Joy Zipper – American Whip (CD)

Joy Zipper, on their “American Whip” plays a dreamy brand of alt, indie-rock that draws heavily from the mod scene as well as later rockers like Matthew Sweet. While a track like “Baby You Should Know” contains a quick and peppy beat, the much nuanced “33x” has a subtle and incredibly catchy style to it that is only furthered by the inclusion of a sound that is very ambient-based. The disc goes by really quickly, owing more to the poppy-hooks and catchy style of Joy Zipper that is really shown during “Out of the Sun”. “Out of the Sun” is a solid track for much of the same reason that Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” was such a big hit back in 1999; a moderated repetition is present throughout the track, allowing listeners to turn on and feel like they are a part of something more.

There is just not a weak track to be found on “American Whip”, and this is not saying that the tracks present just barely scrape over the edge of what is considered “good”. Each of the tracks could be on its own a rock or indie radio stable, even tracks that are decidedly weaker compared to the rest of the fare of “American Whip”, like the anemic “Alzheimers.” The interesting inclusion of a random, extended movie quotation during the ending of “Alzheimers” really works well with the droning guitars present on the track and really breaks up the music, which had been a straight-through shot previously. “Ron” is the perfect track to end a movie with, but the track in the context of “American Whip” is essential in bridging the gap between the faster tempo shown during “Baby You Should Know” and the more sedate and subtle sounds of “Suitable Enemy”.

Joy Zipper is one of the only bands that I know that actually include something in the way of skits on their disc, and they are placed in positions that really divide off the different “movements” on the disc, while still maintaining some sort of music in order to not stop “American Whip’s” momentum. Joy Zipper may veer this disc towards the slower side of their music, but the disc is vital and distinct enough to hold its own even if the style of the music played by the band coalesces in this later part. “American Whip” is a solid pop album, throughout.

Top Tracks: Baby You Should Know, Alzheimers

Rating: 6.7/10

Joy Zipper – American Whip / 2005 Dangerbird / 12 Tracks / / / Reviewed 26 May 2005

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