Courtesy Tooth and Nail

Jonezetta – “Busy Body”

Some bands name themselves for their lead singer’s breathing problems (Weezer, anyone?); others for the amateur film directed by their lead singer, á la Ezra Koenig’s “Vampire Weekend.” Still others have drawn inspiration from Virginia Woolf (Modest Mouse), French children’s books (Belle & Sebastian), very flexible strippers (Alexisonfire) and “The Simpsons” (Fall Out Boy).

And some bands simply smash together two unrelated words that magically work. This is exactly what Jonezetta did.

The Mississippi alternative rock group came together in 2002 while its four original members were still in high school. Although the guys considered giving up their rockstar dreams when they went off to college, a demo recorded during one of their spring breaks caught the eye of Christian rock label Tooth and Nail. In 2005, the band signed on and received one of the biggest deals in the label’s history.

Flash forward three years. After its original drummer left the band and its keyboardist died only weeks before recording its debut album Popularity, Jonezetta settled on a solid lineup last summer and set to recording their sophomore effort, which was released on Tuesday.

Now, Jonezetta’s latest single and the title track of that album, “Cruel to Be Young,” embodies the band’s smooth, melodic-yet-catchy sound. Lead singer Robert Chisholm’s smooth vocals shine as he sings, “This is never gonna change / Things are gonna stay the same / You’ll still sing the same old song you’ve always sung / Cruel to be so young.”

After a few seconds of silence at the end of the final chorus, Chisholm repeats “Keep digging on / I’m digging on you” to a beat befitting of the 1940s. This odd ending, which fades out after about 20 seconds, sets the song apart from the ever-growing ranks of popular indie rock music.

Although Cruel to Be Young embraces a more refined sound than Jonezetta’s debut release, the raucous vocals of songs like “Busy Body” recall the band’s no-holds-barred dance rock roots. In the song, Chisholm immediately launches into a loud, raspy repetition of the phrase “She’s the one” to a heavily bass-driven beat.

No one is exactly sure what those two words were that Jonezetta smashed together. Some say the band got their name from the clown that performed at their childhood birthday parties while others speculate that it could be a tribute to Catherine Zeta-Jones.

So while they might not weeze or suck blood on weekends, Jonezetta rocks out with a unique sound that makes everyone want to keep up with these Joneses.

—By Asst Entertainment Editor Franchesca Winters


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