Monday, December 5, 2011
Jupe Jupe is composed of My Young on vocals and synthesizer, Bryan Manzo and Patrick Partington on guitar, and drummer Jarrod Arbini – veterans of the Seattle and Austin music scenes (Pleasurecraft, The Cinematics [U.S.], Maximum Coherence During Flying). The quartet’s first release, Invaders, combines crooning vocals, jangling guitars, shimmering synths and pulsating beats to take you on a glamorous ride to the far reaches of the electro-pop universe. Set the controls. Sit Back. Strap In. Launch.
Invaders is an interesting record that starts on a high and seems to end on a low and not necessarily in a bad way. For the first half of the album, Jupe Jupe are at the club having the time of their life with synths, beats, and breakdowns but as the album goes on and the night begins to wind down and so do the songs. Lost somewhere in the 80's revival the band seem like blue-eyed soul in a fight with synth pop for domination of their sound. The resulting scuffle is a blast to listen to and is filled with enough pogoh-rific moments that sound like the Cars at their poppiest and Depeche Mode at their darkest. It's dramatic, slightly grey stuff that washes over you like a rolling fog and soaks you to the bone.
This is a fantastic 80's album that arrived thirty years too late. While Jupe Jupe will undoubtedly enjoy a modicum of success now, had they released Invaders in 1985 they would have been gargantuan. With their angular and distorted guitars, sweetly seductive synths and soulful and expressive vocals Jupe Jupe are a skewed art pop group that's invaded all the 80's classics and stolen the best bits for themselves. Invaders as a result is danceable but it's also awkward and dark; a fine record that takes its sweetness and light with cloudiness in between. For every sweaty anthem like, "Something About Love," there's the moody and mopey, "Texas Endless," and it's that study in in contrasts that make Invaders great.