawbox-era J. Robbins combined with deceased crooner Josh Clayton-Felt, his voice contains a fragility that gives the lyrics the emotional punch they need. Just look at what he's singing: "I keep sharpening pencils girl/Stabbing at the door to your soul/I want just to say what I know/But only words can fit through the hole." It's clever lines like this that emphasize why Jungle City Twitch is such a winner, and the album is filled with this sort of quirky insight. Finding a nice balance between their energetic thrash and keen ear for melody, the Stryder deliver a smart and simple combination of the two on Jungle City Twitch.

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