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Junction 18 - This Vicious Cycle (Cover Artwork)

Junction 18

Junction 18: This Vicious CycleThis Vicious Cycle (2000)
Fearless Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: im-deadim-dead
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I was in my local indie record store, performing my regular binge buy. I grabbed about 6 CDs that day and went to the counter to purchase them. After paying, I found that I had a few dollars change, so I figured I'd check out the clearance section to see if I could get any good good buys. And I cert.
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I was in my local indie record store, performing my regular binge buy. I grabbed about 6 CDs that day and went to the counter to purchase them. After paying, I found that I had a few dollars change, so I figured I'd check out the clearance section to see if I could get any good good buys. And I certainly did!!

My eyes met with an album: Junction 18 -- This Vicious Cycle. This was my first actual contact with this group; I had heard of them before, and I knew they were on Fearless, the same label as one of my favourite bands of all time (that being At The Drive-In), but I couldn't help but feel more than slightly skeptical about the quality of an album reduced from $25.50 to $18.99 to $8.00 to $4 (Australian currency, mind you; that's like $2.50 US!). Nevertheless, I bought it with anticipation, albeit low expectations. And as the tale ends, I got home, put it on, and after several listens I have to admit, really like it.

As for the music, this is the debut album (and only full-length to date!), of the Boston five-piece. I guess you would call this melodic pop-punk (gasp!!) in that most of the songs use the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-hook-chorus with simple, catchy riffs and hummable tunes likely to stick in your head for days. There is nothing original in this music, however there are factors which set this far apart from most of the mainstream crap today, like, say, Blink-182, Simple Plan or New Found Glory. For starters, with the vocal range of Andy, his voice can start off sounding like Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio (in fact, AK3 would be the first band I would compare J18 to, although J18 don't incorporate goth into their music and they're more melodic than the trio) to a faster, higher-pitched punkier sound.

Another point of this album which is commendable is the lyrics; these guys clearly worry more about the credibility and thoughtfulness of their lyrics; they're not trying to appeal to a mass audience with stupid teen angst lyrics. A piece from "Adrift" goes "Out my window it rains / it cleanses through you, the eyes of a closer kind can only see this through. After all it's just a lifetime...this drink has drained me of my disguise."

The album starts off with "Dakota," a fan favourite, but I personally can't really get into it. Then comes "Sweet Steps," the first single, and it's easy to see why: It instantly appeals to the listener and is probably the most catchy song on the album, but not my favourite. That position is filled by track no. 4: "Granite Night Street Fight," probably the most aggresive on the album, complete with crunchy guitars and "interesting" subject matter. Other high points include "Lucky As Mars," "Turnabout," "June And The Ocean," and the closer "Abeyance." There are no songs on the album that I really dislike, but those stand out above the rest, and some just seem to get repetitive when listening to the album in its entireity. Some just don't stand out as being any more than background music when you're reading or something of that sort.

I can see the promise in this band. I feel they are greatly underrated, and if they can make the right moves and not fall into the pit of the mainstream, I'll follow them. Probably not for the punk rock enthusiasts who refuse to accept anything other than hardcore Oi! (you don't wanna lose your scene points, eh?), but it's good enough for me. In other words, the best $2.50 I've spent in the last 3 years.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (January 3, 2006)

yummy

Anonymous (January 3, 2006)

oh my gosh

Anonymous (January 3, 2006)

wow

Anonymous (January 3, 2006)

I like cheese

takingchase (August 31, 2005)

is it just me or does fearless records suck now? They have bigwig and that's about it. The fully down isn't too bad either but that's all the label has going for them.

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

Good melodic punk most often gets sucked into a limbo.

Since a good deal of bigger 'punk' bands are poppy and very watered down, ANY melodic or pop-punk band gets dragged down with them.

It seems like if I hate good charlotte or newfound glory, or falloutboy, I hate them because I hate melody and must love the exploited.

Not so, young ward.

I for one love a good melodic punk band. Its like comfort food.
I just don't like it to be done badly or to have bad music eclipse the whole genre.

This record by this here Junction 18 is a mighty fine record, and no 80 pound bags of coke going to Hawthorne Heights backstage room will diminish that.

wyzo

ice-cold (August 29, 2005)

Thought I was having illusions when I saw this in "New Reviews"... not that it's to late to give this album the credit, just caught me by suprise is all. I was lucky to hear about Junciton 18 through a forum. The post was to share your favorite punk song and some guy claimed Granite Street Knife Fight (easy name to screw up don't mind the clown who commented on that) was his pick hands down. Now I wouldn't say it's at the top of my list anymore but at one point I would of agreed. It's a song I never get tired of listening to. I don't know why exactly, I wouldn't say the lyrics are anything great but I think it hits a fine line between catchy and clever. It's complex/original enough to own bands like Good Charlotte or Simple Plan but melodic enough to sound structured. My only complaint is they qualiy of the songs is not equal on this disc. Other than Little Joey I'd say Granite Street Knife Fight is a step above the rest and that would be my only complaint with this album.

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

I love songs 1,2,4 and 5 on this cd. Their EP is good too. Can't wait for a new album.

inagreendase (August 29, 2005)

though I dont understand reviewing all these old albums

http://www.punknews.org/article.php?sid=13533

Plaidical (August 29, 2005)

jeez if I could see these guys and stryder together, I'd be in heaven
though I dont understand reviewing all these old albums

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

oddly enough, I saw this at a record store's "buy 1 get 1 free" section. And then the copy i have i got as a bonus after winning something on eBay. Good Album, but i guess other people really don't appreciate it.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

THis band plays vfw halls still .....and not by choice. They blew and no one around here (mass.) likes them, except for the ocassional teen girl.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

"Little Joey" was an amazingly good song, but the rest of the Heroes from the Future EP was pretty weak, and they still haven't put out a new album. Boo.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

This band is amazing, thanks for thr review

psychoos231 (August 28, 2005)

hmmm!

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

This just made me dust off this CD. Not too shabby.

skolarx (August 28, 2005)

its a pretty enjoyable cd. i saw them with dynamite boy in cleveland once, nice guys nad they put on a decent show. much better than the stryder who played between them and dynamite boy. those guys blew

maverick (August 28, 2005)

Someone take away this kid's exclamation point key.

-Scott

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

The real name for that song is "Granite Street Knife Fight" and it's probably the only good song Junction 18 ever wrote.

-phdecontrol

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

Crap.

stevejonestherealbones (August 28, 2005)

well good for you!!

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

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