The Junior Varsity

The Great Compromise

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The Junior Varsity's indie debut features a big and dense sound, messy on the surface but tightly crafted beneath. Singer Asa Dawson has one of those endearingly regular-guy Midwestern voices which sometimes sounds a bit like Robert Smith ("Introduction to the Faint Remembrance of a Dead and Dying Dream") and sometimes a bit like Freedy Johnston ("Peter Cottontail and the Demise of the Carrot Tree"). The band itself isn't above indulging a prog rock tendency every once in a while; the opening bars of "I Sang a Song to Be Sung," for example, almost sound like an outtake from Rush's Moving Pictures. That said, and as you may have already noticed, the band also has a less-than-endearing affinity for cutesy song titles, but luckily, you don't have to listen to a song title. Recommended.

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