Jupe Jupe Fills the Killers’ Niche

Jupe Jupe, Crooked Kisses (out now, self-released, jupejupemusic.com)

I’ve been waiting for a solid, moody glam-pop album pretty much since the hoopla for the Killers’ Hot Fuss died down. And while Brandon Flowers’ 2010 solo effort, Flamingo, came close, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Thankfully, the newest release from this Seattle quartet helps to fill that niche. Composed of My Young on vocals and synthesizer, Bryan Manzo and Patrick Partington on guitar, and drummer Jarrod Arbini, Jupe Jupe’s previous two releases, Invaders and Reduction in Drag, garnered the band attention for sleek, layered soundscapes and dissections of pop culture. With swells of haunting synthesizers, spooky vocals, craggy guitars, and thundering electronic beats, Kisses picks up where those left off. In truth, this version of Jupe Jupe proves to be a mix of the Killers and the Kaiser Chiefs (circa We Are The Angry Mob) even if Young’s vocals don’t match the standout tones of either of those acts. Yet Young’s melancholic drawl paired with a stunning mix of glam and goth results in a unique take on electro-pop that’s equally tragic and danceable. The band also channels British new-age classics on the latter half of the album, specifically in the Cure-esque delivery of tracks like “Hollow” and “New Stars in the Sky.” But it’s standouts “Love to Watch You Fall” and “All The Things We Made” that keep the 10-track collection interesting. It’s in their glittery, pulsing arrangements that Crooked Kisses’ themes of love, lust, and heartache fully breathe. (3/11, El Corazon)

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