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New End Original | Thriller | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

New End Original

Thriller (Jade Tree)
by Tim Den

This has to be the biggest disappointment of '01. Chock full of childish radio rock, aimless shoegazer, and laugh-out-loud amateur lyrics, Thriller is a posturing shell with absolutely nothing in its belly. One listen and the problem becomes clear: ex-Far crooner Jonah Matranga's self-importance. It seems Jonah's Rockstar Martyr identity has only grown exponentially since his former band's demise; first with his bland solo project, Onelinedrawing, and now with New End Original. He preaches introspection and spirituality with the conviction of a televangelist, spouting candy-coated rhetoric but really groveling for all the attention himself. Need proof? See one of his live shows and tell me you don't feel spoon-fed New Age-y bullshit. He flails his "rail skinny thus sexy to emo kids" poses all around the stage, his lips curled up like a wanna-be rockstar eager to convince you that he's "just a fan like you who's in touch with his deepest emotions." But one look at his formulated moves (feigned pauses, closing eyes at the right moments) and you'd have to be a sucker not to see that he's clamoring for your adoration and worship.

Fuckin' A, you wanna be a better-than-everyone rockstar? Say it straight up and quit it with the sensitive pussy stage act. Join a fucking glam rock band for chrissakes, or at least spell it out loud (like at one of his recent shows): "It's really all about me and the attention I receive" (damn... this guy will do anything to get laid). The audience thought he was being sarcastic at first... until the show continued and the posturing matched the intentions. The stench of insincerity in the air was only matched by the fake-honesty in the lyrics and limp songwriting, two things that Thriller's got plenty of.

What a pity that such a talented backing band (two ex-members of Texas Is The Reason and an ex-Chamberlain) has chosen to go down with the ship. I wonder if they agree to Jonah's strong-arming local acts off New End Original shows, or his charming way of hitting on people's girlfriends (I have stories of both), or his disappearing act after the gig so that his band has to pack up the gear by themselves while he goes brooding somewhere. Whatever the case, let's hope they don't agree to do another album with Jonah the Tortured Pseudo-Guru.
(2310 Kennwynn Rd. Wilmington, DE 19810)


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