Jimmy Eat World - Surviving | Album Review

If there’s anything that harshly highlights the unstoppable march of time it’s the fact that Jimmy Eat World are now on the cusp of releasing their tenth full length release. Even after 25 consecutive years, the influence the Arizona quartet have had on the wider alternative scene has been undeniable, with countless acts from across the globe drawing inspiration from the group’s legacy.

However, even with the collectives success having been solidified without question, like many of their respective peers, Jimmy Eat World have found themselves the victims of deliberating doubt and depression over the past few years. It’s a curse the group documented and explored within their last long play, 2016’s slightly withdrawn Integrity Blues. However their latest release, Surviving, Jimmy Eat World lift their heads with confidence and charisma, with the group utilising the release to exorcise their vulnerabilities in empowering form.

Whilst Integrity Blues saw the group stray from their respective emo roots in favour of more digital techniques, Surviving is very much indeed an alt-rock record at it’s core. Despite the record running on such timeless sensibilities, Surviving breathes with the same freshness and clarity that was found within it’s respective predecessor. Surviving is a release that boldly walks with confidence, lovable charm and infectious assurance; a subtle yet notable contrast to some of their material from this side of the decade.

Respective title track and album opener confirms this fact, with it’s ironised electric leads and swinging subtle swagger stating that the band have re-found the confidence that made their output originally so alluring. The ensuring ‘Criminally Energy’ continues to drive this fact home, with it’s rebellious strut and energised pop swagger already confirming it’s place as a live fan favourite in the upcoming tours that follow this record.

Even with Surviving adhering to the concrete sensibilities of alt-rock, the record ultimately stands triumphant even in an era of fervent creativity. It’s a release that demonstrates that calculated genre dynamism isn’t necessary when it comes to forging a memorable experience, with tracks such as the electric charge of ‘Diamond’ and the rock romanticism of ‘Love Again’ showcasing the group’s established energised pop charisma in a fashion that’s both universally agreeable and engaging.

However, one of the greatest moments within this release is the joyous experience of ‘All The Way (Stay)’. Upbeat, danceable and wonderfully jubilant, the track glistens with sparkling leads and a power pop stomp before blossoming with an overjoyed and ecstatic saxophone solo that animates the cheerful nature in a fashion that’s haplessly influential. Admittedly, this segment of unprecedented creativity is an isolated incident, but it’s a testament to the characteristic magnetism that the band have always harboured since their inception.

With delightful charm being of the album’s primary assets, some of Surviving’s greatest moments are found within it’s more sombre and contemplative moments of placidity. The previously released single of ‘555’ implied such a fact long before the release of the record, with it’s instantly cinematic nature and borderline pop minimalism affirming it’s position among the group’s colossal hits from their extensive back catalogue. With it’s neon synth backbone and star-dotted splendour ‘Delivery’ also sits within this vein, with the track’s gentle allurement only bolstering the all encompassing theme of assurance, lucidity and clear elation.

In all, Jimmy Eat World are a rare breed and sometimes an under-appreciated gift. Even after a quarter of a century, the group have never misplaced a step or appeared uncoordinated or irregular. Surviving highlights this fact with assured confidence whilst simultaneously standing as a bold reminder to the group’s brilliance. With Surviving, Jimmy Eat World have silenced their inner demons and shine brightly once again.

Score: 8/10

Surviving Is Released September 18th Via The Orchard / RCA


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