Jughead - Jughead

Year of Release: 2002
Label: InsideOut/Ear Candy
Catalog Number: SPV 085-65052 CD ECRCD 00
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:41:00

Jughead is the quartet formed by keyboardist Derek Sherinian, guitarist Ty Tabor, drummer Greg Bissonette and bassist Matt Bissonette, releasing their self-titled debut last year. In fact, Jughead is what remains of Platypus, the trio that Tabor and Sherinian formed with Dream Theater bassist John Myung and drummer Rod Morgenstein. But the sound is quite a bit different, such that if you expect to hear the big keyboard sound heard from Sherinian in his other project Planet X (or even his solo work) then you will be surprised, and pleasantly so. No, this isn't progressive rock, as the sound falls more in the Beatles-inspired college rock arena. In fact, whilst listening I recalled my own college days, hanging out at the local pizza parlor? can almost see the young men guzzling pizza and beer, wearing their baggy sweatshirts; equally baggy, to-the-knee shorts; sandals and maybe a baseball cap (forward or backwards). While it's not music for carousing - it's not bloozy enough for that - it is perfect for that afternoon gathering.

My other thought was that I could easily hear the opening track "Halfway Home To Elvis" in some episode of NBC's Ed (the original theme was the Foo Fighter's "Next Year") ? and for those who aren't familiar with the show, just think mellow alt-rock a la, at times, Goo Goo Dolls, Gin Blossoms, et al, but also one thinks of the smart pop of Squeeze, only Jughead is a little heavier. Perhaps the strongest influence in Jughead's sound is of the Beatles - happy harmonies, even if the lyrics aren't happy. It's jangly power pop, and quite unexpected from the InsideOut label (though it is on the Ear Candy imprint).

You may want to hate it because of what I just said, but listening to the Byrds-styled "Promise," you can't help but find the charm in this release. "Bullet Train" is the perfect summertime sing-along that you likely wouldn't hear on your radio. "Waiting On The Son" is a mellow, laidback, almost balladic piece, with some very nice harmonies a la the Beatles, of course, leaning at times more towards the George Harrison spectrum (thinking of "Here Comes The Sun," of course). It's the Paul McCartney aspect of the Beatles that is recalled in the sunny just-this-side-of-sappy "Flowers." The deceptively ultra-mellow "Yesterday I Found Myself" belies a grinding, stomping, heavy dark side that comes to dominate within a short order, though it doesn't leave catchy pop choruses too far behind.

The album closes with the atmospherically undulating, slow-building "Paging Willie Mays," a song - as I read it - about the how today's baseball player has lost the kind of class the players of old had. This slow, hazy piece does burst out here and there with a bit of screaming blasts of guitar.

It's quite a classy pop album that has but one flaw that I noticed - "C'Mon" sounds a great deal like the track that precedes it, the aforementioned "Halfway Home To Elvis." And the lag between tracks (throughout) is so minimal that it took me a couple of listens to realize they were two separate tracks. But, if you are not adverse to smart pop (never mind those of you who argue GGD and GB aren't), then Jughead is well worth draining pitcher or two.

Halfway Home To Elvis (3:14) / C'mon (4:17) / Snow In Tahiti (2:50) / Promise (3:58) / Bullet Train (3:56) / Waiting On The Son (4:03) / Yesterday I Found Myself (5:26) / Be Like You (3:17) / Flowers (2:58) / Shame On The Butterfly (3:34) / Paging Willie Mays (8:08)

Ty Tabor - guitars, vocals
Matt Bissonette - bass, vocals
Greg Bissonette - drums, vocals
Derek Sherinian - rhythm guitars, keyboards

Jughead (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: November 16th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 579
Language: english


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