Junior Achiever
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Junior Achiever

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Rock


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"All the Little Letdowns-Germany"

Dosenmusik JA review...

Junior Achiever - All the little letdowns CD A new summer soundtrack.
With "All the Little Letdowns" Junior Achiever have a debut album, which sounds like they have years of experience. Sure enough, this experience comes because all members already tested successfully in other bands, in the case of Gene Champagne even attaining a Canadian Juno Award. The other members Dave Fritz, Steve Scott and drummer Jeremy Knowles participate in this new project with full heart and soul.
Even if their first album doesnt travel on completely new ground, the gentlemen perfectly control their craft and cover Emo and Pop Punk with a completely different style. They play with joy and the great melodies, which compare with Weezeer and Jimmy Eat World, are very well arranged. Their interaction functions amazingly well for a debut, on one hearing giving the feeling the band has played already for many years.
The bands label describes their music as a summer music, and hits the nail on the head. It is not too deep but has sufficient substance to be more than a simple beach party. It remains to be seen whether Junior Achiever, with their next album cans develop themselves further to the complete band. I wish it would be there as All the Little Letdowns is a really charming album which simply make you have fun.
12 out of 15.
Reminds of: Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Killjoys.

- www.dosenmusik.de

"ALl The Little Letdowns- UK"

It may sound a little bit sappy, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Indie record label Engineer Records having had the pleasure of reviewing compilation DVD’s and CD’s from them as well as individual band’s albums, and with Junior Achiever they have a great band that pulls together everything that I like. This has a Pop/Punk feel of bouncy catchy Pop/Rock songs, with big riffs and intellectually amusing lyrics giving the proverbial cherry on top.

Naturally for an album that’s called, ‘All The Little Letdowns’ the only one that I can think of is that I have only just discovered them. First song, ‘Another Stupid Love Song’ sounds like a cross between Everclear at their catchiest, Fountains Of Wayne and Naked Apes. They have the ability of churning out a song that is catchy without sounding like a band that you should be embarrassed about liking. ‘Scoot’ has a nice little acoustic jig feel in the first verse before the chorus and the guitar riff rips in with all of it’s head-banging glory. ‘Better Than This’ is a pure listening pleasure in the vein of Bowling For Soup with a dash of Silver Sun, with chugging guitars and vocal melodies…Great, great, great!

We have the pain of not feeling good enough in, ‘Suburbs’ with the lyrics of, “I’m a cheater, I’m a loser // I feel like a fallen user // In a world so full of pain // I can sink myself into // I’m ashamed to hear my name next to yours // I’m ashamed to hear my name…”. Gene Champagne has a great voice (and name I might add!)that lends itself perfectly for this melodic Pop/Punk so naturally, he must’ve been humming hooks in the womb… 'Dumb It Down’ has some nice harmonies and has a hint of Weezer about it minus the fuzzbox guitars. Then with riffs bigger that King Kong’s balls, and hard drum beats, ‘Underrated’ is Punk with melodies.

Like early Blink 182 but with better quality, ‘Lick Me, Suck Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me’ is a sex-fuelled slice of Punk. Stupid, immature, catchy and pure brilliance, sometimes you can leave saving the world to others…then moving on to, ‘Say What You Want To Say’ which jumps out at you as a anthem that is so catchy that you will swear that you’ve heard it before. There are elements of Simple Plan, but only splashes as Junior Achiever have a more mature sound and are less throwaway. ‘California’ is another great song, and it would have to be. Sounding like the band Plunket mixed with Army Of Freshmen but without the keyboards, it’s a poppy song with a chorus that reminds me of the theme tune to the TV programme, ‘OC’.

‘She’s So Mean’ has cheerleader shouts in the background and sun-kissed vocals like if you took Ben Folds and let him party with Jocks and Cheerleaders whilst Brian Wilson looked on approvingly. We then have electric beats to start with on, ‘Daytona’ which sounds a little like Wheatus on one of their latest albums (a band that are underrated in my book). It’s then interesting to see that it takes a dozen songs before a slow song, which is thoughtfully constructed, before last song, ‘Gutless Wonder’ which could’ve been penned and sung by The Vandals. Great tongue in cheek Punk humour.

Obviously a special mention has to go out in regards to Junior Achiever being featured on, ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’, which if you remember was the great Canadian show from the 1980’s a bit like Grange Hill but more controversial. However, with their debut album, ‘All The Little Letdowns’ they have an album that will have you excited as a kid on Christmas Eve with it’s sound that is a cross between Fountains Of Wayne, Bowling For Soup and Everclear, and so whilst other Pop/Punk albums are becoming watered down and bland, Junior Achiever have one that stands up proud like the contents of a schoolboys’ trousers! Great stuff!

Track Listing
01 - Another Stupid Love Song
02 - Scoot
03 - Better Than This
04 - Suburbs
05 - Dumb It Down
06 - Underrated
07 - Lick Me, Suck Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
08 - Say What You Want Me To Say
09 - California
10 - She's So Mean
11 - Daytona
12 - How Does It Feel
13 - Gutless Wonder

http://www.roomthirteen.com/cgi-bin/cd_view.cgi?CDID=8876 - www.roomthirteen.com

"All the Little Letdowns"

By Lisa Holmes
This could be defined as pop punk, but frontman Gene Champagne has a light touch which ensures Junior Achiever are more Weezer-gone-wild than One Night Only. Each track contains a hefty dollop of ‘niceness’ but irony is like, so over; it’s cool to be kind. With songs like ‘Suburbs’ and ‘Dumb It Down’, these guys know their market. “You’ve got to put things right if you want to keep good company,” sings Champagne on ‘Underrated’, which espouses the value of good old fashioned manners and self respect. Summer definitely brings the best out of childishly enthusiastic pop punkers. - Nuggets by New Noise


9 pm

JUNIOR ACHIEVER at the Annex WreckRoom Rating: NNN

"Unabashedly in the Fountains of Wayne and Weezer-?lite ballpark, this Toronto quartet is rocking a style that’s a bit played out. However, with a kick-?ass bass player, some quality hooks and an overall likeability, the members of Junior Achiever were still able to earn their keep." JB - Now Magazine

"All the Little Letdowns- Featured review -Really good radio friendly emo/pop/rock/etc."

Junior Achiever
All the Little Letdowns
Engineer Records
Whats the new standard deviation for emo these days? Is it better synced to pop-punk or punk-pop? The classifications are passé, for sure. Thankfully, bands like Junior Achiever come along every so often to serve reminders that the only category that truly matters is enjoyable.

Sure, its a hard sell to push the musical credibility of a band with a career highpoint of being featured as musical accompaniment for multiple episodes of "Degrassi: The Next Generation". The sell gets a bit easier, however, when the guitarist/vocalist is Gene Champagne, former drummer of Canada's fabulous 1990's act The Killjoys.

Champagne's swing from backbeat to frontman has resulted in 36 minutes of fine radio-friendly pop guitar music. Another Stupid Love Song, Suburbs, and Say What You Want Me To Say are modern-day pop nuggets worthy of the same attention and airspace lavished upon bands such as All-American Rejects, A Simple Plan and Good Charlotte. Drinking-and-partying anthem Daytona goes from self-deprecating (And I kinda think I'm funnier when I'm drinking) to brutally honest (We'll hit all the bars / We'll take separate cars cuz you're never quite sure who you'll leave with) without so much as a bat of an eye.

For curious Killjoys fans,She's So Mean and Daytona feature Champagne's fellow Killjoy alumni Shelley Woods on bass, while California could be mistaken for a Killjoys outtake (minus the pitch-shifting on the bridge, that is). Champagne and company also toss in a pretty good ballad with How Does It Feel, which sees the band build up around the vocals and piano of special guest Emilie-Claire Barlow.

Of the album's standout trio of pop tunes, Say What You Want Me To Say stands out most by sounding like something Rick Springfield would've recorded in the 80's. Chuckle away, but folks wouldn't turn up car radios and sing along loudly to "Jesse's Girl" 20+ years later if the song wasn't a damn banger. This is the kind of pop album that more bands should be worrying about dropping to record these days. In two decades, no one listening to this record is going to say, Oh man, emo! More likely, the response will be, Damn, what a solid album! - which is exactly how this review would read in five-word form.

-Gary Blackwell
07/16/08 - Delusions of Adequacy

"Call it pop-punk if you will, but it sounds more like"

The songs are diverse, but with a unifying sound; poppy, edgy, sunny but not sappy; its summer music that reflects the sparkle of the grass and the warmth of the sun, but not without a wry sense of humour and an honest longing for something more. Call it pop-punk if you will, but it sounds more like "After-School-Special-Core"; rock and roll for kids on sugar and too much TV."(CMFU 93.3FM- McMaster University- James Tennant

- CMFU 93.3 McMaster University- James Tennant

"Hardrock House Review"

You've got to ask yourself just one question" to quote the inscrutable Inspector Harry Callahan. If you applied this thinking to Junior Achiever's debut the question would have to be "do you like pop/punk - punk?" If the answer is yes and you like the sound of a band who take their inspiration from mid-period Weezer and pre-serious Blink 182 with a dash of Bowling For Soup's ever present effervescence then step right this way, there is a cracking album in store for you.
Up-tempo and infectious throughout "All The Little Letdowns" is, quite simply, the best album I've heard this year and the best release in the genre since The Color Fred debut last year, and I include Weezer's 6th album in this comparison, it is that good, really. Over the course of the thirteen slices of pop/punk perfection presented here Gene Champagne wraps some sugar coated vocal and guitar hooks around songs that describe growing up and relationship issues but are never downbeat. Even the piano-led ballad "How Does It Feel" doesn't bring the mood down that much but, just to make sure you leave the album on a high note, the band romp through an 80 second blast in "Gutless Wonder" leaving you reaching for the repeat button, something you will find yourself doing time and time again.

John Lewins - http://hardrockhouse.com/NewReleases/JuniorAchiever.htm


"All the Little Letdowns"-2008
Japan- Trust Records
UK/North America-Engineer Records

"Degrassi the Next Generation" Sound Track- 2005
"Punkradiocast - Punk Mix Tape"- 2006



Junior Achiever front man Gene Champagne began playing the drums when he was only eleven. He co-founded Warner Recording Artists The Killjoys who won a Juno award (The Canadian "Grammy") and recorded three records for Warner Music before disbanding.

Joining Champagne in Junior Achiever is like-minded musician Dave Fritz, formerly of British pop-punksters Wact. In addition to his roll as Junior Achiever guitarist and backing vocalist, Dave lends his expertise as an audio engineer. Holding down the rhythm section are bassist/vocalist Steve Scott and drummer Jeremy Knowles, a team who have played together often in the past and were an immediately solid foundation for Champagne�s music.

The thirteen song debut album titled "All the Little Letdowns" was recorded by guitarist Dave Fritz, mixed by Ed Krautner (Sum 41, Avril Lavigne) and mastered by Joa Carvalho (Sloan, Death From Above 1979).

The record features guest appearances by former Killjoys' bassist Shelley Woods and Juno nominated Jazz vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow.

Junior Achiever's songs have charted on Canadian radio and have been featured in several television series including the Canadian cult classic "Degrassi: The Next Generation".

The track "Suburbs" can also be found on the compilation album �Songs from Degrassi - The Next Generation � released on Orange Records and distributed by Universal Music Canada.

The songs are diverse, but with a unifying sound; poppy, edgy, sunny but not sappy; its summer music that reflects the sparkle of the grass and the warmth of the sun, but not without a wry sense of humour and an honest longing for something more. Call it pop-punk if you will, but it sounds more like "After-School-Special-Core"; rock and roll for kids on sugar and too much TV.