steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Ralph Jones Band

"Just For The Scenery" CD

State Bird Records

Genres: indie rock

November 2006

I loved RJB's debut, so Just For The Scenery arrived with smiles and cheers in the Indieville mailbag. And here, the band has retained their distinctly dark, keyboard-laced pop sound, but they've imbibed it with more uniqueness and less sparseness. Also notable is, due to the band's unique sound, this record takes a little while to get into - even more than their debut. A few of the songs strike quickly, like uplifting "Fresh and New" and its toying guitar line. For the most part, however, the minor key melodies, eerie vocals and unconventional composition keeps this record from being immediate. Instead, it's a disc you sink into like a warm bath, getting more and more accustomed as you edge in appendage by appendage. The bluesy intonations of certain songs ("Devil At The Breakfast Table") become more and more satisfying upon each dose, while pretty "Only Run Sometimes" is one of the most unusually appealing pop songs I've ever heard. This record isn't perfect, and at times I wonder if I'm ever going to appreciate some of these songs (muddled "The Promise Ring," "Alecia The Klepto"), but the quality of most of these compositions accounts for the effort the listener is required to put in.



Fun Fact: There is no Ralph Jones in the Ralph Jones Band; I theorize that the band could have been named after the NFL's Chicago Bears coach from 1930-1932, or the member of Bill Haley & His Comets.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by CD Baby, released 2006]