The Jonbenet - Five Stories Retold (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Jonbenet

Five Stories Retold (2004)


From the hyperactive, strummed chords, to the - seemingly dual - vocal screams and grungely jangled feel, most everything about the JonBenét's arty style of hardcore is fairly skilled and well done...the only problem is, it's pretty much all been done before by the Blood Brothers (most especially March On Electric Children era). The band is obviously really talented at playing a newer style, but the copycat technique can get a bit overbearing in places.

The standout track is perhaps "Stolen Home, Stolen Home," where the tempo is the most fast-paced, the bass lines most frenetic, the vibe most sassy, the screams most throat-tearing, and the chords most spazzy. It contains nice little slowed down segues and the showcased range of vocalist Michael Murland. He does the sinister snarling, vocal chord shred, and manic yell all himself, and it's pretty incredible to know it's all coming from the voice of one person. Though it's probably the worst written song on the EP in terms of lyrics ("I can't wait to try this knife out, I seriously can't wait / yellow paint won't cover bloodstains / ...this blade, your neck"), the rest of its composed nature makes up for it fine. But again, it still sounds an awful lot like the Blood Bros.

"Eleventh Century Folklore" opens with a low-end feeling over crescending/decrescending chords in a very, appropriately, introductory nature. "Trophy Wives" contains another prime example of the aforementioned segues the band takes with just about every track, delving into an air of treachery with the slowed down guitar theatrics. It's a little repetitive but an interesting trademark to have nonetheless.

The influence is obvious here, but the band pulls it off well enough where I really don't mind much. They could've picked much worse, and they've definitely got the potential to grow out of the phase and pull off something a bit more original.

Eleventh Century Folklore
Trophy Wives
Stolen Home, Stolen Home