The juniper berries consisting of Jesse Eells-Adams, Alec Moore, Nina Myers and Joshua Stirm have made some improvements since their 2015 EP Baby Face. Their latest effort Don't Breathe In Through Your Mouth is still a little too lo-fi for my liking but the songwriting and chemistry have certainly improved.
They play fun, easy to appreciate indie rock for the most part in the spirit of a band like Pavement. I will also make a comparison to The Unicorns who are/were a great band that had some popularity about ten years ago.
The main issue from a production/engineering standpoint are the drums. I’m not going to go into details but some improvements in this area could have helped the overall delivery of the songs. The other elements especially the vocals work for the most part with the lo-fi aesthetic.
“Elbow Grease” is the opener and I thought it was a catchy song with a pretty unique structure. There are breakdowns with unusual, inventive elements. I really liked the dynamics and the vocals were quite melodic.
“House DJs” has an early Pavement maybe even Yo La Tengo vibe. Solid stuff. “Opposable Thumbs” is upbeat and a bit frantic sounding at times with some notable crescendos.”Second Story Bedroom Window (In Your Mother's Volvo)” is where I was really reminded of The Unicorns. “Misguided Cult” is a more subdued effort and works almost entirely until the hard drums come in. “Magnetic North” and “Blacktop Asphalt’ are the other songs that stuck out to me.
The juniper berries are on to something and I feel like the next thing they should focus on is production. I’m not saying mainstream production level but maybe like The Glow. Pt 2 level.
Overall, there are some creative songs on the album. This band is on the right trajectory.
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