I was never a fan of Jack Drag, a late ’90s band that Epitonic labeled as “idiosyncratic, damaged, glossy pop” in an era where every post-Beck indie rock band seemed to be interested in nothing but idiosyncratic, damaged, glossy pop, but this EP that JD frontman Jack Dragonetti made alongside fellow musician Peter Ducharme under the moniker Junior Communist Club somehow a chord with me.

It’s tonally similar to the Jack Drag stuff (and inevitably to Beck as well), but its laidbackness seems genuine, as opposed to a lot of the forced “laidback” grubbiness of a lot of what went on in the ’90s. About the EP, Epitonic goes on to say:

“What started as remixes of [Jack Drag's] ‘Seem So Tired’ for a major label became the Junior Communist Club….Dragonetti locked himself in a self-contained experimental recording pod, belted out crunchy guitar noise and melodic pop hooks, and recorded every sound he could imagine. Dragonetti would then run through the backyards and climb over the fences of unwilling suburban Bostonians with his new material in hand, finally giving what he had recorded to 76 Place commander Master Cylinder (aka Peter Ducharme).

They then added the swirling ambient textures, distorted bottom beats, and syncopated styling that have become the Master Cylinder trademark. The result is Junior Communist Club’s ‘Freedom of Speed’ album, an emotional combination of digital trance and analog deviance from two friends who would simply rather be creating music than running a rat race.”

Junior Communist Club – “Freedom of Speed” EP (ZIP file)

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