Local Wire

Jealous Sound @ The Rogue Bar

It's hard to make a comeback, but it helps if you went out on a high note. Ignoring a digital-only EP in 2005, The Jealous Sound's last big blast of noise was Kill Them with Kindness (2003). And what a blast it was — the swaggering, confident sound of emo boys (think early emo — members of Knapsack and Sunday's Best, sporting the New Balance-and-faded Levis look — not the Hot Topic emo of today) growing up and getting confident. Songs like "Naive" and "Abandon! Abandon!" kick down the gate with soaring melodies that sound both earnest and cocksure. Then the Los Angeles band just sort of . . . faded away, with Village Voice referring to the aforementioned Got Friends EP as "the last shreds of material recorded [for a new album] before [songwriter Blair] Shehan went crazy and more or less disappeared." But 2009 saw the band returning to the stage, supporting fellow emo-but-still-legit rockers Sunny Day Real Estate on their own reunion tour. And while passionate airings of former glories might have been enough, the band headed into the studio (with Nate Mendel of SDRE and Foo Fighter in tow) to record a brand-new record. The resulting disc, A Gentle Reminder, hit stores on January 31. Thankfully, it swings from the rafters the same way Kill Them with Kindness did, with the added benefit of a wolf-tastic record sleeve.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.