Jr. Juggernaut - Witch's Hand (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Jr. Juggernaut

Witch's Hand (2016)

Nickel Eye Records

After the grunge and alternative revolution of the early 90’s, radio stations and record labels were rather befuddled as to why this music was taking off, so they searched far and wide for bands that had a touch of this alternative sound that everyone was going ape over, but which sounded a little bit more like what they were used to. This led to a new wave of bands in the mid-90’s that had a little bit of that grunge crunchiness, but who combined it with 70’s power pop melodies. These bands included Everclear, early Goo Goo Dolls, the Gin Blossoms, and Soul Asylum. (And yes, I know that Soul Asylum predates the grunge era, but have you heard early Soul Asylum? It sounds like a car crash with saxophones.) For those who are nostalgic for that very specific time in the 1990’s (and I certainly am), Witch’s Hand by Jr. Juggernaut is the perfect album for you.

And I do mean perfect. This album captures that post-grunge power pop sound so perfectly that it could easily be mistaken for a genuine Gin Blossoms album. Songs like “Fraulein,” “Melody,” and “Heart Ain’t Nothing” croon with such perfect 90’s melody that it tugs at the heartstrings hard. If I had one criticism of the album, it’s that all the songs follow largely the same formula, leaving us with an album of songs that all sound the same, but at least it’s a great song being repeated 10 times in a row. I don’t know how much market there is for this specific type of mid-90’s throwback, but amongst people like me who love and adore the 90’s, Witch’s Hand is an album we’ll be listening to over and over again.