Aside from having some of the most innovative packaging that I’ve seen with a major-indie label CD (using a number of cards to contain the lyrics from the disc), Jenoah ranks right up there with Amber Pacific for being the most surprising emo band of 2004. Using a true multi-part harmony (instead of just having a screamer with a melodic singer), Jenoah really makes a strong case for having some of the most lush music out there. Instead of just wowing their audience with a strong set of vocals, Jenoah actually ensures that the instrumentation and arrangement on “Morning” is nothing to scoff at. “Ex-Suits” is infused with a tremendous energy owing much to Stephen’s bass work and the high-hats of Zachary. Even though there are moments on this EP where one individual steps up and wows the audience, much like Modest Mouse, there are just grooves that Jenoah gets into that will drive listeners crazy with delight. Even though the EP has only five originals (two re-mixes, as it were), Jenoah is careful enough to create a sound that is distinctly theirs among these songs.
Showing a level of distinction far beyond what a newer band should, Jenoah is destined to make big waves in the emo-core movement in the next few years. Solid musicianship mix with harmonies never heard and a pop sensibility that even Ashley Simpson would be jealous in this EP, and I am not ashamed to say that I want more! Moving from harmony or harmony, tempo to tempo, genre to genre in the space of seconds, Jenoah can do everything equally well. Moving imperceptibly through alternative, rock, and emo, Jenoah make it a point to never date their music. “Jamie” is the essential track for all lovers, and instead of waiting twenty years after the band has started, Jenoah puts forth the demo material to finish off this disc.
Both f the demo tracks feel unfinished compared to the official mixes found elsewhere on the disc; however, any move by a band to increase the bang for my buck is a great thing, considering current CD prices. While there are not as radio-accessible tracks on “Morning” as there were on “Fading Days” by Amber Pacific, but Jenoah avoids some of the clichéd guitar work and arrangements that held Amber Pacific back on their disc. This is one of the only EPs worth picking up from 2004, so go down to your local indie record shop and grab it.
Top Track: Openly
Jenoah – Morning is When Jenoah Wakes Up / 2004 Drive-Thru / 7 Tracks / http://www.jenoahmusic.com / http://www.drivethrurecords.com / Reviewed 26 January 2005