First of all I would like to thank Google Translate© for choppily deciphering the bio of Jun & The Paradox Mind, an indie rock band from Paris, France. But nothing’s perfect so if I start mixing up my noun and verb orders just let it be. It’s not like telling a joke wrong. Anyway back to Jun & The Paradox Mind. The band, led by singer and guitarist Julien Demont, began back in 2008 and was initially a power trio that released their first EP Wandering Soul in 2012. It is an EP inspired by bands like Blur, Oasis and The Libertines front man Pete Doherty. They toured through France and England before taking a hiatus after which Jun & The Paradox Mind emerged with its current lineup of Ruddy Thery and Jean Louis Bire who play drums and percussion, bassist Veyres George, Sébastien Bede on keyboards and guitarist Xavier Lelong.
Moments, their first offering as a six-piece is four songs which run the gamut from spacey pop to alternative rock (please excuse the use of this vague relic of a genre) that was often prevalent on local airwaves in the states for the past twenty or so years.
The album’s opener “Having A Drink” is a slow building rock ballad. What I noticed from the first though is how much the background instrumentation plays a part in setting Jun & The Paradox Mind apart from just being a band that would otherwise sound like Kings of Leon. This is mainly due to the sly bits of percussion and spacey keyboards.
“In Circle” is a sad and sweeping ballad complete with strings and synths. Its sprawling and mellow pop feel combined with Julien Demont’s deep, lounge act, drink sodden vocal and inward focused lyrics combine for a pretty powerful though depressing effect. And as if you couldn’t already guess “Six Feet Under” ain’t no picnic either, but it does that dance-pop thing that Interpol has always been good at, so that even though Demont is talking about subjects which are less than pleasant, there is still this great dance beat going on that. Even though I dance like a guy with a broken leg who’s just had his crutches yanked from him, I still found my head bobbing along as I listened.
The crown jewel of this EP “Moment” starts as a stark piano ballad, with Demont once again pouring his heart out until by this point it must seemingly be empty of anything he’s ever had to say, and then morphs into some crafty percussion and a long droning guitar solo.
EP’s are sometimes hard to judge, if only because many times a lot of the songs come off sounding quite a bit alike, something that befalls Jun & The Paradox Mind on Moments. But I liked it anyway, mostly because it reminded me of the Scottish rock band The Twilight Sad though not as loud. Also the drums and percussion as well as the keys reminded me in some ways of the structures to certain songs on OK Computer. In the end Moments does what an EP is supposed to do, and that is introduce a band to a listener, and let the listener decide where they want to go from there.
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