The Junior Varsity

Wide Eyed

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On their second album, Junior Varsity sound something like the Police might have had they been a post-1980s heartland American rock band. They're more inclined to crunchy guitars than the Police were, but the resemblance is there in the strident declarative phrasing of the high lead singing, the frequent tempo changes, and the perky vocal harmonies. Though indebted to alternative guitar rock, they have a slightly different texture than the usual such band owing to the inclusion of a synth player in the mix. Lyrically the songs don't go anywhere too specific, aside from conveying the sense of fellows trying to sort out the world and themselves with subdued bewilderment. It's an unmemorable record that's not so much alternative rock (though it might get classified as such) as a reflection of the degree to which alternative rock approaches were becoming mainstream at the time of this 2005 release.

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