Thursday, May 30 2024

J.J. Chamberlain, known as the frontman of Box Time and the lead guitarist of the Love Barons, dropped his second solo jam, ‘Eyeballs,’ hot on the heels of his debut, ‘Tired of Christmas,’ which hit the digital shelves last December. While supporting Mammabear on his recent UK tour, he bumped into drummer Takashi Takemura. That meetup sparked a collaboration on J.J.’s solo venture. Drawing inspiration from the early ‘90s alt-rock-scene, mixed with elements of grunge and new wave vibes, ‘Eyeballs’ presents a fusion of alternative indie rock with a pop twist. And get this, the whole shebang is run solely by J.J.

Starting with some shimmering sound effects, ‘Eyeballs’ piqued my interest when the catchy guitar riffs and the up-tempo beat of the drums blasted through my speakers. The sound and energy gave me a proper Oasis vibe. J.J. Chamberlain’s melodic pop vocals have a nice soft sound, beautifully enhanced when the backing vocals join the mix, yet they cut through with clarity. I’d liken the song’s vibe to a mashup of Suede, The Lightning Seeds, and The Bluetones.

I absolutely love the mid-range sound of the guitars. They’re proper ’90s, a decade that’s close to my heart, especially in terms of guitar sound. None of that overly polished stuff, just raw and dry. In my book, they’re the standout feature of the song. As the song gradually builds towards the chorus, I have to be honest, I was expecting a more explosive and proper climax. However, that aside, the song’s got all the makings of a solid indie pop-rock anthem. Following the bridge, there’s a melodic solo on the guitar that adds a fresh layer to the mix as well.

‘Eyeballs’ marks the debut release from J.J.’s upcoming album, currently cooking up in the mixing studio. It was penned back in 2023, during a rough spell for J.J., with stress and struggles aplenty. But 2024’s kicked off on a brighter note, and now he’s gearing up to drop a load of tunes. We’re definitely keen to hear more of those catchy guitar hooks from this talented muso. Great work!

Bandcamp / Spotify / Spotify

Review

Summary

J.J. Chamberlain’s solo project ‘Eyeballs’ is a nostalgic nod to ’90s alt-rock with catchy riffs and promising vibes, hinting at an exciting debut album to come.
73%
A ’90s Alt-Rock Gem

Rating

Song Quality
Vocal Perfromance
Instrumentation
Lyrics
Production
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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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