Reviews: Jargon Party, “Interrobang” (Portland, indie rock)

jargon party

The first 20 seconds of Jargon Party’s sort-of debut EP, “Interrobang,” sounds immediately like 2005. Let me clear: this is not a bad thing. It sounds like the kind of high energy, melodic, punk-infused indie rock that I played on my long-running college radio show, between 2000 and 2007. This is music that I passionately loved, and still love in a somewhat nostalgic but real way. Bands like Les Savy Fav, the Dismemberment Plan, Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Q and Not U. Ah, to be in my second senior year of college again. Wait… no. But I digress.

Anyway, Jargon Party pretty much nails that early-to-mid 2000s indie rock sweet spot on “Interrobang,” a brisk, fun 15 minutes that speed along like a bullet. Opening track “Do You” and closing track “Surf Rock Anthem Number 7” both benefit from an injection of surf rock guitar, and lead singer and songwriter Zach Lewis has a rock yelp perfect for this sort of zippy, brash music. He’s also got a little bit of that wry, sarcastic lyrical edge found in the music of Courtney Barnett or Father John Misty, albeit packaged in a very different musical format — “Halseywood,” a song presumably about being in your 20s and living among too many roommates and partying too much, shows a huge amount of lyrical promise. In fact, all four songs show huge amount of promise. Though Jargon Party put out an album three years ago essentially as Lewis’ solo project, this version is clearly the true version of the band, benefiting enormously from excellent Portland musicians Eric Schnare (the Other Bones), Dustin Graham (Volcano Rabbit) and Jake Erskine. Now I just have to wait for a full length album. When’s it coming, guys?

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer and editor for Bangor Metro Magazine, the Weekly and the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine. Albums for review are accepted digitally only; please no CDs.