Rapid Fire Reviews: Iris Jupiter and Stef Chura
Posted: by Steven Lalonde
Iris Jupiter – Self-Titled
The southern California band open their self-titled release with a song called “Carly Beth”, and right off the bat it’s clear what influences are apparent in their sound. It’s got a tinge of Joy Division and Smashing Pumpkins but better. Instead of the mundane, the band offer up a shogazey, punk rock twist that’s not only carried by the slinging bass lines that fill the entire album, but go nicely with the not-too-overly fuzzed out guitar riffs that make this album oh so cool. The third track “Mizar” offers up a cool little guitar lead that keeps things hopeful in another wise anguish filled song.
What I think Iris Jupiter and vocalist Devan Fuentes do well is the timing between lo-fi melodic build-up and grunge induced sincere anger choruses. Tracks such as “Ween (V4008)” and “Eat The Sap” exemplify best how dark and isolated this record can sound. The album ends with “Solar Denial”, a bass heavy track with an infectious guitar riff that perhaps encapsulates the album best. Devan Fuentes shows his desperation and fervor best on this track. Iris Jupiter’s full length debut isn’t all sunshine and roses, but rather dark and genuinely anguish filled. The vocal delivery along with the gloomy rain-cloud-following-you type of sound allow you to feel detached, yet Devan Fuentes has a way to put a positive, uplifting spin on things in a sense, as if they want you to see the sun in the breaking of the clouds ahead, even in your darkest moments.
Stef Chura – Messes
Detroit native Stef Chura wants to keep you on your toes with her debut full length Messes. If there’s one thing that stands out, it’s Stef’s ability to change tone, speed, and music at basically the drop of a dime. Each song is different form the last, unpredictable even, yet they all transition seamlessly, without a second thought. Stef takes simple things – guitar, drum, bass – and pairs that with her spunky vocal style to create something that’s soothing and heartfelt just as much as it is raw and temperamental at the same time.
Stef’s lyrical prowess is perhaps her best quality. She writes songs in a witty and original manner that bring you up and down in a roller coaster of emotions. Songs such as “You”, demonstrates this best in that she takes a subject like relationship issues and flips in on its head. All though out, one noticeable fixture is consistent in that Chura wrote the album with a central theme about the frailty of life. On the track “Time To Go”, Chura sings achingly about a lost loved one in what is perhaps the most important part of the album. For a deubt, Chura managed to beautifully open up emotionally, showing that her thoughtfulness and song writing ability go hand in hand nicely