JPNSGRLS

Circulation

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AllMusic Review by

As a genre, the sound of indie rock has always been sort of nebulous, and its ubiquity (and an ever shrinking contingent of truly "independent" labels) has made it nearly impossible to nail down any specific sound. That said, if one were to let their mind drift and think about what would make for a modern indie rock record, they'd most likely describe JPNSGRLS' debut album, Circulation. With its knotty guitar lines, frantic half-sung/half-shouted vocals, and slightly dirty production, the album easily conjures up the sounds of Modest Mouse mixed with the dramatic sensibilities of Spoon. While this makes Circulation an album that's able to surreptitiously slip into most any record collection, it also robs it of its own identity, which is really a shame because the album is, at its core, a pretty fun listen. Tracks like "Mushrooms" and "Laughing Gas" are bouncy, highly danceable tunes that'll show up to a party and get it moving without a whole lot of effort, but then leave without really introducing themselves, leaving the door wide open for someone else to come in and do the same thing over again. Even though fun is certainly an admirable, and often necessary, attribute when it comes to enjoying this kind of upbeat indie rock, it's not enough to give Circulation the kind of staying power it needs. Fortunately for JPNSGRLS, the band has the enthusiasm to keep trying to grab the attention of listeners, so even though the album might not be an instant classic, it makes for a promising start for the Vancouver-based band.

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