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The Volunteers
by: Sun-J

Genres are created so easily these days it makes me sick. We should treat genres as we treat equations. Each one formed should have a purpose, a proof, a legitimate reason for existence. Formerly of the band Far, singer/songwriter/producer Jonas Matranga has been stuck in an unfortunate cycle of teenage, teeny-bopping garbage. Not to say his music is garbage. Rather, the genres this man has been placed under are complete bullsh*t. First off let me vent on this so called "punk" scene. Something Corporate. You're not punk, you're just a bunch of teen idolizing, musician rejects. The Starting Line. How about you guys start a line without sounding like NSYNC over power chords. Good Charlotte? How about good riddance. In fact, all I have to say is, those two brothers in the band did a song with the Neptunes. Listen to that, and you will understand my irritation. There is a list of about fifty other bands I can call out who are disgracing The Smiths and The Ramones, but I won't. Though I will leave this topic with this: To all those punk, pop, bubblegum or whatever the hell else you guys genre yourselves as, do one thing, make a song about something other than falling in love, you backstreet boy rip offs.

Now, Jonas Matranga has unfortunately become a legend in the emo, punk underground scene. His shows are filled with fourteen to sixteen year old girls who just moan, bitch and cry at his shows. This man is a victim of corporate America. Sure, he sells records and is successful, but KUCI is not about commercial bullsh*t. We are about independence, and standing up for your music. These pathetic crowds are holding back Jonas' musical genius. After 2002s, Visitor, Jonas Matranga varied his style, and is back on the forefront with the release, The Volunteers. Jonas is not your typical solo act. He is not the John Mayer, a man and a guitar deal. He is a man, a guitar, and a laptop band. His sound is experimental, rock, and a touch of punk. This album is a group of sincere arrangements of love, heartbreak and Corporate America. The album begins with "New York," an experimental track with ambient noise. "Over It," is an upbeat rock track powered by the acoustic. On "Ghost," Ian Love sparks the mood with a haunting fret exercise while "Superhero" changes things up a bit, as Jonas steps away from the mic, and the audience is presented the sound of a voice in an actual room. "Stay," is reminiscent of Interpol with its fundamental guitar, while, "We Had a Deal," is crunchy guitars, and stressed, emotion ridden vocals. "Oh, Boys," is a cleverly produced track with varying sounds and a hint of ambiguous sexuality, and "Livin' Small" is a comedic track that teaches and preaches in less that four minutes. "Portland," is quite similar in style to the opening track, "New York," while the final track "As Much to Myself as You," weighs on the monitors with high frequency, and emotional sounds. The album is never bland, and morphs through many styles. In addition, pop the CD into the computer and discover twelve demo tracks of six album songs. Moreover, each mp3 file has a text file attached where Jonas explains his thoughts and feelings. It is an excellent addition to the music. It allows you to feel closer to the sound, and understand the meaning behind the lyrics. The LP is solid, and fans should not be discouraged by the teenage, trendy audiences. Remember, Bright Eyes was once stuck with the high school crowd, but fans have finally started to catch on to their genius.


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