The Jonbenet - Ugly/Heartless (Cover Artwork)

The Jonbenet

The Jonbenet: Ugly/HeartlessUgly/Heartless (2006)
Pluto Records

Reviewer Rating: 3

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It would've been very easy for the JonBenét to rest on their laurels and continue on the path they were going -- a spastic, screamy band playing competent but terribly unoriginal tunes. After all, what they were doing was good, but accomplished nothing that the Blood Brothers already haven't for ov.
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It would've been very easy for the JonBenét to rest on their laurels and continue on the path they were going -- a spastic, screamy band playing competent but terribly unoriginal tunes. After all, what they were doing was good, but accomplished nothing that the Blood Brothers already haven't for over 4 full-lengths (and soon, over 5). However, it's great to see that the band was clearly aware there was more terrain available to cover, and on their first full-length, Ugly/Heartless, the Houston, TX outfit does just that -- even if it means drawing largely from contemporary metalcore bands.

Lots of noisy metalcore riffs Ă¡ la all of Botch's followers find their way about Ugly/Heartless, making for a much more intense and varied yet equally spastic outing in comparison to the band's past EPs. Somehow, the JonBenĂ©t really does manage to sound more like the Chariot and Fear Before the March of Flames in moments rather than Botch -- which isn't necessarily a good or bad thing. This is probably due to the raw dynamics instilled throughout and a retaining of their jagged, staccato riffs; plus, there's a newfound exploration of the vocal range, with their lows sounding like generic death metal growls half the time and throaty, Planes Mistaken for Stars shouting the other half. Additionally, the band expands on the Southern rock flavor of "Eating Lightning Pt. II," which appears here in re-recorded form from an earlier showing on a split EP. It pops up every now and then, adding a little fun to the moods and proving things aren't always so serious.

It's also welcome to hear some rather unexpected influences. The band borrows quite liberally from Black Sabbath for "Why We're Dead," while "Three Years" sounds quite surprisingly like 108's "When Death Closes Your Eyes" in more ways than a couple. "Zeppelin" actually pays quite a bit of obvious homage to George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone."

Overall, Ugly/Heartless is a bit of a clusterfuck and tends to be white noisy rather than noisy at times, but it's still thankful the band is trying to escape their pigeonhole and usually succeeding. Aside from a few silly clichés strewn about on their first full outing, the JonBenét do apparently want to inject some creativity and ambition into their modern stylings, and when things are even better developed down the line, it'll really start to come into place I'd imagine.



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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 (September 13, 2006)

eating lightning pt II is not a re-recorded song. it's new. hence, 'pt. ii'. review sucks.

killing_snow (September 12, 2006)

i don't think they toured w/fear before until this summer did they?

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

Good "punk" and "metal" bands are hard to classify. Score is for the nimrods wasting their time discussing that stuff.

blackmarketbaby (September 11, 2006)

1. Their live show is fair at best.
2. They do sound like Fear Before. They've been touring extensively together and have certainly been taking notes.
3. I'm glad that they're moving away from The Blood Brothers, a band not really worth harping anyway.

feeeding5000 (September 10, 2006)

Punk is more versatile than metal. It can incorporate many, many more kinds of music and levels of playing ability than metal can. In punk, you can have ska/reggae, power pop, goth, noise-rock, and yes, metal. Metal can add...southern rock. Also, Punk can talk about emotions (simple or complex), politics, boredom, and daily life. Metal can talk about corpses.

Anonymous (September 9, 2006)

this band and album are awesome. this review sucks tho. how the fuck does this sound anything like the chariot or fear before? nobody is doing this stuff the way the jonbenet is doing it.

Scruffy (September 9, 2006)

"metal was here well before punk, and will be here long after"

Aside from a huge rant I could make about how punk has shown itself to be far more adaptive to change and time, a trait which would prove to be most useful when considering longevity, I need to point out how stupid it is to think that either will ever end.
Metal or punk may lose popularity, but, come on, at this point they're both here to stay.

jacobmanson (September 9, 2006)

metal was not that much before punk. what 7,8 years?

and im tired of people throwing the word hardcore around like this. hardcore is a genre of punk, and this is anything but punk.

Anonymous (September 8, 2006)

it's metal, not punk you dumbass! they are two different genres, i cant stand it when people call metal music punk, metal was here well before punk, and will be here long after

Snakes (September 8, 2006)

one of the most metal names i've heard in a while, but the music is just ok at best

Anonymous (September 8, 2006)

even though it's been said a million times i can't help myself. this bands name is beyond bad taste.

plus, one day when they sell out they'll have to change their name, like from Burn the Priest to Lamb of God.

killing_snow (September 8, 2006)

band is incredible live, lyrics are beyond phenomenal, entire effect is fucking spine-shredding. my fave tracks on this are "damned," "it made them sick" and "eating lightning part II," all of which come close to or equal "dramarama" and "behold the white whore" off the previous record. the only reason i'm lowballing them with a 9 is because it's gonna be a year before they come back to the east coast. guess i'll have to stay hungry.

sirens (September 8, 2006)

this band will never mean anything to anyone.

Anonymous (September 8, 2006)

because naming your shitty cookie-cutter artcore band after a 7-year old girl who was raped and murdered is punk.

SalsaShark (September 8, 2006)

Score is for those checkered slip-ons I dislike being part of that album cover.

theTopher (September 8, 2006)

this is better than I expected

Kursk (September 8, 2006)

I really liked "The Plot Thickens" but I have yet to check this out other than the couple of songs they have streaming off their myspace, but both are pretty solid. Score is for the band themselves.

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