steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Jive White Boy

"Knives That Stab Your Face" CD


Genre: singer / songwriter, folk pop

Portland, OR

July 2009

Jive White Boy is, more or less, Brian Senesac, a low-key singer/songwriter inspired by the recent indie folk scene. Knives That Stab Your Face is a brief album populated by understated acoustic songs. Of course, nothing here is wretched, but these tracks have also failed to pump my nads, and they aren't likely to pump yours either.

I suppose the trouble with mellow folk pop music is that it seldom leaves a lasting impression; Jive White Boy models himself after the exceptions (Elliot Smith, Bright Eyes), but fails to live up to his idols. Too many of these songs sound like the sorts of forgettable ballads you'd find on alternative rock albums from the late nineties ("Slowly", "2031"). Occasional nuggets hit on some tasty hooks ("The Great Depression," "Knives That Stab Your Face"), although the overall product could still use some polish. Senesac's vocals oscillate from hesitant to droning, and his songs are too long for simple acoustic pop tracks. A bit of time to refine his craft will do this Jive White Boy some good.



Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 7 tracks, distributed by the band]