The Jealous Sound – Kill Them With Kindness

April 12th, 2010 by WLOY Staff

As individuals that are often very fervent and passionate about music, it’s easy to underestimate the value of pure, unadulterated, enjoyability. It’s by no means a simple quality to convey, and certainly doesn’t take anything away from the music, but, simply put: what is complex often takes precedence over the simple in the world of those passionate about music and vice versa in the mainstream. Sadly, this leads us to sometimes forget about those greats that simply evoke emotion, whether it be through a cliché style or through means we’re so used to hearing.

Kill Them With Kindness is a subtle reminder to remember that simple song structure and a sound that’s been done before can still manage to be incredibly enjoyable. Yes, Blair Shehan lent his voice to The Jealous Sound’s predecessor, Knapsack, and their sound was very similar. Kill Them With Kindness continues where Knapsack left off – modern indie-rock/emo, with tightly wound guitars and catchy, whispered vocals. While their sound may be nothing to get excited over in terms of originality, they certainly make up for with splendid execution. Kill Them With Kindness incorporates a sound that many other bands were aiming for, and does it with style. It’s definitely reminiscent of emo ancestors that resided in the midwest, but a more polished and even happy sound is added for accessibility. Almost pop-punk in some aspects, the upbeat-ness of The Jealous Sound is undeniable.

It’s a shame, really. I’ve had nothing bad to say about The Jealous Sound up until this point. They deserve all of the aforementioned praise, but it’s impossible to deny the obvious faults. Where they went right with “sound,” they lost ground with consistency. “Hope For Us,” “Naive,” “The Fold Out,” and “Anxious Arms” are honestly some of the best songs you can pick out of any Knapsack/Jealous Sound/Texas Is The Reason/Jets To Brazil (okay, I’ll stop) discography. Long story short, the first four songs on Kill Them With Kindness are the pinnacle of early 2000’s emo. Each one is quick, catchy, and holds massive replay value. Whether it’s “The Fold Out” with the progressive repetition finally erupting in climax, or “Hope For Us,” complete with ever-emotional Blair’s superb vocals on full display, these first four songs are to die for. Unfortunately, I suspect it’s these lofty expectations that lead towards the downfall that is (with exceptions, of course) the rest of the album. It saddens me that The Jealous Sound couldn’t have created more of these deadly dark yet catchy almost pop-punk jovial modern emo masterpieces for the rest of Killing Them With Kindness, or at least spread them out. Instead, The Jealous Sound relies increasingly on Blair’s vocals and boring instrumentation that loses its fervor. That being said, Kill Them With Kindness, as inconsistent as it may be, is definitely worth the first four songs. Would The Jealous Sound make Knapsack jealous? Probably not. But Kill Them With Kindness is a valiant, even if inconsistent, effort otherwise.

Recommended Tracks:

The Fold Out

Anxious Arms

Overall Grade: 77% C+

Download on The Jealous Sound - Kill Them With Kindness

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