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JigGsaw - JigGsaw EP Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 8.25
Production 8.75
Creativity 8.75
Lasting Value 8.75
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 85%
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JigGsaw - JigGsaw EP

Reviewed by: Susan Frances (02/04/08)
JigGsaw - JigGsaw EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: June 5, 2007

JigGsaw forge a middle ground where the pop charms of The Shins meet the punk rock agility of Anberlin. The foursome from Champaign, Illinois (located on the outskirts of Chicago) have ironed out any rough spots in their melodic timing, which they were criticized for having on their debut album Zero Generation from 2006. Mastered by Brian Gardner (My Chemical Romance, The Killers, Green Day), JigGsaw’s self-titled EP has a nice melodic rock polish that covers up any hint of them ever being a local band. Any previous indication of JigGsaw being a garage band are gone and replaced by sophisticated rock trimmings and expertly managed vocals which inhale and exhale in sync to the breathing pattern of the rhythmic swells resulting in the vocals working in tight unison with the movements. It’s like a newly chromed JigGsaw since their debut album.

Leading off with “We’ve Got Guns Now,” the band produces melodic transitions with a nice sheen and fashions totally smooth inclines along the chord progressions. “Dance for Me” stresses the richness of frontman Mark JigGsaw’s vocal stylistics while maintaining the rock fangs of his and Hayden Cler’s guitar jumps and the rhythmic grooves of bassist Michael Hicks and drummer Ed Hell. The soaring vocals and agreement in the chord sequences of “Lemon Drops” make a lasting imprint on the listener’s mind, and the softer massed silhouettes of “A Church with No Name” have a nu-wave/pop glare. The rhythmic swells of “Alaska” produce pockets of constricting flaps and loosely held knolls which keep the melody’s theatrics evolving. The final number “Now Hiring Graveyard Servers” finishes off the disc with a romping melodic rock score.

JigGsaw’s self-titled EP is special in its melodic rock workings. The vocals of Mark JigGsaw act as one with the rhythmic grooves pulling the band out of their garage band conditioning. Possessing slices of punk and nu-wave/pop, JigGsaw have accrued several assets to their credit, and the band shows an interest in wanting to mount even more skills to their wall of credits. They add a level of finesse to romping rock melodies that isn’t garage band sounding nor does it remove their punk rock fangs. They fall in the middle of it all, something few bands acquire.

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