The Jennifers

Just Got Back Today

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This was the first and only release by a young, exuberant band that seemed to show off a classically trained Smiths indie guitar education by way of the Buzzcocks. It was made by the likes of a singer/guitarist by the name of Gaz Coombes and a drummer by the name of Danny Goffey. Yes, the Jennifers was the first -- albeit short-lived -- incarnation of Supergrass. Which begs the question: Is this the equivalent of finding embarrassing baby pictures of your best friend? The only thing that's certain is that Just Got Back Today really was an odd pick to use as a debut calling card. The title track combines surly blues guitar slides with shy harmonica wails that never would have broke the band through into the mainstream. Plus, with a lax acoustic song like "Tomorrow's Rain" nearby, one realizes that the band seemed to believe they were born in a parallel dimension where shoegazers remembered to actually write tunes. Admirable intentions aside, this could hardly have helped the band attract attention. Better, however, is how diligent Supergrass fans will get the most kick out of the remaining B-sides. The Rolling Stones hyper-stomps of "Rocks and Boulders" and the cyclical "Danny's Song" (with its eerie nicks of the bridge from the Kinks' "I Need You") both flail out into a world of frazzled sprint rock that wouldn't be so far removed from such incendiary Supergrass favorites as "Caught By the Fuzz." Which makes Just Like Today nothing really to be ashamed about. This lone effort is an entertaining (and educational) peek into the naïve beginnings of one of the '90s most important British indie bands. If this is a baby picture, it's at least adorable.

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