Military Junior
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Military Junior

Band Alternative Rock

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"Best Local CD - 2006 Best Of The Bay"

Staff Picks
Best Local CD: When You Get Lost on Those Brick Streets, Military Junior


All of this standout Pinellas County trio’s defining elements — the melodic sense, the poetic lyrics, the knack for incorporating odd time signatures without becoming too busy, the instrumental talent — mesh inventively and engagingly on this 10-track gem. Those Brick Streets isn’t just completely devoid of filler, it’s also a cohesive, well-thought-out program whose structure neatly turns back on itself like a sonic mobius strip. Military Junior possess the same sense for balancing proggy musicianship with pop songwriting displayed by bands from The Police to Sunny Day Real Estate, and has produced a modern-rock disc that’s catchy and challenging in equal, perfectly integrated doses. Plus, the best song a local act put out over the last year, the gorgeous “Anodyne,” is on there. www.militaryjunior.com.
- Creative Loafing - Tampa Bay


"A Salute to Military Junior"

Military Junior is a rock outfit with a jones for odd time signatures and pedal effects. But the Pinellas trio's prog flourishes are mere decoration for a clutch of warm tunes that thoughtfully contemplate love won and lost.

The band's debut album, When You Get Lost on Those Brick Streets, earned Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay plaque for CD by a Local Band last year. The disc starts with back-to-back instrumentals that immediately make the listener take notice -- taken as a single composition, they could almost pass for the build-up to a U2 ballad. Next, comes "Communication," one of the disc's most endearing cuts.

"Let's set aside our tears and tensions," starts the memorable chorus. The voice is mature, inviting and belongs to Jay Shultz, the band's guitarist, lyricist and lead singer. His words are deceptively simple -- a relationship commentary brimming with honesty. The infectious melody throws just enough curveballs to keep things interesting.

"I want people to be intrigued by the music and think about it, but not so much that people can't move to it," says bassist Eric Glinsboeckel.

Military Junior has prompted some hip-shaking when performing locally -- a rarity at area indie rock shows and especially for a band with proggy leanings. "Watching people dance in [7/4 time] is pretty cool," says Schultz. "It's personally gratifying to play this style of music; it's like pulling off a stunt. We do it for ourselves and hope the audience will catch on."

Shultz, Glinboeckel and drummer Bryce Munger spent the past decade playing in local bands such as Chalkpeople and Brainiacs Daughter before forming Military Junior in the summer of 2004. Amid shows, recording sessions and rehearsals, each member maintains a solid day job or is actively pursuing one. Glinsboeckel, 38, is an architect, and no one argues much when he offers to pick up the tab after an hour-long chat at the Independent in downtown St. Pete.

The other members are 10 years his junior. Schultz earns a living by building tables out of granite. Munger slings java at St. Pete's Globe Coffee Lounge when he's not studying to be a schoolteacher.

The Military Junior guys are kind of like their music: engaging and smart. On MySpace, Military Junior calls itself an "Alternative Rock band, sometimes also classified as Indie-math rock." The band's penchant for tricky time signatures might impress enthusiasts of chops rock, but it often leaves groove rock fans shaking their heads in frustration.

The 4/4 beat, the foundation of rock 'n' roll, bypasses the brain and goes straight to the ass, making for an easy sell across the board. Math rock, on the other hand, challenges the listener at each unexpected turn, and the complicated arrangements have a tendency to squelch the heart of the song, making it sound like an algebra equation set to music.

Military Junior is acutely aware of the tightrope prog-rock practitioners walk while messing with meter and indulging in angular dissonance. When the trio entered Berkley Park Studios in Atlanta in 2005 to cut Those Brick Streets, they put a premium on executing bold tempo changes and defying rock conventions. But they were also dead set on retaining the soul of each song.

"You run a filter," explains Schultz. "You keep that filter going in your head, letting the music in, and once it starts to deviate from that sort of true kind of feeling, you just exit and keep moving on to the next thing until you get it right."

Glinsboeckel and Munger nod in agreement. That "filter" is the linchpin of the band's success. Countless groups have aspired to King Crimson greatness only to fall on their own swords in pursuit of those heady sounds -- but that's not the case with these guys.

Key tracks from Miltary Junior's full-length debut include the brooding rocker "Anodyne," (not an Uncle Tupelo cover), the band's most downloaded MySpace track, and "Communication." These are the two songs that most deftly balance mass-appeal tunesmanship with precision playing. The latter is enjoying heavy rotation clear across the country at the venerable KEXP-FM in Seattle.

"They just sent the CD to us; it was just something that popped up," said KEXP DJ Cheryl Waters. "I haven't got any specific responses from listeners, but I like them and so do others at the station."

Although all three members are anchored to their careers and are by no means starving musicians, an indie record deal and the opportunity to tour the country in a cramped van and play far-reaching cities like Seattle remains a goal.

"Isn't that every musician's dream?" Glinsboeckel asks.
- Creative Loafing - Tampa Bay


"The Good The Bad and The Local"

MILITARY JUNIOR - When You Get Lost On Those Brick Streets
After a lengthy, pensive solo fuzzy-guitar intro, this relatively new trio – which features former members of Brainiac’s Daughter and Chalkpeople – delves into an impressive mix of ambitious, emotional indie-pop and proggy rock. It’s tough to compare Military Junior to anyone else, and here, that’s a good thing; the originality never completely overshadows good arrangements and coherent song structures.
Isolated changes occasionally come off as scattershot (“Authority,” “Dwell”), but frontman Jay Schultz’s singular, evocative vocal style and the band’s general knack for balancing experimentation and chops with compelling hooks usually win the day. Plus, “Communication,” “Anodyne” and “Travertine” are damn near unimpeachable. (www.militaryjunior.com) ***1/2
- Weekly Planet - Tampa


"Internet review"

This is one band that I think has something very unique about it. From the songwriting and non-standard time signature arrangements, this band takes a progressive approach to alt.rock. I receive a lot of music with the site, and if I were a label and had the budget, I'd sign this band today! Love it guys!
Paul Leclair Founder - www.indyreview.net
Independent Music for Independent Minds
- Paul LeClaire - Indiereview.net


Discography

Debut CD - When You Get Lost On Those Brick Streets released October 2005

Debut CD is getting airplay on KEXP Seattle, SOMAFM INDIE POP ROCKS San Francisco, WMNF Tampa and 97X Tampa.

Photos

Bio

Formed in August of 2004, Military Junior is a St. Petersburg, FL based three-piece “alternative rock” band, sometimes also classified as “Indie-math-rock.”

Over the past 9 years, the three members of this band have pounded the local music scene with enthusiasm and moderate success. After a few years of mixing and matching members in various bands, frontman Jason Schultz approached long-time friend and German-born Eric Glinsboeckel and fellow musician Bryce Munger with a few song ideas which immediately caught everyone’s attention. After a few rehearsals it became clear that this trio could work together perfectly in song writing, composing and playing.

Although the members of Military Junior don’t believe in comparing themselves to other bands, and a clear comparison is difficult to make, their music has been compared to the sounds of Indie bands such as Minnus The Bear, Death Cab for Cutie and MeWithoutYou.

Military Junior ‘s debut CD “When You Get Lost On Those Brick Streets” contains a masterful set of songs, including signature songs such as “Authority” and “Test of Time” which were written in non-traditional time signatures. In addition to such signature songs, this album represents a mix of fast and powerful as well as slow and dynamic songs. In order to set them apart from the mainstream, this band strives to achieve one primary goal: diversity.

The debut CD is currently in strong rotation on Indie radio stations KEXP out of Seattle and SOMA FM’s Indie Pop Rocks out of San Francisco. Additionally, the band is featured on websites such as GARAGEBAND.COM, INDIEREVIEW.NET and iSOUND.COM.

In addition to playing numerous local shows, more recently, Military Junior opened up for Nashville’s own LUNA HALO, Austin's FLICKERSTICK and won the first step of the annual 2006 EMERGENZA competition. In May 2007, MILITARY JUNIOR co-headlined one of six stages at the annual WMNF TROPICAL HEATWAVE FESTIVAL.

Additionally, the band is branching out in the South-East, playing shows in Atlanta, and soon Nashville and Athens, to broaden their fan base.

The band is currently recording their follow up album, to be released late 2007