Jim Protector
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Original page: http://www.lunakafe.com/moon98/no98b.php

Jim Protector
Jim Protector's guide to self-pity EP
Switch Off Records

Jim Protector are Jarle Noraas and Aleksander Svanberg from the small town Horten, south west of Oslo. They started writing songs together three years ago, and put out their debut 7" Half Finished / Half Begun in 2002. Last year they recorded this EP, which finally hits the shelves.

Jim Protector are now based in Trondheim (now being a foursome, including gents Sondre and Mats) and Jim Protector's guide to self-pity EP is indeed an interesting taste from a band to watch out for. According to the press sheet they have good taste when it comes to picking inspiration. Grandaddy, Arab Strap, Yo La Tengo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Jad Fair (who'll be joining in on some of the songs for their forthcoming album!). I must say!

"Explain" sure sounds a bit like Grandaddy (pre-The Sophtware Slump). Teasingly, fuzz-soaked guitars and bent rhythms, topped with bubbling keyboards. "Flowers for Florence" is a noisy bit of a candycoated, space-rock underground stroll through filthy pop debris. The title track is a bit more of a "trad" indie-rocker (with a hint of the Cure on the vocal side). Final song "Waking up with me" is a calmer, drone-pop song piece, up YLT's alley. A most charming EP.

I'm already wearing the Jim Protector button on my chest pocket. Eagerly awaiting what's to come.

Copyright © 2004 Håvard Oppøyen - Luna Kafé e-zine


Preparing this review was the first exposure I have had to Norway's Jim Protector. The band has been kicking around since '01 and have released a couple of EPs and even a few tracks for compilations, but Shields Down is the first full length for the band. Yo La Tengo's Jad Fair throws down a bit of help, as well as Ken Stringfellow from The Posies, who worked on the mixing of the album.

The music is great. Long instrumentals begin to descend on you like an ominous but still slow mounting avalanche. The first track, 'Concept of Gravity' starts of with some simple synth pumps and after two minutes when the drums kick in, you realize that the music had become such a natural progression to your hearing that it sounded as regular as your own breathing. Despite many of the songs being in the five plus minutes mark, they seem to evolve naturally and none of it seems to be dragging on.

Jim Protector hints many times at a sound outside their own (or what I have come to consider as their own at least). Track two carries off with fuzzy guitars that sound like a Pavement or Dino Jr tribute, but at the same time the other guitar is playing something with real railway country sound to it. Then a few minutes in, it turns into some Braid style breaks with some background vocals in a very similar tone to those of Chris Broach.

After the first few tracks, when the vocals finally start to kick in full time, it takes you by surprise. With long bouts of strictly instrumentation the vocals are almost in full competition with the rest of the compositions in order to get some attention. With that said, there isn't anything wrong with the vocals, for all you Saddle-creekheads out there the singer kind of sounds like the early stuff of Todd Baechle from the Faint. Some of the accompanying vocals remind me of Kyle Field from Little Wings, which is always a good thing in my books.

What I don't like about the vocals is when they throw the effects down on it. That static-ey monotonous drone with another heavier-effected voice a pitch or two higher really bugs me. It seems like a trick bands would use to hide the fact that their singer is not great, but Jim Protector doesn't have that problem, so I don't really see the necessity in it all. The third track even has that voice-synth stuff (again, pretty The Faint-esque) but it really takes enjoyment out of the vocals for me. The bare boned vocals in some of that other songs is what really makes it more appealing.

Overall, I doubt this will be making it on any of my 'Best of the year' type lists, but Jim Protector certainly was a pleasurable experience. But don't just take my word for it...

SCORE: 8/10 - Twoway Monologues


It's like what Baby Spice said: "Be a little bit wiser, baby: put it on, put it on." While you're out gallivanting at NXNE, it's always wise to have a few jim protectors on hand, as this poptronica band reminds us. - NOW Magazine


They're an infectious and noisy indie rock four-piece all the way from Sweden's less-trendy neighbour, Norway.

Grade: 75

http://www.chartattack.com/DAMN/2007/06/1148.cfm - Matt Reeder - chartattack.com


Discography

Half finished/half begun 7" (2002)
Jim Protector´s guide to self-pity EP (2004)
Shields Down (2007)

Check out songs here www.myspace.com/jimprotector
Some live-video material can be found on our website: www.jimprotector.net

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Bio

The Norwegian midwinter of 2001 was extremely cold, but it gave Alex and Jarle time to write and record the weird and melodious music of Jim Protector, using the family-computer and whatever instrument or tool at hand. The outcome was the hand made 7-inch Half Finished / Half Begun, released the following year. Suprisingly enough it recieved dazzling rewievs in some of Norways most profiled music-zines, Mute (8/10) and Panorama (5/6). A nice start.

During 2003 songs for the new EP Jim Protectors guide to self-pity was recorded, engineered by Thomas Ruud, from the Norwegian rock-act Mohammed. As the often the case when funding studio-time and record-release on ones own, things tend to take a little more time. Add the fact that the boys were spread between cities and continents for a while, one can understand why the release was delayed until late fall of 2004. Not, however, without its fair share of attention.

The young fellows of Jim Protector are now gathered in the old viking-city of Trondheim, where they also attend studies. A refurnished office in a closed down smelting-plant serves as a practice-room and studio. Now a quartet, Jim Protector has proven to be a most competent and entertaining live-act, for those lucky enough to have seen it, strengthen by the drummer Andreas and the energetic guitar-player Stein Ove. Cracked fingernails and bloody fingertips are quite common when these guys rock the stage!

What does Jim Protector sound like? Try guitarbased indie-rock with a touch of catchy, child-like melodies, add elements of casio-pop, lo-fi and white noise, well, then you kinda get the idea. You might want to compare it with the likings of Arab Strap, Motorpsycho, Granddaddy, Neutral Milk Hotel, Yo La Tengo or some of the bands from the Canadian Constellation label. Or you just might want to compare it with something else.

On their debut album Jim Protector has been collaborating with Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, R.E.M., Big Star) to mix and refine the Jim Protector sound. A most charming cut with lo-fi legend Jad Fair (Half Japanese, Teenage Fanclub, Yo La Tengo++) is also included. The album was recorded in their abandoned smelting plant studio in Trondheim, mixed by Ken Stringfellow one cold week in February 06 at Livingroom Studios, Oslo, and one hot week in April 06 at Soundhouse recording, Seattle and finally mastered at Cutting Room, Stockholm, by Håkan Åkesson. The album has been well received and that summer the guys got to play at North by Northeast in Toronto, Canada and one of Norway’s biggest music festivals called Quart.

It's like what Baby Spice said: "Be a little bit wiser, baby: put it on, put it on." While you're out gallivanting at NXNE, it's always wise to have a few jim protectors on hand, as this poptronica band reminds us.
-NOW Magazine May 31, 2007

They're an infectious and noisy indie rock four-piece all the way from Sweden's less trendy neighbour, Norway. These guys like their guitars turned up, way up. Whether they were locking into a post-punk groove or slinging out a bass-heavy dirge, the Protector guys kept it distorted and loud. Not surprisingly, the vocals often ended up buried beneath the wall of noise for most of the performance. They indulged the place in a frenzy of feedback on the finale and went over time, but, hey, they deserved the extra time.
-Chartattack, June 11, 2007