Joie de Vivre - Summer Months (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Joie de Vivre

Summer Months (2009)

Count Your Lucky Stars

The Count Your Lucky Stars label seems to seek out bands that specialize in any of the several varieties of `90s emo, and Joie de Vivre is one such band they've found.

Summer Months harkens back to the mid-1990s, just after Diary dropped and when Sunny Day Real Estate inspired a whole legion of followers. The half-hour-long EP is heavily indebted to Christie Front Drive and Mineral, with an especially modest recording that could certainly fool anyone into thinking it was an unearthed gem from that time. Unlike those bands, however, there's a little more vocal dependency, with none of the instrumental passages as long as either of those bands tended to let linger.

With a heavy use of "I" and lots of personal sentiments staining the lyrics, the subject matter always matches the precocious feel. "I still don't feel inspired enough to change," their singer admits in "Sundays," with his voice eventually giving into the rising tension and cracking.

The Midwestern band weave the tapestry of Summer Months maybe a bit too linearly, as all seven songs do blend together a little too much. There's a certain hum that runs through all the songs and the only real dynamism comes when their singer hits his emotional peaks, which is especially consistent among the EP's middle tracks.

Still, Summer Months is a delicately pleasant and promising debut, with the band's next effort, The North End, sure to be an improvement and hopeful expansion on their sound.

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