Jebby - Paper Boy

Wednesday 1st May 2002
Jebby - Paper Boy
Jebby - Paper Boy

RATING 5 5 5 5 5
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Shelby Foster

In the best tradition of countrified American rock, Jebby writes guitar-driven tunes scattered with references to barbed wire, rattlesnakes, scarecrows, ghost towns and unhappy towns. Musically, most of the material on offer here sticks to the ruts ploughed by Dylan, The Eagles, et al, and currently followed by the likes of Vigilantes Of Love. There are occasional flashes of experimentation, as in the eastern flavoured "Nameless Grey", which marries sitar-style guitar picking with some floating harmonica. Conversely "Jody And The Bulldog" betrays a pop rock influence, ripping a riff straight from All Star United's "Smash Hit". Lyrically this is fairly dynamic, with stories and images revolving around themes of alienation, escapism and human frailty, with an overarching acknowledgement of divine sovereignty. Opener "Scarecrow" is an apt example, with its darkly comic lyric about combusting bales of bovine fodder: "I heard there was a demon/Keeping hot the brimstone coals/He collects a lot of scarecrows/ you could see the scarecrow souls/They are so flammable." "I Remember" is the best song by a lengthy stretch, with its droning guitar intro and lilting tune that dissolves into a beautifully distorted guitar solo. What elevates this particular song above the rest of the album is the consistency and tone of Jebby's voice, which suffers from a limited range and confused identity throughout most of the album. One moment the delivery is ballad style AOR, another gravely rock and, more often than not, a grating whine that unceremoniously murders many of the melodies.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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