CD Review of Until June by Until June

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Until June
starhalf starno starno starno star Label: Sony/BMG/Flicker
Released: 2007
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It’s an inspirational, if oft-told, story – group of guys forms a band, heads to L.A. to make it big, and finds nothing but rejection (being escorted out of record company office buildings, etc.). Band gears up for one last shot at the dream, gives itself a deadline (for instance, until the sixth month of the year), and just when all hope seems lost, voila! Along comes a producer/label/manager/whatever to save the day.

This is the story of Until June, at least if the band’s press kit is to be believed, which is sort of a shame – a tale so uplifting deserves some halfway decent music to go along with it, after all, and there isn’t any on this album. The band would have you believe its music represents “a cross-section of the sounds of Keane, Coldplay, and Ben Folds Five,” and goes on to promise hints of Sigur Rós and Sunny Day Real Estate, but – as you can probably guess – none of this is true. The songs on Until June are vaguely suggestive of Coldplay, maybe, if Coldplay forged an alliance with matchbox twenty, and then hired the yellow-eyed mutant spawn of Tom DeLonge and Kevin Cronin to do lead vocals.

And kidnapped The Edge, and made him play riffs that sound lifted from The Joshua Tree, only not as good.

You get the idea. This is exquisitely polished, exceedingly competent music, with lyrics drawn from the downcast inner narratives of sad, floppy-haired boys all over the world. Any of these songs will sound great in the background of an emotional moment during one of MTV’s reality series, or maybe the next Kate Hudson romantic comedy, which is why probably a quarter-million guys who wish they were Milo Ventimiglia (or girls who wish they were dating him) will buy the album. Fortunately, most of them will eventually snap out of it, realize that this music is so devoid of testicles it makes James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” sound like Lemmy strong-arming a blumpie out of a teenage groupie, and move on to better things.

~Jeff Giles