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Jena Berlin - Quo Vadimus (Cover Artwork)

Jena Berlin

Jena Berlin: Quo VadimusQuo Vadimus (2007)
Jump Start Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

While Quo Vadimus admittedly feels less dynamic and diverse than Jena Berlin's debut, Passion Waits as the Program Keeps Going, the album should begin to shed the band's previously obvious comparisons and contains enough vigor and standout moments to mark it as a slight improvement. Shades of Hot.
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While Quo Vadimus admittedly feels less dynamic and diverse than Jena Berlin's debut, Passion Waits as the Program Keeps Going, the album should begin to shed the band's previously obvious comparisons and contains enough vigor and standout moments to mark it as a slight improvement.

Shades of Hot Water Music and Fugazi still linger here, with Jon Loudon's firm shout as gravelly as ever and the band's rhythms just angular enough to prevent the band from otherwise simple mid-`90s emo placement. However, Jena Berlin bring their own tricks to the table with memorable sections of catchy melody sandwiched between subtle tempo changes and chugging guitars. Take the first two songs for example: When Loudon shouts in opener "Chelsea," quoting himself, "'We're done / with this!'" it feels like a momentous occasion, a personal revelation; with a pinch of harmonizing, Loudon's emotional declaration in "Communique" ("I will wear / these conversations every single place I go") hits hard and strongly resonates.

While it does hurt the band's aforementioned dynamism, Quo Vadimus is definitely less intense than Passion. Rarely, if ever, does Loudon erupt in an angry fit like he did on Passion ("Nothing Personal, Just Business"), but his newfound 'restraint,' if we can call it that, establishes a calmer, more consistently balanced mood. A rare burst of throatier action occurs in the energetic, shifting "Motion Sickness," but elsewhere it's difficult to find Loudon at all seething -- not that it's a bad thing. If Passion was Jena Berlin with a severe personality disorder, Vadimus is the medicated and newly focused Jena Berlin.

Sure, it seems like mere baby steps have been taken, but Quo Vadimus has been sitting so long on the shelf that it's likely Jena Berlin's transitional phase is already passing and the next evolutionary step is moments away.

STREAM
Quo Vadimus

 

 
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Refused - The Shape of Punk to ComeHave Heart - Songs to Scream at the SunStrike Anywhere - Exit EnglishRuiner - What Could Possibly Go Right...Banner Pilot - Pass the PoisonThis Is Hell - SundowningJena Berlin - Passion Waits as the Program Keeps GoingVaux - Beyond Virtue, Beyond ViceCircle Takes The Square - As The Roots UndoThe Backup Plan - Dearest Whomever...

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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.
Archangel (August 17, 2007)

Got this in the mail today and first of all, it's great. Buy it. Order from this label, they sent me other great stuff, too.

Anonymous (August 16, 2007)

after listening to the stream I think the bands potential is great but not too much on the record stands out to me after a few listens. some great spots and I'm digging the vocals but they still have far to go and I hope they get there.

- JD

Anonymous (August 15, 2007)

This review kind of lacks talking about anything other than the front man...not to say that the vocals and lyrics don't drive the record, but to neglect the gigantic steps taken by this band instrumentally is a sin.

aubin (August 14, 2007)

We'll be streaming this record very soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Anonymous (August 14, 2007)

I had never heard of this band until I saw them play in Cleveland on saturday. Holy shit they were good.

Anonymous (August 14, 2007)

Most underrated band in Philly. Love these dudes. Buy this record now.

Archangel (August 14, 2007)

If you buy this through the label's site right now, you get a t-shirt, a poster, and buttons... all for $12, shipping included.

capitalist_pig (August 14, 2007)

Haven't heard this album yet, but I saw them open for the Draft a couple months ago. Great band and awesome guys.

Anonymous (August 14, 2007)

this band makes me want to frog jump through the sky, yesssssss

Anonymous (August 14, 2007)

this album is great, good to know philly has atleast one awesome band out there still making music

nocigar (August 14, 2007)

never checked this band out due to their name, which, i know in some cases isn't too good of a reason..maybe i'll look into them?

rocktopus (August 14, 2007)

Really want to hear this. I have been loving Passion waits, the last couple of weeks.

Anonymous (August 14, 2007)

saw this band saturday in cleveland, they put on an amazing show!

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