On the Swedish group's 2011 album, Jeniferever readily demonstrate that at the least the quartet knows its way around cryptic atmospherics in a rock context, as any band naming itself after an early Smashing Pumpkins obscurity should. (The album name, after a Berlin train station, and the song of the same name featuring moody rhythms, Cure-like guitars, and a combination of melancholic and sweetly understated vocals, make it all clear from the get-go.) As with any band working in the general field, the difference between overwrought bluster and tense, gripping performances can be fine, but Jeniferever mostly err on the side of caution. If there's the occasional bit-down-and-breathless lead vocal from Kristofer Jönson or arena-scaled fist-pump guitar part, there's a sense of ensemble playing that tries to bring out the best in all involved. So by the time a song reaches a moment like the big keyboard break on "Waifs & Strays" or at any point when Jönson's singing feels effortlessly supported by the band performance instead of crushed by it, the good qualities of the group easily stand out. Crisper arrangements on "The Beat of Our Own Blood" and "Dover" allow for a slick, propulsive edge to surface as well, a nice contrast to the more luxuriant sound otherwise -- certainly it makes a nice contrast to the start-at-full-speed "Deception Pass," the most overwrought moment on the album and the one point when they might as well be Muse, and not in a good way. In all, Jeniferever couldn't be better designed for soundtrack music to a moody sci-fi drama of the 2010s, and one suspects they may yet find that destiny.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett