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Jim Ivins Band, The - Self Titled EP Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 7.75
Lyrics 7.5
Production 7.5
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 79%
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Jim Ivins Band, The - Self Titled EP

Reviewed by: cavanaughpark09 (09/13/10)
Jim Ivins Band, The - Self Titled EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: December 22, 2009

The Richmond-based Jim Ivins Band brought me back to my most enjoyable times in high school with their self titled EP. The acoustic pop-rock band present five tracks that remind me of the relaxing Friday nights spent hanging around the coffee shop listening to local bands and enjoying the atmosphere that always accompanies live music. The songs, two of which are produced by The Early November’s Ace Enders, feature memorable and relatable lyrics, and hooks that sneak up on the listener. After only a week with the EP I found myself singing along word for word, and the contents joined my regular playlist.

“Fall Flat,” the EP’s first track, is slow to start, despite vocalist Jim Ivins’ quick-paced singing. It isn’t until the chorus when he slows down that the song demands the listener’s attention, but after that the song refuses to let go. The bridge featuring lyrics “press play/who am I now?/just the shadow of your doubts/just a face in the crowd” is easily the high point in the song, surrounded and highlighted by breaks in Ivins’ singing to let the band take over.

Guitars and drums nearly overpower Ivins’ voice in “Back to Reality” though his voice seems to gain momentum throughout the entire song. The blending of guitar and drums really make the song as strong as it is and prove the band is not just relying on its singer’s skills. It blends easily into “The Chance,” easily the most upbeat-sounding song thus far on the EP. This song will have the listener tapping their foot and as it reads almost like a conversation, reminding anyone of a missing the person they’re no longer with. Echoing the lyrics “I wait for the chance to be entranced by you again” as the song winds down almost makes you wonder how the song works with such a fast pace.

The band then slows down with “Every Day’s Another Goodbye,” which feels like the real ballad of the EP. Ivins’ voice takes on the same grating tone that was prevalent through much of “Fall Flat” which works well for the melancholy tone of the song.

The band wraps things up with “How To Hold On,” another more quick-paced track that may easily be the strongest on the release. The chorus, beginning with “I know where my life is goin’/ don’t know how I’m gonna get there” is catchy as hell, enough to warrant an immediate second listen. Despite also featuring lyrics such as “even though you’re gone, just want to know you’re not leaving” the song never drops its upbeat attitude and makes for a great closing.

This band’s self-titled EP shows off their range and musical abilities well. Although the entire EP seems to follow a theme of being apart and missing someone, the band breathes so much life into the songs that they leave the listener with a very positive feeling and certainly invite another listen in the near future.

Recommended If You Like Matt Nathanson, Mae, acoustic rock
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