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Jebediah: Slightly Odway

Album Notes

Perth band Jebediah blazed onto the Australian music scene in late 1996 and early 1997 thanks to a number of singles released from their debut album, Slightly Odway.

The album's title pretty much sums up the band's music, too. Loud guitar rock, with a twist. Borrowing from punk and New Wave alike they became the darlings of the Australian music scene in the late 1990s.

Opening with the song that really launched their career, "Leaving Home," the band sets the scene for what is to come. Loud guitars, cartoonishly simple lyrics, and a chorus that would send even the tamest of mosh-pits into a frenzy. And all of it topped by Kevin Mitchell's bizarre singing style - a mess of twisted vowels and the same sort of pronounciation that had James Reyne's fans reaching for their lyric sheets in confusion.

Many of these songs follow the same pattern, "Benedict," "Teflon" and "Military Strongmen" are three such examples. While all feature impossibly catchy singalong choruses, there is very little substance to these songs, and the lyrics are extremely lightweight.

Jebediah have shown that they can write more complex songs than this, and "Twilight Dusk," "Harpoon" and "Jerks of Attention" are three examples of the more sensitive side of the band. It is a mystery, however, why "Jerks of Attention" - one of their finest songs - is included here in a half-paced version of the original single: it certainly doesn't improve it.

Slightly Odway shows Jebediah as a talented young band, despite the flimsy songwriting and the lack of light and shade on the album. Once Jebediah learn they don't need to bludgeon the audience with their guitar-playing they will be better off for it. Oh, and someone should really teach Kevin how to speak English: "home" is not meant to be a three syllable word. ~ Jonathan Lewis


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