Presents the Modal Lines (Burnt
Big Takeover Issue 48, Vol 22, No. 1
All I remember
from Kansas was long straight roads and nothing to see but the occasional
truck stop diner for 400 miles, but this group must be hiding in the same
sort of underground bunker, and taking the same sort of pharmaceuticals,
that Flaming Lips did in their neighboring Oklahoma. This is similar
twisted psych-pop that squeezes improbable songs out of lazy singing, Olivia
Tremor Control kitchen sink-instrumentation, MBV or ‘60s Pink Floyd drone
chords, playful sounds, and an overall strain of experimentation.
Take the ‘60s pop form and subvert and divert it until it sounds wrong,
somehow, and you often get the most fun results. Whether it's a flute,
a harpsichord, or synths making those sounds we hear behind that grinding
guitar, we can't be sure, but it sure is off-kilter messy frolic.
The piano-pushing Beach Boys' Pet Sounds/Smile tribute of "The Piles of
Paper Left By You" just adds to the sport.
Presents the Modal Lines
Burnt Toast Vinyl
Tulsa, OK (30 April 2002)
to Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines for first time.
4 straight days of punching myself in a moronic attempt to rid the songs
from my brain, listened to album 5 times in a row during road trip. The
Modal Lines brings new meaning and pleasure to the word "infectious."
respectfully and successfully pulls off a Beatle-esque indie pop sound
without Lennon and Harrison turning over in their graves. From the synthesizer
driven pop bliss and up tempo harmonics of "Hudson Bay Drive" to the dreary
psychedelics of "Bonaventure (A Prototype)," The Modal Lines is a 21st
century relative of Pet Sounds or Sgt. Peppers. The almost effortless vocal
delivery reminds of Built to Spill's Doug Martsch, only over-processed
know their limits and stay within them, causing the album to lack any killer
instinct or head turning surprises. Still, this is top quality garage pop,
enjoyable from start to close.
Presents The Modal Lines
Magazine Toronto, Ontario (1 March 2001)
is not the sort of name that produces a whole lot of recognition from people,
even those who try to search out the weird and wonderful. Yet they have
already got to their third album whilst remaining in relative obscurity.
Presents The Modal Lines is a rich, varied album that likes to stray off
the beaten path, yet manages to stay listenable. They share a similar sound
to Olivia Tremor Control, but they manage to keep the psychedelic weirdness
under control. The most bizarre thing about the album is the strange song
titles, most of which seem to have little to do with the actual song. The
album is wonderfully under-produced, with some songs sounding incredibly
messy but in the best possible way. Much of that comes from having so many
things going on at one time, musically, with lots of vocal harmonies, percussion
and fuzzy guitars dominating the songs. But that isn't even close to summing
up the cornucopia of noise you'll hear on Presents The Modal Lines, because
variety seems to be the key here. You can't help but think if Jetenderpaul
had some kind of connection, no matter how vague, to the Elephant 6 group,
then this would be getting a whole lot of press and even more praise heaped
upon it. As it is, Presents The Modal Lines will end up being one of those
hidden gems that never gets the exposure it deserves.
New York (13-20 September 2001)
+ The Dream Lovers + Black Beetle + Reservoir + Jetenderpaul
$10. CMJ Music Marathon.
sounds like a wonderful, clattering mess on its CD The Modal Lines (Burnt
Toast), throwing conventional ideas of what a record ought to sound like
(more echo on that already echoey keyboard!) out the window, but sacrificing
nothing in songcraft, harmonies or woolly, psych-pop sound-treats. The
Jetenders have out-wigged the Elephant 6 gang at its own game. . .
'presents the mod[a]l lines' CD [burnttoastvinyl.com]
Issue 16 (2001)
on this second
album Jetenderpaul continue their unique brand of pop in such a refreshing
way, that this 'presents the mod[a]l lines' really gets points for originality
and freshness - in both sounds and stylistic approach. the band 60s pop,
very much inspired by the Beatles, is herein even more sophisticated than
their debut, and probably more accessible. the soft vocals work well with
the delicate music, making this sweet pop sound quite engaging. if you're
familiar with this band, i'd highly recommend this record - you won't be
disappointed, as these guys get better each time.
Presents The Model Lines (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
Music We Trust Issue 38 (June 2001)
and soaked in sunshine, the warmth of Jetenderpaul's pop songs are enough
to make you smile. Imagine a band bred on The Beatles, The Beach Boys,
XTC, Flaming Lips, and Radiohead, to name a few. Sure, there are plenty
of bands like this out there, but none of them are quite as clever or as
talented as Jetenderpaul, a band capable of crafting sonic bubble gum pop
with substance, while still ensuring the ear candy and addictive-ness you'll
glow about for weeks. This is pop perfection track after track; it doesn't
get much sunnier or more contagious than this. I'll give it an A.
Presents the Modal Lines (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
Magazine Laval, Québec (Translated from French)
Indie pop group
from Kansas who listened to so much old Beatles that their records must
have melted. If not, they were certainly overly influenced by "Pet
Sounds" era Beach Boys. And what's wrong with that? The result
is a pop sound, slightly lo-fi, almost a low budget production of a pop
group from that era. The best moments sound a bit like Flaming Lips,
without their splendor. Jetenderpaul nonetheless do a good job at
manipulating the catchy rhythms without making them simple or childlike.
Finally, here's a group along the lines of Apples in Stereo that isn't
as bad. The mediocre cover will surely make you want to buy something
else but if you'd rather have a low tech record with indifferent tones,
a record that will take you to the roots of this genre, then listen to
this record! It's just a thought but if you like Sloan you'll probably
like Jetenderpaul. (7 out of 10)
if you like: Apples in Stereo, Guided by Voices, Flaming Lips
Presents the Modal Lines
Toast, 029) 2000
All Music Guide
that include Kramer, the Beach Boys and Flaming Lips, Jetenderpaul has
a sound somewhere between lo-fi and hi-fi, poppier than most alt-rock but
more ragged than most power pop. Much of _Presents the Modal Lines_ seems
to be recorded in mono, with the balance leaning slightly to the left,
and the overall production quality feels a bit cramped, as if the sound
were coming out of a transistor radio about five feet from your head. But
the songs are genuinely charming; "An Old Pamphlet Quote" asks the musical
question "Did you ever think that there's anything wrong with love?," while
"All I wanted to remember" commits the cardinal sin of starting with the
word "And," then redeems itself with cheesily Beatlesque synthetic horns.
"Bonaventure (A Prototype)" floats along on sci-fi keyboards, tambourine
and jangly guitar. The vocals are never expert but always pleasant, which
is basically a good way of summing up the appeal of this whole album. ***
Presents the Modal Lines (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
Wave Magazine March 4 2001
a fitting, albeit ironic, occurrence that in the year 2000, a year which
saw the mainstream success of such straight out of left field ventures
as Radiohead’s mind boggling
Kid A, that the Kansas based Jetenderpaul,
whose music is known to be anything but conventional, should release
Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines
(Burnt Toast Vinyl), an indie
pop record that is, or all practical purposes, at least for them, tilting
revelatory, often colonial styled liner notes perculiarized their past
offerings, The Modal Lines’ postmodern, plain, light pink cover
ought to signal that for the eccentric Jetenderpaul, his is no routine
release. Also gone are such ambitious and amusing song titles like “The
Fragments of Epicuris,” “On the Frivolous Use of Seventeenth Century Bookends,”
and “The Phenomenological Rhetoric of Summer Lingers On,” finding themselves
replaced with shorter, two to three word titles. And, perhaps, most surprisingly,
instead of opting for short, under-a-minute songs (don’t forget, 1997’s
Signals: The Histrionics of Suggestion had weighty twenty-six songs),
this, their third full-length, contains thirteen songs and finds the average
song weighing in at just under a perfect three minutes. For these reasons
and more, is it any surprise that the band was debating whether to put
their name on the album, and instead consider it something of a side project,
but in the end opted to preface the title with Jetenderpaul Presents?
may have been tweaking the specifics, they still see fit to retain their
retro sound, taking on The Beach Boys’ good naturedness and knack for melody
(a la Pet Sounds) and the best of 60s pop, adding Ween-ish like
vocals, and the spaceiness and sonic of The Flaming Lips (particularly
From a Satellite Heart), melding an eye for imagery, a philosophical
voice, and an irony that’s all their own,
and fusing it all to an
Elephant 6 aesthetic.
Modal Lines the production tends to be clearer than in the past, Teel
and Stephens’ voices weave in and out of an otherworldly concoction of
selective guitars, sitar, bells, tympani, strings, and drums, sometimes
ending up caught and bogged down in an undertow, only to eventually remerge
in a revelatory bout of chorus or tangent, that is, in many aspects, almost
Joycian. For instance, near the end of the song “Hudson Bay Drive,” Jetenderpaul
diverges from the melody, winds down, and drifts into a secondary chorus
of “However veiled by silence, however cluttered by things, this stillness
is illusion, this distance is vanishing. Like stairs inverted by lovers,
like snowy boots by the door, this world awaits our motion, holds us together
evermore…” in some ways reminiscent of, say Joyce’s Araby, were
only the boy to be surprised by joy instead of shaming emptiness. And,
really, that’s the thing about Jetenderpaul. While a tinge of happiness
or optimism is almost always present in their music, it never comes off
as baseless or senseless, but genuine, be it in throwback to Pet Sounds
songs like “All I Wanted to Remember,” and “Before You Became Princess
Belltower,” in the wry ebullience of “Our Future’s Passed,” the subtle,
yet infectious surreptitiousness of “Bonaventure (A Prototype),” or the
simmering reviviscence in “Twenty-One.”
definitely arguable that 99’s The Woolen Spires (Velvet Blue Music)
is Jetenderpaul’s best work to date (they actually managed to do a Magnetic
Fields song better than the Magnetic Fields), The Modal Lines, in
all its brilliance, could very well be a landmark for the band that sends
it off in a new direction. And we’ll see. Word has it that Jetenderpaul
hopes to put out a 7” with Loch Ness Mouse of Norway sometime this spring.
- Sarah Jones
Presents the Modal Lines
For some reason,
I've always thought of Jetenderpaul as indiedom's resident clown princes.
On one level, their music is cheeky and precocious, full of a pop whimsy
that seems part Sid and Marty Krofft, part Wendy Carlos, and part Sgt.
Pepper. It's almost as if these guys have nothing better to do than record
pop music that's as skewed as possible, and yet still remain catchy and
listenable. As such, it's hard not to write this off as just yet another
album of psych-pop, complete with analog noodling, electronic flourishes,
and baroque undercurrents... oh yeah, and painfully gangly odes to love
and girls. But repated listens reveal a little more.
these guys know how to write solid pop hooks that are so sugary and sweet
your teeth will rot. I challenge you to listen to this album and not start
nodding your head, tapping your foot, or humming along with that little
synth melody that you find noodling along throughout the song, or that
peculiar vocal hook that pushes its head above the lo-fi-ness of it all.
On top of that, Jetenderpaul isn't afraid to experiment. No, they're not
the first band to incorporate strange instruments and orchestral flourishes
into their sound, and they won't be the last... but they know how and when
to do it effectively, and you might even find yourself smiling at just
how inventive it can sound.
Became Princess Belltower" starts off with winsome electronic flutterings,
but I know you won't be expecting those breakbeats to jump in and give
the song a kick in the butt. "The Piles Of Paper Left By You" may be reminiscent
of John Lennon; however, that's immediately followed by the spacey electronics
and disco beats of "Bonaventure (A Prototype)" and the hazy psychedelia
of "George Gabelson". Unfortunately, that same playfulness within songs
gives the album a fragmented feel about it. It bears well under close inspection,
but sometimes all of those strange little quirks get a little much during
casual listening. This is an album that works best with a set of headphones
and a healthy sense of whimsy.
On the whole,
the album often sounds like a "Switched On Bach" record being deconstructed
and rebuilt as a radio-friendly pop album... or if "The Soft Bulletin"
hadn't been so darn symphonic. And be sure to throw in a few cheeky lyrics
about love and girls. You know... boy falls in love with girl, boy spends
all day pining and writing cheesy poetry, boy turns cheesy poetry into
bedroom pop songs recorded on a 4-track ("When you're in love, never mind
what you may be missing/When you're in love, all the time hugging and kissing").
And while you're at it, throw in some subtle and offbeat references to
Christian theology ("Twenty-One") to make it even wierder and deeper.
I might have labelled them as "clown princes", there is an earnestness
to "The Modal Lines" that you won't find in many such bands. The vocals
may not be polished, but there's an awkwardness about the way they sing
lines like "But if you break my heart in two, I don't know what I will
do/And if you break my heart that way, I'll be the first to step away/"
("All I Wanted To Remember") that makes you want to go "Awwww" instead
of "Ewwww". And if the lyrics aren't exactly your cup of tea, I'm sure
you'll find plenty of fascinating things wading through Jetenderpaul's
• The Flaming
Vinyl/VainGlorious Home Recordings
Things Magazine Feb 1, 2001
I first heard
Jetenderpaul by picking up their first CD, Trying Signals, in a
used bin. Everybody seemed to be talking about this pop band from Olathe,
Kansas. On first listen, (what I thought was) I heard four Brian Wilson
wanna-be's stuck in some guy's bedroom with a recording budget of twenty
bucks. If hooks are the thing that stick out in your mind after you've
heard a song, Jetenderpaul's hooks were dorky bleeps on analogue synthesizers
and surf guitar riffs stuck in a blender. And what made Trying Signals
seem even more like a novelty was the fact that none of the songs lasted
nearly as long as it took me to pour milk into a bowl of Wheaties.
After two full-length
albums, one EP, and more side projects than guests in Lincoln Bedroom,
the quartet from Olathe really haven't changed much. The band still has
a quirky, indie-pop sound similar to Guided by Voices, Papas Fritas, or
The Flaming Lips with small budgets. The band still plays that post-psychedelic,
surf-rock-meets-the-Beatles-in-a-back-alley sound. But their songs have
grown much longer (except for the first song, "The Design") and feel more
like "real" songs rather than a handful of goofy novelties.
There are just
so many great spots on this record. After one listen, I couldn't keep lines
from "A Readjustment" from running through my mind. Say these things
are true/ Say that we've been comin' through/ It's all I ever do. In
songs like "Our Future's Passed," the band shows that they can write bouncy
pop tunes with occasional profound thoughts. They sing, We both know
that the future may be shattered by the time we spend reliving the past.
To make an
already brilliant album better, Jetenderpaul gives us a music video for
"Our Future's Passed" on the CD. The video is just as fun as the music,
and it's a rare opportunity for fans to actually see the band (since most
indie bands don't get exposure on television). The only drawback to The
Modal Lines is that it's freezing cold here in Kansas City, and I can't
play this in my car with the windows rolled down.
Presents the Modal Lines
by Kurt Morris
I have been
familiar with Jetenderpaul's antics for quite some time now. I used to
hang out at the same message board on the internet with Jared Miller (I
think he plays guitar) and even witnessed a couple of Jetenderpaul live
shows. Do you like Guided By Voices, the Beach Boys, or a wide variety
of pop oldies? Then you'll probably like this. Jetenderpaul is smart and
quirky and in the past it seemed that half their songs were unpronounceable
and hard to follow. Now it seems that they've foregone their pseudo-intelligent
pasts and are more into crafting the perfect pop songs. I'd say it's safe
to say that they've succeeded. The eccentricities are still there, but
the pop is even more prevalent and delicious than ever before. I really
like this a lot and would advise fans of pop music to check it out, too.
Presents the Modal Lines
Toast Vinyl / Vainglorious Home Recordings
this is not the logical follow-up to The Woolen Spires. Anyone expecting
the by-now-patented Jetenderpaul formula of less than one-minute songs,
bizarre song titles, ambitious liner notes, cheap 4-track recordings, and
muddily layered sounds should check their baggage at the door. This record
is clean, premeditated, developed, distinct, and polished (to a certain
degree). And the result is easily one of the better indie-pop records
so far this year.
the differences from more traditional Jetenderpaul records, The Modal Lines
was first conceived as a sort of side project for the band, with the name
The Modal Lines being pre-eminent, and Jetenderpaul in the background,
if present at all. The album was to contain more traditional, two minute
pop songs, recorded in a more clean format and bundled with a multimedia
video portion on the disc (the multimedia portion is still intended, but
problems with the distributor have left the initial copies of The Modal
Lines video-less). Gone are obscure song titles such as "I'll Always Be
the One in Need of a Palinode" and "Our Epic Banality," replaced with the
relative normality of "The Design," "Twenty-One," and "All I Wanted to
Remember." The 17 second bursts of sound on such tracks as "It's All Chicanery"
are replaced on The Modal Lines by fully developed pop songs like "Before
You Become Princess Belltower." The Elephant 6 style, 4-track-in-a-bedroom
recording ethic present in all of Jetenderpaul's previous releases seems
obsolete when faced with the (by comparison) slick production on The Modal
of what this record isn't. The Modal Lines offers the best pop songs of
Jetenderpaul's career. The songs rely heavily on melody, as always, and
Randall Stephens and Jared Miller deliver vocal lines with the sort of
intelligence that demonstrates clearly that the boys have done their pop
music homework. It's a clever mix of the classic — such as the Beach Boys
— with the current — Apples (in stereo). A rewarding listen all the way
around, and easily more than good enough to cut through the sudden glut
of indie/retro-pop bands and records, and distinguish Jetenderpaul as one
of the best pop groups going.
"presents the modal lines" CD (burnt toast vinyl)
This is kind
of like the review I just did for Hopewell. Floaty drifty and drifty space
rock type stuff that just make you want to shoegaze. This is more head
bopping than anything else. catchy catchy catchy, and lots of effects and
organs and such. 13 songs and you even get a video on the CD, so they're
giving you your moneys worth by packing it to it's fullest extent, rad.
Woolen Spires CD
pop used to be a staple of the Inland Empire diet made famous by labels
like Shrimper and bands like the Mountain Goats and Nothing Painted Blue.
Somehow the quirkiness of Soul Junk and The Danielson Family have creeped
into the SoCal power supply and we get a mixture of frenetic indie rock
ideas in a jumbalaya of the quartet modality. Short songs burst upon the
stereo, fleetingly noodle around, and escape long before one can grasp
their meaning, leaving you always wanting more. (VBM/Burnt Toast Vinyl
9121 Atlanta Ave. Ste. 237 Huntington Beach, CA 92246)
Woolen Spires Burnt Toast Vinyl/Velvet Blue Music (CD)
e-zine, July 3, 2000 (Dowers Grove, Illinois)
are influenced by the best in sixties pop (the Beatles' Rubber Soul and
the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds), as well as the Elephant 6 Collective, whose
retro revisionism is probably the best trend in music today. Following
an EP and their more lo-fi debut, Trying Signals: The Histrionics of Suggestion,
the band's second full-length finds the group brimming with a variety of
melodic songs, from the perfectly rocking "It's All Chicanery" (with its
urgent chorus of "Rock and roll is here to stay") to explorations of Of
Montreal craziness in "The Song Admiral Dutchdoor Sang" ("All I want you
to do is go shooby doo doo"), and "The (Long-Titled) Phenomological" song,
which predicts that it's gonna be "a slurpy, burpy, wurpy day".
surprisingly, seem to be one of the most influential groups these days,
but on The Woolen Spires Jetenderpaul more often capture the spirit of
the vocal-enhanced songs on the Olivia Tremor Control's debut -- such as
"Our Epic Banality", a ballad which closes in a similar vein to the OTC's
"NYC-25". The music is far less dense, and doesn't have as much going for
it as an Olivias track, but it's a bare, lo-fi style that many people prefer.
Whatever your desires in music, though, they will most probably be satisfied
by Jetenderpaul. The Kansas-based band loves -- and seldom tires of --
short, tight melodies.
When they do
change their pace, Jetenderpaul have the muscle to make those songs work
too, as in "Road to Damascus". This is one of their more overtly Christian
songs, in which strong lyrics are set against more free-flowing, less structured
rhythms. I didn't really want to talk about the "Christian" element until
now, but Jetenderpaul have proven that, like Pedro the Lion (as well as
fellow members of the Velvet Blue Music label), strong indie music need
not be limited to a secular sheen. While artists like Mark Heard, Sam Phillips,
Vigilantes of Love and Pierce Pettis have already proven that you can make
great Christian songs -- it just takes talent -- there have been so many
embarrassing "alternative" Christian acts that it's pretty understandable
if anyone forgot God could enter a lyric without turning the tune to crap.
As with Pedro the Lion, Jetenderpaul's spiritual moments are a bit on the
melancholy, reflective side, without the rousing sort of choruses a Rich
Mullins would have provided. It means the band won't get played in church,
but in bars, which is where good rock-and-roll like "Drowning My Faith"
probably should play.
production would flesh out the band's sound to better effect, there are
some super moments on Woolen Spires, and none is more grand than "Much
More Than Glimmering Eyes", which goes for high drama and gets it through
a beautiful melody and equally beautiful lyrics ("If I could be a little
less weak, so I could carry the dying in you"). It helps raise Jetenderpaul
up among the best new bands with a jones for the sixties.
Jetenderpaul The Woolen
Spring/Summer 2000 (Somerville, Massachusetts)
of my favorite Oldies songs all blended together with some modern sensibilities.
Listening to this is like driving on a summer afternoon, top down, with
the best A.M. station on. These songs lift you up and take you away. My
pick of the issue.
Copper Press v. 3 (Gaylord, Michigan)
four-track pulpit these reclusive Kansans creak and crackle to concoct
an upbeat offering to listeners based loosely in His name. Bible
study this is not, unless the instructor is a member of the late, great
lo-fi dreamers, Further or at least understands a thing or two about earthly
realities like fuzzy guitars, noodling melodies, warbling organs, whistling
keyboards, tinny drums and vocals just a touch of reverb. But hey,
maybe he would, after all, all praise and glory... Weird and wired
without withholding the jams at the expense of some aloof artiness, The
Woolen Spires is a mix-and-match, cut-and-paste affair of home recorded
oddities and lo-fi rockers, the latter certain to get the toes tappin'
and the former serving to get the head a-scratchin'. These are perfect
pop songs forever gone astray once they leave the boys' heads and become
ensconced on the recorder. Gems, all.
- Steve Brydges
v. 14 (Tokyo, Japan)
Cover art is
risky, but music itself its amazing! Like "Korgis and M. Newell were united,
and K.G. Wonder + GBV were possessed by it" or something...various pop
flavors that were twisted, in a good way. Awesome band! From Kansas.
This is their 2nd. This is my first time to listen to their music, but
I suddenly thought they're so talented! Very dark hourse. You should listen
to this record!
magazine, Issue 7 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
This disc is,
as far as I'm concerned, the reason that four tracks were made. When songs
are as well crafted as this, little recordings like this, made in someone's
dimly lit bedroom somewhere, a brilliant discovery. I must say also that
I have to giggle when Elephant 6 noodlers like Olivia Tremor Control, Of
Montreal and The Music Tapes get beaten at their own game this badly. I
mean how much better is the experiment when the solution is actually worth
listening to? I'll get off the soapbox now. One thing that's admirable
about The Woolen Spires is that it's dense, but still very clear. Lots
of stuff going on, but melodies are precise and memorable. Quite silly
and stupid one minute, cool and punchy the next, and introspective soon
after that. "The Sigh That You Aimed At Me," on it's own covers all of
these bases in under 2 ½ minutes. Somewhat like Godspell,hints at
an ironic spiritual side lend to the ability Jetenderpaul has to come up
with something weighty and heartfelt out of very whimsical elements like
Ween-y vocals and fleeting cheap casiotone overdubs. Also, there isn't
one song on The Woolen Spires with a one word title. Instead you get titles
that sound like GBV lyrics : "I'll Always Be The One In Need Of A Palinode,"
and "When Will We Dance In Golden Gowns." Yes. I like this one. It's really
G-Note 2/19/00 (Gainesville, Florida)
is: Bobby Cave, Jared Miller, Jeff Teel, Randall Stephens
is actually based in Kansas, however vocalist Randall Stephens studies
at UF and runs a small record label out of Gainesville called Vainglorious
[Home] Recordings.The Woolen Spires is Jetenderpaul's fourth release. The
CD booklet contains many seemingly random illustrations and captions much
like the Beatle's Magical Mystery Tour record sleeve. Jetenderpaul's
style is equally confusing. Just as you think you may understand where
they are going, a strange non-sequiter comes out of nowhere. The songs
can be best described as layers of sounds such as beeps, whistles, and
guitars meandering in the backround behind quirky lyrics ("and though your
hands are tied, turn up your radio"), or the Beatles at their trippiest.
The Woolen Spires is a lo-fi experimental record containing many cryptic
allusions making it interestingly perplexing.
Zine 4/16/00 (Austin, Texas)
That was the first word that came to my mind as I listened to this
album. I had never heardJetenderpaul before and I was caught completely
off guard by how unusual this album seemed to be. My first listen left
me very perplexed, so I had to listen again. Four tries later, I am still
Spires is very
lo-fi, and in fact was recorded in band member Jared Miller's room. To
me, the mix is gritty and at times hard to listen to, but it works. This
band's love for their art is apparent in their complex and layered compositions.
Most of the tracks are fairly brief (around 2 minutes). There seems
to be little concern for the usual standards of stock musical composition
(tonic resolution, verse-chorus-bridge patterns, etc.), and it almost seems
as if they purposely want to be unpopular.
is oriented towards the art/indie/vinyl market. Open-minded musical adventure
seekers (and indie rock elitists) will totally love this album, but I'm
afraid that the average Joe Blow will be confused and/or annoyed. (Jetenderpaul
seems to be a lot like Danielson Family-either you'll love them or you'll
hate them.) The general feel of many (but not all) of the tracks is of
surf music, with the dreamy taste of Starflyer-ish guitars. (On their website,
the band mentions the Beach Boys among their influences, and you
can certainly hear it.) There is also a definite tripped, psychedelic edge
to this album.
is again, strange. The song titles range from three to thirteen words long
and quite often have absolutely nothing to do with the story told in the
lyrics. Most of the songs seem to be little snippets of emotion and thought
wrapped up in a brief musical package. Quite often, I am left wondering
what in the world they are talking about, but it's very fun to try to guess.
Some of the
standout tracks include "It's All Chicanery" (the first song on the album-it's
only 50 seconds long, yet it stands on its own as a very complete musical
thought); "Epson: The Anxious Bench" (I have no idea what the lyrics of
this song are about, but boy, do I love the music! It starts with the sound
of an old dot matrix printer, which moves into the dreamy/surfer vein before
flowing into this great 50's rock-and-roll guitar solo. It finally ends
with the "aegghkkk, aeeghkk" sound of the printer again); "The Road to
Damascus" (this song reminds me at moments of Starflyer 59 with the dreamy
guitar riffs, but at other times it reminds me of Danielson with the rhythm
and the vocal harmonies); and "The Phenomenological Rhetoric of Summer
Lingers On" (despite its serious sounding name, this song is downright
silly! It has one of the most memorable Danielson-ish melodies on the album).
I also have
to give special mention to the last two songs. "Our Epic Banality" was
probably my favorite song on the album. It starts off soft and gentle with-
"In the morning when I whisper your name, it sounds like leaves dancing
in the rain. / And when I see you, I know I won't contain these feelings,
These longings again. / So today, let the people say, Let them know that
we're in love." Then it moves into a slow-but-heavy guitar thing that sounds
Pep Squad or maybe SF59 on the Americana album with the lines- "We're in
love, We're in love, / Do you really think that makes us something?"
What does it
all mean? You got me, but I really dig it.
Also the hidden
track (which I'll call "Those days are gone") was a very touching song
that really connected with me. This song's pop melody and sad lyrics do
a good job of describing what it feels like to look back on what you thought
can't forget to mention the album art. It is the best I have seen in a
long time. It is so mysterious and
I especially like the Victorian era comics that make no sense, but yet
maybe in a weird way do make sense. My one criticism is that it would be
cool if they had the album lyrics somewhere. (They're not even on the website.)
These lyrics are so unusual, I would love to be able to read them and contemplate
their deep inner meaning (or lack thereof).
-James M. Branum
# 8 (W. Chester, Pennsylvania)
be the one," croons a typically pathetic/romantic indie rock geek five
minutes into Jetenderpaul's sophomore album. The sentiment is just
as familiar as the band's sixties-by-way-of-Elephant 6 worship, delivered
in the form of marching drum beats, fuzzy guitar hooks, thick swirls of
layered sounds, and lots of other stuff that could have been lifted straight
off the first Elf Power record. But although they're not too terribly
original, these Kansas boys can pen great two-minute anthems and ballads
with an ease that's actually worthy of that Denver collective. Over
the course of seventeen tunes (nary a clunker in the bunch), their deep
mixing bowl of decent influences frequently overflows with enough humor
and high spirits to bring a bright smile to my cynical face. Even
the hidden Magnetic Fields cover (practically a rite of passage for every
young college rock band) at the end is more inspired than contrived, turning
old-school Merritt ("The Saddest Story Ever Told) into a pogo-ready rocket
of effervescence. And really, the more fun Jetenderpaul have, the
better they sound. (Velvet Blue / Vainglorious / Burnt Toast)
Woolen Spires 1999 Velvet Blue Music & Burnt Toast Vinyl
Dec. 1999 (Olympia, Washington)
Tone, and other such technical and abstract elements are charismatically
wed to pop sensibilities and smart song-writing on The Woolen Spires by
a band called Jetenderpaul. The song variety and selection on this album
are in themselves a case study in the esoteric, forging beyond that leads
one into a prosaic delirium of obscene levels. To put it simply, Jetenderpaul
is very unique, very erratic, and way too creative to digest in one sitting.
what you get with Jetenderpaul is a magnificent exhibition of indie-rock
gone wild, grazing in the pastures of New Wave, Trance Techno, Psychedelic
Rock, and carefully composed Pop. Sometimes you have soothing ear candy,
sometimes you have pulsating walls of hair-raising reverb. And often you
have both at the same time. After a proper adjustment period to the dichotomous
sonic nature, what you are left with are inviting tales of love, whimsy,
and reflection, sarcastic deprication, and bouts of quirky defiance.
To give a more
blue collar description of The Woolen Spires, I would say that Jetenderpaul
is possibly what you would get if you exposed They Might Be Giants to an
extreme amount of gamma rays. The character and masked vulnerability present
on this album is touching and enjoyable, outdone only in the shadow of
its musical innovation and experiment. Jetenderpaul seeks to write the
perfect pop song, but instead takes pop to a mystic plain where perfection
suddenly seems an unworthy goal, and then descends frequently to catch
the listener's soul up into its placid, angstful grasp.
Find this album,
listen to it at least five times, and then just try to
I have a feeling that even if you manage the feat, you will soon be drawn
back for one of many more dips into its enigmatic purity.
- The Woolen Spires Vainglorious/Velvet Blue/Burnt Toast,
Nov. 1999 (West Milford, New Jersey)
is all out pop soaked in a lof-fi feel complete with distorted vocals,
sound fx, and tongue-in-cheek commentary on relationships or maybe they're
serious I can’t really tell. It’s definitely a lot of fun and recalls
the feel of the Beach Boys and other sounds coming out of oldies radio.
These are very short songs and there are many curious electronic sounds
thrown around from song to song. In general Jetenderpaul makes good
use of sound effects on guitars and vocals in ways that you don’t see much
of. Like all good oldies tunes Jetenderpaul make use of the staple
"shoo-bop" harmonies in "The Song Admiral Dutchdoor Sang". With clever
song titles and lyrics one gets the feeling that Jetenderpaul has something
to say beyond what is seen on the surface. But what that is is a
little vague and perhaps unintended-which of course isn’t a bad thing.
In the process they do a good job to get you thinking and bopping your
head to their candy. This is a three way release on Vainglorious
Home Recordings, Velvet Blue Music and Burnt Toast Vinyl.
Woolen Spires CD,
In a sentence:
Quirky lo-fi indierock along the lines of Mathlete, Guided By Voices and
The Flaming Lips with some serious electronics going on. Its overall
cleverness makes me giggle. These guys are having fun. It's so easy for
music like this to get bogged down. This is odd and diverse [enough] to
hold my rapt attention. There's even a Magnetic Fields cover ("The
Saddest Story Ever Told"). Jetenderpaul Webpage. Vainglorious Home
Recordings/Velvet Blue/Burnt Toast. 318 UVS #5, Gainesville, FL 32603.
Woolen Spires Vainglorious Home Recordings /
Vinyl / Velvet Blue Music
Tunes News (Aurora, Illinois)
resident masters of tweaked lo-fi indie pop are back at it. It took months
longer than projected and it eventually took three separate labels chipping
in to get it done but Jetenderpaul have finally completed and released
The Woolen Spires, their second full length release, and it was well worth
the wait. It was clear right from their debut release that Jetenderpaul
had all the tools of the great indie rock bands: great pop hooks, a lo-fi
recording aesthetic that would do the Elephant Six recording collective
proud, and a novel approach to instrumentation and arrangement. If there
was a knock on Jetenderpaul in the past, however, it was that they were
a little too tweaked, a little too scattered. That problem has been amply
addressed here as the Woolen Spires is far more focused than past work
and somehow manages a clean fusion of the band's diverse influences. The
same influences that marked Jetenderpaul's debut record are here in spades
hooky pop songs that seldom if ever break the two minute mark; the
distinct trashy ambience that can only be achieved by recording your album
in your bedroom (this is intended as a compliment, by the way); shades
of Dinosaur Jr., Guided by Voices, They Might Be Giants and the Elephant
Six bands but the band is quickly growing into their own voice. The
increased use of synthetics (at least one member of Jetenderpaul is also
in Britannika they're a little cagey on the subject of side projects)
is an excellent touch and if it's possible to further tighten up a songwriting
style that considers two and a half minutes to be an epic length, they've
done it. An excellent sophomore release.
The Woolen Spires, Velvet Blue Music/Burnt Toast Vinyl/Vainglorious Recordings
17 tracks / 38:57
The long wait
for Jetenderpaul's sophomore record, delayed by manufacturing woes for
almost two years, has finally come to an end, thanks to the cooperative
effort of three labels with enough commitment to music to take on such
a project. It doesn't take long into the opening song of the record - which
rather cleverly introduces the album almost like a short theme song for
a sitcom would - to determine that this is not for everyone. Their quirky
lo-fi sound and eccentric lyrics that will leave you reaching for a Webster's
to comprehend is something many people would probably just turn off at
first listen. But that is also what is so appealing about them. Any band
that can cause such a reaction is clearly doing something different and
original, which will often earn them critical acclaim in place of widespread
With The Woolen
Spires, Jetenderpaul has matured to the point where that acclaim might
be expected. They stick to the whole lo-fi recording approach, but where
their first record trailed off into unfocused and even boring directions,
the new record is filled with hooks and well-constructed songs that have
potential to stick with even the people who dislike the band. After all,
they are a pop band at heart, with an obvious leaning toward the Beach
Boys and the Beatles. Like many of the bands in the Elephant 6 coterie
(Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, Beulah, Neutral Milk Hotel),
they challenge pop music and convention, taking it to a whole new level.
On this record
especially, the influence of the Elephant 6 bands and a number of other
ands is very obvious. But like all those bands do so well, they take their
influences and then expand on them, avoiding possible "rip-off" accusations.
A Magnetic Fields cover tune at album's end renders further explanations
unneccesary: the members of Jetenderpaul are themselves music lovers at
heart, making music out of their intense love of challenging music both
past and present.
Look Down (Velvet Blue Music) (CD,
Sue June 1998
I was particularly
glad to get my hands on this disc, because this band's last CD had me quite
perplexed. This one has the same basic effect. Jetenderpaul is a blurry,
semi-psychedelic home recording experiment...or at least that's what they
sound like. The band's music has an odd spontaneous feel to it. It's almost
like listening to a band that has just learned how to play their instruments.
There's no verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus pattern to these tunes.
Instead these folks present hazy images that constantly change and evolve.
The song titles say it all: "Her Baroque Syntax," "Chugga-Chugga, Mr. Chomsky,"
"On the Frivolous Use of Seventeenth Century Bookends." While this disc
is not for everyone, the curious and adventurous will find some choice
The Histrionics of Suggestion Velvet Blue Music
Tunes News 1997
had not decided to name themselves after one member's grade-school girlfriend,
they would have done well to wrestle for the rights of the name Shadowy
Men on a Shadowy Planet. Everything about the band is clouded in
a sort of bizarre esoteric mystery, be it the title of their first full-length
record or the fact that the song titles have no bearing on their lyrics
(like "The Maracas of Suspicion"), or the fact that most of the lyrics
describe some bizarre paralleled reality ("your looking at my haircut and
my haircut's looking right your way"). Jetenderpaul revels in the
bizarre, and most of the brainy silliness found on Trying Signals pays
By far the
lowest of all lo-fi bands, Jetenderpaul employs no studio gimmickry whatsoever.
Most of Randy Stephens vocals sound as if they were recorded on a portable
boom box, as do the trendy-trebly guitars and casio drum machine percussion.
The technique serves to distance the band from the listener, compounding
the sense of mystery . . . The deliberately sparse guitar work of Stephens
and Jeff Teel is augmented by Jared Miller's well-placed bells, whistles
and keyboards, serving to both add personality and up the band's quirk
factor significantly. This low-tech rock is a tricky roe to hoe,
but Jetenderpaul has the skill and inventiveness to pull it all together.
keeps its songs short enough to make Guided By Voices repertoire look like
"Inna Gadda Da Vida" by comparison. The longest song on Trying Signals
is a scant 2:33, with the shortest being just seconds long. This
does not prevent the band from fully realizing their ideas; "Don't Look
Down," among others, manages to squeeze ample "verse/chorus/verse" into
1:44, though some scattered songs do come off a bit half-baked.
doesn't play from the heart; they play from the spleen. Their 26
eccentric little children dodder off in all sorts of directions, but most
of them manage to say something worth listening to, if only for an intended
chuckle or two. By the end of Trying Signals, you don't feel like
you know any of the personalities behind Jetenderpaul any better, but you're
happy to visit their shadowy planet just the same. If nothing else,
there aren't too many other places you can find a "Word Perfect Gigolo."
- Trying Signals: The Histrionics of Suggestion (CD, Velvet Blue,
pop) Baby Sue November 1997
I can size
up most CDs after one listen. This one took several listens, and I'm still
not quite sure what to make of it. Jetenderpaul sounds like a home recorded
project made with little regard for sales or radio airplay. The tunes are
stream of consciousness pop music with jagged and sometimes skewed edges.
Featuring over 20 tunes (!), the compositions on this CD go all over the
place while generally staying within the boundaries of pop music. This
is definitely a disc that does NOT sound like all the rest. This is a VERY
good thing... (Rating: 4)
Velvet Blue Music
Weekly, March 6-12, 1997(Kansas City, Missouri)
With an odd
name like Jetenderpaul, one might imagine that some interesting music lies
in wait, and boy oh boy would they be correct. This recently new
Kansas City outfit demonstrates how they were able to persuade the Huntington
Beach, CA, label Velvet Blue to release this project with some magic that
is out of this world. With a touch of loungy, flower power pop and
a bit of shoegazer to bring it up to date, Jetenderpaul comes across like
a smooth, jazzy porno soundtrack with the ability to pump out peppy pop
when deemed necessary. Xylophones and dreamy vocals help give this
material an uncommon feel and makes it one of the more interesting pieces
of work to come down the pike in quite some time.
-Shane P. Dolbier