Superjaded wants to please everyone. While they’re inescapably catchy power pop, they never let you forget their rock credentials (their press material makes quite an issue of their connections to Seattle) in an attempt to maintain some level of respectability. Unfortunately, despite (or perhaps because of) this mostly agreeable collection of songs, An Inch Below E, is as interchangeably bland as every other lightweight band out there. It’s not the worst album ever recorded, but that’s almost all that can be said.
Opening with their slightly obnoxious ode to partying, “Get Wasted”, Superjaded’s An Inch Below E never strays from the path they set for themselves. With typical distorted guitars and adequately pounding drums, Superjaded delivers what is expected of them, but tries for no more than that. They’re not dull, just unexciting.
The one thing that sets Superjaded apart is the voice of lead singer Ed Sebani, which is also sometimes their most annoying feature. Both whiny and unaffecting, Sebani doesn’t do much in conveying emotional messages. While the more intriguing songs, like “Bleeding Angel” seem like they could benefit if sung by someone else, Sebani’s voice is at least distinctive and something to hold onto while listening to An Inch Below E.
Superjaded does manage some interesting moments in their lyrics, although they rarely depart from the predictable standards of pretentious modern rock. On the amiable “Time to Change” Sebani sings “My only thoughts are what you said” in the chorus, although he doesn’t manage to place much weight on these words. Later, on “Cigarette Maid” they show some empathy with lines like “Well on your way, you’ll find a better place, Cigarette Maid.” The lyrics just seem to exist as an excuse for Superjaded’s music, but there’s at least some thought behind them.
An Inch Below E is mostly innocuous, and while it has a few nearly admirable qualities, it’s nothing that hasn’t been heard before. Superjaded has adequate talent that they use equally adequately, but in the end, they offer nothing. As hard as they try to please everyone, they truly end up pleasing no one.
// Notes from the Road
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