Album Premiere: Jupiter Styles—’Be Good’

Posted: by The Editor

The cast of musicians Sean Neumann wrangled together to play on Be Good, the excellent debut album for his solo project Jupiter Styles, is like an indie-minded emo supergroup. Neumann and guitarist/pianist Dave Sagan make up one half of Ratboys, other guitarist Seth Engel plays in Lifted Bells, drummer Marcus Nuccio is of Pet Symmetry fame, and even ex-Pinegrove staple Nick Levine (who now plays solo as Jodi) added some pedal steel to the record’s warm closing ballad. Each of those bands have played significant roles in this decade’s tepid marriage of emo and indie rock, and although Be Good is Neumann’s baby, it’s hard to avoid the narrative that this record sounds like the goddamn honeymoon.

Swelling opener “Surefire Way” and mid-album jangler “Made A Moon” are some of the first fruits of the post-yunahon mixtape era, but both of those tracks are followed by breezy power-pop cuts that would fit snugly into a “Radiator Hospital & Friends” playlist. “Life Like” and “Over and Over” are easy “FFO Blue Album” fodder, but a better quantifier would be void-fillers for people who still mourn the loss of Dogs On Acid. There are also speckles of early Joyce Manor (the 49-second crunch-nugget “Stick Around”) and some Ratboys-y alt-country (“Baby Steps”), which is to be expected considering the personnel.

But the record’s greatest strength is that it never really sounds like any of its members’ other projects. Neumann’s a gifted songwriting chameleon, a quality that can either be exciting or detrimental to the flow of an album. Here, considering it’s the project’s introduction to the world, it’s the former. Be Good is a quick 20-ish minutes of style-leaping rock music that scoffs in the face of arbitrary genre constrictions. Apologies in advance for the shameless meta-ness, but it might be the most “Alternative-core” project we’ve ever premiered.

It’s got savage replay value and you can stream it in full below:

Be Good is out Friday 7/13 via Other World Recordings.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis

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