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God or Julie - This Road Before Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 7.25
Production 8
Creativity 6.25
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 7.25
Final Verdict: 74%
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Inside AP.net

God or Julie - This Road Before

Reviewed by: DI Pistola (02/07/08)
God or Julie - This Road Before
Record Label: Trashbox Records
Released Date: November 14, 2007


While God or Julie make lofty claims as to sounding like My Chemical Romance, Muse, and Queens of the Stone Age, they are, at the outset, a Matchbook Romance 1.5. A marriage of styles between Matchbook Romance’s three records - the unabashedly pained and angst ridden lyrics from the West for Wishing EP and Stories and Alibis nearly meet the minor keys, darker tones, mature guitar riffs and frenzied drumming from Voices. The latter should come as no surprise though, as God or Julie’s drummer Aaron Stern manned the skins for the Voices era Matchbook Romance.

For better or for worse, the comparisons to Stern’s former band are inevitable, though God or Julie are clearly strong enough to stand on their own. But where most bands would put forth their best effort to craft their own unique image and sound, God or Julie seem to embrace being mentioned in the same breath as Matchbook Romance, and the dubious challenge of picking up where Stern's former band fell off the hype wagon by seeking to “take it to the next level.” Unfortunately, if This Road Before is touted as “the next level,” listeners expecting such should be warned that the next level might fall a little short to some. It's more of a Matchbook Romance fan service—a continuation for those upset over that band's dissolution, and a compromise between the two very different styles between Stories and Alibis, and Voices.

There are potentially much bigger things to this record than Matchbook Romance though, especially in the vocal department. The influences are seemingly all over the place. Front man Jon Paul Johnson soars like Matthew Bellamy from early Muse on “Nothing Further from the Truth,” shrills like AFI’s Davey Havok on “Bury Me,” and weeps like Raine Maeda of Our Lady Peace fame on the most powerful track from This Road Before, “Being Human.” The plea is nigh uncomfortable heart-on-the-sleeve simplicity, but the track’s plaintive buildup tugs at the listener from chorus to chorus.

God or Julie are an interesting animal. It’s almost impossible to mention this record without invoking some comparison to other bands, heavyweights who have long since been filling arenas. But when did comparison become such a bad thing? God or Julie know who they sound like, and they seem to know who they want to sound like. Their individual elements may not be purely unique, but they’re pulling from some of the biggest names across the alternative rock genre to craft the trappings of a memorable sound. There’s so much more to this band than Matchbook Romance. Expect big things.

Recommended if You LikeMatchbook Romance, Placebo, Muse, Our Lady Peace, potential

Track Listing01. Nothing Further from the Truth
02. Waste Your Tears
03. Say Your Last Goodbye
04. Bury Me
05. Being Human
06. Let It Bleed Again
07. Fallen Angel
08. I Was So Wrong
09. This Road Before
10. White
 
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
05:21 PM on 02/14/08
#2
Adrian Villagomez
West of the World
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The Everglow succumbs to the Dark Side?

03:41 PM on 02/18/08
#3
sofriggencool
so friggen cool
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might give this a listen since I used to really like matchbook romance.
the band name is god awful though
05:33 PM on 02/23/08
#4
lew_1987
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'as God or Julie’s drummer Aaron Stern manned the skins for the Voices era Matchbook Romance.' he drummed on everything they did... either you appear to be misinformed or that phrase is written poorly. apart from that it was a good review though.
04:02 PM on 02/24/08
#5
DI Pistola
tune in Tokyo
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might give this a listen since I used to really like matchbook romance.
the band name is god awful though

I like their name actually. Apparently, an old friend of the band's wrote music about either God, or his girlfriend Julie (the friend's girlfriend, not God's), and nothing else.

'as God or Julie’s drummer Aaron Stern manned the skins for the Voices era Matchbook Romance.' he drummed on everything they did... either you appear to be misinformed or that phrase is written poorly. apart from that it was a good review though.

Poorly worded. I just meant to draw the comparison to the Voices style without comparing it to everything MBR had done. Thanks though
06:29 PM on 02/29/08
#6
amhd
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Although I happen to think GOJ is ok, I disagree with you that they sound anything like MBR or their Voices album. The only similarity is the drumming style, obviously because its Aaron, but even that was better and more utilized in Matchbook.
04:07 PM on 02/03/12
#7
ansonyuhas
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Interested Fact:

'White' is to the same melody as 'I Swear' by All 4 One
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