Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ice Jupiter Groove


Before you ask, it is not because of their name.

I listen to Jango online radio fairly religiously.  Since it's free, you're required to try new artists and vote on whether you like them or not.  I always click a green thumb's up.  As a struggling artist myself, I'm hoping that karmically paying it forward will eventually help me out too.  I have never once regretted my "liking" of the band Ice Jupiter Groove.

Ice Jupiter Groove is a band from Australia and why they haven't caught on more is a great mystery to me.  At the center of the band are brothers and primary songwriters, James and Sean Lee.  What type of music do they play?  Well, much to what I'm certain must be the consternation of music critics, it's hard to classify IJG.  However, the band's name describes the sound perfectly.

The songs have smooth, cool synthesizers reminiscent of the best of 1980s where the electronic sounds were dense and layered (think "Wishing" by A Flock of Seagulls or the numerous sounds in Duran Duran's "Rio.")  There's the liquid guitar work that nails the intro of the song "Feeling Blue" together and the cool rain that comes in at the end.  The soft, waif-like "whisper singing" of "I Still Love You" with its utterly heartbreaking lyric "it's cold inside your heart"...it's all icy blue, like the sort of monitor screen Hollywood likes to use to scream out "high tech."  There's the "ice."

The tunes also groove.  The soulful Sean Lee vocals in "No Excuses" cause this white boy to helplessly launch into a Ray Charles, Joe Cocker sway, helping me pretend I've got a bit of soul to me.  Hence the "groove."

Jupiter, whether in terms of the lord of the Roman gods or the largest planet, sums up the full, powerful sound that IJG swells into at just the right times.  An example would be the bridge during "Moments" as well as the intro to that song.  The guitar there harkens to the style of U2 and Big Country, full licks that sound like they're echoing off of green hills.

Synth fused with guitar, blues, and strong vocals with solid lyrics.  I'm sold on this band.  It just makes me realize how much great music the Aussies have given us.  INXS, Midnight Oil, Icehouse, and now Ice Jupiter Groove.

Australia should be proud.



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2 comments:

  1. Thx for your kind words Jon. Great to know we've got a fan in Chicago. James Lee

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  2. Thank you for visiting the blog, James!
    And please let me know if you're ever playing in Chicago!

    ReplyDelete