Jonezetta’s latest release Cruel to be Young is jam packed with radio friendly riffs and melodies. Nowhere to be found is overt references to the band’s highly publicized faith nor evidence of what could have been a debilitating loss when fifth member Timothy Jordan committed suicide during recording of their first record. What is present is the footprint of indie darling David Bazan (who provides guest vocals on a track) and a more mature songwriting than was present on their debut record, Popularity.
Jonezetta, commonly labeled as surf rock, are from Mississippi and made their name traveling the college club circuit throughout the south. Touring with the likes of The Whigs seems to have helped themto refine their sound. As the album progresses it moves from a Top 40 vibe (“Wide Awake”) into the purely ethereal (“I Watched Out From Your Window”). Despite the implausibility of it all, Jonezetta seems to be growing before our very eyes. Still though, there exists the contradiction of a band having to choose between pursuing its place on The Warped Tour or alongside Sufjan Stevens in the world of rock twee. Never the twain shall meet. With this record at least, it seems that Jonezetta has opted for the latter and with solid results.