May 4, 2001

Test Spins: Juno

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On their second outing, Juno expands upon the moody atmospherics and taut three-guitar attack of their debut, with mostly good results.

On the one hand, there’s some great stuff here. “Covered With Hair” and “Help is on the Way” are powerful, jumpy rock numbers with dense arrangements and tight playing. “The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow” is the prettiest thing the band has done in their short career, with shuffling percussion and a lovely, strummed guitar melody.

Only the over-long “The French Letter” and the sleep-inducing experimental track “Things Gone and Things Still Here” (which nevertheless does have great lyrics) fall short.

Much of the album features lengthy, complex epics with insightful lyrics and punchy instrumentation. The band might sound best here when they rock out, but even the more somnambulistic songs have much to recommend.

Archived article by Ed Howard